Sunday, 30 August 2015

Art is dead

Art is dead! Now that's a big statement for me to say. It is all around us through different media and it's what we see constantly on social media. Unfortunately when was the last time you saw a piece which you actually thought 'wow!, that person had/ has talent'. For me there is only one or two. A few people who go against the grain and push the boundaries to express themselves through their art. I scan through Instagram and see only popularity, many people who have gained loads of followers and get acknowledged because of their typical pretty faces and who draw a simple line or a dot and "it's the most amazing thing ever'. Maybe it's just me being synical but I feel to achieve anything in the artworld it feels like you have to be pretentious, cool (hipster cool) or just the everyday beauty. Is it just me who doesn't feel this is right? There are so many amazing artists out there but it is the cool kids who get noticed. Art has become about beauty rather than creativity. It flows the same through the music and fashion societies. We see magazines full of celebrities (one hot wonders who did xfactor or big brother) and choose the same outfits they are wearing even though a few months or years earlier you would have never been seen in the outfit. For example when I was younger I used to dress quite gothic/ grungy. I'd be all in black, band tees and ripped jeans, and soon bought my own pair of doc martins. I'd get constantly looked at asif I was dirty and just a goth. Nowadays though I see everyone walking around in these clothes, all those posh cool kids who would have never been seen in such attire. Now it's ok though because topshop sells these items, and they just saw all their top celebrities wearing it so it's obviously cool, right? 
I work in a music shop and try my best to keep up to date with the names of these dimwits who are selling albums. These 'now that's what I call music' albums which are a load of bollocks and watch all the 'one direction' or 'Justin beiber' look alikes who swarm through the doors. I understand that some popularity does help but the popularity shouldn't be the main thing that shows that someone is talented at what they do. It should be the opposite, genuine talent should lead to popularity. Bob Dylan was talented and he's still remembered now. Leonardo do Vinci wasn't popular but his paintings and sketchbooks reached popularity after he passed away. William Shakespeare was probably seen as crazy with his talent for writing but now we see him as a genius. As a human race we need to stop following the norm. Just because someone has a million likes on social media doesn't mean they are any good. Take a look at their stuff, decide for yourself because that's why we have brains with thoughts and feelings, with our own opinions and ideas. We are not sheep. As the mean girls quote perfectly says 'I saw cady heron wearing army pants and flip flops, so I bought army pants and flip flops' doesnt' mean you have to do the same. If you saw a celebrity jump off a cliff, would you? No, I'd hope not. So use that knowledge to do something for yourself and stop being influenced because you think it's cool. Art is dead aslong as we keep pretending we're cool kids. 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Working Man- debut video

The Working Man- Copyright of Natasha Aldred 2015

Earlier in my blog posts, I wrote about the band that this majestic man is leading in. You can find it here. This is another character that has been created through this band's awesome and crazy songs and you will find him on the microphone singing his heart out on stage, when he isn't beating the crap out of anyone who starts on him. Don't mess with this man because  he is (insert fighting commentator voice) "THE ONE AND ONLY, HARD AS NAILS, THE FIGHTING MACHINE, THE HARDEST MAN IN BLACKBURN...... THE WORKING MAN!!!!!"

The Working Man (The Hardest Man in Blackburn). He is harder than Rocky Balboa, A zebra crossing, Booze and most of all GOD. For he, himself is god like. He has been compared to Superman and the Almighty Thor but not even DC or Marvel could create a man so hard. No-one could fight him, with one look he can make grown men and steroid heads cry. He can take you on a taxi ride to the other side of blackburn..... if you dare.

Check out their debut video for the man himself:

Enjoy it, rock out to it, but you better like it!
Or the next time i see you you may be eating through a straw (insert worried face)

Thanks again for reading and please get in touch :) 

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Mural Mindfullness

Recently me and my mum took on a massive project, which was very different for the both of us. As I've mentioned before in earlier posts my mum is a portrait and landscape artist focusing on realism and myself an Illustrator. We both have very different styles and until this point have never worked together on an actual piece. We have always helped each other out with advice and ideas but never put paint to paper (or wall) to combine our work.

So when Hopton Care Cottages asked us to do a mural we jumped at the chance. Scared as the area was so big and completely out of our comfort zones, we took it as a challenge and a nice mother and daughter bonding session.

My mum decided on the forest scene above which i personally think was perfect for the placement. A forest is perfect for mindfulness and relaxation. It promotes memory, creative thinking, concentration and openness. It can enhance communication and relationships, reduce stress and improve sleep quality. Plus, the main reason is it's natural and calming which is perfect for a home who cares for dementia sufferers.

So we got to work...
The wall was massive and I finally learnt how hard it is to balance on ladders. We started off with a very light green base to fill the full wall before drawing out our horizon line and perspective. Once that was done it was all or nothing, a plodding of paint, making lines and adding minute details... The first section took 7 hours which we spent concentrating so hard whilst listening to old rock and roll that the residents had on.
This was the result of our first night (above) 

Our second night we cracked on again... We kept each other motivated when each of us went through stages of tiredness and powered on through. The comments from the residents and staff kept us motivated and we finally started to see it come together :) 
(My mum above)

4am rolled on. 8 hours of continious painting, singing and abit of dancing and we were done. Our faces were lit with smiles (cheesy I know) but I can't explain how proud we were of the piece. Our first attempt and we'd smashed it :) the next day we received so many comments and couldn't believe the reaction. That boost has inspired us and we're looking forward to doing more :) 

You can also find me on the links below,

Toodles :)

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Sunday, 19 July 2015

Body Creativity

Keeping to the theme of my blog of creativity and art, i wanted to look at something that most people don't perceive as creative. Our Human Body. Our human body was created. and each one of us is unique and different. We dress it up, with piercings, tattoos, clothes and the colour of our hair. We create new looks for ourselves on the outside and forget to think about the inside (the areas we don't see). The things we eat and the way we act can damage or refine the lifespan and quality of our lives.

I constantly crave for sugar and even though I'm slim my diet can be pretty terrible at times. I eat a lot of chocolate and when i can afford will scoff down plenty of takeaways. My exercise regime doesn't exist, only keeping myself active when I'm running around at work. 

After watching a few UFC fights and checking out 'The Ultimate Fighter' for the first time, I started to think more about my diet and exercise routine and how i could improve it. So i started researching nutrition and fitness blogs (which you can find on my bloglovin' link below) a lot of these have awesome exercises you can do at home without spending money on the gym. They also include a lot of food facts and recipes to create to avoid getting bored of what you're eating.
I also bought a book called 'The Food Doctor' which you can buy from amazon. It's an amazing book telling you different foods to fight or help heal your body or your mind. It gives you a list of the food groups and alternative foods for vegans and vegetarians (if you're not a meat lover unlike me.) Definitely worth a read.

To push myself further I have also set up an Instagram page @nakomafitness to help motivate me to keep going and hopefully motivate others as I go along. I'm not aiming on losing weight because i think I'd be silly to do this, as I am already at a healthy weight for my age and height. My plan is tone and generally eat healthier, building my fitness and health inside and out through daily exercise and eating clean. I'm already two weeks in and can feel the difference in my mood, skin and my energy. 

Eating clean is not always as easy as you may think. It does not mean going for the fat free options or those fruit filled cereals you see in the supermarket. It doesn't mean that you can have a diet coke or go on a fad diet. To eat healthy you need fats, proteins, carbs and your vitamins and minerals. A balanced diet comes from natural sources. This world has created all the substances we need for our bodies. Now if that's not art then what is? 

Theres some cool documentaries out there which are telling you the true facts about food and how companies are false advertising to make you feel like you're eating healthier, just so you'll get addicted to their products. It's crazy!!! But you'll be surprised how many people are doing it.
Check out 'Hungry for a change' on Netflix. So eye-opening!

I'm starting my fitness journey now with the aim to create a healthy environment for myself to live in. Any advice or ideas are welcome as I am just learning. Get in touch with any interesting reads or documentaries. I'm open to learning something new. Maybe even throw on those workout clothes or pack your fridge full of fun food and join me? I hope I inspire others along the way :) 

You can also find me on the links below,

Toodles :) 

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Monday, 13 July 2015

The working Man

'Big Bad John' -Copyright of Natasha Aldred 2015

So I've been a little quiet recently working on some top secret artwork (I had to promise at gunpoint not to show anyone) 

'The Working Man' are a crazily extravagant band from blackburn who are not afraid of offending anyone and produce some amazing tongue in arse-cheek/ rock and roll style tracks, with a love of loud noises and controversial subjects. Calling themselves a 5-piece-variety-shite-bucket (mind my language) and quotes that 'They call me the working man and I'm the hardest man in blackburn"

So you can imagine my excitement when they had a call out for artists for their album. Crazy, dark characters with awesome back stories :) I am still in the process of working on these but as of recently they posted their "Big Bad John' track on soundcloud and gave me a lovely mention for the artwork above :) 

So here is Big Bad John walking down the stairs on christmas day, a gentleman conceived in a murky bathtub. Give the link a listen, give this awesome band a share and most of all enjoy :)

Keep your eyes peeled :) toodles

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Monday, 15 June 2015

city escape

Some days it's just nice to get away from your every day life. To escape and visit somewhere new or one of the places which brings you inspiration. I find cities can be the perfect place to find new inspiration, meet new people or see something new. They're full of opportunities and culture and even through the hectic movement of the people around you, you can find so many nooks and crannies worth hiding away in. Places which energise your mind and help you to relax and find new ideas.
copyrighted by Natasha Aldred 2015

I did just this and ventured out to my local city of Leeds in West Yorkshire with my camera and set off to find inspiration and to generate ideas. I came back with these photos plus many more. 
copyrighted by Natasha Aldred 2015

copyrighted by Natasha Aldred 2015

copyrighted by Natasha Aldred 2015

I love little details and these are the type of things that usually get missed. A simple texture, a lock, the tiny graffiti on a wall. Always overlooked. A lot of people only see the big picture and forget about details. It's very similar to the world at the minute. The way art, music and fashion is portrayed, only noticed if it's popular and not for the talent and little details. But anyways that's definitely a rant for another day.
copyrighted by Natasha Aldred 2015

So keep your eyes peeled folks!

There's so much more to see in this world we live in. Don't miss out on the details :) 

Toodles :) 

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Friday, 29 May 2015

Inspiration, cartoons and the damn right rude!!!!

Inspiration can come from anywhere, whether it being a single chord from a song, a flower emerging through the snow or a simple phrase you hear in passing. It can be as simple as A, B, C but also as difficult as the hardest equation you can imagine. As Pablo Picasso once said,

'Inspiration Exists,
but it has to find you working'

When I first started drawing, way way back when I was tiny, my inspiration came from my family. I remember watching my mum draw these amazing portraits of people using all sorts of materials from pencils to oil. They were and still are beautiful and captured the character of the people within them. 
I would also see the artwork on my grandparents walls of a stunning plane in a grey and blue sky, which my grandma had painted. Capturing each shade of colour and detail within the image. 
My Grandad had a completely different style and I remember sitting down for ages as i discovered his caricatures/ cartoons within the pages of his sketchbooks. Or how him and my grandma used to call them 'the funnies'. 

Next came the comics, the main one being 'The Beano'. One of the longest British comics going and always my favourite. I loved Dennis and Gnasher, The Bash Street Kids and The Numskulls. I remember spending time re-drawing these lovable characters and even started writing and drawing my own little short strips including a little guide on how to be the perfect menace. 

When I became a teen i found that music and graphic design was invading my head allowing me to take a closer look at caricatures (after getting our family caricatures done at alton towers) and band artwork, but it wasn't until i reached college that i found magazines such as 'Juxtapoz' and '3x3' which delved into 'lowbrow' art. This type of art allowed the gritty, rude and outrageous images to wow the public and I loved it!!! Greg Craola Simkins was one of the first to grab my attention with his artwork 'Night Knight' alongside his poem: 
'I'm Scared when the bunnies are plotting in silence
Those damn little bunnies are going to cause violence.

They'll sneak out of the garden and go to the place,
where bad bunnies go to bring them disgrace.

Through the leaves and ivy they'll cover their tracks,
and hide all their footprints, lest some-one attacks.

They want only one thing, it's true you will see, 
because bunnies don't eat trix, they eat you and me!

I'm scared of the stomach ache that will occur
down deep in the bunny, all covered in fur,

I'm scared when I burst out, there won't be much left,
but a big pile of bunny and a big bunny mess'

I loved how gruesome the imagery and writing was and how open the boundaries were. What am I saying?? There are no boundaries! In the lowbrow world, the world is your oyster. I started to follow artists like Alex Pardee, Yuko Shimizu (who i have lately come back to as she designs the beautiful covers of one of my favourite comics 'The Unwritten') and Tara McPherson, plus many more.

Since University my inspiration still comes from all sorts of avenues. My main inspiration is found through the 'Suicide Girls' and alternative models. After picking up my first suicide girl magazine I was hooked. The photography and poses gave the images and artistic flair and showed the womanly figure in all it's glory. And how much more fun is it to draw curves! I followed my pursuit with 'Bizarre Magazine' and then "Front'. I liked the Kick ass look! Not the conventional big boobed, fake tanned barbie dolls. They were boring! These ladies were exciting and conveyed a 'Tank Girl' (we don't care what you think) type of attitude which made them fun to draw and inspiring. I find myself wanting to be like these women, as they are proud to be who they are and show their personalities through their own art. Whether it be modelling, photography, art or the tattoos and experiences they have. It's something that i admire and respect.  Alongside these and the 'Tank Girl' comics and artists such as 'David Mack', 'Dave McKean' and 'Lora Zombie' plus the earlier mentioned artists have brought my artwork to where it is now. 

Lowbrow art will always be my calling, it's risqué, fun and the only place where you can draw horror villains as semi nude girls. I definitely prefer this movement. 

I do apologise as I've completely rambled on about my own work and inspiration. I would love to hear yours. What inspires you? What gets those cogs turning and those thoughts flowing? Whose your favourite artist or musician and why? I'd love to hear from you and get that creativity and inspiration spread. Now to leave you with a little quote from one of my favourite classic films.

'We are the Music Makers....
We are the Dreamers of Dreams'
-Willy Wonka (from the poem 'Ode)

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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

#womancrushwednesday part 2

I've been a little quiet of late whilst i finished a commission piece. But now I'm back and I'll be showing you sneak previews as I work through some very interesting pieces in these next few months :) I've also got a few ideas up my sleeve for some personal work too :) So keep your eyes peeled.

So here's a couple more of my #womancrushwednesday sketches to keep you going until then :)

A tattooed version of the 'Bride of Frankenstein' 

 Nina Kate, Model and owner/designer of the beautiful Jane Doe Latex and Hollywood Villains  

Alice La Vie, Alternative model from Cornwall now living in London

A lot of my work starts off as simple sketches like these before I work into them with a pen. The pen simplifies the lines slightly before the texture is added. So would you guys like to add the texture? Would this be something you'd be interested in? A small colouring book of my sexy pin-ups?? Let me know :) 

Thank you for taking your time to read this :) 

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