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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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Two Wolves

An old Cherokee told his grandson:

My son, there is a battle 
between two wolves inside us all.

One is evil.
It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, 
regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity,
guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, 
false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is good.
It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity,
humility, kindness, benevolence, 
generosity, empathy and truth.
The grandson thought about 
this for a minute and then 
asked the grandfather, 

Which wolf wins?

The old cherokee simply replied....

The one you feed.

I recently bought myself the book 'Calm' to treat myself and stumbled across this beautiful cherokee proverb. Most of you will be able to relate to one of these wolves... if not both and I think this proverb is the perfect way to look at the battle we all feel at least once in our lives. 

We all constantly have that fight inside us, where the first wolf will take over, and with the constant hustle and bustle of the world around us, we can find it hard to switch our mind off and enjoy the true nature of life. Social media keeps us staring at our phones and laptops. New technology makes it way too easy for distractions. We constantly spend our days staring at screens waiting for new notifications, obsessing over what everyone else is doing in the world, instead of focussing on us.

I'm a sucker for it too, and I can spend all my free time flicking my way through Instagram, Facebook and twitter, whilst wondering what I'm doing with my own life. 

So I stopped. I took some time away from social media and started my investigation into 'mindfulness.' 

It's silly how we no longer exercise our mind. It's a muscle so we should be building it and taking control. Focusing on the now and how our own body feels. I'm not an expert on the subject but it's something I want to learn. It has so many benefits and helps your stress levels aswell as your creativity. I recently wrote a post about an app called 'headspace' which you can find here, which can help you with a 10 minute meditation course over 10 days. Perfect for beginners like me.

I would also like to recommend an awesome blog that can help you through mindfulness. Check out my dear friend Kimberley Robinson and her blog 'Keepin' it Real'. Along with some beautiful dotwork illustration and her upcoming 'Keep Real' brand who donates money to the charity 'Mind'. Kimberley writes with positivity and understanding of how mindfulness works. Her blog posts are inspirational and informative and well worth the read.

So I'm beginning a new journey into 'mindfulness' it's going to be a tough one but I hope I can let the second wolf grow. I'll be feeding him through meditation, healthy eating, decluttering, exercise and writing. As the saying goes 'A dog is a human's best friend' so i hope my inner wolf can bring me creativity and happiness.

I sound like a hippy but hell why not!!

If you guys have any awesome blogs or books you would like to recommend, please don't hesitate to send me a message :) 

Thank you for taking your time to read this :) 

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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Who is P.O.P.E??

P.O.P.E, which stands for 'Persistence Overthrows Power Every time" pushes the boundaries within his spoken word and music, creating a powerful meaning to his name. The talented artist looks at different areas of society, and has a keen eye to look through a disguised world, and draws out the problems and issues within his lyrics. A lot of focus is around religion and the contrast between this and faith. With so many news articles and updates of the war of religion, how can one not look at this subject without reflecting upon it.

So let's get to know the man behind the name and his inspiration for his spoken word poetry.

So who is P.O.P.E?
My real name is James Yates Hothersall, but Jamie for short.

What inspires you?
I get inspired by society and how crazy everything is and how it is the 'norm' that we are expected to deal with it. It makes me mad. It's insane!

Why did you go into spoken word?
Since I was a teenager I've always been writing songs. I'm interested in lyrics and how words can mean so much. I suppose I wanted to look at just the lyrics without forming any musical boundaries.

Who would you say your idols are?
I like people who don't conform and have gone against the grain. Musically I would say 'Bob Dylan' and 'Zach de la Rocha'. I also take inspiration from writers such as 'George Orwell' and 'Dostoyevsky'.

So you've got a new video out called 'Simple Simon'. What does it mean?
I wanted to look at how the government show the world what they want us as a society to see. They make it out as if the Iraq War was fine and the 'norm' as they used it as an excuse to gain more oil, but when the youth fight back with riots, they class it as dangerous and out of order. It is hypocrisy at it's finest.
The person who speaks for the country has never had to struggle when they talk about the views of the country, but will never help the people who are struggling and can't afford. Elections mean nothing and whoever comes into power will do exactly the same as the one before them. Just because they have the position of power does not make them right. We have seen dictators in the same positions and they were wrong so what makes them any different.

What do you want to show within your poetry?
I want people to think about my lyrics instead of generic pop songs and to know that I really put thought into them. I also hope it will send the message that you shouldn't be afraid of what people think about you.

What keeps you going with your spoken word?
I like competition and competing against myself. There is nothing better than writing a line that will get people thinking. It's very much like a riddle, you have all the words, you just need the right ones to form that perfect line.

So as you know I'm an Illustrator and a big fan of creativity. So what makes spoken word 'art'?
I'd class it as art because it's creative and you can do whatever you like, our only guidelines are; USE WORDS! With poetry and music you have no boundaries and it's your own imagination from your own perspective. I suppose it's like the first riff you learn on guitar is 'Hey Joe' by "Hendrix'. However you play it no-one can play it like him. Even when broken down to the basics, everyone brings a different sound or perspective to what they create.

Finally, from watching your video we can see how much society bother you, so give us a rant?
What pisses you off and why?
Humans. The majority of people are self absorbed and don't help one another. If people have a problem they should say it instead of keeping quiet and following others like sheep, as it feels like we're taking a step back instead of evolving. Back in the 40s and 50s we had more creativity within music as Swing and Jazz took over. We had the anti- Prohibition where people joined as a mass to change things. Nowadays anything that can be changed for the good is put on the back row, whilst we hear about the elections, fashion and celebrities as headline stories instead of focusing on the real horrors in the world. It angers me. I also believe that people should stop being offended at being offended.

Here's P.O.P.E's latest video 'Simple Simon' You can also find him on Twitter , Soundcloud, Instagram and Facebook

Thank you for taking your time to read this :)

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Friday, 17 April 2015

Start clowning around.....

Back at college, this used to be me. I'd wear whatever i wanted, whenever I wanted and didn't care as much about what people thought. I was in an environment where people didn't care whether you wore the latest fashion brand or whether you had face paint on your face as you walked down the street. It was art college and probably the best few years of my life. Not only for the people I met but for introducing myself to the person I actually was underneath.

After reading 'Plug into your weirdness' by Gala Darling, I realised that I only maintain a little bit of this, but find myself obsessing over social media and how other people think of me. Deep down I know I shouldn't but find it so hard not to.

When you're trying to run a business you surround yourself with twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blogs. You find yourself staring at other people's pictures and wondering why or how they got the many likes they did. It's awful and I hate the fact I do it, but still I carry on. I find myself looking at beauty blogs and model's blogs trying to figure out how to make myself look prettier. Then it dawns on me again!! 'Stop it!!'

Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the things which made you who you are. Not on the outside but that person whose hiding deep underneath. For me it was always art, weird dancing, photoshoots and dressing up. It was listening to weird music, reading inspiring material and writing. These things came so natural to me and I felt extremely comfortable doing it.
I've lost some of those things along the way, as you grow up you feel as though you need to conform. You see the world through social media and look at your own life through a microscope picking up only on the bad points.

I've spoken to a gentleman for a while now, he's a sweet gentleman and has told me that he wants to undergo a sex change. At first I felt unsure for him, but after a while of talking to him I can now see how excited he is to do this. He knows who he is and knows how to change to be deep down who he feels he wants to be and I admire this. I admire his strength and determination to show the world who he really is.

So with all this thought.... I think it's time to go back to being me.

Thank you for taking your time to read this :)

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Monday, 13 April 2015

Living on the streets...

Copyright of Don Mccullin

Recently I've been watching some awesome documentaries and find myself constantly flicking through youtube, BBC Iplayer and Netflix. 

One of the documentaries that really stood out to me was 'Mcullin'. This film is about a War/ Homeless Photographer called 'Don Mccullin', spoken by Mcculin himself, we hear the stories about how he began photographing his subjects and the reasons on why he carried on through the pain and terror he saw people experience. He shows us the imagery he produced within the years he spent at war and later showed us the faces of the ghosts upon our own streets. Each photograph he took was heart wrenching and I found myself in tears as I saw the pain in each person's eyes, but I admired Mccullin's determination to photograph the pain to show the rest of the world the truth in our society. He tried his best to help them, carrying the injured in the wars and most of all spent his time talking to the people he met on the streets. Showing them that some-one does care and does see them. If you get chance please check this documentary out. You can find it on the UK Netflix. 

Copyright of Mike. F. Shaw (The Forgotten)

This brings me to my next point. Above is a photograph taken by Mike. F. Shaw a professional photographer based in the UK. Recently he has started a Facebook page called 'The Forgotten'. His aim is to 'bring light to those no longer seen', 'to tell their stories' and 'stop people from looking away.'
Mike is driven by his aim and enjoys not only photographing the people he meets but spending time talking to them. It is obvious how much he cares and you can tell from looking at a single photograph that he captures the moment, the emotion and the character of the person in front of him. To that person sat there, a simple hello or even time spent with them will mean the world. What I see Mike doing is beautiful and what humanity needs. Its crazy to think in this day and age that people are still forced to live without shelter and food. 

Copyright of Natasha Aldred 2014

The picture above was taken by me in Manchester, July 2014.  His name was Marco a lovely gentleman who had been living on the streets since christmas day. When he first saw us he was weary but after a while spoke to us with ease. He told us how he'd been beaten up and some lads had broken a couple of his ribs and how he found joy in creating art. Rummaging through my bag i found some spare pencils and a sketchbook and gave him the items. With this he offered to draw us, and we sat listening to his stories as he did with ours. He gave me back the sketchbook after, refusing to take it but leaving the picture in there all signed and dated for us to remember. Shaking his hand we said goodbye and wished him well.

It's crazy how things can snowball. There's no way of knowing your own safety. Imagine yourself without your job and without your family and friends for support. Where could you be? So don't forget this when you see some-one sitting there in the street. Sometimes all it takes is bit of bad luck. Take your time to give them that bit of change. Acknowledge them, a simple hello can brighten up some-one's day. Or sit there and chat to them or simply listen. People take for granted what a simple smile or an ear to listen can do. It means a lot.

I saw a guy not long back in Sheffield and what he said stuck with me. 'It could be you!!!'

Thank you for reading :) 
If I haven't upset you and put you off returning then check me out on;

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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Down the rabbit hole.

Are you addicted to anything? As a girl i should be obsessed with shoes and buying clothes... the typical idea of any woman. But no... books are my downfall. I can spend a fortune on them from magazines to little zines to full on hardback novels. Anything that can take me away for a few seconds into a completely different world. I'd rather sit on the floor of a charity book shop flicking my way through various books than trail around the high street fashion shops.

I love the feeling of disappearing down that rabbit hole into a fantasy land where inspiration runs wild. The smell of an old book and the feel of it within your hands.... I guess I'll never own a kindle.

As an illustrator I take a lot of inspiration from books and have found myself illustrating quite a few separate stories. Back at university i created this Book cover Design of one of my favourite books 'Memoirs of a Geisha' by Arthur Golden.

This book is beautiful if you haven't read it I recommend you do. It explores the world of Japanese Geisha and once you start reading it you feel as if you are there. The film brought out of this book is a good representation, but for me the book wins me over every time. 

Back in 2012 I read Angela Carter's 'Bloody Chamber and other stories'. Angela Carter brings together a series of fairytales with a twist all featuring a female protagonist. After reading these I had to give it a go at illustrating 3 of the stories. I wrote a little write up here a while ago. 

I chose; 'The Bloody Chamber' based on the story of Black Beard. 
'Company of the Wolves' based on Little Red Riding Hood
and finally "Puss in Boots'

Since then I have been very lucky to have worked with a group of people on an anthology. Illustrating a number of stories for them based around the Octopus. 'Suction Cup: An Octopus Anthology' by '' can be bought in soft back or kindle holds 11 beautiful and weird stories. 

The rest can be found on my website or Facebook 

I've recently found a cool instagram page whose given me so much book inspiration, check out-  Igreads. Also GoodReads is a nice site to get recommendations for new reads. I'm currently fighting my way through the Game of Thrones- Song of Ice and Fire series and have so many stacked up ready to read. 

So what are you guys reading at the moment? What's your favourite books? Would love to hear any recommendations. I'll leave you with a list of my top 5 books. 

1. 'Memoirs of a Geisha' by Arthur Golden
2. 'The Hunger Games' (series) by Suzanne Collins
3. 'Crime and Punishment' by Dostoyevsky
4.'A Clockwork Orange' by Anthony Burgess
5. 'Animal Farm' by George Orwell

For updates you can find me on Bloglovin',  Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Toodles :) 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Adventure time!

It was a beautiful day yesterday and after many years i finally found the video setting on my camera.... what a numpty! So me and my boyfriend headed out for 'adventure times', taking with us a camera and food supplies. Our aim was to play around with my camera and look for ideas for a spoken word video for Jamie. Check out his spoken word here
We ventured around huddersfield finding some amazing little abandoned places and my obsession with texture took over as I photographed the areas. I forgot how much I loved being behind the camera.

I was upset to see how much litter and abandoned furniture had been left in public places and seeing how an old beautiful building had been knocked down for a car park. 
We went past an empty basketball court. It was so eerie not to hear any children playing.... complete silence! It makes me feel old saying this but "Back in my day" or "when i was younger" we all spent our days out in the streets with our friends. Our parents couldn't keep us inside. Now parents can't get their kids outside. Everything at their fingertips. Talking to their friends through computer games instead of inviting them round. I don't know about you but i miss those days! I miss that innocence, that naivety of the world and most of all the creativity. Being able to transform a stick to a sword or gun with our imagination, or inventing the wild wild west or fantasy land with a group of friends. Well let's keep that creativity alive! Let's not become boring vegetables who sit in front of desks. We are not the people stuck in their chairs in pixar's 'WALL.E.' We need to be those adventurers, the heroes we thought we could be as children. We need to take a tip from peter pan and 'never grow up.'

So who wants to join me? Let's go on an adventure! 

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Wednesday, 18 March 2015


It's #womancrushwednesday

So some of you may be asking... what the hell is this about? It's a social media day. A day when you find a woman who inspires you and you repost a picture of them. They feel flattered and so on! Easy? Yeah?
I agree, and it's a lovely idea to make other women feel beautiful about themselves. A way to boost that other person up and tell them that they're doing something amazing and are admired for it.

So.... i wanted to try this social media frenzy, and use it to practice my drawing skills. I love drawing portraits but sometimes can find them hard and challenging to do. So why not use this day to practice that? A few weeks back i began working on my first woman crush wednesday project of the lovely "YOLANDI' from 'DIE ANTWOORD'. I am in love with her crazy fashion sense and her voice.
The next was the beautiful 'CERVENA FOX' , an alternative model, makeup artist and fire/ aerial performer.
Next up was "ZOETICA EBB" who is an amazing Illustrator/ Designer/ Photographer and Journalist. Check out her website for her beautiful 'ALIEN BOTANY' collection
Then came another one of my heroes "LORA ZOMBIE" the most colourful, crazy and grunge artist you'll ever see! Her work is phenomenal and can not wait to get a piece of her new HEROTIME clothing collection. 
Finally we come to today. I've always loved bit of Paramore since they brought their first album out "All we know is falling" but the main inspiration is "HAYLEY WILLIAMS' style and her fantastic voice.  
I'm really enjoying doing these quick sketches and its really good practice. Why not try it and join many of us who are working with the social media trends to practice and showcase some work :)
Keep an eye out on my instagram page-
Would love to hear some feedback :) 

I'm off to sleep city :) night :)

Tuesday, 17 March 2015


Do you experience those days where you feel you have too much to do? Or you just sit there being unable to start any task even though your brain is on overdrive with thoughts. That momment like in Harry potter the philospher's stone, where he enters to see the rusty key he has to catch, to then be swarmed by a thousand other keys attacking and distracting him from his goal. Maybe it's just me? But it makes simple tasks hard to do and makes me feel tired and annoyed. 
So this isn't meant to be an upsetting post don't worry. A few days ago one of my friends found an app called headspace-
And it's amazing! It's a 10 day course which talks you through 10minutes of meditation a day. I've always been interested in this and was unsure if it would work for me, but I found it fantastic! It makes you focus on you! How u breathe, how your body is feeling and let's you distract yourself from the thoughts that have been plaguing you. Afterwards you feel calm and relaxed and ready to take on the world with positivity. I love it! I'm only on my 3rd session so far but it's been awesome! 
I'm wanting to adapt this positivity to my work! Especially with my new business idea. I've named my future shop and collection 'Nakoma' (a personal name for me) but also meaning great warrior and spirit. I feel that as a brand I want to show that we should fight for our creativity and have a fun creative spirit. 'Fight for what you believe in! Fight for who you are and what you want!' For me it's 'fight to be different' 
Go check it out :) 
Toodles! :) 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

A Fresh Beginning!

So it's been ages since I've properly blogged. Since my last post I've mainly been using other social media sites such as my instagram and my twitter. These links can be found in the sidebar on your right. I've been working on quite a few new pieces of artwork including narrative illustrations for Suction Cup- An Octopus Anthology (link here) , worked with a few companies to bring together some logos and tshirt designs and had a few exhibitions around Yorkshire.

So what now?
Well a new venture is starting and it's only early days but I'm beginning to work towards a future shop where I hope to sell my own products and others. It's a big jump and I'm so excited and terrified at the same time. I'm......
yep! completely out of it! So where do i begin? Well market research is key! So may i ask for your help? I've put together a small survey and would love any responses? Don't be afraid to tell me the brutal truth! I need to hear it so don't hide it :) Here's the link

Thank you for reading this and take care :) 

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