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 'Obsolescent.info' 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- https://instagram.com/natashaaldredillustration/
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- http://t.co/86p8FjZnDM
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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