General Announcements

Happy Spring! And Free US Shipping!

Woohoo! Spring is here!!! Time to do a happy dance :)

And how about we celebrate with Free US Shipping this weekend? If you spend more than $25 on physical products through March 22nd in my online shop, you can get free shipping in the US. Just enter the coupon code SPRINGSHIP when you are checking out and all those goodies will get shipped to you for free! Who doesn’t like something for free?

It’s a great time to buy foam stamps like my Fairview Fan set…

Or how about a few of those rubber stamp sets like my Fan-tastic Small set:

And of course my stencils are part of the deal too…

…And ALL my Artwork too: original paintings, giclee prints, and other nifty pieces of artwork like my new Good Vibes Only painting…

2020

Or my This Too Shall Pass giclee print…

Shop around and see what there is – all physical products are part of the deal and the offer ends at 11:59pmEST this Sunday, March 22nd.

And I hope you join me this afternoon at 2pm EST on Facebook for my new Kaffeeklatsch Get Together live chat. I’ll be sharing my Artful Adventures and also asking how you are doing and what you are up to. Let’s get together and share!

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Comparison is the Thief of Joy – Newsletter Thoughts

I don’t know if you know this, but I’ve been writing some thoughts in my monthly newsletters – thoughts on creativity, making art, and being an artist – along with some other info about what is going on around here. In January I shared the following – a topic that I feel really passionate about as both an artist and teacher. I hope you enjoy and you can sign up for my newsletter HERE for more of these :)


“Comparison is the thief of joy”
I truly believe in this. Trust me- I know. Been there, done that… many times. While I am checking out the amazing work of our students in Creative JumpStart and reading hundreds of comments, I stumble once in a while over something that goes like this: “I tried it for the first time but it doesn’t look perfect!” and all I can think is, “how amazing you actually did this and hey, this looks pretty awesome – I cannot believe you did this the first time”. And trust me the latter is not just some Nat-Kindness-Program – because oh boy you should see some of my first takes on something. There is a lot of Schtuff that goes down the drain. I also admit I curse a lot in my studio… you don’t want to hear me some days.

The problem with a sample or tutorial we art teachers show, is that we usually do not show the many, many in between steps, the failures, the ugly stuff. I make a lot of ugly stuff …my trash bin is littered with ugly stuff right now from a “brilliant idea” I am working on for a technique for an online class. Trust me… I am getting there. I am making notes on what worked and what didn’t. I am still thinking about how I can tweak it and make it work so that I like it and that it comes closer to what I envision, and then I will teach it. This part makes me actually excited and if it doesn’t get to that point that I want to teach it, oh well! I learned something new. EVERY TIME. None of this is wasted.

But to get back to the initial point: I usually don’t show in my classes the many hours that it took to get to that point, and the really bad failures along the way, because that is not what the class is about. Maybe it should be… I have thought about a book called Art Failures… but I guess now that I put it out here someone else might write it – LOL.  

So in the end, as a student, I hope that you might have it easier because I can give you some tips on the way: which materials to use, what worked for me, and what you should or maybe should not do. (Hey, ask me how I know what not to do ;) But at the end of the day you still have to put the work in if you want to have it look as you envision . “You haven’t even tried as many times as the Master has failed”  is one of my other quotes I have been saying for years in my classes, as probably some of my longtime students eyerollingly will notice ;) . But the reason I want to stress this is that you shouldn’t compare yourself to your teacher or your co-students because you will be taking the fun away from trying something new and exciting. You don’t know how experienced the other students are, how many times they tried, how often they work with the material, yadayadayada. Look at their work as something that could spark an idea in you or as another take on the same theme. And if that still doesn’t keep you from comparing yourself to others… then take a hiatus in looking. That is absolutely ok – I do that ALL the time. 

Don’t take the fun away from discovering something that you might explore further, and from the experience of getting better, and maybe even taking it to a whole new level than you initially started out with. Don’t let perfectionism and comparison creep into your hobby and something you love doing – there is enough of that pressure out there in all sorts of other areas of our lives. Kick it to the bin… along with the fun ugly stuff you do and embrace it like I do. A full trash bin or drawer of “new collage paper” is a sign of lots of great hours in the studio. Have fun – fill your waste bin!
-Nat


I hope you enjoyed my thoughts. If you’d like to read more, please sign up or my newsletter HERE for more of these :)

Comments (3)

  • Cate D

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    Excellent thoughts and a great reminder. I know I am sometimes guilty of this and it totally steals the joy.

    Reply

  • tracie

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    Great reminder!! Thanks Nathalie

    Reply

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Sale Ending and Workshop Beginning!

Today is the LAST day to save in my online shop for my Valentine’s Day Sale. Shop around and enjoy 14% off physical products including rubber stamps, stencils, foam stamps, Giclee Prints of my artwork starting at just $25 and original artwork by me starting at just $35!!! Stuff is going fast and the sale ends at 11:59pm EST tonight, Feb 17th 2020. Just enter the coupon code LOVENAT14 when you check out.

Also today my newest online class Artful Adventures with Gustav Klimt is getting started!!! You can still get in at the Early Bird price until 11:59pm EST tonight, Feb 17th 2020. It is my 3rd workshop in the Artful Adventures series and this time we are looking at the gorgeous artwork and style of Klimt and learning how to bring some of his tricks into our own art journals and artwork. Join us in the classroom as we get started today!

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Valentine’s Day Sale in the Shop

I’m celebrating the Day of LOVE with a SALE in my online shop! You are all my Valentines after all :)

Just use the coupon code LOVENAT14 for 14% off all physical products now through Monday, February 17th at 11:59pm EST.

Artwork, stencils, rubber stamps, foam stamps, mixed media chips, mugs, and my book are all part of the sale. Things are going fast so if you had your eye on something, better hurry into the shop!

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year my friends!

I hope 2020 brings the best for you whatever your Vision 2020 may be! Thank you for all the ongoing support the last year – I hope I can bring you lots of creative joy for this year and we will be on this ride again together :)

Also, Happy Creative JumpStart :) – class starts today so I hope you will head over to the Creative JumpStart 2020 classroom and JUMP with us :)

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Review 2019 & Vision 2020

What a year 2019 has been. So much was going on while at the same time I took a hiatus from teaching and traveling. I don’t even remember what my word for this year was …I think it was “home” but maybe that is just what it turned into LOL.

As most of you know, we bought an old house with a bit of renovation work to do. Being able to tend to the construction and go to the house almost daily during the 7 months it took, was definitely very helpful. 

We had a really nice construction company and besides the usual delaying headaches of permits, inspections and the one or other hiccup it went all pretty smooth and we are happy with the house.

It was fun and exhausting at the same time ..the process was slow and quick at the same time …

…the only consistency was me being tired and unkempt in the attempt to juggle two places, the “we-do-this ourself-projects” and maintaining my art business. 

Things were opened, destroyed and discovered –

like roofs, walls, old newspapers

and crown molding. 

New things were created like decks, skylights

and matching crown molding

and some things just took care of themselves, like our amazing garden. 

We sorted a million things for the move ….

and contemplated a lot about the fact that we acquired so much SCHTUFF again 6 years after moving with just a shipping container and having downsized a lot. 

We spent a ton of time together and we loved our project -we are a good team. And we enjoyed our big housewarming party after we finally moved in. 

I love my big studio –

I am so stoked about my wall easel and my little fireplace seating area. 

We also spent lots of time with friends and family and we finally managed to take two separate beach days off …WOW – shoulder patting – especially since we are only about an hour away from the beach. 

I went on a lot of art strolls- I thought I didn’t, but looking back I did quite some fun art stroll stuff. Especially amazing was the af Klint exhibition at the Guggenheim which I saw with Kim 

and my special surprise birthday trip to Storm King with my hubs

as well going to the Re-opening of MoMA with my friends Julia and Adam

which resulted in my FAVORITE Photo with art EVER. Epic! I will never look at this particular Mark Bradford piece without also slightly giggling …sorry Mark! 

We made it twice to the Opera this year …wowsers  and we had a lot of fun with friends “watching” from our nose bleeding seats. 

We also tried a lot of new restaurants because something had to give going back and forth between neighborhoods, so why not trying new places including this fabulous and now one of our favorite Bangladeshi Restaurant Korai

The saddest this year was that we had to say good bye to our sweet cat Niles in the summer. We had him for 19 1/2 years. I am still very sad about it and Christmas was especially hard being the first Christmas without this little sweet fur ball sitting under the tree. 

We welcomed Mingus, a new kitten to our home just a couple weeks ago -and Bobby Pretzel adopted him and they are already buddies! They make us laugh a lot! 

I started playing the Ukulele and found some fun new friends – we even performed at a Holiday party – creating art prepared me definitely for the “it is about the fun and not so much about the outcome part” here LOL. You see I have to drink the water that I am preaching in my art classes …or however that saying goes ;) I am not sure if the people listening had that much fun, but we sure did. 

Art wise- I painted a bit, I hosted a ton of challenges, released some stencils and stamps, released a couple new online workshops and filmed for Sketchbook Skool as well. It felt good to concentrate on some other parts of my art life …things that I usually do not have that much time for when I travel every other weekend. 

I did miss going to Germany to see family and friends and also seeing students in Person, but I have to admit I also loved staying home the whole year and putter around here. Making a new home, embracing my home and the people that are nearby. You can def. say all of those things were connected to “home” whether that was my word for the year 2019 or not LOL.

So now what is my word for 2020? I think it shall be “vision” as in “the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.” I have some visions for my business for 2020 and some ideas for my art , I am longing for some clearer vision in general and in some areas for a vision at all. That might sound weird, but I feel like I used to have so many visions and then either the plans came to fruition or were neglected. Now I long for a bigger vision yet again. The whole house project this year showed me that. So there we go …Vision 2020 …I am on it ;) Let’s see what Hindsight (is) 2020 will show in terms of successfully getting there next December ;) 

What is your word for 2020 if you, like me and many others, pick a word instead of new year’s resolutions?

 

Comments (7)

  • Theresa Gonzales

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    What an amazing year you have had. I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings for you (and me). My word is preparation.

    Reply

  • Liz Thayne

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    Wow what an amazing year you have had and what a lot you have achieved. Hope 2020 will be another successful year for you.

    Reply

  • Jean Goza

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    What an amazing year for you! I have no doubt that 2020 will reveal even more wonders for you. Looking forward to CJS and hope to see you in person again sometime. Happy New Year!

    Reply

  • Pam Hansen

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    Thank you for sharing your 2019 adventures. It’s lovely to see your new home and fabulous studio. Happy New Year and I’m excited to see what 2020 brings, hopefully a chance to take a class with you again! ❤️

    Reply

  • Janet

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    It sounds like you had a pretty incredible year! Except for Miles. I’m very sorry to hear that news. Wishing you a fabulous 2020. Looking forward to another year of CJS! Thank you so much for offering it again!

    Reply

  • Rebecca Buchanan

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    I so enjoyed reading this post and seeing the photos. I remember the first time I signed up for Creative Jump Start, you were still living in Germany at the time. It has been so inspiring to watch you grow as an artist over the years. Thank you for sharing this latest journey with your new house. Wishing you a very Happy New Year and all the best! PS All signed up and looking forward to another exciting CJS!

    Reply

  • Linda Corbin Youn

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    Thank so much for sharing your journey. I look forward to seeing what visions you create for the new year. My word is organize, especially as it applies to my office/studio and including blocks of art time on my calendar.

    Reply

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Free Shipping Days are Here!

If you spend more than $25 of physical products through tomorrow (December 14th, 2019) in my online shop, you can get free shipping in the US. Just enter the coupon code FREESHIP25 when you are checking out and all those goodies will get shipped to you for free! Who doesn’t like a little free this time of year?

It’s a great time to buy foam stamps like my Fairview Fan set…

or my Mini Tile set.

Or how about a few of those rubber stamp sets that are already on sale like my Fan-tastic Small set:

Or my pick for anyone who loves architecture, the Stroll Around the Block set:

And of course all those new stencils I released just yesterday. They ship in the US for free too with any order of $25 or more of physical products.

Enjoy all these and lots more. Take a look here and get those last minute gifts taken care of :)

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NEW Stencil Designs! December 2019 Release

Today I am releasing 8 new stencil designs with StencilGirl Products and am very excited to share them with you! You can check them out now in my Online Shop.  I’ve been playing with them for the past month and I just love the diversity of the group – some art deco fan stuff for you pattern lovers, abstract stuff for layering and texture, and more Mid Century motifs because we love modernism :)

Here are the new designs – hope you are as excited as I am to create with them!

First up is Art Deco Empire – I’m showing it here oriented upside down because I think it can work either way and I love how it kind of looks like crowns here.

Next is Art Deco Summit – A nice mix of pattern and solid shapes that I think is perfect for creating a balance of color and open space.

Here is Art Deco Fairview – another that I am showing here upside down to show how you can use it either way. Love this pattern.

Art Nouveau Wallpaper is another that mixes pattern and solid areas so you can really play with color here.

Kyoto is a fun mix of abstract marks that can oomph up your mark making in backgrounds and such.

Tokyo is a more energetic field of marks and again, really awesome for backgrounds.

Space Age Modern is a funky cool modernist pattern that is another fav.

Finally we have Signals – a field of abstract pattern that is ideal for backgrounds, layering, and creating visual texture.

So I hope you take a look at all the new stencils in my shop – it is an interesting mix of styles, shapes, and patterns – something for everyone :)

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