“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Natelee Cocks, a very talented photographer currently working in Dubai, approached me earlier this year to hand craft two Tiny Originals for her husband Barry as a gift. Natelee asked him to reflect on his top five happiest memories of their time together and we selected two as the inspiration behind the original artworks.
Hands up if you are not 100% happy with your skin.
We all have some form of an issue with our skin. It is our largest organ and is easily affected by excessive sun exposure, sugar, greasy food, alcohol, stress or lack of sleep. As we get older we have the added stress of delaying the inevitable ageing process. For a while I was somewhat smugly convinced that I seemed to have successfully avoided that awkward prepubescent pimply ordeal only to be hit with it full force in my twenties. I tried everything from ridiculously expensive laser treatments, facials, Vitamin A tablets, and a range of different products and was still left with horrible skin. Drastically changing my lifestyle over the last five years has improved my skin quite extensively but I was nervous to try 100% natural skin products for in case it leads to a terrifying breakout again.
On your first wedding anniversary, take that symbolic piece of paper and cherish it. Turn the page without any regrets. The paper is there to remind you of the origins of your love and the beginning of your story. Anna V
This year I have had the supreme pleasure of hand crafting a few original artworks as gifts to husbands for their first year anniversaries that is traditionally celebrated with paper. Each commission is a refreshingly new experience for me as I breathe life into their ideas through intricate lines of ink. One of my absolute favourites was for Anna-Belle & Craig Durrant. Capturing their cheeky personality in a drawing was such a treat as I have been following snippets of Anna-Belle’s adventurous life via her blog, She Said, and Instagram.
It’s your city. It’s your mountain. Get lost in it.
This ethereal interpretation of the 7th World Wonder captured through contour studies in ink will transport you away from your busy life to that place of deep, inner calm we often only find in nature. The aesthetics of this piece strikes that precarious balance between the minimalist and abstract.
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Over the last two years where life has become far busier and more demanding I have been giving a lot of thought to experiences and the importance of breaking away from your routine to prioritize quality time with friends, family or lovers. My friends and family are becoming ever more scattered across South Africa and quite a few have immigrated so it has become vital to grab every opportunity we have to enjoy our time together. A gift is an expression of your love; the gift of experience is to build memories with your loved ones.
“The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living”
Tashas has treated us with another exceptional addition to their gorgeous cafés in Menlyn Maine, Pretoria, which opened its doors in September. The immensely talented interior Architect Neydine Bak of B&S Studio has once again designed a masterfully unique restaurant to enrich your fine dining experience through all your senses. Head chef and owner Elze Roome shares that her dream was to create a beautiful lifestyle café that would challenge conventional ideas about daytime eating.
“Digital design is like painting, except the paint never dries.” – Neville Brody
A few years ago I started working with the immeasurably talented local interior architect, Wouter le Roux, who was in the process of opening one of the original stores at The Watershed, V&A Waterfront. I created a beautifully minimalistic corporate identity for his carefully curated local ceramic collective called Hello Charlie. Over the years we have worked on multiple projects together and he is the face behind my Design Indaba Emerging Creative stall, SABC3 Expresso Show exhibit and finally my beautiful Atelier in Woodstock.
“And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.” – Kiersten White, The Chaos of Stars
The lovely Tammy Binedell-Barber approached me earlier this year to commission an original drawing for her as a gift to her husband on their first wedding anniversary, which is traditionally celebrated with paper. I am so honoured to have captured their extraordinary memories as husband and wife through intricate line drawings forming a charming collage that will serve as a constant reminder of their love and adventures together.
In a society consumed with technological advancement lies a refreshing beauty in the simple stroke of black ink on paper. My latest Tiny Original was inspired by a beautiful piece of literature from The Road, by Cormac McCarthy:
“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
— Virginia Woolf
This work of art seeks an elegant simplicity through a complex series of lines exploring the patterns found in organic produce.
One sunny Saturday morning in September fellow creatives gathered at the picturesque Prestwich Collection for our second Makers Ink & Gather workshop where we doodled the day away creating Tiny Original drawings. We sold out so fast we had to add a couple of seats when a few hearts were broken that they missed out on a ticket. There is something truly exceptional about these doodle days where people from all around Cape Town with various degrees of drawing experience gather to reconnect with their creative sides. Absolute beginners are unequivocally welcome and I adore seeing the pride they feel when they see what they are able to create with a little bit of coaching.