YOUNG ARTISTIC ENTREPRENEUR
NATASHA: YOUNG ARTISTIC ENTREPRENEUR
|Natasha photo by Elcaboss|
|Natasha photo by Elcaboos|
In science, it is stated that looking at colors can make you more relaxed and happy. Young artist and entrepreneur Natasha Shallo has proved this right with the elegant designs she makes on fabric materials.
“I love using bright colors in my designs because they make me relax and happy at the same time, ‘’ she says.
At two years old, Tasha as her friends and family call her, started communicating by drawing images when she needed something.
Natasha ventured into a drawing by using simple papers, before switching to a canvas.
Her mum explains how she noticed her talent in drawing and coloring when in kindergarten at Jeffery’s School.
She says her daughter even at one stage emerged winner during an art competition at such tender age.
Natasha, now 12, narrates how she started designs on fabrics; saying the first attempt was on her own old t-shirt, on which she drew beautiful flowers blended with amazing colors. Natasha loves and cherishes the t-shirt to the extent that she wears it whenever she goes to showcase her designs.
When her friends and family liked the t-shirt design, Natasha moved a notch-higher to design amazing African portraits and landscapes on cushions and pillowcases.
“I love drawing African portraits because they are the most colorful pieces of art, and I am proud to be an African,’’ she says.
Her mother notes that the daughter has the wildest imagination, and whenever she visits a place or when traveling, the images of what she views sticks in her mind; which she later draws and designs mostly on pillowcases and bedcovers.
‘’We once went to Masai Mara on vacation and when we got back, she opted to replicate the images on sofa set cushions; which and were all sold out during an exhibition at the Gone Institute,” says the mother.
After proving her artistry on pillowcases, t-shirts and other items, Natasha convinced herself that there was more to fabric art and embarked on designing beautiful images on laptop bags with the help of her aunt Catherine Kudwoli, who assisted in stitching the bags.
With such an array of talent, Princess Collection brand was born, featuring Natasha’s own designed items. She settled on the brand name in honor of her dad who loves to call her “my princess.”
So far Natasha has featured in three exhibitions, all held this year, to sell and display her work.
She participated in the Gone Institute Club exhibition which was held in July this year and also had a component of the family fun day. Natasha’s mother explains that her friends convinced her to book a stall to showcase Natasha’s pieces of work and is gratified that the whole idea was quite successful.
A month later she featured in another exhibition - ‘’Mum Entrepreneurs’’ - where her designs on display were all sold out.
And now she is looking forward to the next exhibition during the Diwali festival to yet again showcase her designs.
I want to get ready for the Diwali festival and showcase my work, ‘’ Natasha states with enthusiasm.
‘’ I am really grateful to my aunty Catherine because if it wasn’t for her, I would not have reached this far.”
Most of the time when people take up art as a career, they do so for the sake of making money, but to Natasha, art is just her favorite hobby.
As we were preparing for the interview, Natasha opted to conduct me around the house to sample her amazing designs on fabrics; and the variety of paints she uses for her drawings.
One design that captivated me most was on a dining table cover featuring ancient Egyptian images such as the pharaohs, mummies, and pyramids; something which I later learned had an amazing story behind it.
Her mum smiled as she narrated the story, noting that those images were on her wedding bedcover, even before Natasha was born. She went on to state that when her school Light International held a Swahili cultural event, Natasha with the help of her teachers and her, decided to come up with the ancient Egyptian culture, which emerged the winner during the event.
Natasha says that when she grows up she would love to donate some of her money for orthopedic purposes to the disabled and save the rest to continue living her artistic dream.
Natasha was awarded the best art prize in the home industry category during this year’s (2018) Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Mombasa Show.
Apart from art, Natasha is also a singer and a talented musician. She has even won an award from her singing talent.
She is equally a talented public speaker and has won awards to the effect at her school - Light International Mombasa, where she is known as a great dancer, singer, public speaker, actress, and an artist.
Conspicuously displayed in their house is also a large trophy which was presented to her by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2014, when she was seven years old, for reciting the best poem.
In her wardrobe, Natasha has a collection of 32 medals - 22 gold, 9 silvers, and one bronze.
In academics, Natasha is always among the top three; and being a brave girl that she is, Natasha has made sure she balances academics and co-curricular activities.
Natasha has also participated in an art competition by Toyota Kenya where they were told to draw their own dream car, and she came up with a unique large cabbage car whose inside was full of fruits. The cabbage car was depicted stopping by and donating the fruits to the disabled people along the streets.
’This artwork was an inspiration to people living with disability to believe and have hope that there is more to life,” Natasha notes.
It won her the best position in among the Mombasa entrants; while the overall winner was from Nairobi. The competition which was held in August 2013, saw her emerge among the top 90 heroes all over the world out of 1, 000 entrants in the category of seven-years-old and under.
Natasha also loves keeping the environment green and recycles waste materials such as plastic spoons into usable products. She also designs items like candle holders and flower vessels.
The girl certainly has a rare talent and is bound to scale the highest heights in the field of arts.