Category: Travel

a purist home makeover

A visual story capturing the home makeover by House of Hawks for Natelee Cocks, two wildly talented South African ladies currently working and living in Dubai.
  I was recently introduced to the Australian series, The Block. It has quickly become my favourite show to watch. My thoughts are now completely immersed in all things architecture and interior design. I adore seeing where my artworks end up and was blown away when one of my special clients, Natelee Cocks, emailed me photographs of my pieces up in her newly renovated home. She commissioned two tiny originals last year, as a gift to her husband, capturing their favourite memories of travels and adventures together (you can view and read the full story behind the artworks here).

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Berlin Exhibition

What an unbelievable privilege to travel all the way to Berlin to share my latest project through Urban Noun at Level EIGHT in the German burrow of Mitte. As a contemporary illustrator it is important for me to step away from commissioned originals every now and then in order to address tough issues we are experiencing in our country.

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Top 5 at NY NOW Expo

I am in designer heaven filled with hand crafted artisanal items at the New York Now expo at the Javits Center. There are so many stalls that I am spreading my visits out over the next few days to take it all in. Here are my five favourites from my visit today.

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Styled photograph of a blind portrait illustration screen printed onto an eco tote bag

Discovering Betty’s Bay

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary
After multiple weekends of work and countless late nights we decided to treat ourselves to a quiet weekend away to just unwind, connect and recharge for our upcoming projects. I booked my first AirBnB late last year and was very impressed with the process and the place we stayed at in Franschhoek. A friend of mine that joined for that trip then used AirBnB with her family and I got a notification that I will get R600.00 off my next trip. Being an AirBnB newbie I had no idea that this would happen and was thrilled to get such a significant discount. Excitedly, I set off to find a magical little cottage in the mountains. Along the coastal drive from Cape Town to Hermanus we kept passing a quaint little town called Betty’s Bay so I had a look for a place and found something exceptional.

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Buffalo Drift

“Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is the best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.” – Albert Einstein
  There are few experiences superior to a quiet weekend escape ensconced in nature. This weekend had all the soulful benefits of camping with all of the luxuries to make it exceptional. While looking for a weekend destination in 2015 I happened to discover Buffalo Drift. It is close enough to Cape Town to drive after work and far enough to switch off and enjoy a lovely road trip with friends. We decided to head back there for a second time early January to surprise a friend for her thirtieth birthday. She is not one for attention or parties so we thought a quiet girls weekend away would be the perfect way to shower her with love. Gifts are truly special sometimes but I have been trying to rather focus on experiences that create lasting memories and allow us to spend quality time with the people we love most.

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Finally back at my studio and catching up on all the blog posts I didn’t get around to last year. First up is my absolutely favourite place in Cape Town: Babylontsoren. I remember the first time I went there around four years ago with two friends. We wandered around the gardens for hours in the soft summer heat and lazily ate a wonderfully fresh meal at the Greenhouse tea garden while sipping on their crisp Chenin Blanc wine. Since then I have been back on numerous occasions and each time I go I discover something new. The friend I went with originally, Janice McLean, celebrated her thirtieth birthday in November and we wanted to do something truly special for her. Instead of buying an expensive gift, Lauren and I arranged for a surprise Babylonstoren experience at the Garden Spa and Babel restaurant.

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Liquid Love

“She loves the serene brutality of the ocean, loves the electric power she felt with each breath of wet, briny air.” ― Holly Black
  I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Mia van Zyl on a few original artworks so far and was delighted to hand craft a drawing as a gift for her cousin on her wedding day. The concept was something so unique and it turned out to be one of my absolute favourites for the year. Her cousin is marrying the captain of the yacht that she works on and their love story is something of a fairytale.

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Tiny Originals

“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.

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Le Provence Cottages

“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.” Eleanor Roosevelt
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.

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Tashas Menlyn Maine

“The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living” Dione Lucas
  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.

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Year One

“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.

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Maria Magdalena is a Cape Town based contemporary illustrator celebrating an elegant simplicity through intricate lines of ink. Shop the current collections online or order your custom original illustration today.

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