When its your birthday, you start getting all these requests of “what would you like?”, “what do you want for your birthday?” etc etc. I had no cooking clue what I really wanted, so began to search for something that would be special & that I would keep forever.
As I was looking around our house, I realised that we didn’t have any recent pictures of husband & myself. Our last “proper” pictures together were at our wedding – back in October 2012! Then, I came across a very talented lady called Christine Bernard. She used to work under Flat White Concepts, but is now in the process of streamlining all her business to her own website & FB page.
I told husband what I would like, & left the rest up to him… On my birthday I woke up to not only ONE family pic, but also an image he had had especially designed of how he viewed me. He had these printed onto canvas for me & they honestly brought tears to my eyes.
Our whole family together – including the fur-kids
Husband gave her the following brief: Warrior Princess Unicorn Snowflake
Aren’t these just amazing? Since then I have contacted her to commission more special pieces for friends & family; & each & every time I am completely blown away by what I get back. You simply send her photos & descriptions of what you are looking for, any special requests you may have & hobbies of the individuals – then she sends back your one-of-a-kind image within 1-4 days. #amazeballs
I knew I had to get to know Christine a little better so asked her to answer a few questions:
Your name: Christine Bernard
Some interesting/fun facts about you: Other than my love of books, coffee, wine and art, I am OBSESSED with guinea pigs. We have two, and we treat them like our children.
Your business name: I am a novelist and Illustrator, and I also run an online magazine.
When did you start: I started my own business five years ago, when I first moved to Cape Town. I started off just doing the magazine and graphic design, but I have recently added novels and illustrations to the mix.
What did you do before this: I worked as a graphic designer for Mum’s Mail Magazine in Durban.
How/why did you start: I have always wanted to work for myself, so when I moved to Cape Town I decided to take the plunge.
What do you love most about having your own business: The flexibility is the best part. Also, cuddles with my guinea pigs throughout the day.
What have been some of your biggest battles with running your own business: Learning how to switch off is still the hardest part, and I often find myself working in the evenings or on weekends. When I first started out it was also hard to figure out pricing structures, and I said yes to every job that came my way whether it paid well or not. Five years in and I finally know my worth! I also know when to say no!
What is your main objective for your business: My business is a multi-layered – I write novels, I am a freelance writer, I doodle, I do layout design, and I run an online magazine. I like the diversity! It also means I’m never bored.
For my birthday, I decided I wanted something a little bit special as my “guest book”, & not something that would simply be put away at the bottom of the drawer & forgotten about. I started googling ideas for this along with ideas for decor, & came across this stunning image.
I loved the fact that there was still an air of mystery to it, but it captured something that is most important to me – the person’s eyes.
People say that the eyes are a “window to the soul” – that they can tell us much about a person just by gazing into them. Given that we cannot, for example, control the size of our pupils, body language experts can deduce much of a person’s state by factors relating to the eyes.
Now I had to try find someone that would be able to work with this, but still make me something special just for my birthday. Where would I even start? Who could I ask?
I had been following an amazing artist at Nib and Bristle for some time & decided I would contact her to get her opinion, as well as see what she could come up with to commemorate such a big event in my life, Tarran was so helpful from the very moment I contacted her & came back to me with some ideas, as well as asking for photos of me so she could personalise the image to look more like me. The week before my birthday she came to drop off my canvas with her drawing, & this is what it looked like…
I immediately teared up when I saw it & was blown away by what she had done. This really was amazing & something that nobody else owned. I couldn’t have described it better myself if I had tried! She captured everything perfectly, & you could tell straight away that this pic was of me. She is so so talented!
I decided I wanted to get to know her a little better & show off her abilities to more people. She is such a wonderful person & she truly deserves to do well.
Your name:Tarran Samantha Sanders
Some interesting/fun facts about you:I have a prosthetic bone in my ear haha, I learnt to roller skate when I was about 3 and still love roller blading, I sold my first drawing when I was 10. I love comic books shhhhhh!
Your business name:Nib and Bristle
When did you start:March 2016
What did you do before this:I was a graphic designs and manager of a small signage and branding company
How/why did you start:I decided to go on my own after getting a really awful bacteria in my stomach which has led to many other complications. This also made me realise I wasn’t doing what I loved doing (being creative and creating artwork)
What do you love most about having your own business:I can be in control of my time and quality of my work.
What have been some of your biggest battles with running your own business: Same old story money, trying to make things work on a shoe string budget.
What is your main objective for your businesses: To combine commercial and fine arts worlds and supply visual works for across the board whether it be a family portraits or a company branding on a vehicle.
Another example of her work
Please contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like your own special artwork commissioned, or any company branding done. Tarran is based in JHB & has such a wide range of skills that truly deserves to be appreciated. You can visit her FB page or website to get an example!
Thank you Tarran for spoiling me with the most gorgeous picture that I will treasure forever, & for your beautiful heart. You are one in a million!