Natchie Art: Can You See The Music?
“Risk It All” Lyric Pendant by Nadia Ackerman (Photo by NatchieArt.com)
I found myself crying in a holiday market. With two other people I didn’t know. Who were crying too.
But it was a good thing.
We had all just met Nadia Ackerman at the Hester Street Fair Holiday Pop Up. We were looking up at one of her large original drawings on the wall above her table. It was a sweet image of a mother and her kids sitting around a dinner table, next to a large Christmas tree. Flying out of the chimney were stylized angels with heavy wings, like puffs of smoke from the hearth below (at left).
“That’s my family, the first Christmas after my dad died,” explained Nadia to us. She was 17 at the time.
Apparently all of us had experienced the loss of a loved one because we instantly felt that uniquely strong mix of sadness and nostalgia that the holidays evoke. And so we all started to cry. And then laugh. Because Nadia’s irresistible smile and bright energy popped us straight back into a happier place.
Nadia is a musician first, and then an artist and a maker. (You probably heard her melodic voice on UPS’s commercial, That’s Logistics.) She is the founder of Natchie Art, a wonderfully unique business that combines all three aspects of her creativity and named after the nickname her dad gave her.
In essence, Nadia draws her music.
She hadn’t drawn anything at all since high school in Australia. Years later, with the release of her first CD in 2010, she had an epiphany. The CD release party was in a gallery in New York City, and only a few days before the event, she got inspired to draw the lyrics of each song on the album. She worked day and night to get all the drawings done in time. Everyone loved the music, but she was caught completely off guard when people wanted to buy her original drawings.
Now Nadia sells prints and note cards of her drawings, and she creates lyric pendants, double sided glass necklaces with the lyrics from one of her songs on one side and the drawing she made for the song on the other side.
As with most musicians, Nadia’s biggest challenge is that people don’t buy albums anymore. Anyone can stream music for free via so many channels, or just buy one song. And so she is approaching her music sales in an amazingly innovative and creative way: she gives away a song as a free download with every print, note card and lyric pendant purchased. The idea is that if her customers like the one song, they might also purchase the entire album online. And it is working.
Natchie Art’s “Lenore the Mermaid” (Photo Courtesy of www.NatchieArt.com)
This model sounds simple, but do not underestimate the business thinking behind Nadia’s approach. I don’t know of any other musicians, famous, struggling or anywhere in between, who are leveraging their other creative talents and the Internet to connect with people directly, build a following and actually sell a significant number of albums. I think of John Lennon’s drawings, and other musicians who have created their own album covers or art in general (Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, for example). But drawing their own songs plus giving the song away for free as an introduction to their albums? I believe Nadia is the lone pioneer.
The Hell’s Kitchen Flea provided a launchpad for Natchie Art. Nadia took her prints and cards out to the market and set up a table. It turns out they sold extremely well. And so she has added more products to her repertoire, including adorable vignettes of miniature people on tiny canvases and inside glass pendants. I do love the pendants, especially Lenore the mermaid (each teensy figure has a name).
Now Nadia sets up her shop every weekend inside Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I invite you to have a chat with her, share some stories and take home some of the wonderful energy and inspiration she pours into every single print, pendant, canvas and song. And then give some more to your friends and family from her online shop, www.NatchieArt.com.
NOTE: Nadia is releasing her new album, Fancy Pop in April. It is a collection of 12 fancy pop songs that Nadia penned, and the launch party will be held here in New York at Subculture.
~Karen Seiger, Markets Of New York City
Natchie Art 3D Canvas “Janet the Sunbather” (Photo courtesy of www.NatchieArt.com)
Natchie Art Lyric Pendants (Photo courtesy of www.NatchieArt.com)
Natchie Art “Everything” Greeting Card. Link to hear the song!
Natchie Art’s “Kevin the Fire Eater”
Natchie Art 3D Pendants feature sweet and meaningful miniature vignettes
Natchie Art’s drawing “As I Am” reminds me of walking through the woods growing up. I always KNEW there were whales and big fish in the puddles and ponds I encountered! (Thank you, Natchie!)
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