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 Sydney-based professional artist, Natasha Lewis Honeyman, creates one-of-a-kind paintings, prints, and sculptural, yet functional ceramic homewares

02 April 2021

Designer Spotlight: HoneyBrush

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Ceramicist, print-maker, painter & fashion designer, Natasha: ‘I make limited editions of high-quality pieces that I want people to love for a long time’

I’m Natasha, and as the founder of HoneyBrush, I have been asked to share a ‘behind the scenes’ of my creative process and motivation for launching an art label.

HoneyBrush is an artist label with originality, quality design, and artisanship at its heart. My last name is Honeyman – so the label name is a bit of a play of words. In the mid-2000s I came up with the idea of HoneyBrush - bringing together me and art-making - and I registered the business.

Sydney-based professional artist, Natasha Lewis Honeyman, creates one-of-a-kind paintings, prints, and sculptural, yet functional ceramic homewares

Once you have read a bit about my art and design label, you might be keen to purchase one or two or three pieces…😉 so I will be offering readers 15% off on all HoneyBrush products in our MadeIt store from Sunday 4 April to Tuesday 20 April 2021 inclusive. For access to the discount code, simply subscribe to the Madeit community newsletter below and you’ll receive the discount code in your Welcome email (and in regular Sunday emails if you’re already subscribed).

I also wanted to give you a great opportunity to buy your mother a beautiful gift at a great price in the lead up to Mother’s Day… so be sure to get your orders in by Tuesday 20 April to package and post your goodies to arrive in time!

Grafiti-clad building exterior near the HoneyBrush studio in Sydney’s creative inner-west; Having such close access to creative resources and inspiring centres of art and learning is a luxury I never take for granted

I currently live in Sydney, in the creative and vibrant Inner West, and I love my neighbourhood. My home is within walking distance of my ceramic studio, my favourite cafes, creative maker spaces, museums and art galleries. I grew up largely in regional coastal communities, so having such close access to creative resources and inspiring centres of art and learning is a luxury I never take for granted. It’s what has helped me relaunch HoneyBrush.

A range of boldly-coloured art prints in progress; ‘My unit is set up with a home office as well as an artist studio that gives me the space to create my paintings, ceramics and prints’

My unit is set up with a home office as well as an artist studio that gives me the space to create my paintings, ceramics and prints. This helps me fit my art into my daily life and gives me time to work on my fashion label Tasha Rui. Plus, I get to interact with my creative community over coffee catch-ups, at art talks and at my favourite ceramics studio, Sydney Clay Studio.

A botanical painting in progress in the HoneyBrush studio, surrounded by bold pink blooms that inspired the work

Right now, I’m working on an annual production plan and schedule. Initially, I wasn’t very disciplined with this, but it’s helping me manage my process, including knowing when to book studio time, when to check in with my creative business coach at Creative Plus Business, and when to have a chat with other creative business founders.

’Still Life Couple’ art print in gold

My process has evolved over time, over almost twenty years of practicing - first as an emergent, and now - as a professional artist.

When I was at art school, I was taught to research other artists, art history, and explore and develop ideas related to my interests. I’d build these ideas out in my art diary and discuss them in a group, with my tutors, before testing and refining them further. Eventually, these ideas would become art that was ready to be seen by an audience.

Bright red botanical lino print by HoneyBrush; ‘Now I understand the value of developing ideas to a point that they are fully resolved for an audience’

I resisted this process when I was younger, but now I understand the value of developing ideas to a point that they are fully resolved for an audience, whether that audience is a buyer or a visitor to an art gallery. What’s important is they are able to connect with the art. I’ve embraced this process in my own way and have learned to push myself further in the prototyping phase.

Of course, I now have the additional considerations of managing a creative business so I’m also working on estimating production timelines, considering value proposition, production costs, marketing timelines, alignment with brand, market demand and fit.

The colourfully dressed young Natasha with her younger brother and her great Aunt, who was a costume designer in London’s West End; ‘I’ve always played with painting, printmaking, ceramics and textiles’

I’ve always played with painting, printmaking, ceramics and textiles. My mother sews, and had her own label. My great-aunt was a costume designer in the West End in London and Sydney. My great-nan was an amateur artist whilst her husband, my great-grandad was a carpenter who had a high-profile furniture label in Sydney. I was always encouraged to make art from a young age.

A 2006 article in The Courier Mail featuring Natasha as an emerging talent

I completed my Bachelor of Arts with Queensland University of Technology in 2001. I was encouraged to paint, sculpt, photograph and explore all modes of conceptual art-making and to develop a professional arts practice. In the mid-2000s, I registered HoneyBrush as a business and began exhibiting my paintings and mixed media work in Brisbane in places like the State Library of Queensland, Metro Arts, Doggett Street Studio.

Detail view of some of Natasha’s M&T Collection in Kirribilli Blue & Gymea White handbuilt stoneware plates; ‘I enjoy translating nature concepts prevalent in my painting and fashion practice into clay form’

Then, I took a break to travel, change careers, and complete a Master’s degree in Museum Studies at The University of Queensland. Soon after, I participated in a fashion business accelerator with QUT CEA - this was when my eco and art fashion label Tasha Rui was born. In 2016 I moved to Sydney to expand my fashion label and career, placing me closer to my production, and I launched Tasha Rui in 2019. In 2020, I rebranded and relaunched my art label HoneyBrush within the MadeIt online maker community.

MadeIt is an uber online sales platform for Australian creative makers. When I had to decide between being lost in a global marketplace or being aligned with and connected to a community of local makers, the choice to join MadeIt was easy.

A row of white glazed ceramic pinch-pot undersides featuring the HoneyBrush artist’s marking; ‘I advocate for ethically sourced materials, and environmentally sustainable and locally made products’

Through my art label HoneyBrush (and fashion label Tasha Rui) I advocate for ethically sourced materials, and environmentally sustainable and locally made products. Whilst many of the high quality materials I source are made in Asia and Europe, my production is all local, which I am hugely proud of. I enjoy living, working and creating within such a vibrant and creative community.

Natasha at work on a botanical painting in her home studio

My arts practice and creative endeavours take inspiration from nature and domestic design. For example, the prints are all abstract, nature-based motifs. The ceramics I make are sculptural forms. Coming from a conceptual arts background, I enjoy translating nature concepts prevalent in my painting and fashion practice into clay form. Every one of my art pieces is original. Even the prints I make are hand-pressed limited editions and all of my ceramics are handmade as well.

A stack of Natasha’s finished stoneware plates

I am making art products that are made by hand, so the production is slow… I make limited editions of high-quality pieces that I want people to love for a long time, so I design with the view that I want my art products to have a classic and unique style that lasts long beyond the trends.



Visit HoneyBrush to find a range of hand-made ceramics, limited edition lino prints and more unique art pieces: HoneyBrush

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