J’adore Nathalie Lété!

 

 

Oh, so charming, beautiful, enchanting, distinctive — Nathalie Lété’s art! I was attracted to her unique style upon first seeing her decorated plates at Anthropologie.

 

 

 

 

As you probably know, I’m a ceramics freak, and loved her flowers, birds, and folkloric motifs before I actually knew who she was. Until I did a little research, I HAD NO IDEA her designs were everywhere, and I mean on everything from clothing, rugs, fabrics, children’s toys, greeting cards, postcards, and lampshades, to jewelry, linens, totes, and in children’s, graphic, and coloring books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s a global brand extraordinaire with huge markets not only in Europe, but also in Japan and Australia. Mixing various media and techniques, she is that rare artist whose work has enormous commercial appeal. She’s worked very hard to establish herself in a highly competitive field.

 

 

 

Nathalie is a Paris native, the only child of a German mother and Chinese father. She credits her mother with reading extensively to her as she grew up, claiming that the themes she loved from childhood — flowers, animals, textile patterns, fairy tales, toys, folk art — are what continue to inspire her work today. She loved the children’s book illustrations she saw and spent lots of alone time drawing and living in her imagined world.

 

 

She spent her holidays with her grandmother in Bavaria, where she enjoyed exploring the forest (her favorite fairy tale is “Little Red Riding Hood”). Even now, when she is in nature, she recalls those good feelings and tries to convey them in her art.

 

 

 

She also credits her father with influencing her artistic sensibility. Though he was often absent because of work, she remembers her home being filled with lots of silk paintings.

 

 

She describes her paintings as “mosaics” — a patchwork of her favorite themes; she often uses contrasting elements to create a personal vision where she can feel happy and confident. She’s often motivated by stories she makes up in her head.

 

 

 

 

She loves “the vibrations of colors” and always tries to convey strong emotions in her pictures. One could describe her work as both nostalgic and kitsch. I would add poetic, romantic, fanciful, sometimes mysterious/strange, undoubtedly original. When you see a Nathalie Lété piece, you know it immediately.

 

 

 

 

Nathalie had always hoped to make a living as an artist, but was told it was impossible. Undeterred, at age 18 she sought an astrologer’s advice, who predicted she would indeed become an artist. Though she received formal training at two schools in France, she finds it important to do “rough work” — striving to keep her pieces “naive” with a childlike freshness. She likes surprises and a feeling of harmony.

 

 

 

 

How did Nathalie build a following? She began with postcards and painting shop windows. She likes the large canvas of windows and finds them easy to paint. She gradually received more commissions and over the years has collaborated with notable brands such as Gucci, Meri Meri, Chronicle Books, Vilac, Mon Petit Art, Unicom, Inka, Blue Illusion, Disneyland, and Issey Miyake.

 

 

 

 

 

Today she lives in Paris with her French artist husband and her son and daughter (both in their twenties). Years ago, they purchased a home next to an old metal factory which had once manufactured pieces of the Eiffel Tower. This large studio space affords her the quiet she needs to feed her creative muse.

 

 

Why Paris?

I love Paris, because as a nostalgic person, I really feel the past, and I enjoy to imagine myself at the 19 century. I particularly like it in the morning very early, when the streets are empty and just the first people begin to work and open their cafés…

Nathalie is constantly driven by the need to create, to “do something,” and her well deserved success attests to her commitment to all facets of her art, whether painting, ceramics, or embroidery.

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy this video interview of Nathalie in her studio (wish my schoolbook French was a little better so I could understand more). Even if you don’t know French, it’s still fascinating to see her workspace and the breadth of her oeuvre.

 

*

 

 

Also this one of her painting a shop window in Tokyo:

 

*

 

And finally, here’s Nathalie reading one of her pop-up books:

 

*

 

For lots more, visit her Official Website and Instagram.

Her designs are available at various sites online, including Glitterville Studios (ornaments), London Loop (silk scarves), Corner Store (homewares), and of course, Anthropologie.

Here are a couple of her books (click images for more info):

 

 

 


*Copyright © 2020 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

13 thoughts on “J’adore Nathalie Lété!

  1. It’s taken a while, but I loved seeing every bit, Jama. Of course, I have a lot of time to read, admire, & watch those videos. It was especially sweet to watch that little girl in Japan watching Nathalie paint the window. She may grow up to be an artist! Thank you for sharing so much spring!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I adore Nathalie as well!! I have one of her dinner plates, bought in sale from Anthropologie when they carried her work… couldn’t you just but a trunk full???

    On Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 5:03 AM Jama’s Alphabet Soup wrote:

    > jama posted: ” Oh, so charming, beautiful, enchanting, distinctive — > Nathalie Lété’s art! I was attracted to her unique style upon first seeing > her decorated plates at Anthropologie. As ” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to hear you’re a Nathalie fan too! You’re lucky to have one of her plates — the ones on eBay are pretty expensive now. Wish Anthropologie would carry more of her pieces.

      Like

  3. Oh, what delicious eye candy!!! Like you, Jama, I first fell in love with Nathalie’s plates at Anthropologie. I bought a gorgeous dog plate (but just one, for wall decoration) and have kicked myself ever since because of course that set of 4 promptly became impossible to find. I had no idea of the scope of her work. Thanks to you, and to Nathalie, for this beauty feast you put together. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How much do I love this, let me count the ways???? Finally, someone says what I have always felt: that nostalgic feeling that one really lives in another time. . . sigh.
    I have already ordered her book, and I can’t wait to visit Anthropologie when it re-opens.
    Thank you again Jama and Nathalie, for bringing joy and delight and beauty to our world!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve felt the same way — that I lived in another time, or that I’m out of sync with this one. Her book is on my wish list. 🙂

      Like

  5. I love her art’s folksy and nostalgic qualities. Thanks for sharing, Jama. Just started following her on IG! I need all the brightness I can get!

    Like

Comments are closed.