Tatiana de Nicolay - Josefina Muse #46

Tatiana de Nicolay - Josefina Muse #46

Tatiana de Nicolay is an artist with a delicate, poetic spirit. She has a unique talent as an illustrator and watercolorist. Her enchanting, colorful drawings take us to the four corners of the world.
Tatiana lived in India, where she learned the art of embroidery. Then, in London, she collaborated with Martina Mondadori's Cabana magazine.

Currently based in Paris, Tatiana has worked on numerous collaborations with brands such as Maria de la Orden for Monoprix, the book Jaipur Splendor published by Assouline, and glass creations for Lobmyer and Dyptique.
Tatiana is the mother of little Amedeo.

Tatiana, how did you start painting?

I started painting and drawing at a very early age, as my mother was working in the fashion industry in Paris at the time for Pierre Cardin and Louis Ferraud. She also worked for Japanese clients, for whom she created designs every year. She always had a very large desk with millions of brushes and paints at home, watercolors and pastels. When I was growing up, we used to accompany my brother, who was a professional chess player, to tournaments all over Europe. We had to wait about 8 hours per game, and my mother always brought paper, pencils and paint. Eventually, my favorite painting medium became watercolors!

You've lived between Poland and Belgium, as well as in India, and now you live in Paris. How have all these travels influenced you?

Exactly, I've also lived in Florence, Egypt (Cairo), Morocco (Casablanca) and Buenos Aires (Argentina), as well as in the UK for 7 years. I believe that when I look back, having lived on my own in many different countries from the age of 17, with such diverse cultures, I am still able to draw inspiration from all the beauty I have been surrounded by. All these experiences abroad have taught me a lot: traveling, discovering new cultures, exhibitions, meeting new people, hearing about their lives, the beauty of certain objects at home that remind me of the place where I found them. One of my passions is going to flea markets to find little treasures and start a journey of inspiration from them.

What's the coolest vintage piece you've bought or inherited, and what's the story behind it?

It's definitely a coat from Uzbekistan that my grandmother bought and brought back on one of her trips back in the day. My mother gave it to me as a present. It was the most beautiful coat I'd ever seen, with such intricate and refined embroidery. I wore it one day to Jean Paul Gautier's office in Paris, a long time ago, and I'll remember for the rest of my life that he came to my office and asked to borrow it for research and development because he thought the coat was absolutely magical and such a precious, one-of-a-kind piece.

If you could have a drink with an icon (dead or alive), who would it be? Where would you take him in Paris? And what would you ask her?

Queen Elizabeth II! I'd invite her to my home in Paris, cook her a lovely dinner in my dining room and ask her, through all these different eras, how she's managed to hold her head high and continue to fulfill her role with an unfailing sense of duty.

What's your favorite restaurant?

I'm not a foodie, but I can say that I love restaurants with atmosphere and beautiful decor - I love Laura Gonzales' work, but also little Parisian bistros like Paul Chenewhich is a must if you haven't been there yet!

Other favorite Paris addresses?

My favorite café is Noir in the 16th arrondissement!

Tips for moms during pregnancy

I liked feeling active during my pregnancy, so I always did a bit of sport: yoga and stretching helped me a lot to prepare for Amedeo's birth, as did swimming - it did me a lot of good, especially for the back pain, it was such a relief! I loved walking and knew that it was good for my body to walk a lot. Even a few days before giving birth, I was walking 2 hours a day around Paris and to and from meetings. As part of my skincare routine, I regularly went for facials, because it's the only thing you can do and it gave me a moment of relaxation - I loved it!

How do you define your style? What are your style tips for pregnancy?

I'd say my style is elegant with a touch of craziness, colors and patterns. My friends say I dare to wear things they would never wear. During pregnancy, I never bought special pregnancy clothes, I just bought bigger clothes from the normal collection and wore a lot of jersey, knitwear, etc. like Molli's for example.

What do you like most about maternity?

What I love, and what I still find hard to believe today, is that I (Tatiana) am Amedeo's mother, that he is mine, ours forever, and that we feel so blessed. In the morning, when he wakes up and instantly smiles at me, it's the best feeling. Honestly, he smiles and laughs a lot and he's only 4 months old, so I feel like we're going to have a lot of fun later on and that makes me so happy! Happy baby Amedeo

What do you think is the greatest challenge as a mother?

I think the biggest challenge as a mother is to find a good balance between work/children/house/friends/family, it's not easy! That's what I'm going through right now, and I'm trying to do everything I can to keep everyone happy, to be with my baby whom I love to bits, but also to keep working doing what I love so much!

Who inspires you as a mother?

To be honest, I'm impressed by all mothers. Before I had a child, I had no idea what a mother could go through: pregnancy, birth, bringing up a child, etc. Today, I can understand some of them. Today, I can understand certain things, and I admire all moms! When I see moms who have several children-my friend's husband has 7 brothers and sisters-it impresses me and I feel like asking them "how did you do it, you're a STAR!" I feel overwhelmed with one ;) but I guess it's a new chapter and it takes time to adjust to the new situation and then we move on.

Which Josefina bag did you choose and why?

I chose the leopard bag with brown handles and details because I've always loved leopard print! I didn't even hesitate, I chose it instantly and then I chose the brown leather handles and details because they matched my Cybex stroller. Obviously, everything has to match ;)

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