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Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Nataly. I’m a Toronto based Illustrator who enjoys surface pattern design, stationery and karaoke.  I graduated from the Illustration program at Sheridan College and work full time as a children’s apparel graphic designer for Joe Fresh.  My work is best described as playful and consists of a pastel colour palette, but I also love drawing with just a pen and paper (usually the back of whatever is within reach) if not my sketch book.

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How did you get started as an illustrator?

I’ve always had a passion for drawing and painting. I grew up watching Disney movies which sparked my interest in animation. But soon after looking into animation I realized how repetitive it can be. Throughout high school I began painting, although I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on. I decided to go to Sheridan College for their Art Fundamentals program. It has a broad range of multiple aspects of art so I could find out what I like. It introduced me to illustration so I switched into the Illustration program and I fell in love with it!

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What environment do you prefer to create in?

It ranges depending on my mood. Sometimes I focus better in complete silence, so I’ll find a quiet spot somewhere. Other times I love being in a coffee shop where there’s a bit of background noise, and I can people watch and get inspiration from my surroundings. When I’m working at home I have a little nook in my dining room to work at.

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What are your 3 most precious art tools?

Definitely a pen. Muji pen 0.38mm is what I usually use. I draw a lot on scrap paper, so I would probably grab any kinds of paper I could draw on. And then something pink.

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Can you explain your creative process?

My work process varies from project to project.  It depends on what type of project it is and what style the client is looking for.  It also depends on how much freedom I have with direction.  I’ve worked on some projects where the client has a very particular idea in mind and provides me with reference photos, where I’m basically just swapping out the imagery – with something I’ve drawn – and moving them around in a different compositions.  This just goes back and forth until the client likes what they see – and I’ve learned (through MANY experiences) that a lot of people know what they don’t like more than what they do.  I have a few different styles on my website, so when I get a job inquiry, clients will generally pick something out and let me know that they’re looking for something with that particular look and feel.

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How did you create our menu artwork?

My work process on the Demetres menu was a very fun one and a little more in depth, only because I was given quite a bit of freedom with direction.  It started off brainstorming fun ways to depict a dessert menu and what would be more fun than cats and dogs having a picnic?  Wherever I can get the chance to incorporate animals (because I love drawing them), I take it.

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I sketched up my ideas and sent them through for feedback.  Once approved, I moved on to creating the final pieces for my idea.  I hand painted all the pieces separately, aside from the menu cover.  I then brought my paintings into Photoshop, where I edited some colours and played around with placement.  I tend to work with both traditional and digital media.  I’ll generally scan in my original works and edit them in Photoshop, or sometimes even just draw them straight up digitally.

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I sketched up my ideas and sent them through for feedback.  Once approved, I moved on to creating the final pieces for my idea.  I hand painted all the pieces separately, aside from the menu cover.  I then brought my paintings into Photoshop, where I edited some colours and played around with placement.  I tend to work with both traditional and digital media.  I’ll generally scan in my original works and edit them in Photoshop, or sometimes even just draw them straight up digitally.

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What’s your favourite space in the city?

Lately my husband and I have been going to Brickworks. It’s a beautiful space. You feel like you’re out of the city. It’s a great place to go if you like walking around.

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What are you working on currently?

Basically just trying to balance my work life and illustration life as best I can. My freelance projects are usually pretty spontaneous. If I have time, I’llwork on personal projects that include making things I really enjoy, like stationary or prints to sell on my Etsy shop, which I’m hoping to expand.

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If you could give a word of advice to a recent creative graduate, what would it be?

I’d say to not stress out about your style, or finding a particular style. I found that was something that I stressed about, which kept me from creating work because I’d be too self conscious about what I was making and if anyone out there was doing the same thing as me. Just explore! You’ll learn through experience.

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In another life, what career would you be pursuing?

I would love to be a chef. It’s creative job as well, but in a different way. Plus I love food! I love drawing food. It’s very fun to draw with a lot of diversity. I had so much fun drawing all of the desserts for Demetres, which is something I hope to continue doing.

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Here’s Nataly’s adorable menu cover:

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And even cuter Bill Cards:

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Check out more of Nataly’s work here:

Website

Instagram

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