Tell us a bit about yourself.
i am 26 years old. i have a deep respect for my family members for all that they've been through. i am shy but loud and bold but quiet all at once. i crack jokes that most people roll their eyes at while some giggle hysterically at four seconds later. i like running up hills. i seek God and he has taught me and is teaching me how to love, and I am most thankful for that in life. i like hardware stores and grocery stores, libraries and puppet shows, big makapuu, picnics at sandy's at sunset, vegetable gardens. i like to bring stories out of people. i like hugs from kids. i dislike cynicism, racism, and arrogance. that is just a little about me.
How did you get started (crafting, creating, expressing yourself through art)?
i think the truest answer to that question would be through my dad getting old blueprints from construction jobs and bringing them home by the carload for us to paint on. my mom would buy us watercolor paints from woolworths or kmart or something and would always replace them when we ran out. we were encouraged to do anything but watch tv when we were growing up, my dad would always say "go out and play in the street" :).
i first started sewing buttons onto old rags just for practice but quickly lost interest, as anyone would. in the seventh grade i took the weirdest class i had yet taken in my entire life- home economics! i hated the class because my partner was a guy that felt that doing dishes was beneath him and so made me do them. i remember spooning chocolate chip cookie dough onto a pan and thinking how absolutely ridiculous it was that we were learning how to do this in school. then, we moved on to sewing and it completely changed my life. learning how to sew the simplest pillow under the flourescent lights of kailua intermediate just opened my eyes to the possibilities of using a sewing machine to create art. since then, i have made quilts, clothes, and recently, puppets, or figures, inspired by waterpeople.
What are your greatest artistic/creative influences?
right off the bat i would say that quentin blake inspired me so much as a child. he took mundane moments in life but caught the comical in them. i thought and still think he was an artistic genius. he really brought to life roald dahl's books.
nature of course. i am always looking at color combinations in nature. if i travel to other places i am marveling at the differences in the color of the landscape.
gertrude stein wrote a book on picasso that i read while in high school. the way she wrote was so different than anything i had ever read... so something that would get D's in an English class...i still have not read anything else by her but i would say that reading that particular book set off something in me that encouraged humbly and bravely setting out your imperfect but honest work to the world without fear of criticism.
designs for basic human needs in developing countries get me excited... i am thinking of the eyeglasses by joshua silver, straw waterfilters, pedal power, the q-drum, things like that.
my sisters are often showing me their latest discoveries in fashion and house design. my mom regularly shares poetry with me. my dad is always building something. i am influenced creatively by each person in my family.
finally, i have always felt that art should be functional. it should also be uplifting. i hate dark art, i feel that there is enough in the world that is dark and depressing and art should be a means of bringing joy to people. these principles influence my work.
Ketchup or Mustard??
What is your favorite item to create?
currently i am making waterpeople. they are puppets or stuffed figures- surfers, bodyboarders, bodysurfers, tubers. i am in the process of making a fisherman and some more surfers... i love making the barrels out of plastic jars and fabric that the figures go on. it makes me happy to put the surfer in the barrel.
What do you do when you aren't creating?
Describe a typical day of crafting/your creative process.
open the box of fabric. pick out colors that go together. stuff them in a plastic bag. start sewing. run out of thread. rethread. lose my scissors. keep sewing. get hot get tired get interrupted. drink water. come back and stare at the color pile. put one more piece in the bag. keep sewing. lose my seam ripper. keep sewing. get interrupted. stuff the bag away. pick up later at night. keep sewing. get tired. keep sewing. go to sleep. wake up early and try to finish. decide the machine is too loud too early for the neighbors. stuff the bag away. try later that night. get tired. keep sewing. finish. go to sleep. wake up early the next morning and look at it. put the surfer in the barrel. throw away the scraps.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
chocolate, black licorice, kirkland's organic peanut butter and anyone's blackberry jam sandwich (toasted), driving the long way home to check out the waves, reading australia vogue
Describe your studio/work station.
a sewing machine on a desk in the closet. fabric in a basket and boxes. nothing special.
What is your favorite season?
summer for floating and winter for waves
Where can we find your work?
at home and right now spiral gallery cafe in waimanalo. (http://www.spiralhawaii.com/)
Thanks for sharing Natalie! I wanted to share that Natalie is not only a creative person, but a great cook too! You might remember a post a while ago about homemade pizza at a friends, wellll... that was her! In case you don't remember here is a little peek at one of the pics.