Visual Female of the Month – June
– Natalie Foss
I just adore Norwegian artist, Natalie Foss. Her illustrations are so stunning and her unique style is always interesting and evocative. Working with coloured pencils, Natalie’s work is bold and whimsical and in each piece human emotions are expressed with a beautiful subtlety. I had the pleasure of getting to know a little more about Natalie’s process and personal interests. And now you can too! Enjoy x
Now for the interview….
How old were you when you decided you wanted to pursue illustration as a career?
I always dreamt of being an artist when I was little, but I think it was when I was around 19 that I found out that illustration was the way I wanted to go.
What has been your favorite job/commission to date?
Hmm, I think it must be the illustrations I’ve done for the Norwegian feminist magazine Fett, and also the illustrations I’ve done for Marianne Clementine and Andris S. Visdal’s lovely magazine Wolfram.
You use a lot of primary colours in your work, why is this?
I used to hate primary colours when I was younger, but now it has changed to the opposite! I’ve realized that these colours are great, I love the cleanness and how they contrast each other. There is something fresh about them!
I love your distinct style, how long did it take you to develop and perfect this?
I took me many years! I graduated from Kingston University summer 2013, and it wasn’t until six months later that I found my kind of style.
Do you use reference material or are the women you draw from your head or self-reference?
I always use reference material, either from pictures on the internet, or my own photos. I often use my sister as reference too, especially her hands. But I wish I was better at drawing from my head!
I notice a lot of hands your work, is this a body-part you like or do they represent anything?
It is a body-part I like a lot, hands are very beautiful. There are a lot of emotions in them, hands can tell us much about a person. And they are great tools!
If you somehow hurt your vision, would you choose to wear glasses or contacts?
I would definitely choose to wear glasses. (I have a pair!) I love glasses, especially the old-fashioned ones from the 60’s-70’s. But contacts are probably a bit more practical when it comes to exercising and running…
Excluding sight, what two other senses are your favourites?
Hearing and touch!
5 most pleasant things to look at:
Brand new coloured pencils
The night sky
Freshly baked vegan cakes
5 least pleasant things to look at:
Who is the most inspiring woman you know and why?
There are so many inspiring women, it’s hard to choose! But I think I would say Frida Kahlo, she was a very strong woman, and I love her art.
What is your favourite thing about yourself?
Hmm, difficult to say! I have alway been patient, and I’m glad I have that quality.
What is on your bedroom walls currently?
Some postcards with nice illustrations on them, an old guitar, a photo of a flying bird, a sombrero and a couple of small Frida Kahlo artworks from Mexico.
Favourite clothing / accessory / product at the moment?
My light blue blouse/shirt with eyes on it and a nut(!) necklace I got from my sister.
Favourite artist at the moment:
Hope Gangloff’s art is lovely! And I really enjoy looking at Kemi Mai’s beautiful portraits too.
And finally, any words of advice for people stepping into the creative sector?
Be patient, never give up, and make contacts! Tumblr is a great place to start, there are a lot of blogs where you can submit your art and be discovered by other people:-)
A little extra trivia — Natalie has a twin sister, Madelen, who is also an artist! A pretty talented family – check out Madelen’s portfolio here (matching layouts and all). Some of Madelen’s pieces also remind me of last months Visual Female, Jessica Singh, which you can catch up on here if you missed it!