Instagram: @ellystrations

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

My name is Natalie and I was born in Singapore but raised in Auckland, New Zealand since I was 4. 

Growing up we moved houses almost every year (always around the same area so I never had to change schools), I thought that it was just a normal thing to do. I was shocked to learn that when people buy houses, they tend to stay in them. 

I have always been a creative person, I took every single opportunity to express my creativity. However, with pressures of finding a ‘traditional’ career as being an artist was not seen as a safe career choice, I drifted away from art during my studies at University. It was only when I started working a 9-5 that I felt the need for a creative outlet and rediscovered my passion.

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

My art aesthetic is very much bright, yet neutral and detail oriented. I love drawing nature and food, anything that makes me feel warm and cozy on the inside.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I am currently working solely on digital art, mostly on Procreate but sometimes Adobe Photoshop. As a bit of a perfectionist, I get intimidated by a blank sheet of paper so digital art allows my mind the freedom to scribble, restart and refine my work in a clean way. I do want to explore more traditional art mediums but right now I am having too much fun playing with digital platforms.

4. What is your artistic process like?

If I am inspired, I can just go for it and spend hours on end drawing and refining my work with little to no research. But what mostly happens is that I will have to actively look for inspiration whether that be colour palettes or photography but once I have an idea in mind I start with a rough sketch that I refine and then create the final illustration from that.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

Anything and everything, I currently have a bit of an obsession with my plants and lettering/typography so I have been feeling more inspired to delve into that more often. Travel is also a big one, either places I have been before or haven’t are both huge inspirations for me and my work.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

I start to see things around me as fuel for my creativity. Anything that makes me stop and think is usually something that I can use to drive my work.

7. Where did you study?

I have a bachelors in Communications with a Major in Digital Media but my illustration and design work is definitely self-taught.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I would love to be collaborating with larger companies and get into doing murals around Auckland. Kicking this off with my plan to paint murals around my house this summer.

9. What about in ten?

I hope by then I have found a way to travel the world, developing my art style and have the freedom to explore any creative avenues I want.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

Spreading positivity and fun. At the end of the day I would like to be confident that I have made an overall net positive in this world.

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

This is probably the hardest question here! I LOVE wood fired pizzas and could probably have them everyday. Also never gonna turn down a bowl of ramen or dumplings.

12. Favourite book?

I haven’t read a complete book in years! But I’d be happy to share my fav tv shows: Schitt’s Creek and Brooklyn Nine Nine – both are absolutely hilarious and are so good to have on while I draw.

13. Favourite genre of music? 

I mostly listen to podcasts, I’m currently into personal finance podcasts – sounds boring I know but I’ve found them to be so helpful with learning how to be more confident with money and investing. 

14. What are your hobbies? 

I have a gorgeous dog and hanging out with her is my favourite pastime. Aside from fawning over my pup, I love trying out new restaurants and tending to my many plants.

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

I love working with people and learning effective ways to communicate and teach others so I’d probably want to be in a learning & development team.