Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Curious Mind - Artist & Designer Natalie Woo

Natalie Woo and I met last year and discovered that we both share a common passion for design and illustration.

I invited her for an interview to share her lovely art. Some of it has been published by numerous inspiring websites like Design Sponge and I Travel and Draw.

The Moon from My Attic: Tell us about yourself and your art. I've had a passion for illustration since I was a child and continue to approach life with a curious mind.

My art strives to celebrate connections and diversity through all types of experiences and mediums - watercolor, ink, pencil and pastels.

The first icon I created was Sunni, a simple yellow sun, intended to bring some smiles. I remember being so excited, I shared this with all of my friends, specifically my friend Arthur who worked at a psychiatric hospital and shared this printed image with a patient. The woman was depressed, suicidal, and he shared this with her. It turns out she kept Sunni by her side and in times of darkness, he was there with her to make her smile.

Arthur gave me an update in 2010: 'She is doing well; she is actually working with a group in Hawaii doing some type of marine work/study. Maybe the sunshine you brought into her life that day subconsciously encouraged her to head towards the sunny, happy, islands of Hawaii (who knows).'

At that point, I knew my art was meant for something more - as a way to heal but also connect with others.

TMFMA: What is exciting about your creative work? When I keep a "child's mind" and stay curious, there are endless places to find inspiration - be it from random people I meet, to my travels, culture, fashion or food. The work I create is an amalgamation of the little and big things I find joy in.

TMFMA: What inspires you? My Chinese heritage, my husband who has introduced me to the French culture, fashion, travels, nature and food! I'm also inspired by people who have a story, use creativity, curiosity and passion to create meaning in their lives.

TMFMA: What are the most recent art projects that you have published? I recently bought a home with my husband last year and he really wanted me to have a space I could call my own. We decided to build a small art studio in our garden where I could do my work. My in-laws visited from Paris and helped me set up the electrical, flooring and drywall. I created a sanctuary to really make it my own. I was recently published on Design Sponge as part of their DIY stories. This was truly a dream come true and it meant so much since family contributed to the space.

In 2015 I quit my job, took a sabbatical and proceeded to design my own wedding. It was such a fun experience since I had total creative flexibility to design one of the most memorable days of my life. It was a spring wedding in Half Moon Bay and I really enjoyed choosing the fresh color scheme and creating the overall decor. The wedding was featured in Style Me Pretty - California Edition.

More recently, I contributed to I Travel and Draw's compendium of 100 illustrated maps of the nation along side talented illustrators from all over the world. This was the first compendium of it's kind and I was fortunate to be chosen from among 400 artists.

TMFMA: What art project are you currently working on? I'm expecting a baby in a few months so I'm focused on designing the baby room which is really exciting. I'd like to make the space soothing and inviting so it'll be a challenge - since there's so much baby inspiration out there!

TMFMA: Share with us of your experience in the commercial art industry. Much of my art has been a personal passion and I'm gradually branching out and would eventually like to be represented by an agent and do more lifestyle and fashion illustration.

TMFMA: Anything else you'd like to share? My favorite quote: Curiosity is greater than knowledge - Albert Einstein

TMFMA: What are your future aspirations and goals? My art is about celebration and I'd like to create a community where it's shared for its beauty around the world. I hope to travel, draw, eat and inspire others to do what they love.

Find out more about Natalie's art here: