Artist Spotlight: Natalie Desmarais

Interview by Yising Kao 1.30.19.

Galaxy's Artist Spotlight is a section where we feature rising artists and their work, whether they're graphic designers, painters, poets, and more. Meet Natalie Desmarias, an amazing artist based in Kentucky!

What inspired you to start creating art?

Art slightly runs in my family so ever since I was little, I always looked up to my aunt who has been a freelance graphic designer in Phoenix for years. I was very inspired by the work she created and I was always fascinated by art, in every form. As I got a little older, I took art all four years in high school and took two graphic design classes. My graphic design teacher was the epitome of what I want to be when I grow up. I think getting to take design classes really confirmed that this is what I'm interested in and the more design classes I'm taking in college, the more love I gain for it.

What do you hope to convey through your artwork?

My artwork definitely has two different categories. There's one category that includes all the work I make in my free time which is usually inspired by the music I listen to, the movies I watch, and other pop culture references. I think that for that category I try to convey the fact that art can inspire art. I have been so influenced by the bands I listen to and the actors I love to create works that showcase the emotions and visuals I feel and see when I listen to their music or watch them on screen. The second category is the work I make for my design classes. These works are more editorial and clean-cut. I find myself getting inspired by graphic designers and artists like Milton Glaser, and Piet Mondrian to take the information I've been given and present it in an effective, yet creative way. I hope that these works convey that design and art do not have to be two different worlds. I think there is still so much room for creativity when it comes to design, even though some consider the two polar opposites.

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

As cliché as it sounds, practice does make perfect. I look back at some of the works I created two or three years ago and seeing my growth from then to now is pretty astonishing. I think that the more time and effort you put into creating art, the better you'll be at it. I also think it's very important to step out of your comfort zone and create more than just one type of artwork. If you want to be a painter, I would also look into drawing, photography, even graphic design because it's amazing what you can learn about one field of art and apply it to another. Lastly, I think that one of the most important things you could tell an aspiring artist is to be proud of what they make. I find that it's very evident in this age of social media that many artists put themselves down because they may not receive the validation they were expecting. Even if you're just starting out, you should pat yourself on the back every time you complete an artwork because you put a lot of time and resources into it and deserve to feel proud of it.

Peach (Lobotomy)

This work is inspired by one of my favorite bands, Waterparks. On their most recent album, Entertainment, there's a song called “Peach (Lobotomy)” and one of the lyrics that really stuck out to me was "let's both talk in circles like infinity signs." That lyric along with the colors and visuals I associate with the band definitely were the backbone of this artwork.

Akzidenz Grotesk Poster

This work was an assignment I had in one of my design classes to create a poster that visually captured the characteristics of the typeface Akzidenz Grotesk. I was inspired by the simplicity of Swiss design and wanted to modernize it with colors that wouldn't normally be associated with that movement. I also thought that giving the composition a more dynamic look would make the design solution more successful.