SKETCHO MINUTE WITH PHOTOGRAPHER + DIGITAL ARTIST... NATHALIA SUELLEN (Interview by Marcin Migdal)
MM: Today’s guest is a digital dark artist, born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her passion and focus lies on macabre imagery. At 19 she started her own business which drew attention from admirerers & clients worldwide. Her work portrays dreamlike worlds with enchanting lighting and dark elements. Her clients include Random House, PenguinGroup, Simon&Schuster, Mccann Ericson and others...Nathalia, welcome.
NS: Hi Marcin, and thank you for the introduction.
MM: You’re welcome, now at 21 you’ve made not only a name for yourself but it seems you created your own style as well. Tell us a bit about it.
NS: Actually I'm 22 now. These last years were years of learning...I found out "who I am" through "what I did". As a beginner I had to be focused on my skills, the style came later. It's a long journey of one’s discovery.
MM: I read you’ve only been doing digital art since 2008, what were you doing before and what prompted you to get into it.
NS: Before 2008 I was a teenager who was constantly trying to find what to do in life. Honestly, I knew It would be something related with art because I used to create traditional drawings as a child. Art career has so much competition that I didn't believe I would have any chance. For me things happened after seeing gothic photo-manipulations and after that I read some tutorials for fun. The rest is history...
MM: Have your parents and friends always supported your art and its pursuit?
NS: My mother always supported me, but my father used to complain about long hours spending on computer
MM: Well, it’s definitely paid off, I hope your father doesn’t give you a hard time anymore:). Which do you like better, digital art or photography?
NS: I like photo-manipulation. I need digital art and photography. They need to walk together, at least for me.
MM: What type of cameras do you shoot with and software you edit with?
NS: Canon 550D, Adobe Photoshop CS5.
MM: What do you feel is the most challenging thing about taking a photo?
MM: Tell me about your process, how do you come up with the concepts?
NS: Usually, my best artworks come when I see a good resource. I don't know how other digital artists start but in my case it's quite strange. I see a different bird (for example) and my mind builds a complete scene immediately. All I have to do is to follow it and make it as close as I see in my mind.
MM: What has been your most favourite or memorable project and why?
NS: My Cold World is my favorite. The same tones, environment is what I like. It's more than an art, it's a story, I feel completely inside it. I wish I could be there, I wish I could talk with the creatures I create. They need help and the worst feeling is to know I can’t help them. I just create.
MM: What is the most difficult thing about being an artist?
NS: I believe I have already answered this in many different ways. You have the responsibility of not losing your own identity. I can't follow trends and I can't do what people want me to do...not always. Sometimes we have to do the opposite and please ourselves before pleasing the public.
MM: ...and what is the best thing about being an artist?
NS: You’re able to share your inner with people. See that they feel like you and think like you.
MM: How do you market or promote yourself and your work?
NS: Through art communities, through things like Facebook, through friends. I believe the best promotion of your artwork is to do the best you can. People are looking for it, artists who work with love.
MM: How long does it take you to do a piece on average?
NS: 3 days, 1 week. It depends.
MM: Aside from art is there anything else you do? or even have time for?
NS: I don't think so. Is hard find time for yourself.
MM: I totally agree, that is how we found you:). How important is formal art education these days to become a success?
NS: For me? Not important. I don't have any art education, never ever took a course. Art is talent, it is effort, it is want. Papers, books, theory come after. You won't find art in college, art is inside you. And sure, in the internet.
MM: Is there anybody or anything you would love to photograph?
NS: Willy Wonka
MM: Nathalia, let’s talk more about you...what is your greatest fear?
NS: Spiders! Now really…I think its the end of the world..
MM: What talent would you most like to have?
NS: To sing Opera.
MM: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers?
NS: Eugenio Recuenco, Tim Walker, Victoria Frances.
MM: Which five words would your friends use to describe you?
NS: Serious, Laugh-Maker, Strange, Talented, Shy.
MM: If someone said ‘how can I be the next Nathalia?’ you would say?
NS: I would make sure she gave up of this insane idea.
MM: LOL and what would you like written in history books about Nathalia?
NS: My website. Kidding :) It would read that I have fought for my dreams, even the most impossible ones. Will keep fighting 'till the end. I'm a believer and will always be. There are few persons in this world who believe in fairy tales, it makes me special. I believe. I see this world differently, there's a big treasure for the ones who tried, who lived trying. I'm the one who believed 'till the end.
MM: What advice can you give to any and all struggling artists out there?
NS: Forget the competition, don't try to be like anyone but you. Never think you ideas are ordinary.
MM: And the last question, if you had one wish…
NS: Wish I hadn't enemies.
MM: That’s our interview. Thanks for chatting with me and I wish you continued success in your field. Everyone visit www.LadySymphonia.com & www.Sketchoholic.com/LadySymphonia to learn more about Nathalia.
NS: Thank you for the invitation, was a pleasure. And thanks for everybody who reads this.