Natalie Griffiths is a self confessed Illustrator & Printmaker lover and recent graduate from North Wales School of Art and Design.
‘As cliché as it sounds, I can’t remember a time where I didn’t draw. It’s always been something I’ve loved and I remember thinking as a kid that if I could somehow wake up everyday and draw then i’d be happy. After some bemused looks and awkward interviews with the school career counsellor I enrolled at the North Wales School of Art and Design to study Design communication: Illustration. My time at the North Wales School of Art and Design opened my eyes to the world of Illustration and made me focus more on making it a career. ‘
‘In my first year of University I was introduced to printmaking and instantly fell in love with it. It took a huge influence over my work which started to develop an illustration style. As I spent more and more time in the print room I became more comfortable in the medium and worked more with Linocut than any other method. I then spent the rest of my time in University learning about the process and trying to push the boundaries of it. Although I change between working in print and hand drawn pen and ink depending on the time frame and what the work calls for, I try to incorporate some form of print in most pieces. I spent most of my time in University avoiding PhotoShop but since graduating I’m developing some skills and using it when it needs to be used in my work and find it compliments the messy nature of linocut with a clean finish.’
‘ After working in print, what I wanted to create and how I wanted to create it started to change. I began to look at things I think, how could I do that in a print? And so my style and the influences I looked to began to develop to fit in with a print style. I think it’s important to be open minded with the places and people you look to for inspiration for your work. I love looking at concept art and character design and discovering little self published graphic novelists. I love traditional animations, vintage movie posters and old New Yorker covers.
I work with a very limited palette most of the time and so I like trying to put palettes together on the adobe kuler app or seeing a colour on a book cover or tree leaves and noting it down for future reference. I also like finding artists who work in quite a graphic style but do it a little differently by using mark making and loose line work. I’m a pretty big fan of Skottie Youngs graphic novel adaptations of Wizard of Oz and his style of illustration and I love Ryan Andrews self published comics, the stories as well as the imagery are absolutely stunning. When I find illustrators that I really like, I often take a lot of influence from them whether it’s their style or their stories they’re creating. I want to create work with a purpose and so most of the illustrators I really like have great messages behind their work whether it’s one off pieces or stories within their comics.’
‘I’ve recently designed and painted my very first Christmas window display at a local restaurant. My current project is shaping the garden shed into a small studio and fixing up a vintage clothes mangle into a printing press. I’m also working on a new series of visual postcards with a Welsh theme. I’m hoping to develop them into a new set of mixed media linocuts and print them on to some vintage airmail card, I’d like to work some typography into them as well. I’m also working on my portfolio and trying to develop some character design work.’