We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I picked an artistic career because I feel like I am closest to my highest divine potential when I am creating with my magical hands. I studied illustration/painting at Utah Valley University and I have always loved the process that comes with painting and drawing. You learn a lot about patience, critical thinking. problem-solving creativity and endurance with the process that comes with producing artwork on a regular basis. The concepts you learn as you create art relate very closely to real life trails and it gives you the courage to take the next step without giving up when something isn’t quite turning out how you expected. There has been times when I wake up after I was painting in my studios into the wee hours of the night, thinking I had done a great job to waking up to a painting that was overdone and needed to be thrown in the trash or reworked. Then , on the opposite side of the spectrum there are times I am painting and I can tell the colors, values, and process are flowing so well I feel full of joy and love as I see it slowly come together and it is at these times I know I have truly created something wonderful. I always ask for guidance from a higher power before I begin my painting practices in my studio. I ask for this power to guide my hands that they may communicate with my body at their fullest potential that they may connect with who I know I am , and that is a”: Curious Creator. ” A “Renaissance women ” I like to call it referencing Leonardo Di Vinci legacy. I have studied his sketches over several years and I am intrigued by his process. The way he writes and also sketches questions then answers them to the best of his ability by trying to capture its existence on paper, or making a blueprint of the subject in question and breaking down its core. He was curious about anatomy, botany, mathematics, mechanical engineering, science, philosophy, and so much more. My sketch books are very similar to his. I am the most passionate about putting my thought process down on paper or Masonite board. All of my artwork bleeds ideas that originate from passionate questions I am determined to answer by curating a series of artwork surroundings its concept.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I showcase the power of women one egg at a time. In my body of work “Relics Revealed,” I have completely let go of my inner critic that tells me constantly about my faults or weakness. I curated this body of work to tell the world that it’s women need to be loved and brought up on a pedestal at this time to be praised for all the goodness we have brought to all mankind. Emilie Emslie asked me ,” What food represents you ?” Then I replied ,”The painting titled “Grilled Cheese,” is the beginning of my biography. This is my very first meal prepared by myself. At age four, my brothers were watching TV and they asked me to make them a grilled cheese sandwich. I didn’t ask any questions about how to use the microwave. I just replied with confidence,”Yes!”I was ecstatic ! I got to do a grown up task! Then, excitedly I put the cheese in between two slices of bread. I plated the sandwich, while struggling to balance on the stool that supported my weight, as I reached for the microwave. I remember pressing three, zero, zero, zero then start. The fire set the fire alarms. My brothers came back to a melted microwave sandwich. I tell you this story because it speaks about my personality. I at times can be too stubborn to ask for help, but I’ve always looked forward to a new adventure. With every step forward, believing it will all work out in the end. I am an Egg. All females have the potential to be Eggs. The egg in its purest form symbolizes the strength women have to connect with their origins. We have energetic power to create a spiritual awakening. We open our third eye and let intuition flow through us. Our mantra is to create beautiful things daily. We represent birth, existence, fertility, sun, sky, and above all creation. Throughout history, society has suppressed us. So, each Egg has been venerated and sainted in my egg series. I chose to call the eggs after women I think of as holy RELICS. We determine our desire and align with our divine identity. The heavens are open unto us and we are in tune with our sacred calling. The yoke symbolizes the sun within us. We have the possibility to guide the sun’s energy with one whisper, in any direction we ask. Egg whites represent our ancestors within us. We are able to speak to each other telepathically. Life and death have no boundaries. We carry the strings that attach our ancestors to us. The strings are in our veins. When we speak their names. They feel our voice vibrate their spirit. They help us whenever we are in need of their company. When the sun and the sky work together joy exhumes every soul. During this pandemic we are all in need of this kind of support. In my process of making the eggs I took marbles as the yokes then added liquid plastic over the egg yokes. Some of them I would have to wait and drizzle the plastic again to get the drips to stay in motion where I wanted. I used vibrant golds, blues, oranges, and black and brown for the areas I wanted to look more fried. After that, I added a 3-D gloss to add that egg white while it was still under cooked look. Some pieces have real egg shells. All were rusted with peroxide and vinegar for the last 2-8 months I’ve been working on my solo exhibit. People within my community have donated items for the cause to celebrate women. 10% of proceeds will go to Diar Foundation. This organization is giving its support to women located in South Sudan. These women are lacking in food and water and means to survive. Karak Denyok the founder. DIAR has given women wells closer to home, food to feed their children, taught women and children how to farm their land to survive etc. There will also be egg masks available to purchase at the door . The masks were created by my sister Lilia Todd, an environmental artist located in Las Vegas. Each mask is color coded in the back by size. 50% of proceeds will go to Black Mamas Matter Alliance. All masks are 600 thread count organic cotton with twin filter pockets. You can also read more on my website natalieillustrates.com
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would visit the Crystal Rock Shop in Golden Colorado and Golden Goods Toys, and grab some teas from TEa Barrel. then I would hike in Golden Canyon . I would eat at Woody’s Pizza . Then I would take them to boulder to experience Flush and buy an amazing soap. I would then go to hike near Estes Park and possibliy visit the famous Shining Hotel… , Oh, I would definately take them to idaho springs and stop in at Beujos Pizza and buy some turqouse in Antionios Jewelry shop.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shout to my mom. Linda Smith owner of MoviestarMoon on Etsy. She is the one that introduced me into window painting in high school . She learned how to paint windows as a profession from my grandma Genevieve Smith. She married my dad who had four sisters and a mother who had developed the company in Las Vegas, Nevada and turned it into a tradition of women who could support their families for a few months and could put on elaborate Christmases year after year because of their artistic abilities put into local shops and businesses. Now I own Natalie’s Window Art that is blooming into a marvelous route of income for my family and is bringing a whole new medium to the art world. I now can say I have developed my skills on glass for over ten years. But I always give credit to the higher power within me that helps guide me to create such magical scenes on windows, canvas etc you name it .
all photos taken by Natalie Smith except for the the very last one was taken by Lilia Todd my sister