New Artist - Natalia Zaratiegui
We are thrilled to welcome Natalia Zaratiegui to the agency. Born in Navarra in northern Spain, Natalia began her creative journey when she moved to Barcelona to study Art History.
She has since immersed herself in the creative community of the Catalan capital; producing illustrations from her studio in the heart of the city, as well as running Galleria Cromo and playing music around the city with her band.
Natalia's atmospheric illustrations have won critical acclaim from industry experts around the world, with her latest accolade coming from the jury of the American Illustration Archive, granting her a much coveted place in the latest edition. We spoke to Natalia about her career as an illustrator and how her creative interests influence her work.
Why did you decide to become an illustrator?
I've always loved art. When I was studying Art History in Barcelona, I realised illustration was a great way to make a career out of something I love to do. So, after I finished my degree I decided to study illustration at the Escola Massana.
What influences your work?
I take inspiration from lots of different things, art history, movies, music, architecture, a good conversation with a friend or a book I have recently read.
Barcelona is also very special to me and influences my work. During my first spring in the city, when the weather became hot and the days grew longer, I realised that people opened their windows and balconies at night. At eight or nine o'clock in the evening a feeling came over me and has stayed with me since. The streets of my neighbourhood were silent and I could hear everything that happened inside the houses, someone playing the piano, an everyday conversation of a family, a loud tv set; people going about their daily lives. I made an illustration about this for an exhibition called "Illustrated Barcelona" and I think it captures the spirit of the city.
What is your working process?
Each project is different. Although, the most important thing for me, is to have a good concept. I think that illustration is a powerful instrument to communicate, so I always try to make a suggestive image that invites the viewer to discover the story behind it. I spend a lot of time drawing in my notebook. When I have an idea, I draw a sketch and I send it to the client. If they approve the concept, I then create the final artwork. Colour, detailing, proportion and perspective are some of the tools I use to suggest or communicate the client's idea.
Your portfolio features historical as well as contemporary themes, is there a particular period of history that you particular admire?
Each historical period and every place in the world has its own peculiarities. For example, I really love The Vienna Secession. When I was in Vienna I enjoyed thinking about how the artists lived in the city at that time, I imagined how they gathered in coffee houses or met in public spaces to share creative ideas.
When I was in Rome I used to imagine how it would have been to live in the Baroque period. I really love Baroque culture, especially the music and architecture; the theatrical conception of urban spaces and the old palaces and churches are so inspiring.
You mention music as one of your influences, could you describe how it fuels your creativity?
Music is an important part of my life, so much so, I could not dissociate it from my work. When I was a child I studied music theory, piano and classical guitar. When I was a teenager I stopped studying but I never stopped playing. Now I like to play pop music, I play the keyboard, guitar and bass. Music helps me to create my artworks, I normally love to listen to all kinds of music while I work or if the project is about a specific historical moment I love to listen to the music of that time.
You show contemporary illustration at your Gallery Galeria Cromo, how does being a Gallerist influence your own illustration work?
It certainly influences me and encourages me in my work. As a Gallerist I have the opportunity to see the work of illustrators from all over the world. I organise all the activities and exhibitions at the gallery, so I am surrounded by contemporary illustration.
I really love the arts and culture in general and I am so pleased that I work in the many different areas that I do and create illustrations for a living.
To see more of Natalia's work, click here.