I am excited to present an interview from one of my personal heros in the indie craft/illustration world: Natascha Rosenberg. Natascha has been a freelance illustrator since 1998 and resides in Spain. She works in many mediums from digital art to textile painting which she calls Softpaintings. Her work usually depicts whimsical images of children and animals and I have to say everything she creates makes me smile! Now onto the interview….
Tell us about your work. What kind of things do you make? I work mostly as a childrenâ€™s illustrator. During the last year Iâ€™ve been experimenting with fabrics and paint and I have created characters combining both elements which I call softpaintings.
In your biography you said you have a degree in law. What changed your mind and helped you pursue illustration and handmade crafts?
Half way through my law studies I realised that I didnâ€™t want to make a living in law, but forced myself to finish my studies before trying something else. I wanted to live doing something that would make me happy. I feel lucky that I enjoy what I do and I can sit for hours and hours working without feeling that time has passed.
What inspires you when you are designing?
Iâ€™m not usually aware of my inspiration while I work but many things inspire me; movies, music, adverts, a beautiful book, sitting in a park watching dogs, playing with my friendâ€™s children, artistâ€™s shows, blogs from other artistsâ€¦ wellâ€¦ life!
Is there a common theme or message in all your illustrations?
I donâ€™t think so, friendship, maybe. I love that kids and dogs are friends, girls and bearsâ€¦Most people comment that because my characters look happy, they feel happy when they look at my work. Itâ€™s such a nice feeling to know that people feel happy looking at my illustrations!
You make hand painted plush and fabric collage when you craft. What about this medium do you enjoy over others?
Iâ€™ve just started working with fabrics and paint. I love screenprinting, it was a great discovery for me. With fabrics you can create 3D characters and it’s funny to sew pieces of fabric together to “build” something, choosing patterns and colors… But maybe in the future I’ll try other mediums, like ceramics… who knows.
Can you tell us about the process of creating one of your softpaintings?
I start by doing sketchesâ€¦ a looooot of sketches. I then scan the sketch I choose, redraw it on the computer and print it at the size I want. Then I cut it into smaller piece which I use as shape guides for cutting the fabric. I sew them together, paint it, and … Voila!
What is current favorite book?
Iâ€™m really enjoying leafing through a book about Olle Eksellâ€™s work at the moment.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
I love to watch movies and cartoons, and I love trying new recipesâ€¦ especially cakes!
Who are some of your favorite Crafters? Illustrators?
Illustrators: Ana Juan, Sarajo Frieden, Carson Ellis, Sasek, Maira Kalman, Marc Boutavant, Carll Cneut,….I have a very long list. Crafters: Mimi Kirchner, Sara Neuburger (The Small Object), Loobylu, AngryChicken,…
What are some of your favorite blogs?
And all the favorites in my blog.
What advice do you have for others who may want to start a business like yours?
Oh! Itâ€™s so difficult to give advice! Wellâ€¦ expect to have both good and bad times, but never give up at bad moments, or due to negative comments. Never stop learning. Most importantly, enjoy working and feel happy doing your job.
Where can we find your products for sale?
You can find my stuff in my web shop (http://www.nataschasrosenberg.com) and In Madrid in the gallery Mad is Mad (c/ Pelayo 48, 28004 Madrid)