DeviantART Interview of the Week: The Macabre Art of Natalie Shau
The art of Natalie Shau is something to behold. Her macabre-inspired art has been used to grace album covers (including Kerli‘s “Love is Dead”), inspired videos, and she has recently self-published a book full of her works. To find out what makes this deviantART-ist turned professional illustrator tick, we recently asked Natalie a few questions about her art and the journey that it is currently taking her on.
Buzznet: How did you first hear about deviantART? NatalieShau: Probably from my friends… it was in 2002 or 2003.
BN: What was the first piece you posted to the site?NS: Oh that was so long ago that I don’t even remember. Probably one of my traditional drawings.
BN: How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since your first dA post? NS: Well, my style and the quality of my work has changed completely. I have become a professional illustrator and art director.
BN: Describe your style and artistic influence. NS: My works are influenced by so many things – books I read, movies I watch, artists I admire, music Ilisten to. I can say that the compositions in my works are influenced by medieval, Renaissance, and religious imagery. I am also influenced by vintage and modern photography, especially modern fashion photography. There are some photographers that merge a line between art and commercial pieces. I am also not a stranger to the pop surrealism movement. However, I do not like to fall under one definition or style.
BN: Who inspires you? NS: I have so many inspirations, but to mention some: Fra Angelico and many more Italian Renaissance painters, artists from the Pre-Raphaelite Movement, different fairy tales and stories. Photographers like Sally Man, Joel Peter Witkin, Loreta Lux. Fashion designers like John Galliano and McQueen (R.I.P.) and many, many more.
BN: What is your creative process like? NS: My work is a combination of photography, 3-D, and drawn elements. Usually, I first have to decide on the concept of work, then go to the studio to prepare needed shots. Then later, on the computer, I have creative freedom.
BN: How do you push yourself as an artist? NS: Creation is my work and hobby at the same time, so I do not have to push myself to create. However, I recently got involved with movies and production design, so I have to do research about this field.
BN: How do your works begin conceptually and do you achieve your concept by the time you are finished with the piece? NS:Sometimes I have a clear vision in my mind of what I want to create, so I prepare all needed materials for it. But sometimes I like to work intuitively and follow the imagination and process path. So in those cases the concept can come after I start. I think it is very interesting and more surprising.
BN: How does it feel to have published a book? NS: Well, my book is self-published and is in edition of 500 copies only, all signed by hand. It feels great to see works in big beautiful album. I am being offered to publish a book through a publishing house right now, so perhaps my other works might be included.
BN: How did you become involved with creating the album art for Kerli? How was that whole process for you? NS: As i remember, her management contacted me about that. They said Kerli liked my work and wanted to work together. It was very exciting. Later, they also did a music video, “Walking On Air,” in which some elements resemble my work. It was great working with Kerli, she is an amazing artist and person.
BN: What other projects do you have underway (that you can share with us)?NS: I am currently working on my exhibition at the Corey Helford Gallery (CA), which wil happen this September. I am also working on a French 3-D movie short as an art director. This 3-D movie will be part of a musical about Dracula (click here for the YouTube Video) directed by famous French choreographer Kamel Ouali. The short movie we are working on should look beautiful. It will be very dreamy and fantasy like.
Which of Natalie’s pieces is your favorite?