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About Me

I am Natelle, a freelance illustrator and self-proclaimed plant lady and cat cuddler living and working in London, UK.

Art and animals surrounded my life from day one; as a child, neither walls nor inanimate objects at home were safe from my scribbles, and tadpole-watching in the backyard was one of many favourite past time activities.

I was (and still am!) fortunate to live in places with unique wildlife, spanning a few continents! These experiences have worked their way into my heart and throughout my art. All my illustrations, be it simple caricatures, or more detailed pieces, reflect my love for nature, and I hope that even just a little piece of that joy and love comes across to you, yes YOU!

Currently in my waking hours, I illustrate for SHOAL LLC, a like-minded small business producing life style products inspired by nature. In between, I continue to offer freelance illustration services to various clientele, and spend time experimenting, exploring, and making art.

I have many aspirations for my illustration journey, but if I had to choose, I’d say the top two things I’d love to achieve in my lifetime would be:

1) To create illustrations for an exhibit in a museum, zoo, botanical gardens, wildlife sanctuary, etc., and

2) To illustrate a book!

My Creative Timeline

(Pssst! If you haven’t had the chance yet, click here for my portfolio; it’s filled with all the things that I love about life and nature!)

  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2018
  • 2015
  • 2015
  • 2011
  • 1998
  • 1987
  • FEATURE WORK: SHOAL LLC

    At the start of 2019, I began illustrating for Shoal llc, where I illustrate and design nature-inspired lifestyle products similar to when I was running NDS; these illustrations are used to create enamel pins, apparel, stationery, craft supplies, and other fun accessories! I also help manage a few business-related tasks, such as posting on social media and answering emails.
  • LONDON (Yup, I moved again!) AND ILLUSTRATION

    In late 2018, we said goodbye to Florida and waved hello to the big city of London. This is the biggest city I have ever lived in, are so many things to explore and do here, so many new opportunities to grow! I decided to close NDS down for good, and focus on illustration. I wanted to be part of fun projects like illustrating picture books, designing a home decor line, creating infographics, and more! I began looking at potential courses, learning opportunities, ways to bulk out my portfolio so that I can show art directors, publishers, agents, all that I am capable of. I currently have two running goals: 1) To create illustrations for an exhibit in a museum, zoo, botanical gardens, wildlife sanctuary, etc., and 2) To illustrate a book!
  • FEATURE WORK: FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

    In the three years that NDS operated, I worked with various nonprofit organisations, museums, zoos and more, primarily designing products for fundraising (often using NDS as a platform to raise awareness and aid in fundraising). I value every single project that I got to work on, even moreso when the deliverables resulted in fundraising efforts that went towards causes that are important to me, such as wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, education, and conservation. One of the largest projects I became involved in was with the Florida Museum of Natural History and its active research component, the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. I collaborated with members of the museum to research and design informational print material and fundraising merchandise (enamel pins, stickers, tote bags, shirts, and socks!). Our campaign raised over USD 1,000.00 which was donated directly back to the Museum's research and conservation programs.
  • FEATURE WORK: NATELLE DRAWS STUFF

    NDS was a way for me to explore and grow creatively, to share and showcase my illustrations to a wider audience. I wanted to bring a little bit of nature into people's lives in the form of fun accessories and stationery products. I put my art on greeting cards and art prints, and that eventually led to enamel pins, vinyl stickers, patches, fabric designs, and apparel. I learned how to budget, manage my time, and made short term plans for the business. I actively collaborated other small business owners, non-profits, museums, and zoos to create exciting and fun products. NDS was a one-woman operation, and it was tough, but extremely rewarding. Over time, the business grew to having over 70,000 followers on social media, and over 40 retail stores worldwide, spanning USA, Canada, UK, EU, and Asia Pacific, stocked NDS products on their shelves. 
  • Florida, and MY BUSINESS

    In 2015, my little family of three (my partner, our rescue cat, and I) packed our tiny suitcases and hauled ourselves to Gainesville, Florida. At this point in my life, I realised that I didn't want to work in a lab anymore. I was happiest when I was creating, so that's what I did; I took the plunge, and started my own business, Natelle Draws Stuff (I know, it's a very original company name). Florida also had a lot of cool wildlife; in my first week of exploring the lake behind our apartment, I came face to face with an alligator. It was curious, and swam within a few feet of the bank to check me out. It was pretty awesome.
  • Graduation and Early Career

    I graduate from Victoria University of Wellington with a MSc Biology. After graduation, I landed jobs mainly in laboratory settings in both diagnostic and private research roles. It paid the bills, but in between working hours, making art remained a constant, and I went through a phase of experimental painting on large blocks of canvases and pieces of wood. Here's one of the larger paintings, acrylic on 38 x 25" canvas, an ode to post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh.
  • New Zealand

    At 10 years old, I left Malaysia, bound for New Zealand, where I would spend the next 17 years of my life. In New Zealand, I encountered some seriously unique wildlife found nowhere else. I knew for certain that animals and nature would always be a part of my life.
  • I AM BORN!

    I was born in Sabah, Malaysia, and my childhood home was filled with National Geographic magazines, abundant wildlife (living in the tropics, wildlife just HAPPENS all the time, it was great!), and caring parents that were always supportive of my burgeoning interest in art (and they let me draw on surfaces around the house!).

Let’s Work Together!

FAQs

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