DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: GETTING TO KNOW NATASHA DEARDEN, FASHION ILLUSTRATOR
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
I grew up in Brisbane, Australia. I’m incredibly fortunate to have had amazing parental role models who are both creative and analytical. My mother is an artist and an art teacher who has run her own art school for around 18 years, and my father is a folk singing judge!
Were you creatively influenced by anyone or anything in particular growing up?
My family was one of the largest influences in all areas of my life, I was encouraged to be creative every day, from drawing, painting, pottery, sewing, dancing and music. As I grew a little bit older, I found more mainstream influences like Vogue Magazine, which captured by attention greatly.
What did you grow up wanting to do?
How did you get into fashion?
I always knew that eventually I wanted to work in something fashion or design-related, and I can't remember any period of time in my life since I was about 3 that I haven't been creating things. Fashion has always appealed to me because it is constantly evolving and changing, creating a really captivating and often commercial appeal. I studied a dual degree at QUT - a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Fashion)/Bachelor of Business (Marketing) - and as soon as I started the course, I knew I had to be there.
How did you move from studying fashion into becoming a fashion illustrator full time?
I do still love design, but since finishing uni I realised it was the broader area of illustration that has always been my passion. I think it still works quite nicely with research-driven fashion design though.
How have your artistic skills developed since first starting?
I am quite fortunate to have an artist for a mother! Almost half of my parents house is an art studio, so supplies and an amazing teacher were never hard to come by growing up! Art runs down one side of the family and dress making down the other, so in part I think genetics has a large role to play, but I think my skills are always evolving and as you grow older, you gain expertise in different areas.
Any defining moments in your creative career?
Getting into my dream course at university.
What does a week in Natasha Dearden's shoes look like?
I currently work a Monday to Friday day job in media, but around that I draw a lot! I draw in-between cooking, seeing friends, all the time.
Are you influenced by another artist in particular?
Looking back at my past work, I have always had a fairly strong personal aesthetic. I think its been a lifelong combination of influences.
Your prints use a combination of artistic mediums; what's involved?
Some pieces seem to evolve in no time at all, but when I'm doing a more detailed piece it take hours of layering. I sourcing paper to build up patterns with and I spend lots of time with my desk space covered in glue and little paper cutoffs!
Any future goals?
Getting into the fashion and design business arena full time, and exhibiting my illustration work in Melbourne regularly.
Your feelings on the Australian fashion industry?
I think it's a very unique space, with a slow but bright future ahead. I feel that we currently don't understand that with the global economy, and we have to think larger than our own location, but the world really is our oyster!
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