Please give a warm welcome to graphic designer Natasha from Dazed Designs
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I am a Self-taught graphic artist from Australia who currently resides in Tropical North Queensland. I have a beautiful family for who I would do anything. This little family includes three children, one husband, and one Neapolitan mastiff. I love reading, all forms of art (outdoor sculpture and installation art especially), heavy metal music (my music is my happy place), spending time exploring the world around us with my family (mainly locally because I am also not fond of people I don’t know LOL), beaches (not in North Queensland though because I don’t have a death wish – yes we have crocodiles, killer jellyfish, and big sharks everywhere) and dreaming of perfect Gothi/Gypsy inspired interior design.
Hand Painted Suspenseful CONTEMPORARY
Have you always wanted to become a graphic artist?
YES! I started painting and illustrating around 5 years old. It was here that I told my Aunt and Cousin (whose home I was staying at for a play date) that I wanted to be an artist! I was promptly informed – not for the last time either – that “artists don’t make any money, you will be poor your whole life”. I kept painting and illustrating anyway, and started my first art business in primary school – grade 5 (I was 11). I started illustrating game and TV characters onto canvas, painting them, and selling them to the other students for $5 each (not very smart in hindsight as the paint and canvas cost me about $10 hahaha). I was once again told in High School (when I was about 14 or 15 years old) that I would never make money from art unless I became a teacher. By this stage, I had started to believe it myself, so I started focussing on a teaching career instead. That didn’t last long. About 2 years into my degree (which I started AFTER I had my three children because I was never very interested in it) I started my business, by accident. An author friend of mine needed art for a cover. I drew her something (very basic) and she employed another designer to digitize it for her – they charged her AN ARM AND A LEG – so I got angry on her behalf, and taught myself photoshop in 2 days. The rest is history 😀
Hand-painted 3d image manipulation SCI-FI/Fantasy
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I cannot cope without my music. A lot of my inspiration comes from the lyrics and music of my favorite artists, and you will find that a LOT of my premades are based on my favorite songs. I also absolutely LOVE Pinterest. If you go to my PINs you will see all kinds of cover art, mood boards, and digital art grouped together in quite random ways. This helps me visualize an overall LOOK as opposed to falling into the trap of stealing ideas vs borrowing inspiration. I am also connected to some fabulous online communities that give us tutorials, inspiration, feedback and overall advice on art. My main go-to is Photo Manipulation OFFICIAL, the artists from that group are some of the best in the world. I also rely heavily on the photos themselves to speak to me. Because I specialize in both contemporary and fantasy-based art for all genres of books, I use a lot of photorealism, photo manipulation, hand illustration, overpainting, and some 3D art. So, the areas I find inspiration may not be the same as other people.
Photomanipulation DARK CONTEMPRARY
What are you working on now?
Today, I am working on a branding pack (logo and marketing material), and after that is done I am planning a three-book series for a historical fantasy saga. I am super excited about the covers. They will feature key elements from each of the books and an overall theme that includes apothecaries. This one will be an object cover, and as such will have no models.
3D image work PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Do you have any quirks while working?
Mood music and coffee are a must. I cannot function without those. I HATE being interrupted. It throws my creativity off massively. I actually have alarms set for everything now, including taking the children to, and picking them up from, school. I have accidentally forgotten to pick my children up from school (don’t worry, I was only 10 minutes late). I have forgotten important appointments, food breaks, and all kinds of things while being in the craziness that is my “mode of concentration”.
Hand-painted photo-based CONTEMPORARY Fiction
Do you have any advice for new graphic artists/Cover designers about the publishing world?
BE TRUE TO YOUR MORALS. If you know something is illegal, or against your policies, don’t give in due to peer pressure. KNOW YOUR WORTH. Do not let people take advantage of your generosity. If you do something for someone you deserve to be paid. KEEP LEARNING, ALWAYS. Never think you know it all. In the art world, we are always changing and developing our skills. This means, unless you do too, you will be left behind. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Some people are just not nice people. don’t take their word or actions personally. This is JUST a job. If someone doesn’t like your work, that’s ok! Everyone has different opinions. If someone lies to you (which they will) TRY to ignore it and move on. This industry can be toxic, it can also be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. You will possibly get to create art for some of the BEST authors or musicians in the world. I am so lucky that my current clients are the most beautiful, understanding, and talented group of authors you will ever meet. But I have, in the past, had some less-than-ideal clients. If you let these people win, you will never succeed. Do this for you and your family, keep it all in perspective, and move on.
3D and photo Manipulated sci-fi
What are your hopes for the future?
I am hoping to have enough time next year to start creating some more original artwork for sale, start winning commissions for more book illustrations, write and illustrate a children’s book with my kids, and start learning 3D creation software so I can start designing for designers as well as authors and artists.
Photo Manipulation PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Do you have anything to say to your followers?
I absolutely adore you all. if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here, living my best life, doing what I love. Thank you for letting me show all those people who said you “can’t make money with art” wrong. Thank you for letting me show my art to the world.
Some of the amazing work Natasha has done for me and friends.