We are so proud of our Make Art That Sells Alumni, that we are pleased to continue a series of spotlight interviews showcasing their successes and artwork. We also ask them to share how the MATS courses have helped them learn and grow. You can see more Alumni Success stories here
Today, we have an interview with Natalie Zart. Natalie has taken MATS B and Assignment Bootcamp.
Tell us a little about how you got started in art and design
Both of my parents are artists and so I grew up surrounded by tubes of paint, regularly went to my dad’s exhibitions and all art hanging on our home walls (and standing around) was by my parents. On top of that, my grandmother was a graphic designer, so no matter who I spent my childhood moments with, I either had scissors, pencils or a brush in my hand and was creating something.
I’ve always perceived art just as a fun activity until sometime after my high school graduation I realised I actually want to make a living from it. I’m still not quite ‘there’ yet, but this year I’m closer to that dream than ever before.
Lilla always says “People buy your joy.” What brings you joy?’
That moment when I am just about to finish a piece I’ve been working on is a pure moment of happiness for me. It’s pretty normal for me to do a happy dance around my table when I’m about to do the last strokes with a brush/ on my tablet. I can’t resist but to immediately send photos of my new piece to my family and to my boyfriend, sharing my excitement with them.
Which is your favorite market(s) to design for and why?
I’ve always loved paper and have been working with paper most of my life. Later on, I realised I really like the idea of seeing my designs on home items, particularly the idea of having a sofa with my design on it still attracts me like a magnet. In the last years, I’ve been opening my horizons to the textile market, whilst paper continues to be my ‘safest ground’.
What are you working on currently?
Self-paced MATS B course, Assignment Bootcamp course, school projects (I attend a graphic design school in the evenings), various decorations for the wedding of my boyfriends’ sister and on top of that, I’m also pitching my work to various companies/ bloggers which I’d love to work with. A pretty busy schedule, but I’m loving every bit of it.
What are some of the key things you have learnt from the MATS experience?
Pitch, pitch, pitch. It’s never been more clear to me that I must knock on the doors of companies I want to work with. I no longer wait for people to find me, which was the case for a long time in the past. I’m now much more proactive and chase that dream of mine.
How have the classes helped your artwork evolve /grow?
I have learned how to work more effectively, in a way that feels fun and truly me. I now feel much more ready to work on paid projects, whilst having my own voice and style.
Any aha moments during MATS you would like to share?
You always have to have fun working on your art, there is absolutely no need to stress about it, because if you do, there is a big chance the piece will show that.
What are your key successes since taking a MATS class?
I’m just about to sign an agreement with one of my dream customers. I’m so excited about it that I can hardly talk about it without my heart starting to race. I absolutely cannot wait to have the deal closed and to start working on it.
How would you describe taking a MATS class to a fellow artist looking to develop their art
I’ve been thinking of taking MATS classes for over a year. For me, it was a relatively big investment and so I first watched many videos by Lilla, read lots of her blog posts, watched one round of Global Talent Search take place, I carefully observed which artists are taking part and how their art looks like and after a year, I finally signed up for Assignment Bootcamp. Only one month after starting Assignment Bootcamp, I added MATS B class on top.
Now I know there was no need for me to wait all that time. I simply should have taken the leap before. I don’t regret waiting, but I would advise fellow artists to take the course right away if they are considering it.
I feel like both of the classes were exactly the next step I needed in my career. I have drawn for years on my own, but MATS classes give me that professional advice I simply could not figure out on my own.
What is your dream gig for your artwork?
I have a few, but somewhere very high on my dream list is having my own fabric collections printed and having a custom made dress sewn. I recently found out that a friend of mine sews dresses as a hobby, which I thought was a clear sign! I am definitely on the right path and just need to put the little pieces of my dream together.
Graduates of our courses have gone on to win work from clients such as Hallmark, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Oopsy Daisy, Uppercase Magazine, West Elm, Midwest CBK, and more. It is industry learning that works in the real world. Find out more HERE and start today!