Lately we’ve been profiling some of our favorite SketchBook users, pros who make beautiful art like Ken Lashley, Marvel and DC comics illustrator in Toronto; Jay Shuster, Pixar production designer in Oakland; and Weber Zhang, freelance illustrator from Shanghai. This time around, we trekked all the way to Brooklyn to interview Natali Koromoto, a one-of-a-kind illustrator known for her drawings of punk rock girls.
Natali hails from Maracay, Venezuela, where she grew up drawing but not thinking about becoming an artist. It seemed everyone where she grew up looked to professional lives as lawyers, engineers, or teachers. After Hugo Chavez took power when she was sixteen (not a great time to be a struggling artist in Venezuela, for sure), Natali decided to follow her dream by enrolling at an art school in Florida.
Natali initially thought animation might be her focus, but she admits she didn’t have the patience for the painstaking work of frame-based animation. She gravitated instead toward illustration and drawing things that interest her. She always draws by hand to begin with using a lightbox she’s had since she was a student. She then scans her initial line drawing in and and finishes the coloring and other details digitally. She’s the first to admit that she’s not really a computer person, which probably explains her attachment to that lightbox, but she says she loves her touch-sensitive stylus and enjoys the quick work and action of choosing and changing brushes in SketchBook.
Once you see her work for the first time, you’ll definitely recognize it a second time. Her illustrations have a distinctive style. She draws tough girls with lots of little details. Natali considers herself a bit of a tomboy, so it’s no stretch to see some of herself in these pretty, cool, and pretty-darn-tough girls.
Her work is incredibly accessible; in fact, you can purchase a small piece for yourself at her online store. Natali began making stickers for friends a few years back, which has snowballed into additional gear and wear. She loves seeing young girls sporting her stickers, pins, and t-shirts, and it’s clear she has fun making all this artistic bling. She even made a baseball cap wearing a baseball cap — something whimsical she drew once that’s now become a real-world thing.
Natali says that “follow your dream” sounds like a cliche, but it certainly worked for her. She’s a talented, in-demand, and evolving artist whose work keeps spreading into the culture. Spend some time with us as we visit Natali in her Brooklyn apartment: