Where did you you grow up and when did you decide to become an artist? Have you always been creative?
I was born and have lived almost all my life in a small Siberian town in Russia. Still hate snow, that’s why we moved to San Francisco ha ha:)
And as far as I remember myself I always have been drawing, painting or DIYing something. My grandma even preserved some of my first drawings. They are hilarious:)
How did you develop your skills? Did you study art in school or are you self taught?
It’s a mix. I started to attend art school at the second grade and then entered a fancy one later. But still it was a children's art school, therefore the knowledge I got there was quite limited, just basics. We painted a loooot of still-lifes. So I try to fill in the blanks ever since.
Have your family and friends always been supportive in your artistic path, or has it been challenging for them to understand your choice?
I’m lucky that my family supported my desire for art. No one stopped me when I was drawing for hours in my room. But my parents were not so sure about my artistic path when I told them that I thought to become an illustrator. They wanted some steady job for me. My father even had a serious conversation with me after my graduation about my future. I studied English language by the way. As for my husband, he is super supportive and has always been. So thankful for this! He was the one who helped me to start pursuing tattoo career.
What was your strongest influence you had growing up ( artists, cartoons, films, comics, etc)?
I didn’t have good music or comics when I was growing up. Comics were not popular (Russia doesn’t have such a rich comic culture) and somehow I missed all the great music. But I read a lot of books and watched a lot of cartoons (wasn’t so much into movies):) Later though, when I was a teenager, music started to influence me a lot. It was rock music mostly. My taste in music changed a bit since then :)
Do you have a routine when sitting down ready to get creative?
Well, first I check all the depths of Internet (Instagram and Tumblr mostly) and procrastinate ha ha :) I turn some Netflix show on, can’t work in silence. Then I check my long list of things I want/need to draw and start sketching/researching. I’m not one of those people who thinks that you can draw only when you have some special creative mood. It’s work for me. Not that I don’t enjoy it though:)
What part of the creative process is the easiest, what part is the hardest and what part is the most fun?
The hardest part for me is to advertise myself, spread my art:) That’s when the procrastination kicks in. The easiest one is to choose what to draw, and the most fun is the process:) I just love using the materials I have. Pencils + watercolor is my favourite combo.
Have you worked on any exciting projects in the past and are you working on at the moment (if you can tell us)?
I was pretty excited when I saw my illustrations on a street banner. There were several projects like that. I also really enjoyed the time when I was commissioned to draw an orchid portrait. It was a present to a girl who had this orchid as a single plant in her apartment. It even had a name:)
Right now I’m making pins and patches. They are in production now. Can’t wait to finally get them! They are gonna be awesome: cute glowing in the dark pins and golden thread patches. You can pre-order the pins already at my Etsy shop :)
There’re also some interesting things going on with Art Attack SF gallery. But can’t say more :)
Plus I can’t wait to finish an awesome tattoo with succulents, flowers and other plants. Going to start coloring it soon.
Do you have a long-term career goal and what would your dream project be?
I would like to be a full time tattoo artist, but not to forget to paint and upload some nice stuff to my little shop and show my art in art galleries. My dream project is a tattoo in my style with some watercolor splashes. Ah, wait it’s the project I’m working on right now!:) So need to come up with some more dream projects. Maybe creating a series of paintings for a personal show.
Would you prefer to work for a company or work as a freelancer? And why?
It depends on a company. I hate working in big corporate monsters where you feel so belittled and have to abide to some boring dress code. But I’m ok with some little companies. The freelance on the other hand gives you some freedom, but you have to deal with a lot on your own. So working with a small amount of people in a little company, where everyone is doing his/her own stuff and helps each other, is ideal for me. Like a small tattoo studio:)
What advise would you give to an artist who is dealing with an art-block? What do you do to keep yourself creative and boost your imagination?
My trick is to draw something not complicated, something that you did a lot. For me it is mushrooms, flowers. I find a picture on the internet and draw it in my little sketchbook. There’s no big agenda behind this, no deadline. You don’t have to be super creative to do it. Helps you to unwind. To keep myself going I watch a lot of what other artists do. It makes me wanna do something as good as they create.
Do you have a favourite subject to draw? If so, what makes it so special?
I don’t know why but I really like drawing mushrooms, flowers and other plants. Nature is the most beautiful thing in the world and the most inspiring.
Who are the artists that inspire you the most today? And why?
There are so much of them, but here are few:
Cody Eich: his tattoos are perfect mix of different styles. They look cool as prints too.
Matt Buck: a tattooer with a good art college background. I have 2 pieces by him:)
Audrey Kawasaki: I’ve been her fan for a long time. Awesome style.
Lucy Knisley: her comics are really kind, stories from her life. Cute style.
Natali Koromoto: oh these hats on hats are the funniest. Bright and cute style.
Hikari Shimoda: perfect bright colors and mesmerizing eyes.
Brian Lee O’Malley: lovely style and interesting stories. Love his comics.
Kelsey Beckett: beautiful colors and girls.
Alisa Vysochina: my friend who draws super cute things.
James Jean: love his style. All this patterns.
Lianne Moule: beautiful watercolor tattoos.
ONEQ: art deco femmes fatales.
Onnie O’Learey: shibari and bright colorful tattoos.
Do you have something that you've designed that you are most proud of?
It’s a tricky question:) ‘cause I am proud of almost each work after finishing it, but then comes the next one. For example, this work. It is a remake of my older piece and I feel pretty damn proud that I’ve evolved and I can see the progress.
If you had to give 1 piece of advice to someone just getting started in the creative field, what would it be?
Don’t be super harsh on yourself. Just continue working. You’ll be getting better and better:) I don’t believe in talent, there’s just the time you spent on polishing your skills.
Finally, where can we find you and your art online and get in touch with you? How can we buy your creations and support your work?
You can follow
My tumblr: natashatsozik.com
And you can buy my art at my Etsy shop: natashatsozik.etsy.com
If you have any questions, get in touch with me via email@example.com ^___^