Natalie Simon is an Art Student at OCADU, focusing on illustration. When she's not at school, she enjoys painting figure studies in oil paint, or hanging out (literally) doing aerial Performance Art. Natalie is also an ex-roller derby girl, so she can often be seen skating around Toronto on her old-school quad rollerskates.
What do you do:
Along with Illustration and Oil Painting, I also study Performance Art. I train pretty hard for the Aerial Art, dedicating a pretty significant chunk of my spare time to the training and travel required. It's so worth the time when I get to fly on a regular basis! It also gives me a chance to play around with fancy performance makeup, which combines my two artistic pleasures in life.
On her first pair of Fluevogs:
I worked in a store that sold Fluevogs a year or so ago, but every time I would go to get myself a pair my size would already been taken. Fluevogs for me have been elevated to this sort of unattainable pedestal - dream shoes really! So in a way, it was a dream come true to get to design an ad for Fluevog Shoes, shoes I really idolize and lust after!
On entering the FluevogCreative contest:
My boyfriend needed shoes! I wanted to surprise him with dress shoes as a grad present so he would have something to wear to interviews. However, I realized on an art studentís budget, it was not going to be possible. While perusing the Fluevog site, I remembered an ex-coworker telling me about The FluevogCreative Contests. I figured hey, I may be limited by an art student budget for normal methods of shoe acquisition, but that whole being an art student thing just might work in my favour for more Fluevogian methods of getting my hands on some fabulous footwear.
On how long it took for Natalie to design her winning creative:
It took a few days of intense research into thangka paintings, another few to hand-ink my outlines, and a few more days to colour everything in. Being very new to computer generated images it probably took me longer than it ought to have, and there was certainly a bit of a time crunch as Iíd only decided to enter a week before the deadline!
On the inspiration behind her winning ad The Miracle Jump:
I drew inspiration from the name of the shoes themselves - picturing the K2s as if worn by a modern Mountain God, with the tips of the shoes forming the peaks of the spiritís home. Taking (liberal!) artistic reference from Tibetan thangka paintings, in regards to the strong outlines and curlicue cloud forms, my aim was to capture the sense that to wear K2s is to move mountains and walk amongst the gods.
On what the dreams and future hold for Natalie Simon:
My dreams right now are rather up in the air (pun very much intended) for Performance Art. As for my work in illustration and painting, back on earth, Iím gearing up to get started on my thesis project. I will be working on a few enormous oil paintings as part of a larger series of paintings, and I am in the process of pulling together both a website for my illustration and a web comic. Looking forward into the future, I would love to see my paintings in more galleries, and canít wait to see where my web comic work will take me. Iím rediscovering a passion for illustrative activism too, so who knows, maybe my old dream of political cartooning is worming its way back into a place of prominence on my list of artistic goals.
Keep an eye out in Vice, Juxtapoz, Good, Filter, Fader, Bust, and Wax Poetic magazines for Natalie's winning design in print.
Feel free to email Natalie for more info.