Inspired by old Disney flicks, Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake, Natalie Kilany learned to draw long before she could write. And those early influences show through in her work today – her sweet, naïve little characters are perfect for everything from children’s book illustration through to advertising and editorial.
Half-Egyptian and half-Indian, Natalie lives in the Wiltshire town of Marlborough in a Grade II listed cottage, which is surrounded by her rose garden. She’s mad about gnomes, as well as The Moomins, and finds endless amusement from her pet cat, Strudle. Natalie also listens to classical music, enjoys Georgian architecture and gardening, and is continually adding Joan de Bethel cats to her extensive pottery collection.
Natalie did her foundation course at Chelsea College of Art and Design, and followed it up with a BA in Visual Communication Design Illustration at Middlesex University.
Natalie’s motto is ‘live to draw’ and she believes that an artist should strive to develop and evolve their craft every day.
When she’s working on a picture book, she plots it out in thumbnail sketches first to decide on the overall layout. After that she works on full-size pencil sketches, which she transfers to watercolour paper where she applies watercolour paints, gouache and coloured pencils. The artwork is scanned in, with some shading and tweaking is done using the application Gimp.
Natalie’s style is simple and contemporary, with a little whimsical flair. When it comes to characters she aims to give them a touch of sweetness, while avoiding the overtly cute label.