INTERVIEW with ARTIST NATALIE KRIM
by PENELOPE DARIO
ILLUSTRATIONS by NATALIE KRIM
CREATIVE EXPRESSION IS OFTEN WHERE WE UNCOVER PARTS OF THE SELF THAT REMAIN OBSCURED IN A WORLD THAT DEMANDS US TO BE PRACTICAL FOR THE SAKE OF SURVIVAL.
Natalie Krim is an Illustrator based in Southern California who found liberation through mark-making on paper. Her drawings evoke the tenderness of the feminine principle, yet they are structural and determined in a way that doesn't negate the power on this end of the binary. She bravely shares her vulnerability as we discuss how much of this life is about channeling the energy that wants to pass through us and how much there is to be gained when we remain open.
We would love to know more about your background and how you found your niche as an artist. We hear you even experimented with lingerie design—did you explore with any other mediums before finding your flow in illustration and painting?
I come from a family of artists, so my upbringing was very much centered around communicating through creating and seeing the world in a way that nurtures expression. Growing up I was so painfully shy and a little bit scared of the world, so drawing became this form of escapism that allowed me to straddle reality and another world. Looking back I can see I was constantly drawing on napkins and notebook paper—drawing was this tool that made me feel calm that I later on reconnected with. I didn’t get a formal education in art and I had forgotten about drawing until I realized in my early 20s that I was really struggling to express myself. I started to have these big emotions with no outlet and internalized them to the point I was harming myself just to have a release. At that point I went to see a spiritual therapist who told me drawing could replace the pain I was inflicting on myself: press down hard with a pencil and see something come out. My homework was to go and draw something. I started drawing these girls in vintage lingerie, which had always been a love of mine (I was in fashion school and have a background in the history of undergarments). That day genuinely changed my life. I’ll never forget that feeling of being so happy that I didn't want to do anything but draw—I haven't stopped since. People ask me to paint and I just don't like it, it’s too soft for me. I learned how to find my voice through my work. I found my niche as an artist as I found myself— it’s all emotion.