Natalie Anne Howard

  • Posted 104 months Ago

Drawing from the "Canadian experience", Natalie Anne Howard creates grotesque, paranormal and surreal drawings which blur the line between real-life and imagined myths.

In her rural Canadian hometown of Truro, they had a huge pile of scrap as their center piece. Just beside was a men's only hotel with the storefront converted into a living room where you could watch an old guy watching Wheel of Fortune as you walked past. Growing up in such peculiar surroundings it's easy to see where her style and re-occurring themes originate from; continuously drawing humans or animals and their destructive relationship with each other. "Mutations and environmental degradation, macabre imagery and the paranormal are all things that I am preoccupied with".

Although Natalie's work is clearly grounded in technical draughtsmanship, it's refreshing to see an artist who's so open to using technology as a medium. "Experimenting with video led to bringing my drawings into the computer. I have always been interested in using it as a collage tool and am really into what can be done with editing. Experimenting with animation seemed like the next step in making something more complicated. I even got into Flash coding for a little bit. It's the same with comic books, which I have been working on recently, in trying to figure out how to elaborate on drawing."

In terms of more traditional references for inspiration, Natalie says she can always turn to the work of Amy Lockhart, Shary Boyle and Aurel Schmidt as well as old horror films by David Cronenburg and John Waters. They "show the human fear of the mutated body merged with technology and the repulsive insanity and nostalgic 1950s". But she also loves dumb comedies like Weekend at Bernie's 2 and even used a scene from This Is Spinal Tap in her collaborative installation with artist Tanya Busse.

Commercially, Natalie has only worked for VICE, illustrating some of the articles in their Guide to Montreal, but with such a prolific outpouring of work, we're certain Natalie has a very bright future ahead of her. In terms of personal work, we can expect to see a comic about a sea hag very shortly.

Photos courtesy of Natalie Anne Howard