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Illustration with Iris: Q+A with artist Natalie Rompotis

You describe yourself as a self-taught artist. Can you tell us a bit about that and about how you developed your own particular style?

I have had an interesting and somewhat unorthodox journey to becoming an artist as I have not formally studied the creative arts. For as long as I can remember I have loved to immerse myself in painting and illustrating.  My university studies however lead me to a career in law, and I worked as a commercial litigator for a number of years. Although I still created when I had the time, it was only when I took a career break with the birth of my children that my passionate hobby was to become my professional calling (a happy accident!). I’ve taken the time to explore various mediums and I believe that I’m still developing my aesthetic: inspired by my Hellenic heritage, my francophilia and the world of haute couture. It’s important to stay true to yourself and continue to hone your craft.  

You recently came into the Museum to do an illustration of Iris in the Messenger exhibition. Can you tell us what drew you to this piece in particular? Iris by Sam Jinks is truly a sight to behold. I remember the first time that I saw her, I was immediately struck by how incredibly lifelike she is. The artist created a sculpture of the ancient goddess in quite a contemporary medium, linking the past with the present. I tried to capture the fragility of her gazing into the tranquil waters at her feet, with her strength in the expansive gilded wings she carries.  

How have you kept creative during the lockdown period?  Keeping creative during lockdown has been vital for me as art, despite being my work, is also a form of mindful relaxation. Apart from my other work commitments and remote learning with my two lively primary-school aged children, I try to set aside some quiet time to draw or paint freely. I highly recommend it, too. 

You can find more about Natalie's work, including some mindful colouring you can do at home, on her website- here


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