Illustrator Spotlight: Natalie Banker

© Natalie Banker
Jan. 1, 2019

On the first of each month in 2019, we feature an illustrator who won or placed in our Kidlit411 Banner Contest, and we switch our website banner and Facebook page cover image. Today we present Natalie Banker, who won first place, and her work.  


Tell us about yourself and how you came to illustrate for children.

I've always had a sense of wonder about life and the world at large, paired with a love for creating (and consuming) art in all forms. I have also been an avid reader since forever. Making bright, whimsical art that tells a story feels natural to me. Connecting with people through art is truly a most marvelous job to have.



© Natalie Banker


Congrats on winning the Kidlit411 banner contest! Tell us how you approached this project.


© Natalie Banker

Thank you bunches! I am so thrilled to have been chosen. All of the entries were incredible. To begin with, I knew that your previous banners were centered around the birds on a wire theme and to me that speaks to the idea of communication, togetherness, and sharing (all things Kidlit411 is great at!!) as well as a general feeling of 'elevation'. So I started with an elevated location (tree fort!) and created 2 friends bonding over their love of reading. The squirrel joined the party because I just can't resist including a cute animal if I have the chance. 

What is your typical illustration process?  

I always start with pencil sketches to get my brain fired up. I also like to do quick color studies in crayon to plan out where my lights and darks/warms and cools will live within my compositions. Then, depending on the piece, I will either transfer the sketch to cold press paper and watercolor away or scan it and use Photoshop to 'paint' on top of the sketch. 


© Natalie Banker



For this piece in particular, I really wanted to try out my newfangled drawing tablet, so I scanned the sketch and jumped right in on top of my loose, preliminary sketch.
© Natalie Banker

What projects are you working on now?

There are a few different irons in my fire at the moment. I am busy crafting cute little brooches to sell in local stores and through my Facebook page, I am teaching private art lessons, and I am speaking with a local author about working on a second picture book together (the first book is called GOODBYE, COOK STREET by Frances Russell) all while querying my little heart out to agents and publishers. 


© Natalie Banker


You do a variety of things, from illustrations to painted objects to logo design. Do any of these artistic endeavors influence each other, and if so, in what way?

I really enjoy working in all kinds of media. Depending on the client and the nature of the project it is great to be able to flex different creative muscles to provide the best possible work for each situation. It's nice to mix up my work flow so I can stay creatively motivated. As a freelancer, a diverse income stream is super important for getting through the lulls.


© Natalie Banker


What is one thing most people don't know about you?

I taught myself to play the ukulele and love to jam out to Tom Petty tunes and various '90s hits. I'm also highly snack-motivated. Give me all of the snacks please and thank you!


© Natalie Banker

Where can people find you online?

My website is www.NatalieBanker.com , Natalie Banker Illustration on the Facebook and @NatalieMakesArt on Instagram and Twitter. 


© Natalie Banker

Natalie lives in a cozy central Connecticut town with a surly old cat named Django, a spunky rescue pup named Pauline and her loving husband/best buddy, Mr. B.

10 comments:

  1. Congratulations Natalie! Your banner is awesome! Love seeing all your artistic talent and hearing about your process. Keep up the good work!

    LOVE the name of your surly old cat!

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  2. Hooray, Natalie! Loved learning about your process. Your art makes me so happy.

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  3. Natalie, I checked out your website, and your drawings are terrific! I love your art, because it's whimsical. If I had a book that needed an artist you would be my choice.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your story with us today. I enjoy your art!

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  5. Looking great! Love your process and the other fun things you do. :)

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