NZAAT Emerging Artists Awards

NZAAT Emerging Artists Awards

Currently shortlisted in the NZAAT Emerging Artists Awards!


Some new Prints

under my skin 4 - MonoprintUnder my skin 3 - Monoprint NZAAT Under my skin 6Under my skin 5 - Monoprint

“You’re getting under my skin” 2013

_Come as you are_. 2013

MonoPrint on Fabriano

Highly Commended – Friends of Pataka Award

Exhibition @ Pataka 30th May – 30th June

Blogging your way to a career in the arts

As an artist it is the process of creating that we put all of our energy into.  Speaking from experience I generally feel like I am running out of steam by the time it comes to promotion so… I have set myself a new goal to research how to make online promotion easier for a hardworking artist!

I have began my search by finding blog sites that will give me insight into how I can promote my blog online.  The first site I found to be  particularly helpful was launch grow joy which is a site that is specifically tailored to help artists promote themselves online.  This site mentions the following social media sites as important places to promote your blog (depending on suitability to your service/product) , Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and Etsy.  The most useful element of this blog that I found was; An easy to follow chart  titled ’30 powerful ways to promote your blog”.

 The key tips that I have taken from this are

1) Be yourself

2) Be a consistant blogger

3) Have good quality visuals

4) Join a blogging community and share ideas and interests with other bloggers

5) Comment on other relevant blogs and include a link to your post

I have included the chart as I found it such an effective way to visually  describe how to promote your blog online.


Another site that I have viewed that gave good advice on how to promote your blog was by  Heidi Cohen .  This for me was the most helpful as it offered,  “23 ways to promote your blog through social media”.

The main reason I found this  was such a great site was because everything was bullet pointed and easy to read quickly.  This is something I will remember for my future blogs; Simple to read = effective

Heidi Cohen’s blog caught my attention because her first statement was, “You should spend 20% of your time creating your blog and 80% promoting it “.  You can spend hours creating a beautiful, visually and intellectually stimulating blog post but if no one reads it, how are you promoting yourself?

This site gives main subheadings which gives tips on how to publicise your blog and I have summarised what was relevant to me.

Maximise the visual impact of your blog by; Having punchy titles and using images at the top of each post will create interest . You can also link your content to other social media accounts such as Google+  to help claim authorship of your content and  increasing your searchability.

Another tip was to Create a community;  To promote your blog, it is a good idea to reference and have  links to other blog sites so you share your own site.  You should also comment regularly on other blogs and create a list of influential blogs with links so you begin to get attention from key bloggers/artists.

Encourage social sharing  by including social  sharing links on your blog. You can achieve this by creating “pin-able”  images so viewers are able to view and re pin your images on sites like Pinterest.  Creating Infographics is also an effective way to share ideas visually on your site and they are also “pin-able”.

One of the most valuable pieces of blog info that I have taken from this site is to Guest Blog.  Guest blogging is where you write a post to appear on another persons blog.

The benefits of this are to :

1) Gain exposure from a different/wider audience

2) Enhance your brand by gaining creditability.  By appearing on other blog sites, your brand will be endorsed as you extend your blog community.

3) Invite guest bloggers to share on your own site to share information and ideas.

Overall I feel there is such great information out there that will help  artists promote there blog sites online, and I have realised that it is not a difficult task , there are many likeminded people out there

keen to share ideas and I look forward to doing so!

Becoming a successful self employed artist

As I am at the beginning of my artistic career I have come to the conclusion that  I must become more aware of and familiar with all the sites and organisations  that are simply out there to offer artist like myself help.

Whether it be to offer financial support, or tips on how to run a business, it is all just a click away.

I began by looking looking at Creative New Zealand’s website and found it offers an informative guide on how to apply for  project funding, art grants, and residencsies both national and international. It is great to see examples of NewZealand artists who have received funding and were able to see there project through .   The artists who were funded included people working in a range of media including visual arts, dance, music, craft, Pacific arts and theatre.  The site is well set out and also offers information and links to relevant workshops, seminars and coaching programmes.

Another site that is there to offer important information on how to start a business is of course  Here there are quick shortcuts the most helpful being, “Starting a business” which offers a step by step guide on all the things you need to know before you start.  Helpful areas of information include how to keep a cash book, income, assets, tax and GST  and overall  I found this a very informative site  that I will definitely use in the future.

Emerging Artists Trust is a charitable organisation that is based in Wellington and aims to support artists working in film, theatre and visual arts.  The trust offers three types of support; mentoring, project grants and professional development. It is  a good source for emerging artists to investigate when they are starting out in their chosen discipline.

Often I feel business help sites give me an information overload so it is refreshing to find a site like that breaks down what i would usually classify as ‘complicated topics’ into manageable sections that are easy to understand.  While this site is not solely dedicated to the arts, it offers information on business structures, names, registrations, tax’s, licences and permits, making sure you are well informed of your legal obligations before you start up.  Another helpful link the site offers takes you to a free business plan template that will help you to write your first business plan.

The last site that I will share today is Artists Alliance.  This site is a non profitable organisation that is aimed to support the NewZealand visual arts community by providing resources, career advice and networks.  Another aim of this organisation is to support, represent and advance the professional interests of artists and the great thing about this site is that there is a specific section dedicated to helping students and graduates launch their careers.  Their strategies to achieve this are to provide emerging artists with opportunities, relevant publications, mentor programmes and internships.

So just when you thought there is no help out there for a struggling artist, you don’t have to look very far before you can find a range of sites that will help you embark on a successful career in the arts, Good Luck!






Checking out some talent

Over the past week it has been great visiting the sites of other artists from both New Zealand and afar.  It is great to have another source of communication with like minded individuals who create art in such a broad range of media and who share similar themes in their work.

I have shared the work of  Cat Bailey whose site interested me as her work deals with environmental themes that are also present in my own practice.  I find her paintings particularly beautiful as I respond to her expressive application of paint. Amazing work!


Going going gone 2007

I am looking forward to hearing from the artists that I have set up feeds with, not only from overseas  but also artists woking locally including YeahNga who  is a Wellington based artist.

Nga explores portraiture and the figure through printmaking and  her work deals with disrupting ideals of beauty and how beauty is perceived in society.  The photopolymer print featured below I find especially effective as she has layered the image

with effects that evoke emotion.



LauraFlora is also a Wellington based artist who specialises in Illustration.  Laura has a passion for drawing animals and has the ability to bring characters to life through her drawings. I am looking forward to seeing

her illustrations in children’s books in the future!



Snaggletooth. Tucker 2011
Pencil on A3

It is great to see artists regularly updating their work and I also enjoy looking at past woks to see how their art has progressed.

As I am new to WordPress I am looking forward to seeing more amazing work and making contact with inspirational artists from around the world!

Natalie Smith

“It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. . . There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed  into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” Charles Darwin

My name is Natalie smith and  I am a multi-disciplinary artist who explores a range of media including oil painting, printmaking, fashion design and textiles.

Currently in my final year of a Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree at Whitireia NZ, I am driven by an interest in the natural world and explore evolution, life cycles  and the interconnectivity between species on earth.  Exploring the natural world through my art gives me a sense of belonging as I am able to develop personal theories not only about my art but my own purpose and place on earth.

My interest in the natural world extends to the landscape and I have produced paintings and prints that are both observational and abstract interpretations of the land.  I have produced both paintings for group exhibitions as well as specific commissioned art works.

I have a background in fashion with five years industry experience and a Certificate in Garment Technology, Construction and Pattern Making. I have a personal preference to work with organic materials including silk, leather, feathers and cotton and create signature pieces by translating prints to garments.

I have recently participated in the 2013 Virtaul resart competition that has seen me collaberate with a Malaysian student to create a collection of four looks inspired by the rebuild after the devastating Christchurch earthquake.  Traveling to Kuala Lumpur was an amazing experience as was working virtually with an overseas designer and having my work shown in a fashion show.

As an artist I think it is vital to collaborate, share and network with both local and international artists as well as industry professionals so I  look forward to sharing thoughts, images and opportunities with like minded creative people.

Thanks for viewing my blog


pic for blog

“Collection Series” 2012

Photopolymer print on Fabriano Paper 50x35cm