With only a month to go until the start of this year’s Emsworth Arts Trail we are giving you a behind the scenes look at some of our artists preparations. This week we met photographer Natalie Miller who will be taking part in the trail for the first time.
Who are you?
What type of artist are you?
Do you have a background in art/design – when did you first start your creative journey?
My grandad painted, my mum is a published novelist, it’s in my blood. I did Art and Design as a GCSE finishing with an A grade, and went on to get an A grade in photography at A Level. When I was a teenager I was very into my music, I used to acquire photo passes to gigs (as big as Shepherd’s Bush Empire) and take my grandad’s 35mm film camera, and that’s where it all started – really longwinded trial and error!
Can you describe your creative process?
For my conceptual artwork, it’s a jagged process of trying to get ideas down in a sketchbook so that I can show whoever I need to rope in to model! I work only with natural light, so a lot of my ideas usually turn corners on the day dependent on the light, weather, how me or a model are both feeling.. and depending on how extravagant my ideas are, I spend some time in post using Photoshop. A lot of my landscape work is racing out into the photogenic weather – mist, snow, sunsets, before they disappear. I’m lucky enough to live on the edge of the countryside and the seaside.
What or who inspires you?
I listen to a lot of different music, quite a lot of “nordic-noir” sounding artists who write in dark and cut-off landscapes, their music often takes you off into some really cinematic headspaces. That, partnered with light and nature always inspires me. Other unknown and ‘struggling’ photographers are also a constant inspiration when I pass them browsing various social media platforms, there are some amazing creatives out there.
What do you enjoy most about the process?
The buzz of knowing you’ve got “that shot”, it’s almost a physical feeling, “yes, that’s it!” I also enjoy the preparation, I get quite hyped up about an idea and excitedly contact lots of people to get involved.
Can you describe your studio/workspace?
The great outdoors! And then anywhere that has a view past my computer screen. I’m quite portable, give me walking boots and a picnic rug, or a cup of tea and my lounge bathed in light.
What keeps you going whilst you work – soundtrack? Snacks? A fluffy assistant?
Snacks! Definitely snacks. As I mentioned before, lots of cinematic music – artists such as Susanne Sundfør, Emilie Nicolas, SOHN, Olafur Arnholds, Carina Round.. the list goes on.
What can we expect to see from you on this years’ art trail? – How does this vary from previous years (if applicable)
A bit of a mixture, this is my first year. I will be showing moody landscape pieces small and large, a selection of conceptual art perhaps to be viewed digitally, my published book covers, and then a showcase of my family and wedding photography set up as it could be in your own home, hanging on the walls or framed on the mantel piece.
Where are you exhibiting? – What can people expect from the location?
My home, in my bright and spacious lounge. Expect biscuits!
Why did you want to take part in the trail?
I moved to Emsworth in summer 2016, but by the trail in 2017 I was pregnant and our house was devastated by a flood and deemed unliveable, so I wasn’t quite able to provide a decent exhibition!
What are your artistic ambitions?
I’d love to assist a Director of Photography, or be one myself (after a degree here and there!).. moving image is just as fascinating. Failing that, I love making people feel good about themselves, I’d love to do work that has a positive impact on one’s self worth.
You can see Natalie’s work on this year’s art trail at venue 98, 7 Hollybank Lane Emsworth PO10 7UD