We have a lot of amazing individuals who give their time and talents to the Collective, and one of these generous souls is Natasha Vermeulen. A graphic designer, illustrator and photographer, Natasha’s unique artwork can be found on t-shirts, Melbourne Cup invitations, the streets of Auckland and now on the cover of the very publication you are holding in your hands.
I love drawing people and cartoons, and letting the illustration style evolve naturally. I always sketch first – basic pencil on paper – and then switch to digital painting to play with colour palettes and work up the refined forms. Illustrating the cover art was amazing because I wasn’t restricted in what I could produce. I envisioned a pattern of musicians or music themed elements wrapping around the cover, but had the freedom to move away or come back to this concept whenever I wanted. While creating the pattern layout, the musicians seemed to be floating in space, which led to the stars/heavenly bodies/cosmic artists vibes.
For conceptual sketching tuning out in a noisy café helps me to focus or just listening to music with my headphones in. Music is a source of inspiration for visual art. And vice versa. For this project it was a no-brainer to listen to whichever artist I was drawing at the time. Man, New Zealand has some awesome musicians. Instagram is also a great source of inspiration for me, personally, right now. Being given permission to consume what people choose to record, their everyday moments, is a real treasure. Thomas Oliver’s dog makes an appearance on the cover for this very reason!
I’ve been lucky enough to work with people and agencies that all give so much of their time and talent to keep the sense of community alive. One Percent Collective is an example of this, which is why I was so keen to be involved in this issue – I couldn’t resist putting my hand up for the cover, especially when I found out it was about music.
The way your heart can fill or break within one song says it all. As a person who prefers imagery to writing to express myself, music can conjure those emotions I might not be able to put into words. Food for the soul is more than apt. The strongest spiritual experience I have is when I’m listening to music.
Photography by Scott Cricket. Words by Jd Nodder
Say hi to Natasha at www.fromthemill.co.nz