Nathália Suellen is a surrealist fine artist from Brazil. Her current artworks are born from a high-detailed mixture of photo-collage, 3D and digital painting showing a signature style that blends symbolism, retro-futurism, classical art and dystopia with extremely colorful surrealistic worlds.
Despite her personal illustrations, Nathália is mostly known by her commercial works and a notable clientele list which consists of musicians, photographers, best-selling writers as well as major companies including Random House, Penguin Group, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, McCann Erickson, Bloomsbury, Scholastic and Harry N. Abrams Books.
Nathália, where do you get your inspiration?
I was a weird child who loved to draw, mainly elegant girls with detailed dresses, lot of them! I spent my childhood coloring and cutting paper dresses to wear a paper doll. I also drew tiny eyes to change (I barely could hold them), hats and different types of hair. So, I think I’m still fascinated with fabulous dresses and some weird fashion.
Generally, I’m obsessed with “customizing”. I love games where I can spend hours customizing a character, I could kill for decorating a homemade cake! This passion for customizing led me to migrate to a kind of art where I could have more creative freedom, starting from scratch. I started my career working with photo collage for many years but it was not enough for me. My surrealist ideas were demanding something new and I was limited by photo resources and model poses. Since then I’m intensively exploring 3d art and mixing with my old collage skills and I’m very comfortable with my new work.
Mainly for aesthetic and composition, I have as main reference 3d masters like Ray Caesar, fashion designers like Alexander Mcqueen, John Galliano, Guo Pei and Hu Sheguang, fine art photographers such as Tim Walker, Eugenio Recuenco and painters like Gottfried Helnwein, Edward Hopper, Fragonard, Boucher and Salvador Dali. My inspiration goes from interesting storyline games (Layers of Fear, Bioshock, Alice Madness) to contemporary and classical art and I also pay close attention to the dreams I have.
Which is the relatioship and influence between your cultural background (country, studies, etc.) and your artworks?
It’s a hard question, I’m very obsessed with cultures I do not know. Although my whole life as a Brazilian has taught me to be determined and to do magic with so little but with all my passion. Maybe that’s our big treasure.
What are you much focused in?
My current focus is to think of art in a non-visual way, I want to convey feelings, I want to hurt people, make them cry or laugh anyway… I want to wake people up, internally, spiritually. I do not want something empty gracing the wall, I want the art to be alive. Life is too short and nothing is ours forever. What is an artist for? to make money? to be loved? This is all so selfish… A gift is to be used in favor of people. My art is not only for me, about my feelings, but about you and the way you see it.
Have you encountered any difficulties when you first started your art/freelance career?
I was innocent, self-taught, too young to think of being an artist professionally. I just wanted to create to express my feelings. Art for me has always been a relief from reality. I did not think it would be a career. Professionally, everything has always been very difficult and painful. Especially the fight against yourself, you can be your worst enemy. You learn that perfection does not exist and you have to go through many bad works and back pain. Trial and error.
Nowadays I suffer of inner pain, the works are better but pain is an old friend. My whole art life is difficult, it’s a struggle, unbearable pain. But this is good, my art can not live without deep feelings, It’s a vicious cycle, my pain creates art, my art relieves my pain. My best arts come from great sufferings and sleepless nights. But God gives me strength every morning. People do not know what you go through to make an art.
Over these years, what is the most important thing you have learnt from your profession?
Do what you love at any cost, do your best, do not hurt yourself to please anyone, don’t let fear or insecurity limit your capacity and never, never start a project without strong passion. Be humble, respectful and thank God for struggles, they will reveal your strength.
Do you think that a creative job is just creativity or it’s discipline too?
In my life, it’s discipline and patience. I can’t be creative watching tv all day. Creativity is like a little monster you feed daily, it’s a routine. The idea is there, subconsciously, waiting. “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it..”
Are you currently work on new projects?
Yes, absolutely. I’m always looking for a new journey (or challenge). I have some new personal works on process, new prints on my shop and some book covers coming out soon.
is like a little monster
you feed daily,
it’s a routine”
Artist Website > www.nathaliasuellen.com
Shop > nathaliasuellen.bigcartel.com
500px > 500px.com/nathaliasuellen
Facebook > www.facebook.com/nathaliasuellenofficial
Instagram > @nathaliasuellen
Pinterest > www.pinterest.com/nathaliasuellen
Twitter > @nathaliasuellen