The newly elected children’s laureate, author and illustrator Chris Riddell, has recently stated that he wants to encourage children to indulge in drawing every day as well as reading. It is an ethos most likely shared by my blog guest this week, Natalia Talkowska of Natalka Design. She describes herself as being not only the Founder of Natalka Design but “Chief Visual Storyteller”… and she’s inspiring enough to be chosen by Microsoft to illustrate the benefits of the Microsoft Surface Pro in their recent advertising campaign (to watch the video, press HERE). I caught up with Natalia recently to find out about her business plans, the Microsoft campaign, her drawing ethos and I got doodled too…. Join us….Hi Natalia!…
Hi! I’m Natalia. I run Natalka Design and Doodleledo. The first is all about giving businesses more personality, playing with visual communication, refreshing consulting and show ways to liven events and meetings. Doodleledo is fun drawing get togethers for anyone that says ‘ I can’t draw’.
You have an unique business and one that you certainly excel in! When did you first discover your talent for drawing & doodling?
Since I was a kid I have always been drawing. My mum would say: give her a pen and a paper and she’s happy. Whilst studying I realised more that I can easily record real time conversations and ideas through pictures, not even knowing this could start my business one day. I just loved expressing my ideas as well as others through visuals. I remembered it much more than just text. I cry when I see an excel sheet, my brain can’t grasp it!
You founded Natalka Design/Doodle-le-Do. Where did you get the inspiration from to start the companies?
Inspiration can hit anywhere and anytime. Anyone that’s very visual knows what I’m talking about. Natalka Design was born at the right time after years of not really loving my jobs to finally standing my own ground and using my skills to help others grow and communicate easier. Now we’re a full service agency working on several projects at a time globally. Our ethos #resisttheusual is something we all treat with care and respect. There are enough approaches and ways of making things happen the same way. We wanted to be different and always be surprising. That’s how Doodleledo was born…a new, different idea out of my observations on how people network in the same boring way and how they often tell me they can’t draw….Doodleledo is for small fun gatherings with drinks and nibbles for anyone that says ‘I can’t draw’. The idea is to leave with a bunch of new friends, not business cards. I must have done something right as now we’re a growing community – launching in 10 cities across the globe with partners and press behind us. We’ve got exciting plans for the future, so watch this space and come to one!
Congratulations on being chosen by Microsoft to illustrate the benefits of the Microsoft Surface Pro in their YouTube video/advert. The video, apart from showing the tablet & its benefits, also showed ways that visual techniques could be used for events, team meetings and brainstorming. Was it a fun project to embark on?
Oh yes! Totally different fun experience, we had so many laughs and a great time filming in different locations. When the Microsoft team approached us, we knew it will be a great new adventure to embark on. The idea to film me working in natural environment came naturally after first meeting. We knew it would be a great way to showcase some inspiring new ways of working better and faster. Hopefully that came across.
Powered by Natalka Design, Doodle-le-Do parties were started in London in 2014 and have since spread further afield to Dublin, Poland, Dordrecht, Milwaukee, Nairobi, Toronto, Atlanta, New York and Paris. In fact, more cities are being added as we speak! They sound great fun – can you describe a typical party?
This video will hopefully give you the best feel of it. To really experience it from within, come and join us in London or any other city from where they’re run. If there’s no Doodleledo in your city and you’d like to run your own, get in touch, let’s make it happen, it naturally grows from word of mouth and people seeing it’s a new, fun relaxing and creative way of meeting new friends. Best of all, you get to draw again, like when you were a kid, without thinking too much about it, just enjoying yourself!
Have you got any drawing/doodling tips?
Just do it – get a pencil and pen and observe things – start drawing. It’s like any muscle, it takes practice to develop it. I wasn’t straight away drawing as I do now. It’s such a great thing for your brain to keep it young, energised and on creative mode.
You’ve worked in a variety of places from 10 Downing Street drawing the Prime Minister to a 5 Star hotel in Miami Beach speed drawing at a tech conference for 3,000 people. What has been your favourite assignment?
I don’t have one favourite as sometimes the most initmate work like visualising private thoughts by a CEO of a company and drawing their stories feels so inspiring, special and private, like they’re sharing a piece of themselves with you is way cooler than speed drawing at huge conference. So I’ve got a lot of favourites that we can’t show results of to the public as it’s just for the internal communication but one of my most favourite assignments would be connected with travelling to new places. That’s always an exciting learning experience.
You have many fans of your artwork, including celebs such as Khloe Kardashian and Jonathan Ross. Is there any famous person (dead or alive) that you would love to meet to doodle?
Stephen Fry…we would definitely have a cool conversation. It may be possible though that I wouldn’t have enough paper to cover his thoughts! I wouldn’t mind meeting Beyonce and draw whilst she sings haha.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I think it depends on my mood. For meetings or events you’ll see me wearing something comfy yet classy, a black nice jacket with a splash of colour underneath is always a yes but for everyday I like casual, chic, city girl kind of style.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
The list is long but I love Anthropologie, Revolve, Goodnight Macaroon, Asos and Free People for fashion; Other Stories for beauty products; and Intimissimi for underwear.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
Oh, this is hard! So many!! I’m definitely a shoes person… so shoes and cute dresses are on my list.
Boots or Shoes?
Both…depends when and what’s the occasion!
Links you would like to share
You can catch me here:
Wow, thanks for chatting to us Natalia -and I absolutely adore my doodle. I love to doodle – especially pictures of shoes – but faces are not my forte! Have I got any artistic doodler blog readers? What do you love to doodle pictures of? Do you think doodling could make your company meetings more entertaining? I love to hear your views so please get in touch & comment!
All photos and videos have been published with kind permission of Natalka Designs.