“Self-improvement should be your priority, more than outrunning or “outcreating” others you consider your competition.”- Natalie Nicole Lim, Brew Your Best Year Contributing Artist
Name, Age, What do you do
Name: Natalie Lim
What do you do: I’m an analyst at a telecommunications company, a calligrapher and crafter, and a freelance photographer
- Tell us about your story as an artist. How did you discover your love for art?
I’ve been fascinated with creating art ever since I was a kid. I always loved to design and add extra details and color to my school projects. But I always felt like I lacked the natural talent for it–i never considered myself gifted creatively, though I was always interested in it. It was only later in college and when I started working that I was able to explore and get into photography and calligraphy.
- What kind of artist are you? Describe your style/niche and how has this changed through the years.
I don’t have formal training in art (In calligraphy) and I feel that I’ve moved from trying to be a traditional calligrapher towards a more modern and personal one. I’m more comfortable with freehand than more structured forms. I prefer loose letters and scribbles over the more formal letterforms. In the same way, my photography has evolved from being structured to a more natural form–I used to feel that I needed a lot of equipment, but I’ve learned that keeping things simple and natural suits my personal taste, too.
- What is the highlight of your practice so far?
For both calligraphy and photography, weddings and events.
- Where do you get inspiration?
Books, long walks, getting to know my materials and equipment through exploratory practice and works.
- What is your creative process like?
It involves a lot of drafts! I doodle and scribble ideas on my planner, take in large amounts of coffee, and lots of trial and error.
- Do you experience creative blocks? What do you do when this happens?
All the time. I often get frustrated when my outputs don’t turn out the way I expect them to. I tend to set high standards for myself, and push myself hard, but I realized that sometimes, when nothing seems to work, it’s best to stop and take a break first.
- How do you choose what artwork/photo to create?
For calligraphy, I tend to be inspired by quotes from books and random words I encounter that have an impact on me and that I can strongly relate to. These are the lines I usually like to use for practice and outputs. In photography, I like to capture moments and emotions–it really depends on what’s happening where I am–people’s emotions, actions.
- Who are some of the individuals you look up to in line with your craft?
I find that I look up to a lot of local artists– Alessa Lanot, Anina Rubio etc. In photography, I find inspiration from my mentors in photography– Toto Villaruel, Nicolai Melicor, and the rest of our team.
- What’s your favorite artwork/photo that you’ve created?
- What kinds of challenges are an associated with your craft/job and how do you overcome them?
Time– it’s hard to juggle a full-time day job with everything else I do. It’s hard to find the time to meet deadlines for both my day job and my side projects. I once encountered a quote while randomly scrolling through my instagram feed. It was “Hustle or Holiday?” which struck me a lot. Rest is important, but for me, to be able to create and pursue my passions, sometimes rest and holidays need to take a backseat. My weekends are consumed and allotted to my side hustles. That’s just the way it is.
- What are your biggest lessons as an artist?
Don’t compare. There will always be someone out there better than you, with better tools, etc. Self-improvement should be your priority, more than outrunning or “outcreating” others you consider your competition.
- What do you believe is an important factor in creating a good piece of art?
Heart. If you put your heart in what you do, and your output makes you happy, then chances are, others will see and feel what you did, too.
- What advice can you give the community, especially emerging artists?
Keep going. We tend to be our own biggest critics and beat ourselves up over what we can and cannot do, but at the end of the day, it’s also you who needs to push yourself and motivate yourself.
- What is Brew Your Best Year to you and how has it inspired you as an artist?
Brew Your Best Year is a community. It provides opportunities for both learning and contributing your time and talent for others. It’s given me the chance to learn, meet others like me, and to share what I know as well.