Natalie the wildlife artist

Natalie Toms.JPG


“I love drawing deers but I'm still building up my portfolio of other animals too”

Some of us are born with a natural talent. A talent that appears to be embedded into our genes that makes us naturally gifted at something. A gift and an ability to express ourselves by something we’ve discovered early in life. Natalie is one of those gifted individuals. Her discovery was a pencil.

As a child, Natalie loved to draw. Her first memories of putting pencil to paper were drawing cartoons, closely followed by the love of magical creatures. She developed her love of art as a child and made a career choice in life to embark on an education in art. She studied Fine Art at A level and Graphics and Illustration at AS level and then a couple of years later, an Art & Design Foundation Diploma. That gave her the confidence she’d lost during her A levels. University and Art college really wasn’t for Natalie. She moved to Bristol for a while to see what city life was all about and did some part time work here and there. But like most of us, Cornwalls draw was too much and Natalie returned to the lovely land we all call home.

Once back in Cornwall she then found herself a seasonal job at The Lost Gardens of Heligan gift shop. At lunch times she’d often bring her most recent drawings with her. One day she was drawing away, a barn owl at the time, and a member of the public happened to comment on her work. She asked Natalie if she’d email it to her once she’s finished as she would like to see how it came out. She loved it so much, she bought it. Natalie continued working at the Lost Gardens for about a year or so working as both a full-time sales assistant and a wildlife artist in her spare time. Her aim then was to develop her love of art into a business and she embarked upon a Outset Cornwall business course. That really helped Natalie understand how businesses work from all angles and it was shortly after completing that course that she decided to go self employed. Two and a half years later and Natalie is enjoying the freedom of working for herself. She told me it’s her dream job.

I asked Natalie if she had a favourite subject to draw or paint. She replied, “ I love drawing deers but I'm still building up my portfolio of other animals too”. From watching Natalie work, it’s clear to see that she really loves drawing and more recently painting too. She works out of her own purpose built garden studio where on many occasions wildlife such as deer, pheasants and foxes pay her a visit. What I loved about shooting Natalie was that she was so at ease with the camera and me chatting away to her whilst she worked. She remained relaxed, yet focused on the job at hand.

Thank you Natalie