Natalie Briscoe / Illustration

Natalie Briscoe, Watkins College of Art

What’s your ritual to get prepared, or in the zone, to create?

I have a very practical side, despite being creative at the same time. I like to use planners and make lists of what I need to accomplish before I begin the creative work. It helps calm my mind and gets me in the state to focus on my work. Then, I’ll usually put on music or audiobooks, which also help get me into the zone to work.

What was your childhood ambition?

Since childhood, I have always wanted to be an artist in some capacity. It’s a cliché, but I have been drawing as early as I could pick up a crayon. I spent a lot of my time drawing, painting, and making things as a child. I also actually enjoyed putting together booklets or laying out trifold presentations in school, which I think is where my budding love of design began.

I’ve found that inspiration often comes from digging into research and actively searching through my own world, experiences, and interests.

What experience would you like to have that you haven’t yet?

I like to do a lot of different things that can be both a blessing and a curse. Writing and illustrating a children’s book is high on my list of things I’d like to accomplish. I’d also like to do a public mural someday, or get into art licensing and illustrate textiles.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you do professionally?

I think I would be an English teacher. Besides my art classes, my favorite part of school was reading and writing.

What advice do you most often give yourself or others?

Stop waiting for inspiration to come to you. I have to tell myself this all the time. There seems to be a toxic myth concerning creative work that great art is just birthed from some mystical ether. At least from personal experience, I’ve found that inspiration often comes from digging into research and actively searching through my own world, experiences, and interests.

Natalie Briscoe, Watkins College of Art

What is the most underrated virtue in our world today?

Kindness. It can be viewed as a weakness, but I think it is much harder to be truly kind than people think it is. Spreading negativity is easy.

Which has been your favorite course at Watkins?

I loved my Illustration I class. I didn’t really have a sense of what my style was at all and because of this, I approached each project with a greater sense of experimentation and explored a variety of styles and media.

When do you know a piece is finished?

I don’t think anyone actually knows when a piece is finished. There’s an infinite amount of iterations and improvements that can be made to a piece. Sometimes it’s worth it to go back and improve upon a previous project for the portfolio. However, most of the time, for me at least, it’s better to just chalk it up to experience and move on to something new.

Biggest myth about being an artist?

That it’s all about natural talent. Hard work and a love for what you do will always take you farther than natural abilities.

Whose career would you like to have?

Mary Blair or Carson Ellis.

What does the world most need from artists?

Empathy.