Introducing Natalie Foss, a Norwegian freelance illustrator, currently based in London.

Natalie Foss is a Norwegian freelance illustrator and artist born in 1987 in Oslo, Norway. She’s currently based in London, where she works from a small, cozy studio space. Natalie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in illustration from Kingston university in 2013, then moved back to Norway for a few years, before she decided to move back to London again in 2019. When drawing, Natalie primarily uses coloured pencils on paper, but getting the hang of and enjoying working with digital tools too. Natalie works in different fields, from personal projects to commercial commissions, and focuses on strong colours and contrasts. In her drawings she often mixes the flat, almost graphic, with the 3-dimentional and detailed - often portraying alienated beings adorned by 60s/70s inspired patterns and motifs. She finds inspiration in the everyday life – music, the ups and downs, people, words, subcultures, fashion, patterns, light/shadow, and other observations.

When did you start illustrating?

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, but I started illustrating professionally in 2014. It’s been a long journey!

Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career, perhaps your teacher, family, friends?

My parents and friends/co-illustrators. I used to rent a desk space at Blank Space in Oslo, with other illustrators and creative people. Very supportive people, all of them. We often had inspiring chats, and I always left the space feeling empowered and positive. Same goes to the space I rent from now in London. A great bunch of supportive people!

Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?

Kind of, but maybe not as a job. I didn’t know illustration was an actual profession until later in life! When I was younger, I actually wanted to be a veterinarian.

What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate?

I love illustrating fictional people, clothes and starry stuff! And things that are related to mental health, emotions and alienation.

How would you describe your style?

I would describe it as very colourful, and a little bit melancholic and mystical. Someone once called it coloured pencil poetry, and I’d say I like that description!

What is your favourite collaboration to date? 

There are many collaborations I like! I did a book cover illustration for Penguin Random House/PYRG US, which I really enjoyed working on. It was such a positive experience. I’m also a fan of the collaborations I’ve done/am working on with Laurence King Publishing. (Card decks!)

What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency?

I haven’t been represented by an agency before, it’s always great to try out new things and widen the horizon! Illustration can be a very lonely job, so being a part of something (like a team) feels good. And I like what Illo Agency stands for.

Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?

I love Adrian Tomine, Charles Burns and Daniel Clowes’ comics and graphic novels. And I’m a big fan of Wes Anderson.

Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?

I’m currently working on a drawing for an online exhibition curated by Wow x Wow, called “Stardust Antennas”. I’m drawing some mystical people and creatures! The digital opening night is 6th of August. 

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favourite?

Yes, I love listening to podcasts (and music) when working. Some of my favourites are Ologies (funny and interesting science-adjacent podcast), Creative Boom and Unexplained.

If you have any questions or a specific project in mind, please do get in touch: [email protected]

at illo agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.