Meet Nat Bowen
What made you want to be an artist?
I was in a job that I wasn’t finding fulfilling and I came across a talk called ‘What Do You Desire’ by the philosopher Alan Watts. It made me re-evaluate everything and ultimately changed my life by setting me off on a new creative path. If you haven’t already, listen to it on YouTube.
When you were younger what did you want to be?
Everything! I changed my mind all the time! I knew I wanted to do something creative though.
What has been your favourite personal moment to date?
When my husband (who isn’t an artist) proposed with a painting he’d secretly painted at work asking me to marry him! We have it hanging on our wall at home.
What is the favourite aspect of the creativity of what you do?
The sense of freedom I feel when I paint. It’s a form of therapy for me and I find it very meditative. I also feel a great sense of satisfaction when I’ve made something using my hands.
Who is the favourite person you have worked with?
It’s hard to single out one person! I like working with artisans and experts that help bring my ideas to life such as the diamond specialist who advised me on the crushed diamond for my ‘BLACK DIAMOND’ artwork and the team that helped to develop my signature mirrored boxes that I paint on.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Value your time and don’t sweat the small stuff, it’s just a waste of energy.
Who is your ultimate business inspiration?
Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter. She left her dream career in journalism to run with an idea she had for a new online business. The idea of selling high fashion online seemed foreign to designers at the time and now it’s one of the most successful online retailers. I can relate it to how the art world is changing. People are now more confident about investing in art via online platforms and don’t just resort to the traditional method of buying from a physical gallery. It has made acquiring art much more accessible.
What trend do you predict will be the biggest in the coming year?
Conscious consuming. People are investing more in things they intend to keep for a long time - such as art!
What are 3 words to describe yourself?
Passionate, dedicated, conscientious.
What are 3 words to describe your brand?
Colourful, contemporary, bold.
What is the secret to success?
Have a vision and stay focused. Work out what it is you are trying to achieve and why. Keep evolving and ask yourself ‘how can I do this better?’. Don’t let the water become stagnant. Work hard and surround yourself with people that have a positive influence on you. Don’t be fearful of making mistakes, you’ll learn from them. Keep the faith in yourself even when the self doubt kicks in. Play to your strengths and outsource the stuff you’re less good at. Enjoy the journey and be kind to yourself.
What advice would you give to future female generations?
Try out different paths in life if you’re not happy with the one you’re on, it doesn’t matter what age you are. You don’t have to get it right first time. I worked in fashion and property before figuring out that I wanted to be an artist professionally. I wore many hats before finding the one that fit.
What motivates you?
I’m driven by the ideas in my head. Once I get hooked on an idea I have to get it out of my system. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t or sometimes they lead to something else. The exploration of ideas is what keeps me moving forward.
Which 3 people would make up your dream dinner party?
Hilma af Klint, Beyoncé, Greta Thunberg
What are you grateful for?
My health, the support of the people around me and my creative genes.
What is one thing everyone should do?
Take a blank canvas and put something on it. There’s an artist in everyone but you have to get over the initial fear. It’s liberating once you start, I promise!
What are you reading right now?
‘Breakfast at Sotheby’s’ and ‘The Secret Lives of Colour’
What is your spirit animal?
An ant. I’m always lifting artworks twice my size!
What are you most unapologetic for?
A messy studio. I struggle to be creative and organised at the same time!
What is the best thing about having your own business?
Choosing how I want to use my time. I get stifled by routine and structure so being able to paint when I feel like it brings out the best in me. I also have full creative control over what I do. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What is the hardest thing about having your own business?
I can get too close to what I do, especially the artworks. I sometimes have to take a bit of distance from the paintings and revisit them with fresh eyes. I’m my own worst critic and I go through this weird love hate relationship with a lot of the works. I can see all the flaws in them that other people can’t see. It’s like looking at yourself naked in the mirror. I also find it hard to switch off from what I do. It consumes most of my thoughts but that’s not necessarily a negative thing, it’s because it means so much to me.
What is something you’re currently working on?
I exhibited a piece called ‘BLACK DIAMOND’ at the Saatchi Gallery last month which had 1000 carats of crushed black diamond and meteorite dust set in resin. I’m now looking at other precious stones and rare pigments to include in an exhibition of works in 2021. I’m also launching a new series of FRAGMENTS which are my smaller resin artworks and an edition of hand painted face coverings ahead of Christmas. The masks are mini artworks in themselves!
What will your brand look like in 10 years time?
Who knows! I’m all for the evolution of my brand so let’s see where the journey takes me with my work. I think it’s important to keep moving forward and stay open to opportunities along the way. A lot can be achieved in 10 years!