Hi Natalie, please tell everyone a bit about yourself and introduce your brand & products.
Hi I’m Natalie and I’m a 44 year old Glaswegian mother to two children, Astrid and Evan. Originally I studied printed textile design at the Scottish College of Textiles in Galashiels and graduated in 2001. I started creating illustrated maps back in 2017 by accident really! I created the Shawlands map as an experiment and I received such a fantastic response from it that I started illustrating different areas of Glasgow and the buildings of the city. Since graduating I have always drawn at home but starting Nebo Peklo has really given me an outlet for my creativity. It isn’t my full-time job though! I work full time for the Scottish Qualifications Authority which I love but it is very different to my map illustrations. So between my full-time job, Nebo Peklo and my two kids I’m a very busy woman but this is the way I like it.
How would you describe your style and where do you take inspiration from?
Modern vintage inspired. Mid Century illustrators such as Miroslav Sasek, Alice & Martin Provensen, Olle Eksell are a huge influence on my work although I would never claim to be as good as them! I love 50’s/60’s design and I take a lot of colour inspiration from the era.
Tell us more about your interest in illustrating maps & buildings
Up until 2017 I had never illustrated a building in my life! My work before that time was very floral and I used inks and watercolours a lot so my work was very different. People always say you need to look up when you walk around Glasgow and I would say illustrating buildings has given me a new appreciation for the wonderful architecture of this city.
Can you tell us the meaning behind the brand name ‘Nebo Peklo’ and why you chose this?
Nebo Peklo is the Slovakian name for those folded paper fortune teller I used to make and love as a child. Nebo Peklo means Heaven Hell. I just loved that when I found out the meaning and I’ve been using the name since the early 2000’s when I had a design blog.
Can you tell us a bit about the process behind your illustrations?
All my illustrations are hand drawn on an iPad Pro. I then design and colour the maps using photoshop on the iMac. I love working digitally as it allows me to work quickly and I can create different colour combinations easily. For my illustrated maps I start off doing lots of research and plotting out using google maps. It can be tricky when you are not familiar with a particular area as you don’t want to miss out any important buildings or streets.
Where has been your favourite place to draw so far?
Favourite building to draw would be the Victoria Infirmary. It is such an iconic building in the Southside! Most fun thing to draw has got to be Billy Connolly’s banana boots. Loved seeing them in the People’s Palace when I was wee and I think they are etched in the mind of every Glaswegian.
Can you tell us about some of the commercial projects you have worked on?
I worked with Sustrans on an illustrated map for the new cycle path in the Southside – The South City Way. Other local projects have been working with the South Glasgow Heritage Environment Trust on a series of illustrated maps for their trail guide and front cover design. This has been a really popular book especially during the lockdown as it gave locals walking trails in their area. Other than that I have worked with Ox & Finch to publicise their new restaurant Ka Pao in the west end. I illustrated the beautiful green tiled Botanics Garden Garage which houses their new restaurant on Vinicombe Street. Border based Outpost Arts have been a big supporter of my work and I have produced some maps and trail illustrations for them in the past.
Tell us a bit about the area you live/work in?
I live in the Southside of Glasgow and always have. I love the Southside and I love all the independent businesses that have sprung up here over the years.
What would you recommend doing/seeing in your area to someone visiting?
If the sun is shining you can’t beat a walk through Pollok Park (follow the river path). It is one of my favourite places to be. Other than that I would recommend brunch in my favourite Cafe Strange Brew (if you can get a seat it is worth the wait!).
Are you working on any new designs at the moment?
I’m really excited to say I am working with a book publisher at the moment on a pocket sized Glasgow guidebook. Aside from that I continue to work on my map series. I would love to illustrate areas in Edinburgh and I get loads of requests to so that will be next on the list. I would also love to create a Scottish Islands series of maps. I just need to find more hours in the day! Since the start of lockdown I have started a range of plant and botanical illustrations. Drawing nature really acted as a form of therapy during the lockdown but I love drawing nature so much that I will probably continue with them. I also need to create another range of map tote bags that I sold out of at Christmas. Lots of ideas on the go!
Can you pick out 4 or 5 things in your working space that you can’t live without?
I’m not sponsored by Apple but I couldn’t live without my iPad Pro and my iMac. Other than those items a pencil and notepad is essential. I am an obsessive list writer! Also my sixties design classic anglepoise lamp is a workspace essential.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOUR WORK?