Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Mal.
Natalie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up on an orchard in Vista, California. I remember always feeling in awe of the nature around me. I spent a lot of time as a child curiously wandering through the trees, exploring the hidden creek behind our house, and observing all the plants grow in our garden.
My grandparents on my father’s side used to come visit us every year. My grandmother and I have a very close relationship, and we would often spend afternoons painting together. These moments from my childhood fostered a love of both nature and creative expression.
When it came time to choose what I wanted to focus on in school, I based my decision on my love for people, science, and art. I graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s in Fine Art and Cognitive Science. As an interdisciplinary field, cognitive science combines ideas from psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, linguistics, computer science, and sociology. Learning about the human mind from these multiple perspectives served as a catalysis for my current style of abstract paintings.
I find it fascinating that while our minds exist in a physical world, they also exist in an abstract space. Through abstract painting, I depict my own type of brain image mapping to capture inner phenomenon through experimental combinations of color and textures inspired by natural elements such as rocks, trees, tide pools, etc. Through the content of my work, I bring up conversations around topics such as mental health, the connection between art and science, and psychological experiences.
Currently, I am spending my time deepening into my art practice, and I plan to create a new series of work. I am excited to produce this next wave, and I intend to show them later this year.
It has been challenging yet highly rewarding to navigate and carve my own path in life. It has led me to commit to a life of growth and alignment, and I feel grateful to have met amazing individuals along the way who believe in me. It lights me up to be able to make art and create content that can inspire others.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of my greatest challenges was getting diagnosed with a severe autoimmune disease during my first semester in university. While devastating, instead of dropping out of school, I scaled back and I focused on my health. In a beautifully unexpected way, I am grateful for this redirection of my life. I had always been so focused on my studies that I hadn’t really stepped back to really get to know me.
My healing journey was rich of insights, holistic health, new friends, explorations, and self-discovery. I enrolled in yoga, meditation, art courses, and cognitive science courses which all contributed to helping me create a healthier life. Upon recovery, I came into a new self-identity with a heightened desire to help others.
It is in hindsight that I can see most clearly how my challenges have shaped me into the person that I get to be. I recognize that these are the moments where I get to surrender, during which I am humbled and I look to find deeper grace and faith.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My business is for creative projects, which has two branches – visual art and creative content development.
For visual art, I display and sell my artwork online and in galleries. I specialize primarily in abstract paintings. I also accept commission-based work. If a client is interested in a personalized piece, I enjoy sitting with them and learning about them since my approach to art is intuitive and process-based.
In addition to creating artwork, I host art nights and artist meet ups. I love bringing people together to share work, to connect, and to create. Collaborations have become a very fun space for me to work in as well.
As a creative content developer, I offer services for content ideation as well as designing personal/professional events, workshops, and programs. I am proud of my work on this end of my creative business endeavors because I get to support clients who are passionate about creating content to help people.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I believe trusting myself has been the most important to my success thus far. The times that I listened to that tiny voice inside of myself telling me what I actually want and where I want to go is how I have found the success that is in alignment with who I am.
That faint voice has since come to be louder since I have developed a deeper relationship with listening to and following it. By tuning into this intuition, I created a healthier relationship between my mind and body, which has been key for me in developing my inner guidance.
Trusting myself gave me access to developing my authenticity, which I believe will help me continue to find success.
- Website: www.nataliemal.com
- Phone: 760-845-7695
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @natalie.mal.art