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Rising Stars: Meet Natalia Berglund

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalia Berglund.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I have always loved art. As a child, I went to a specialized Art Lyceum in Minks, Belarus where I studied classical drawing and painting techniques. After graduating, I moved to Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota, where I received a graphic design degree. I began working as a web designer, first at an advertising agency, then launching my own interactive design company. During this time, I was almost entirely consumed with my design career, but would create occasional pieces for my own enjoyment. I was happy with my creations, but felt that I lacked focus and continuity and didn’t yet have my own artistic voice. It was around this time that a friend of mine was hosting a charitable art auction and proposed that I create an artwork to auction off. The auction was four days away, but I was excited for the opportunity to get my work in front of a large audience. The piece I create was a stylized portrait of one of my coworkers and ended up being the top-grossing item in the entire auction. This success showed me that there was a market for my art and served as a catalyst for me to pursue it on a whole new level.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Being an artist is one of the most difficult paths one can pursue. There are so many challenges related to finding your style, advancing your art skills, marketing yourself and selling the work. I’ve been fortunate to gain recognition in the Minneapolis market, where I had numerous gallery shows and a solo museum exhibition. I recently moved to Los Angeles though, and one of my biggest challenges has been adjusting my workflow to my new smaller space and navigating the LA art scene during the pandemic.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I love working in portraiture as I feel that the human face is infinitely expressive. Portraiture communicates on an artistic level, but also on an instinctual level that I feel goes beyond what any other subject matter can communicate. When I paint a portrait, I depict the precise facial features, but tell the rest of the story through the surrounding elements. I also really enjoy the social aspect of working with my subjects and getting to know them.

I love experimenting and trying new mediums. My style and technique keep evolving and changing over time. Each new medium opens up worlds of creative possibilities and helps my artwork evolve. With my latest series, I incorporate elements from ancient icons and combine them with fashion-inspired portraiture and graphic elements.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Meeting fellow artists, going to gallery shows and connecting with gallerists is important. Nothing is as motivating as seeing inspiring work in person. Many established artists also offer video tutorials and mentorship programs. They can be found on Instagram.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Natalia Berglund or Alex Berglund

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