Blog: F+W

Artful Adventures in Mixed Media or Thoughts on being a Writer at last

Pinch me, guys! My childhood dream has come true. When I was a little girl and people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up I didn’t answer “be an artist” – I said I wanted to become a writer.

I took a lot of detours, and even if it wasn’t in my original plan I became an artist AND a writer. My book, Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – Art and Techniques Inspired by Observation & Experience, is going to be released on June 8th, 2017, and is now on PRE-SALE.

I’d like to share the back-story…

My father passed away when I was a baby and my mother had to work a lot to take care of us. Neighbors who lived in the apartment below ours took a liking to me and I spent hours with them almost every day – they became my honorary Aunt Isabell and Uncle Günther. They had a living room with floor-to- ceiling bookshelves on all sides, they took me to the library and helped me get my first library card. I read to them and with them, everything I could get my hands on. And I wrote stories! In fourth grade my teacher sent one of my stories to a national school magazine, it was printed. I was sooooo proud. In my teens I got an old typewriter, heavy as lead, but I banged on it with gusto, starting – but never finishing – epic novels.

I was going to study journalism, I had big plans, but for some reason (perhaps a practical streak) I decided to study law. Well…at least I did a lot of writing as a paralegal, but legal arguments weren’t very interesting. I knew that writing a book would be awesome, but I wasn’t sure what story I would tell.

Things changed when I left the legal world, became a full-time artist, designer, blogger and teacher and then moved to the States. I wrote for my blog, so things were beginning to brew. And this time when I thought about a book I knew it would be about mixed media. A student in my Creative JumpStart 2016 class wrote that she’d like to ‘jumpstart me right back’ and suggested I should write a book about the things that I was already writing about on my blog. This email was so well-timed. It gave me the nudge I needed to write and send a book proposal. (Thank you, Denise G.)

A year later, here I am, an author. Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – Art and Techniques Inspired by Observation & Experience! It took me and the publisher a long time to decide on the title. (They considered calling it Uber Artful Adventures, but maybe they figured that could look like a manual for self-employed drivers so that one didn’t pass muster.)

So, what’s this book of mine about?

It’s an invitation to YOU to go on an Artful Adventure with me. I wrote it to reach everyone I can’t meet in person with my classes, to share the methods that make mixed media accessible to all, no matter their skill level. It’s about the process from inception to realization, how observations and experiences can be turned into works of art. I give practical guidelines and oodles of examples of how I find inspiration, how I gather and keep my ideas in sketchbooks, journals and photos, and what materials go on the journey with me in an Art-on- the-Go kit.

In each chapter there are techniques and step-by- step instructions for projects – stencils, layering, collage, textured painting, mono-printing, photo manipulation, and more, to ensure that the reader can go on their own Artful Adventures and create their own meaningful mixed media artwork!

I cannot wait to finally hold the book in my hands and I cannot wait for you to read it. I am scared and excited at the same time and sometimes just thinking about it makes me jump up and down …To everyone who has followed my blog, taken my classes, shared this journey – YOU made this book possible and for that I thank you!

Comments (18)

  • Julie B

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    Linda said it best. I,too have been blessed with attending one of your live classes and being able to say “yes, I can do this!”. Love, love, love your teaching style, wisdom, humor, laugh but what is this about an accent? Thank you for sharing your backstory. You worked hard to realize your dreams and could not be happier for you and anxiously awaiting my per-ordered copy (hope you will visit next year so I can get it autographed). Congratulations!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so so much Linda- you are the best! I had such a good time with you- your enthusiasm is contagious. And I think I will be back ;) and I cannot wait to see you again! Loves!

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  • Sherry Canino

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    This is so beyond exciting!!! A huge congratulations to you!!! I can not wait to get a copy and thank you for sharing your story with all of us. It’s an honor to be here cheering you on and I so can’t wait to meet you in person it’s all I can think about lol ❤❤❤. Congrats again !!!👏👏👏👏

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      I cannot wait to meet you either! thank you so much for all your support- you are amazing. Have a wonderful week!

      Reply

  • Gill K

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    Congratulations on writing your book. It will be great to have, as I can’t get to any of your classes. I enjoy reading your blog & seeing your art. Thank you.

    Reply

  • Natalya Aikens

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    What a great story Nat! Can’t wait for my autographed copy!!!

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  • Maura

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    Nathalie, what a wonderful and inspiring story that led you to realizing your dream of becoming an author! Kudos!!!!

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe- thank you so much Maura – you are the best! Looking forward seeing you in a couple weeks at Color Crush!

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    How WONDERFUL for you and your readers Nat!!!
    Your creativity rocks my world and now I can have it in a book to cherish, hold, read and use.
    Can’t wait to get my copy.
    And congratulations for achieving another dream.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Aweee- Sue!!! You are a big part of this! Thank you for all your support throughout all those years!!! <3 Big hugs and I wish you a wonderful weekend!

      Reply

  • Nancy G.

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    Congratulations on your book and pursuing your dream. Life doesn’t take us in straight lines, yet it gets us to where we need to be. Your story is inspiring.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so much Nancy! You are wonderful and I agree – no straight lines in life :) Have a wonderful weekend!!!

      Reply

  • Linda Corbin Young

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    I am so very proud of you and so honored to have attended your classes, absorbed your wisdom, reveled in your humor (and your completely comprehensible accent, thank you!). You’ve given me inspiration, courage to try new techniques, and so many skills. Can’t wait to have you autograph my copy of this masterpiece!

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe, Linda- thank you so much – you are amazing and always so supportive! I always love having you in my classes and I hope I will see you in OK again in June …right after the book is out :) Big hugs and have a wonderful weekend!

      Reply

  • stephanie

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    Thanks for sharing more about yourself and the inspiration behind the book. So excited for you!

    Reply

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Photoshoot at F+W in Cincinnati, Ohio

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This June I went to Cincinnati for the photo shoot for my book. It was such a fun week and I loved learning yet another step on how an art & craft book gets put together.

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Christine is the awesome photographer for F+W and here she is taking photos of some of my artwork for the book. What takes me ages to do took her about 2 seconds per painting.

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The interesting part was how the step-outs for the book are being photographed. There was an insane amount of pre work involved. Basically each step needs to be prepared so it can be photographed without stopping and waiting for paint to dry or layers to be applied. So I had to replicate certain projects about 10 times, just so I could show the different stages of a technique. Which …admittedly while preparing wasn’t my favorite part- but it made the photo shoot a breeze!

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We also did some video shooting for the promo video of the book …yeah baby – hair frizz is my name on a hot and humid day – LOL.

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We filmed some footage on a train track – yes for a different reason when just getting rid of me *Wink

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Aaron below was looking out for me and that there is no train coming …well in this pic he is being shooshed away by me so I can take a picture, but for the rest of the shoot he was either protective or attaching clothes pins secretly onto us.

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Justin filming me doing “weird” stuff

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And Christine taking pictures of Justin filming me doing “weird” stuff

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Oh – and Aaron on hour 3 walking around with the clothes pin that I attached onto him unnoticed. Take that – LOL- I can play the game too ;)

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And for the rest of the week I was Ellie …because …you know certain coffee places like to give you new names – hehehe

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It was a lot of fun and I am so grateful that I get to work with such an awesome team on something that is so dear to my heart. The book is going soon to copy editing, so I have a bit of a breather time before I get it back. Oh man this is really not for the impatient one- hehehehe.

Have a wonderful day my friends .. yours truly

ellie

Comments (10)

  • Maura

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    Ellie….. cuz you are, of course, Nat-ellie! lol…. I feel your pain… uh I mean joy! XOXOX

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  • Joi@RR

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    Sooooooooooooo excited for you Nat. This was so fun to see! XXj.

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  • JoAnn Campisi

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    It is so fascinating to go behind the scenes….thank you for sharing. It will be fabulous because you are!

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  • Lea Fritts

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    Looks like you had a blast, even with all the hard work! Love your fun style, as always. You always brighten my day! Hugs!

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Awe -thank you lea- for brighten my day with your sweet comment!!! hugs

      Reply

  • Rae

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    What a fun post to read. I loved seeing the behind the scenes shots and the train track looked like a super fun photo shoot. You are so adorable. AND you are wearing my favorite sneakers! I live in mine and they look like it haha! Love ya!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      heheeh- Rae- mine are newer ones- the old sneakers fell apart after many years. Sometimes I look at them and think “boy …you like really new” LOL. have a wonderful weekend my friend!

      Reply

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