Title: Graphic Designer
Education: High School Diploma
Career History: Owner, Graphic Designer, Blaze Designs (2019-Present)
Company: Blaze Designs
Natalie Parker, Graphic Designer at Blaze Designs, has been recognized as a Marquis Emerging Leader for their contributions and achievements in the field of art.
Fueled by her burning passion for art, design, and creative expression from a young age, Ms. Parker sought a career with which she could help make a difference while also having control over her work. Upon graduation from high school, she struggled to find a job that was right for her and so, she decided to turn what she was good at into a business of her own. Since 2019, she has found success with Blaze Designs, creating art and digital art for clients through commissions; her unique style and artistic vision, influenced by the works of her heroes Vincent Van Gogh and Hayao Miyazaki, reflect how she sees the world in a different way. “It’s not super accurate or realistic,” she noted, “but it’s mine.”
It was in middle school that Ms. Parker’s world opened up, a world splashed with varying hues of Post-Impressionist paints. Her art teacher, also a massive fan of the “Doctor Who” TV series, showed an episode in class in which the Doctor time-traveled to help save Vincent Van Gogh from a horde of creatures. She had never known about him, but this episode and its characterization of the eccentric Dutch painter blew her away. From there, she became a dedicated fan of him and his works, writing two or three biographies, watching movies and documentaries about him, and blogging about him online. With Van Gogh as her all-time favorite artist, she couldn’t stop drawing and painting. Additionally, her grandfather had a book of sketches by another Dutch visionary, M.C. Escher, whose mind-bending and dark works served as an imaginative escape for her. From Escher, she was inspired to create worlds and express other people’s stories rather than her own.
As an artist, Ms. Parker’s most notable and proud achievement has been her numerous invitations to compete for the Banditto Residency, an international “invitation only” art competition where the prize is accommodation for several weeks in Italy. In order to be involved in the competition, one must be recognized by esteemed artists with years of experience. She has also been featured in many magazines for young entrepreneurs and artists. Outside of her primary endeavors, she is a Google-certified graphic designer, has a CPR certification, is a medical scribe, and has volunteered for Boy Scouts of America and several animal shelters. On a more personal level, she has found it incredibly rewarding to see and hear from people who strongly connect with her work. Being an artist, she says, can be a very cynical and challenging way of life. “Our minds are constantly filled with screaming and self-criticism,” she said. “We question everything. It sometimes feels as if we are a different species. [But] it is so fulfilling to see your work change someone’s life. When you do get a really genuine reaction, it makes it all feel worth it.”
Looking toward the future, Ms. Parker aspires to work out of her own studio, wanting to be able to live off her art. She hopes that her fellow artists and creatives are able to feel self-love and self-improvement when it comes to their work and how they view it.