We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Palmer-Osorio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
It may seem counterintuitive, but my work life balance improved so much once I got a full time job outside of my creative field (animation). Back when I dedicated all of my time to my freelance work and my Etsy shop, I would completely overwork myself while somehow getting less done. Now I have a full time job that easily pays my bills, so the weight of totally relying on my work selling is off of my shoulders. I can take on freelance projects that actually excite me and fit into my schedule and if I have a lot going on, I can temporarily close my shop and open it back up later without stress.
I know plenty of artists who rely on freelance and independent work and it works out great for them. It just was not the right path for me at this point in my career. Relying totally on my art to support me meant that every moment that I was not working was a moment that I was losing money and exposure. This mentality meant that even my down time was stressful.
Keeping a good work life balance is so incredibly important for mental health and from my perspective, it’s something that the animation industry especially can struggle with a lot. I know so many animators who will completely overwork themselves until they are sick, but will just brush it off because it is a “dream job”. It’s hard to take a step back and realize that everything that you are working for isn’t going as you planned, but for me it was necessary.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As an artist, I love to mix it up and jump around between different mediums. This is a real challenge because consistency and specialization in a style and medium is so important when it comes to actually being able to market yourself as an artist. This is where stop motion became very important to me. I can play with just about any material that I want and still have it fall under the umbrella of animation.
When I was in school for animation, I also found that strictly working digitally was really not for me. I severally missed being able to work with and create with my hands. I still love creating more modern media through animation, but it would not be my work if it did not have a tactile and handmade feel.
I still feel like I have a lot to figure out in terms of who I am as an artist. I honestly probably always will. I think that that is what makes being an artist so interesting though. It is more of a journey. Not a destination.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am definitely more of a homebody, but I do still love getting out and exploring the city every once in a while. I am a huge plant lover, so the Botanical Gardens is definitely one of my favorite getaways. Ponce City Market is also a must visit for me.
Now that I live out in Marietta, Marietta Square is one of my go to spots. I love shopping local and Marietta Square is really the place to do it.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have had so many amazing people help me along my journey that it would be impossible to name them all. I do have a few teachers that especially come to mind. Before heading off to college, Thomas Caleb Goggans helped me to develop skills in drawing and painting that really set me apart right from the start. I had several incredible professors during my time at SCAD Atlanta, but Professors Becky Wible Searles and Matt Maloney played a special roll in encouraging me to pursue stop motion and helping me to figure out how I might fit in the animation industry.