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Lost City

Under Cover Artist: Natalie Owen

10 September 21 illustrations: Natalie Owen

Our Head Designer Natalie Owen explains how Disney’s The Little Mermaid inspired her first LeftLion cover in over a year…

Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m Natalie, the Head Designer for LeftLion - I have been here for six years this month, the first mag I helped out on was issue 71!

What was the inspiration behind the cover?
I bought myself a camera at the end of 2019 and then COVID hit so I was unable to really use it much. Finally, now things are opening back up, I'm trying to build upon my photography portfolio. I joined a Facebook group for photographers and models in Nottingham, and someone posted that there was an available slot to take photos with a few other photographers at TankSpace in Ollerton - I jumped on the opportunity!

I idolise Annie Leibovitz, I love her fairytale photography portraits and wanted to give it a go in my own style. One of the models at TankSpace, Chelsea Etherington, was wearing a black dress and had light blonde hair. When looking back at the photos, I thought it would be amazing to make her into an Ursula style (from Disney’s The Little Mermaid). I am obsessed with the Disney villains and after the new Cruella film came out I really wanted to make a set of editorial style photos inspired by Disney villains.

For this particular cover I combined photography and illustration. Hopefully it came out okay. I had a lot of fun creating it!

How does it compare with some other projects you’ve worked on?
I designed the cover of LeftLion issue 124 and I was really pleased with how it came out, so it was a bit of pressure to get this cover on the same level as that! 

What was the biggest challenge that you faced in creating the piece?
This most challenging thing was creating the cover while also laying out the magazine, craft beer week designs plus a 100 page student guide! I feel like I rushed the design a little bit but I'm still really happy with how it turned out.

What have you got planned for the future?
I started my own business as one of my 30 things before 30 bucket list. I joined up to The Prince’s Trust and “Luna Lily” was born! I take photos and illustrate for others in my free time. I am trying to break into the wedding industry and I have shot two weddings now but I am looking to take more. 

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the LeftLion readers?
Check out my website and give me a shout if you’d like me to take your photo for my photography project!

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