Many artists find the blank page intimidating, but for Sydney-based illustrator Nathaniel Eckstrom a blank page offers a world of possibilities. And the world he loves to create is a playful and dreamlike place, filled with captivating little characters, each of which has a secret story to tell. The ability to visualise this gentle realm of fun and adventure has made Nathaniel one of Australia’s leading children’s illustrators, and has also caught the imagination of some global brands.
Nathaniel loves traveling in Asia and has a huge collection of vinyl toys, art, music and picture books. Some of his biggest inspiration comes from the lyrics of 80s alternative bands like the B52s, the Cramps and Jane’s Addiction. Artists he admires include Tim Biskup, Jeff Soto and Jay Ryan.
After studying graphic design at the KvB College of Visual Communication in Sydney, Nathaniel began honing his illustration skills and developing his own unique style.
The textures and preliminary artwork for each of Nathaniel’s pieces are developed using natural media such as pencils and acrylic paints. After digitising these raw materials, he puts everything together in Photoshop to perfect both the composition and colour.
With an earthy palette and tactile texturing, Nathaniel’s style is warm and playful, with a retro, dreamlike quality to it. Viewers can instantly relate to the universe he creates and its handmade feel.