Natasha Natarajan is a British-Indian visual artist funding her autobiographical comic strip ‘FML Comics’ and zine habit through Graphic/Web Design, Illustration, Arts Administration, Education and a career that basically makes no sense on a CV. Natasha holds a BA in Indian History and has worked in the arts in Copenhagen and Scotland. She has recently moved home to London where she is whole-heartedly winging it.
In the second of this new two-part series, Natasha shares some more of the women in music who have changed her world; telling us what they mean to her, and sharing a unique original illustration.
Women That Changed My World
When I love something it generates a lot of energy in me. In the past I’ve unhelpfully unleashed this energy on various people in my life. But drawing has become a wholesome and productive way for me to deal with it; it feels like a labour of love when I draw someone that’s important to me. I started drawing musicians in 2017 – I listen to their music and draw. As much as possible I try to find a photograph of them playing, rather than a press shot, because I think it’s important to me they’re doing what I love them for. I am so inspired and encouraged by the work of other artists. I hope you enjoy these renditions of the women I have loved!
We are all living in a cognitive-dissonance reality. We want to live a certain way or do a certain thing, and we don’t because we are emotionally attached to how the group thinks. The hive mentality takes over. But you know what’s right in your mind and your heart, and if you’re strong enough to detach from the hive then sometimes, just sometimes, you may be able to do the right thing.
– Speaking in thevulture.com, 2018
I just love this sound. I love the way it feels in my body. I will forever be thankful that this music exists and that I have been made aware of it. The combination of heavy bass and a soulful female voice makes me weak at the knees. Under the spell of this music I momentarily forget about my problems. All I want is candlelight and a hug from my speakers.
“Be sure you love the art more than you love your ego and start working yesterday. Always be humble, speak less and listen more. Please don’t be vain and proud, it slows your evolution.”
– Speaking in meusemba.com. 2018
Sara Tavares is a strong embrace on a sunny beach. She makes me want to get up and sway side to side in someone’s arms. I love the atmosphere her music creates. I was obsessed with the lyrics of the song ‘Coisas Bunitas‘ – “Say beautiful things to me… Tell me that my curly woollen hair reminds you of a queen’s crown…” They’re delivered in such a sexy way. The melody completely seduces me. It’s as if someone is flirting with me.
“I write songs because I’m fucked in the head and need to get something good out of something bad… There were things I couldn’t say to [Blake], but I never thought, ‘This would be a great song. Who’s going to hear this?’ I thought, ‘Fuck, I’m going to die if I don’t write down the way I feel. I’m going to fucking do myself in.’ It’s nothing spectacular.”
– Speaking in www.spin.com, 2007
I have an Amy Winehouse poster on my bedroom wall – that’s the kind of fan I am. She gives me the confidence to have feelings and be crassly honest about them. I became fully and proudly female under her guidance. Her lyrical honesty and unpolished voice touch me deeply. She will always be my favourite jazz singer. I love the way she talks about music in the song ‘Half Time‘, it reminds me to be viscerally connected to my art form and helps me recognise the great privilege of having music in my life.
Huge thanks to Natasha for her inspiring words and truly beautiful illustrations! If you missed it, you can also check out Part 1 of her ‘Women That Changed My World’ feature here.