French artist Nathalie Lété paints whimsical pictures of nature across many different mediums. Whether adorning the pages of a children’s book or a stoneware dinner plate, there’s a sense of a nostalgia that hails back to a magical, dreamlike place. Inside that world, it just so happens that Old Tat’s feline favourites are a recurring feature often appearing amidst blossoming flowers. In our interview, Nathalie talks ideal worlds, inspiration and her inability to escape the cats in her neighbourhood.
What does your artistic style say about you?
It says that I like stories. I’m inspired by the folk art of many countries and I like to dream, almost to transport myself to a sort of wonderland. Yet I’m afraid of bad situations and bad people. All I’m looking for is harmony, humor and poesie.
You work with many different mediums, what is your favourite? Why?
I love to work with different mediums and don’t have a favourite one. That’s why I use them all! In the future I would love to work with more mediums such as glass, bronze and even mosaic for example.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
In my daily life I’m inspired by movies, fabrics, toys and objects that I find on flea markets. Of course nature and the light is a constant inspiration, but also books with images.
Animals play a large part in your work. What do cats mean to you?
I paint and draw many cats, but ironically I’m not a cat lover at all! I’m actually afraid of them, like I’m afraid of kids! Let’s just say I feel much better with dogs and birds…
Though cats are often the subject of my art because they look beautiful and where I live, I’m surrounded with cats because all my neighbours have them and we share the same gardens. I think there must be about 50 cats! I just have a dachshund and a canary.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a logo for a flower shop in New York. I’m also preparing some art pieces for a show in Boston next autumn. But I’ve always got many projects to finish for my publishers, from toys to fabrics to home accessories.
Artwork by Nathalie Lété www.nathalie-lete.com
Words by Alice Freeman