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Natalie O’Brien


Natalie is a recent graduate of UC Santa Barbara with a degree in English: Literature & the Mind, a minor in Professional Writing: Multimedia Communications. Over the past four years she has worked as a freelance illustrator, art director for the Daily Nexus and designer and illustrator of Spectrum Magazine. She was a guest speaker in the English Department on the visual aspects of Victorian to Modernist literature, and graduated with a distinction in the English Major.

In Spring of 2013 she started the Catalyst Literary Arts Magazine, which featured work of the arts and literature community in Santa Barbara. UCSB granted her permission to create and lead a yearlong magazine publication course during her senior year, which gave students the opportunity to develop their skills in creative and critical writing, editing, design, fundraising, social media, event planning, publishing and more. She was awarded the Susan Gosling Community Service award for her work on the Catalyst, which continues to connect the arts and community at UCSB. 

Originally from Encinitas in the San Diego area, Natalie started drawing at roughly the age of 3.5 in preschool. Since then, painting and illustration have been a big part of her life. She is most interested in the way the visual expresses story. She’s recently been working on her cartooning in hopes of publishing a graphic novel or comic book some day. In her spare time she enjoys ukulele, flaneuring around San Francisco, and finding the nearest dog. She looks forward to reaching her big life goal of one day owning a golden retriever and taking him for runs in the park. You can check out her art on

Current Obsession:

Hiking, camping, figure drawing.

Best Advice

“Things take the time they take. Don’t worry.” – Mary Oliver

Job you wanted as a child:

Indiana Jones – professor and adventurer archeologist with a fedora and leather jacket. We’re both deathly afraid of snakes so we have a lot in common.