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Natalie 🎉 NatterDoodle Studio


Colorful + quirky lettering artist. Your internet BFF. She/her. 🎨



I was a theatre kid growing up and stopped performing in college. If I'm honest, I wanted to pursue something related to the performing arts as a college major but between my dad's proclamation that it wasn't a major let alone a career, my concern that my self image issues (which at that time were rampant) would get in my way, and the lack of body positivity at the time (hi 2001 we were just coming out of the "heroin chic" era) - I jumped head first into something I was good at that didn't require me to "look" the part. Over the past 10 years I've done sooooo much self work (thank you therapy & writing & radical self acceptance) and this past summer I decided I was going to see if I still had a little something to offer the stage. 21 years later. I taped an audition. I worked hard on it. I knew it wasn't Broadway material - but I have guts & charisma & talent & wanted to be part of a theatre community again and by what felt like a miracle, I found myself performing in "Matilda" the musical with @wctpresents. It was so much work and so much fun! And then I jumped into an opera (what???) with @opera.columbus playing of all things a PRINCESS. In December I had a blast with @wctpresents again in a show where I got to wear both a gingerbread dress AND a full leg cast. And now I'm playing Tessie Hutchinson in @aetherealjest's The Lottery as part of a series of one act plays. Funny enough, I co-directed this play back in high school - it's thought provoking and surprising and the role is challenging! I'm excited to share it with you! Performances run from March 24, 2023 through April 2, 2023. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM.​ Hope you'll come experience a new theatre company and a very talented bunch of actors, me included!
When I opened up the studio/store it had a number of different purposes...but they probably aren't prioritized how you'd think! 1. WORKSPACE: I was ready to not have my dining room, guest room, garage, and basement overcome with NatterDoodle stuff. I wanted a dedicated place to go to work. 2. WORKSHOPS: I was spending a lot of time running around town teaching workshops here, there, & everywhere - and it seemed to make sense to be paying for my own space to teach rather than always giving a cut to other folks' every time. 3. STORE: I wanted to have a place where when workshops were happening participants could also shop my products. I never intended for it to be a full-time open shop. Surprised? So are lots of folks! One of the reasons I got into this work to have more flexibility for my mental and physical health, and having to keep a shop open every day doesn't serve that. And as a business of one person, if I have a doctor appointment or need to travel for a workshop - the shop could never have consistent hours. And very importantly, I can't afford it. I have a limited line of products by NatterDoodle; I'm not a gift shop that carries something for every occasion. So foot traffic doesn't bring in a lot of sales - if a passersby isn't in the market for dish towels, art prints, keychains, etc. they may enjoy a browse but not buy. People often equate what they see on social media as success. I do feel very successful! But my success doesn't always mean big money. Some months sales are good! Other months are nerve wrecking. So paying someone to be at the studio doesn't make sense either. "But Natalie! I want to shop in person!" You totally can! We can always setup an appointment for you to come by and shop until your heart's content! Just shoot an email! Or come to a workshop & you'll get a discount to shop too! My entire collection is available online and if you choose local pickup, you can always pop in at that point as well! What do you think? What questions do you have? I'd love to hear from you!
Once-upon-a-time I was a Dean at a small private liberal arts college. I loved my job, especially working with young people & coaching them to figure out not just what they wanted to do, but who they wanted to be. I wasn't perfect at my job, but I am confident I was very good. One thing I wasn't good at: balance. My job & the college were demanding. High expectations. Making time for myself was really hard. My job was my lifestyle & my life. I was burning out in my early 30s. It felt unsustainable. I remember being in a retreat to plan for the upcoming year which would normally be my jam and noticing my body completely fidgety and shaky. My physical response in that moment was wild. Fear was pouring out into my fingertips and my shaky leg. I felt I couldn't hack it anymore; that I couldn't add one more thing to my already heaping plate. I was overwhelmed and drained. I started having nightmares that I was letting everyone down and that the things I'd been so good at, I was phoning in. I was driving to work one morning and I found myself saying "I really wish I wasn't going to work today." A second voice in my head asked "Today or ever again?" The next day I told my boss we needed to create an exit plan for the next 6 months. I knew it was time. I had been making art for about a year and a half as a self-care exercise and sharing it online at this point. By some miracle it seemed people were regularly trying to buy it, so I had a little website and did a couple of craft shows. I had no intention of making this a side hustle let alone my full time gig when I left education. The question "what will you do next?" kept pouring in before I made my exit at the college, I had planned to take 6 weeks off and start a job search. My sister asked me why I wouldn't try to see if NatterDoodle would work full time because it seemed to make me happy. That seemed impossible, but as my last day approached I started to think about every student I'd ever encouraged to dream big dreams, take chances on themselves, and develop a deep passion to pursue. It was time for me and to walk the talk. Here I am, a full-time artist. It's hard! It's fun! It's freedom!
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