2 Minutes With … Natalia Fredericks, Creative Director at Party Land
Natalia Fredericks is an award-winning creative leader with over a decade of experience in art direction, graphic design and illustration. At Party Land in Los Angeles, she oversees creative development for brands like Wholly Veggie, Drizly, L'Oreal and The Habit. Her expertise spans diverse categories, including automotive, fashion, beauty, entertainment, tech, fast food, beer and spirits.
We spent two minutes with Natalia to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.
Natalia, tell us ...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up all over the world. Born in Louisiana, I moved to Singapore with my family when I was 5 years old and lived abroad, bouncing around, until I moved back to the States as a teenager. I live in L.A. now, but the urge to move around has never left.
How you first realized you were creative.
There wasn't a specific moment, I just picked up a paint brush as soon as I physically could. From that point I never stopped drawing, painting, making or telling stories. By the time school rolled around I couldn't do anything normally. I turned every book report into an art project. I also got into a lot of trouble for never following instructions in art class.
A person you idolized creatively early on.
My parents. My dad is a self-taught artist who, like me, turns everything into a project. He taught me how to draw and helped me to understand visual perspective as a kid. He's also an engineer and approaches everything as a problem solver. I learned so much about the creative process from watching him think and work. For him, there are no obstacles, only opportunities.
My mom is a talented seamstress. She learned to sew from her grandmother, who was a seamstress for the Hungarian Opera. Unfortunately, that skill skipped a generation. But watching her work taught me about the importance of craft and attention to detail.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
One of my professors taught experimental art, and after I turned in a project using graffiti and old skateboard decks, he kept me after class to tell me I had the eye of a designer and should consider taking graphic design courses. He opened the door to a whole new creative world for me. After that, I changed majors and switched schools. That five-minute conversation changed the trajectory of my entire life. I can't believe I almost skipped class that day.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
Everything Everywhere All At Once absolutely blew me away.
Your favorite fictional character.
The version of me that can fly in my recurring dream about flying. She flies a little differently in each dream. Sometimes she's a superhero who flies in costume, other times she's the 5-year-old version of me in the schoolyard who has to flap her hands like little propellers to lift off the ground.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
There are some incredibly talented young artists and filmmakers using TikTok in really innovative ways. Creators like Maris Jones make and share little magical works of pop art film. It's a great place to get inspired.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
It's an ongoing series of portraits I started in school. When I meet interesting people or feel inspired by someone, I usually have an urge to put pencil to paper and capture their likeness. There are hundreds in my collection.
A recent project you're proud of.
I'm a big fan of the Wholly Veggie campaign. It was one of my first projects at Party Land. Our very own Matt Rogers and Matt Heath wrote and performed the songs, which makes it extra special.
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.
Someone else's work you admired lately.
PETA's "Octocurse" was a refreshing change of pace for animal rights advocacy ads. It was simple and well executed. And it worked on me.
Your main strength as a creative person.
An unquenchable thirst to learn new skills and push myself. I thoroughly enjoy the creative process and relish the challenges that come with it.
Your biggest weakness.
Procrastination. I can't force myself to do things. I have to trick my own brain into jumpstarting itself or wait for inspiration to strike.
One thing that always makes you happy.
One thing that always makes you sad.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
Blacksmith. I'd like to get paid to make useful, beautiful things with big tools. Or an Oracle. I'd like to get paid to tell people stories about their future lives.