My name is spelt funny.
That's because my Dad is a linguist. It's pronounced 'Nat-ar-sha', but because it's a Russian name, Dad thought he should spell it the correct Russian way. Not how it sounds. Thanks Dad!
Ever since I was little I wanted to be an illustrator. I would spend lots and lots of time drawing and reading. (We didn't have a TV, and it was always very hot outside.)
I grew up 'out bush' in a place called Ramingining, which is a Yolngu town in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. My sister and I did correspondence lessons with Katherine School of the Air (just like homeschooling). Because the internet wasn't invented yet, we kept in contact via radio. I would have a half hour radio lesson with my teacher (and the rest of my class) every school day. On weekends we would sometimes go fishing, hunting or crabbing with the local people. We would almost always go swimming in a small crocodile-free billabong, which was a half hour drive, down near the dirt strip airport.
When I was 14, our family moved to the eastern highlands of Papua New Guinea, and I attended an international high school. I have a NSW HSC and an American diploma! I enjoyed the school concert band (flute), singing in the choir, being a 'Mama' in the school play 'Fiddler on the Roof' and playing basketball and volleyball in the school team.
I returned to Melbourne after high school to go to university, where I completed a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design, and learned how to live in a big city for the first time.
As well as working as a graphic designer and illustrator, I also create embroidery patterns. Over the last 16 years I have sold patterns all over the world as 'Smee Designs'. I have had around 20 projects featured in Australian craft magazines, and enjoy talking with other stitchers on my Smee Designs Facebook page.
I'm married to a lovely man who is used to me ignoring housework so that I can draw. I also have two teenage boys, who are used to me forgetting to cook dinner because I am drawing.
I like spending time with close friends, reading (especially good fantasy novels), Thai food, having a belly laugh, collecting picture books and listening to music. I get bored easily, and my favourite place to be is boogie-boarding on a sweet swell in summer. I hate bad paragraph spacing, and rockmelon (cantaloupe).
I promised to barrack for the Collingwood football club in my wedding vows.