Monday, March 28, 2011

Nathalie Kalbach

Hi my name is Nathalie Kalbach, and I live in Hamburg, Germany. Since February 2011 I am a full time self employed artist.
Wow- it feels so wonderful yet so weird to write this down for the first time in a bio. has been a long journey until this.

My family is musical and some of my family members love to draw and paint. Lot’s of my ancestors had a real obsession with photography; we have a lot of wonderful heritage photos in our possession and photos fascinated me as long as I remember. It was always the question about the person behind the picture, the moment, the emotions.

I had art in school and had a wonderful time with a very young enthusiastic art teacher who let us just be very experimental and having fun doing art. We would paint eyes and eyes and eyes with acrylic paints, then looking for our favorite piece there, we would do chalk paintings of our projected profile Dias on packing paper and if there were parts to dark, we would just fill in the missing parts with trees or whatever we imagined made us strong to get out of the shadow. It was my favorite subject in school, until…he left. Until the new teacher let us draw what we saw with pencils- our pencil holder, the eraser, a table. I thought my drawing weren’t too bad…she told me I had absolutely no talent – I should better not think I’m creative – art is not my subject.

I believed her that I’m really not a creative person, have no talent for art. I did photo books- not knowing that there is something like Scrapbooking out there in the world, since this hobby was until a couple years ago not known in Germany. I liked visiting museums and look at art. I was interested in design. But I studied law, I became a paralegal, because I was a head-person…not an artsy person. Don’t get me wrong, I was very good in my job – I have been in the highest position in this field that you can concur, I managed at the end an office with five lawyers, doing accounting, taxes and working on my own files. But it wasn’t as if I had the dream job.

In 2004 I married my wonderful friend Jim. He has always been very creative and when I wasn’t sure of what to do with our wedding photos he told me, I should do something called Scrapbooking. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I figured it out and soon I was also drawn into Mixed Media Art and the techniques that are used there. It didn’t take much time for me to combine those two fields – lot’s of people thought that was bold and wrong back then. I didn’t care – I really like what I was doing, I poured my emotions and thoughts out in those techniques and the journaling, making the pieces meaningful for me- but also colorful and …well- that is something you can argue over – beautiful for the viewer. I held on to my style and a couple months later I had my first publication in an American Magazine called Simple Scrapbooking – which is kind of funny, cause my style is so not simple ;) . From there it just rolled over me – I got published as a featured artist in Somerset Memories, now writing a regular column in the Magazine called “Nathalie’s Studio”, since then I have been published in numerous magazine, idea books and eZines.
I had my own product line: papers and stamps and transparencies called eMOTions with a French Manufacturer.
I have been working with several manufacturers in a design team, right now with Tattered Angels who manufactures wonderful Spraypaints and other Paintmedia, also Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L and Vintage Street Market – a gorgeous company that manufactures vintage themed Scrapbooking and gift wrapping papers, embellishments and tapes.

I soon realized that I love to teach. My first teaching gig was in Berlin in 2007 – and I remember how excited and stoked I was, but also scared. But I loved loved loved it so much. I loved showing the students what they could do, make a project that doesn’t look like mine, but is a piece of it’s own, to learn techniques and to just try to be creative and not being scared of trying things. Now that I write this down, I somehow see the connection to my experiences with my art teachers in school. I do not want to limit my students, I want them to have a good time and experience and enjoy the process- there is no right or wrong!

The last couple months I realized that I basically was doing two full jobs – one as a paralegal and one as an artist/workshop teacher and it started to be really exhausting and I had to ask myself what I really want. Doing the art/workshop part felt so right, so what I wanted, that I decided to take the risk and give up my well-paid full time job. If I wouldn’t do it, I would never know, right? I would always wonder if I could have been successful with something I am passionate about, something that makes me feel good, something that is releasing my creativity.

So here I am – Nathalie Kalbach, an artist and workshop teacher.

I have been teaching in several different countries like Germany, the U.S., Spain, The Netherlands, France, Norway, Greece, Denmark, Israel, Austria, Belgium and soon I will do a teaching road trip called the Creative Journey in Australia. I’m a member of the wonderful faculty and it makes me happy to be in the same group as a lot of teachers and artists that share the same passion of showing people how to create.

You can find my Layered Background Workshop on CraftEdu here….
A new class will be released in the next couple days ☺
Join my classroom
If you want to read more about me and see more of my work visit my blog:

We are proud to have the wonderful Nathalie Kalbach teaching here at CraftEdu! To watch the preview of her "Layered Backgrounds" workshop, simply click on the text.


  1. Loved reading your story, Nat!! :)

  2. Really interesting nat , congrats on realising your dream

  3. What a wonderful journey you have had Nat!It's a great story to read :)Enjoy the wonderful future you have coming to you x

  4. Thanks for sharing your journey...

  5. You know, I've found that many people have been discouraged by those who are supposed to ENCOURAGE us! It's unbelieveable. Glad you didn't let those comments from one person in the past stop you.

  6. Lovely to hear how your creative journey has evolved. I am really looking forward to attending your class in Australia. Can't wait.