I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio with my 4 siblings. For the most part, I was raised by a single mom. My Dad passed away when I was five of Lung Cancer. 13 years later, my Mom also passed away in a car accident. I had just turned 18 and was about 6 weeks into my freshman year of college at Ohio University. Obviously, losing my parents young has really influenced my life and who I am today. Beyond that though, I’ve been influenced and shaped by a thousand beautiful moments, too. I was shaped by my Mom and the way she found humor in everything. How she introduced us to Saturday Night Live really young and listened to Mitch Hedberg CDs on road trips. I was influenced by her selflessness, her slip-ups, the way she treated people, everything.
About 3 years ago, when I was working in a sales role in San Francisco, the same time I created Words Meet Walls, is when it started to hit me. I remember thinking about what job I wanted next and all I could hear in my head was, “I just want to create”. I really had no idea what that meant, and am still learning. I just knew that some of the happiest moments I had in the past few years had been when I was in my apartment just playing around, creating flat lay mock photoshoots, or creating Words Meet Walls. I just wanted to see things come to life from my hands.
Sitting somewhere sunny.
It was mutual. :) I started Words Meet Walls as a part of The 100 Day Project, a project that encourages people to do 1 creative act a day for 100 days straight. It’s hard to explain, but I had seen Words Meet Walls in my head before this. I don’t remember when, maybe a year or two before, but when it came to me, I didn’t really feel the need or urge to act on it. When I was deciding what to do for The 100 Day Project, it came back to me. I felt like I had pretty good handwriting at the time, I loved quotes, and now, I was living in one of the most colorful cities - San Francisco. It all just seemed to come together when I walked into the Blick art store and has grown ever since.
I did not have a formal education in art or calligraphy. I’ve learned by doing it over and over until I found the way that feels right for me. People tell me that I should teach calligraphy, but to be honest, I don’t do “proper calligraphy”, the kind that is taught through books or courses. I think a lot of times, it’s about finding a medium that you enjoy but learning how to do it your way. I do think classes can be useful, not necessarily a degree that costs thousands of dollars but going to meet-ups or buying books. I’ve done a few of those and have always enjoyed it. I learn best by being in an in-person environment, and also by just doing it.
I joke that one day I’m going to be the opposite of those parents that tell you to become a doctor, lawyer, accountant. I’m going to be pushing my kids to be artists. I do sometimes wish I could go back in time when I was in school and choose more creative classes.
Words Meet Walls, and any other creative efforts I partake in are for the time being all side hustles. I’ve played around with different options, but right now this is the right avenue for me. Recently, I decided to go from full-time at my social media manager job to part-time so that I could see if I could transition into a more full-time creative and yoga teacher (I also recently got certified). I ultimately decided that I wanted to continue working full-time work outside of Words Meet Walls and yoga. I went back and forth in that decision thinking things like “am I just being afraid?”. But at the end of the day, I also need to be aware of what will make me feel less stressed and strapped. I live in New York City - this place ain’t cheap. If I’m feeling strapped on cash to live then ultimately it might affect my work, and maybe even make me resentful of my choices.
I can’t say where I’ll end up - if my creative pursuits will one day take hold as their own full-time gig. I’m rooting for that to happen, but I know it’s all a process. Things don’t just happen overnight. You have to give yourself time.
The message I’m sending to the universe is that I want to live a life of inspiration, vividness, exploration, and continuous growth. I believe my message to the people who interact with Words Meet Walls is that you have to keep going to get better and that you can find beauty in unexpected places. Of course, Words Meet Walls is also a little bit of inspiration and motivation for their days.
Journal and pen(s)!
Wheat Thins (or the knock off version from TJ’s). Red wine. Dark chocolate.
Well, I’m actually about to start a new full-time job in the near future, so one of my biggest foci is on the change, adjustment, and growth that this role will bring. In 5 years, I want to be doing my own thing. Whether that’s owning a company, or doing my creative work full time. I’m not exactly sure what yet, but I’m trusting I’ll find it along the way.
As mentioned, I currently have a full-time job to be able to support myself and also my interests. I haven’t put a lot of focus on turning Words Meet Walls into a big moneymaker for me just yet. I have revenue coming in from different places - selling prints, doing custom commissions - but overall, not enough yet to live a stable life off of it. I am looking to start finding more ways that Words Meet Walls can be more profitable, but I did stray away from it out of fear of losing interest in it once it became something that was tied to money.
I’m obsessed with the song “Out Loud” by ScaryPoolParty aka Alejandro Aranda from American Idol. I just finished and loved The Moth Presents Occasional Magic. And I can’t fail to mention, Queer Eye. I love them.
“If you wanna be my lover” - Spice Girls
To learn more about Natalie Reece, please visit www.wordsmeetwalls.com
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