Instagram Influencer | Natalie Gerber

Natalie Gerber began her studies in 1995 at The Natal Technikon, in the Fashion Design program, Durban (South Africa). After immigrating to Canada her interests in textiles and design developed while studying classical tailoring and couture design under Calgary designer Mithè de Fontenay. Enrolling at the Alberta College of Art & Design, Natalie earned a BFA Degree (with Distinction) in Fibre/Textiles in 2003, and later in 2007, a post-graduate Certificate in Creative Pattern Cutting for the Fashion Industry, from the London College of Fashion in London (England).


"As an artist, designer and maker I am inspired to create functional design for everyday living. While craftsmanship is important to my creative process, so too is function. I combine my love for illustration, surface design, clean lines and hand-printed fabrics with conscious material choices and in-studio practices.

My South African background influences my aesthetic, while inspiration is drawn from styles that include Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern design. From detailed sketches to mark making and loose line drawings, I explore the above within my work and transfer the imagery onto textiles through silkscreen printing. 

While my studio focus is on boutique textile printing, I am further motivated by interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collaborations. Creative alliances provide opportunities for knowledge sharing that I believe contribute to rounding out my experience as an artist and designer. This ethos has extended into my studio practice through special projects with a social responsibility - most recently collaborating with a group of artists to develop imagery for print in the township of KwaDabeka, located outside of my hometown of Durban, KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. This fair-trade opportunity has inspired me to further explore community initiatives that support sustainable futures."


What inspired you to take over the lifeincalgary Instagram account?
I love ‘Life In Calgary’… it’s an incredible feed that really highlights what is happening in our city! I recently moved my studio into the new cSPACE King Edward in Marda Loop and I felt with Alberta Culture Days happening this weekend, it was the perfect opportunity to show people around my new space and this vibrant creative hub.

Where did you come from and what attracted you to the city?
I’m originally from South Africa and we immigrated to Canada in 1995. We had family that was living near and in the city, so making our home in Calgary was the natural choice.

What do you do in your spare time? Favourite Calgary past-time or activity?
I love to hit the paths and trails in and around Bowness where we live. The best part of our area is all the incredible green space!

Where is your favorite place to eat or visit in Calgary?
There are some fab spots we like to frequent in our neighborhood of Bowness. Bowness Vietnamese is tops for a quick tasty dinner, Cadence Coffee for the best cuppa and of course Notables for date night! Notables has an incredible brunch (but ‘shhhhh’ don’t tell anyone) as we can normally get in without a reservation and it’s so well priced for the amazing menu!

What is a fun fact people wouldn’t know about you?
I turned 40 this year and have become obsessed with getting back into shape… bring on the next decade I’ve got this!

Any tips or advice for Calgary newcomers or those considering a move to Calgary?
Connect! The best thing you can do to meet people is get involved… and there is endless opportunity to be a part of the greater community.

What do you tell your friends and family from other cities about life in Calgary?
Being from South Africa most of our family ask how we manage winter. Our answer is always the same – get outside, go to the mountains and take advantage of all the winter sports this city has to offer. Not to mention the blue skies and warm chinooks that get us through the cooler months.

Where do you take friends and family when they visit?
To the mountains –  living in Bowness means we can get to them as fast, and safely of course, as possible.

What do you think is the biggest surprise about Calgary for anyone who isn’t familiar with the city?
How friendly the people are… yay us!

How has the city influenced who you are or your organization?
As a creative person, I feel that there has been a lot of room for me to grow and a great support from my fellow creatives!I am constantly inspired by those around me and the growing creative community in this city.


**All photos were taken by @natalie_gerber during their take over of @lifeincalgary

Want to become an Instagram Influnecer and contribute to lifeincalgary? Email [email protected]

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