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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Natalie Burton

A clear love for nature shines through illustrator Natalie Burton’s work. Her drawings transmit a sense of calm, peace and quiet. Her pen and pencil world – full of trees, houses and landscapes all captured with charm and warmth – is one I’d like to step into for a walk about.

Creating soothing scenes that speak of restraint, patience and a world taken at a slower pace, Natalie seems to have the eye of one who is happy to wander – perhaps unsurprising for someone who came to Sheffield via Northern Ireland, Australia and Manchester. From Bole Hills to Bavaria, her pencil records her journeys and the outdoor places she discovers. You'll find Natalie's work in the Winter Gardens popup shop this November, along with some other great Sheffield makers.

How would you describe your work?
Sort of scribbly. Lots of plants. I love drawing so my work usually involves pencil or ink sketches, sometimes painted with watercolour or gouache, sometimes digitally.

What inspires you?
Places, nature, stories. I’ve moved around a lot throughout my life so I think I tend to look at the differences between all the places I’ve been. I like thinking about what makes them unique and what stands out to me in their landscapes. I try to carry around a sketchbook because I love having a chance to sit and draw whatever is in front of me.

What's your workspace like?
Messy. I listen to a lot of music while I work so it’s usually also quite loud. I’d like to have a studio space at some point but for now I work from my house, usually surrounded by plants, photos and to-do lists as well as a collection of art supplies which is getting a bit out of control.

What do you love about Sheffield?
The view out my window. Being so close to the Peak District and so many amazing green places but being part of the city too. There are also so many creative people in Sheffield and such a strong community of independent businesses. For a small city I think it has so much to offer.

What would you do to improve the city?
I like most things about Sheffield. There always seems to be new events and businesses popping up which I think it’s important to support – it would be good to see more empty retail units being put to use the way the Winter Gardens pop up has. Also I walk around a lot, so less hills would probably be nice!

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