“Beachy Boho.” The carefree 18-year old tosses her head back—a mane of beautiful, sun-bleached blonde hair—and laughs as I attempt to describe her style. She agrees. The words describe her perfectly. “I love the 70’s hippy style, bright colors, anything flowy, long dresses.” In a way, her style is more than just flowy dresses and vibrant colors. It describes her life and her passions. Her style is part of her story.
For as long as Natalie Thompson can remember, art has also been a part of her story. It has shaped her and grown her and given her a fiery passion. Even in preschool, teachers would encourage Natalie to go outside and play. Natalie would refuse — she wanted to continue working on her art projects. By the time Natalie was in high school, she had developed a love and a talent for ink drawings and painting. She began to seek out her art teacher, Karrie Jackson, to learn how she could take her art to the next level.
Jackson’s idea was a unique one. But given Natalie’s childhood, growing up in the beach culture of San Diego, it made perfect sense. Natalie was already defining her style as an artist—incorporating bright colors and elements of nature into her pieces—so Jackson suggested she try extending her talents to new canvases. She suggested Natalie utilize surfboards and skateboards as slates to display her vibrant art.
Natalie experienced instant recognition and success with her work. Her first painted board was displayed in a consignment shop where she soon got more orders for her surfboard art. Her boards are now sold at several shops around San Diego including Island Surf in Coronado, Ocean Beach Surf and Skate, The Hotel Del Coronado and Surf Diva in La Jolla.
We style Natalie in some of the newest jewelry available on SweetBling.com. In the first set of photos, she is wearing an ecru mini skirt and cropped tank. The Aerin Crystal Drop Convertible Necklace by Jamierocks (around her neck and wrist) the Chain and Bead Bracelet with Crystal by Nakamol and Textured Gold Hoop Earrings complete the look.
As Natalie changes outfits, I ask her about the present, about the future, about her wildest dreams and aspirations. She has answers for all of them. Her glowing confidence inspires me. Fresh out of high school, Natalie is already a flourishing art student at San Francisco Art Institute. And it’s no mystery to me that success follows Natalie, just like the sun beams seem to gravitate towards her glistening hair. In her second look, Natalie features tie-dyed leggings and a black bikini top. Our Black Leather and Lava Bead Wrap Bracelet, the Teal Czech Crystal Bracelet (both by Nakamol) and our Small Triangle Bib Necklace by Zenzii are the perfect Sweet Bling accessories. I snap a photo of Natalie standing on the lifeguard tower, looking out over the ocean. It’s like I can see her forming new goals and dreams with her thoughtful gaze.
In this last photo, Natalie stands in front of a weathered container. She is truly able to stand out in any setting. Here she is wearing a Hematite Beaded Lariat Necklace and Blue Emerald Cut Earrings, both by Jamierocks. The Silver Leather Cuff with Blue Beads is by Nakamol.
While Thompson plans to continue painting and selling surfboards and skateboards, her ultimate goal is to open her own surf shop, complete with a line of clothing incorporating her artwork into colorful styles. And after spending the afternoon with Natalie, I have no doubt she will make this dream happen. Her passionate, soulful spirit has rubbed off on me. The sun is now starting to go down. Natalie, her sister Nicole, and her best friend Hannah, are running on the beach and playing in the surf. Natalie once again throws back her blond locks as she laughs at something one of them has said. Her effortless confidence makes me feel like anything is possible.
Take a look at more of Natalie’s artwork on her website: NatalieThompsonArt.com.