Natalia Resmini

Interview by Glenn Sakamoto

Natalia Resmini is a surfer/artist living and working in Italy. Her work has appeared worldwide in magazines such as Elle Italy, Glamour Italy, Foam, and Desillusion. In addition, Natalia has collaborated with fashion brands like Moschino Jeans, Quiksilver, and The Seea. We spoke with her to learn more.

Tell us a bit about your childhood and your relationship to the sea/surfing…
I started surfing around 1998 during a trip to Hawaii. I had just become a "big girl” and my parents allowed me to go there and I was super stoked. I remember dreaming about a "Milano-Honolulu" ticket in my hands: I just couldn't believe it. I learned watching the others surf and just went with the flow. The main ingredient? determination, I guess. Back to Italy, I’ve never stopped. It has not been an easy road. The Mediterranean Sea doesn't have consistent waves. During that time I began my art studies and began playing with "the elements": studying shapes on canvas and with new forms on my board.

What inspired you to become an artist? What is your training?
I always felt the need to create. I studied a lot; from Renaissance to Modernism, with years reading books and drawing everyday. I then set up a portfolio, a website, and started getting in touch with magazines. There were quite a few setbacks at the beginning. I had to do other seasonal jobs to pay my bills. I had doubts, but I never gave up. I started teaching fashion illustration at IUAV University of Venice, doing portraits for private clients, creating textile designs, and collaborating with magazines and big fashion events. Now I make a living out of my creativity and I have a lot of clients. I'm so grateful to live through my passions!

Photo by Luca Merli

Photo by Luca Merli

Who/what inspires you in your art and in your surfing?
This is a great question. I've met a lot of talented people around the world. I’d say that all surfers are creative and very visionary people. Beside the hippie allure, which is the first impression one can have, I’ve noticed a true consciousness towards "real problems." This is very inspiring for me. With my surfer friends, we often speak about pollution, health, religion, science, politics. I find it more difficult to find this awareness in the fashion world – I get the sense that they care much more about wearing fancy clothes! I believe the surfing community is kind of a big family! Longboarders in particular. They are peaceful and laid-back.There’s a strong bond between all of us. The internet helps a lot. I know a lot of painters, photographers, bloggers, stylists, video makers, surfers, sailors.. many of them are inspiring. People like Carol Rama, Francesco Clemente, Pierpaolo Calzolari, David Hockney, Lex Weinstein, Sebastiano Concas, David Pecchi, Zye Norris, Luki O' Keefe, Lola Mignot, and Chiara Ferragni.

What meaning does surfing have in your life?
It has a big meaning; it's the story of my life, even if at the moment I'm concentrating on the artistic part of it.  I noticed that nowadays there are a lot of "artist and surfer" types. It's a new trend to be "artsy" and enjoy palm trees at the same time.I'd like to break this stereotype. I dream about creating something new, related to surfing, but completely different at the same time. This is my current goal.

Tell us about the surfing scene in Italy…
It's sweet. People are still very naive, they would drive 5 hours from Milano to somewhere on the coast just to catch some small and windy peelers. But there is an authentic passion. Everyone speaks a lot about surfing – it's like an addiction. The lack of waves in Italy brings the people to dream about perfect swells, and they travel quite often. I have also travelled a lot in my life and thanks to surfing I’ve learned four foreign languages. I think that Luca Merli documented the Italian scene very well in the his movie "Peninsula." A passion for the sea, amazing places and a lot of poetry. Through this movie I realized how much I love my country, full of beauty, contradictions, amazing architecture, nature, corruption, good food, fashion and truly unique Mediterranean vibe.

Photo by Ed Fladung

Photo by Ed Fladung

What’s next for Natalia Resmini?
I'm very satisfied with all the commercial stuff I do. Lately I’ve discovered how much pleasure I have making portraits. When the painting looks like the person in front of me, I feel like a magician! I do a lot of custom portraits – I guess it’s the need to create something real. I like to combine the concept of beauty with reality. I will spend the summer in Sardinia, where I live on a boat with my boyfriend. My plan is to eat fish and vegetables, enjoy the island and paint!

To learn more about Natalia, visit her website or follow her on Instagram  @nataliaresmini