You may say you're a hustler, but you're nothing compare to Natalie Wood. No, we're not talking about the 1940's bombshell who starred in Miracle on 43rd Street. We're obsessed with a different Nat Wood -- one who spends her days giving Sharpie tattoos to friends by the likes of Kendall Jenner and Ireland Baldwin, then spends her nights operating her own, one-woman operation called Badwood. An artist, an entrepreneur, a game changer -- these are only a few ways to describe this twenty-one-year-old badass. With her love of beer and incredible talent, Nat Wood proves you don't necessarily need to further your education to live out your wildest dreams.
We got ahold of the California babe to ask the hard-hitting questions everyone wants the answers to. Once you finish reading our interview, you're going to want to rep Badwood 'till the day you die.
MM: You are one of the most incredible artists I have stumbled upon in a really long time! When did you start creating art? Did you always know you wanted to become an artist?
NW: Thank you so much! I appreciate that. I have wanted to be an artist since as long as I can remember. I've been creating art since I was a kid.
MM: Do you have a formal arts education?
NW: When I was a kid, I would take art classes and I took a really fun art class in high school (Agoura High) but that's about it! I never attended an art school.
MM: How did you come up with the name "Badwood" and what does it mean to you?
NW: I came up with Badwood because my last name is Wood, and I guess you could say I'm the wild one of the family. We call my little sister "Goodwood" because she is a saint... She is straight edge, 4.5GPA at an all girl's private school, and cheer captain. I never really gave a shit about school, always did my own thing with art, and I love drinkin' beer haha.
MM: That's actually hysterical! How was your work evolved over time?
NW: I defined my artistic style right after high school. I love drawing badass, independent girls who are desirable and sexy. I think my art just keeps getting more inappropriate and sexual haha.
MM: Running your own small business is definitely a lot of work, especially since you hand-print all of your own apparel. What do you like and dislike about running your one-woman operation?
NW: I LOVE that I have my own operation and the fact that I print it all on my own makes me feel very proud and I hope it gives the customer a personal connection to the brand. The only part that gets stressful is that I really do every aspect of this company on my own so sometimes, I'll need to answer emails for hours or stand in lines at the post office, print for 6 hours at a time, pack orders, etc., when I wish I could have some creative time to draw and design new product. Most people don't realize that this really is a one-woman operation.
MM: All the hard work is for sure paying off! Drawings, prints, Sharpie tattoos, apparel, graffiti, phone cases... your art is everywhere! What is your favorite medium of expression and why?
NW: I really love every form. I like that I can express my art into different mediums because everyone has different taste. I'm always looking for new ways to make dope art :)
MM: With 10,845 Twitter followers, 58,425 Instagram followers, and hundreds of people all across the globe sporting your apparel, you certainly are a popular artist. How did you get this astounding following?
NW: I am extremely grateful for all of my followers. Sometimes it feels unreal. I'm not really sure how I got this many. It just sort of blew up back in February of 2013 when I launched my street wear company.
MM: The focus and aesthetic of your artwork is definitely controversial and invokes a severely badass vibe. Tell me more about the messages you are trying to convey with your pieces.
NW: Thank you :) I am extremely independent and I strongly believe that every girl should be, which is what I hope to inspire. I've always been a tomboy and one who can always keep up with the boys. Heartbreak inspires a lot of my pieces as well. Us independent chicks don't need a man, we get it ourselves :) I like the idea of a chick who can hustle on her own, be respectful, keep it classy, mysterious, and badass all at once.
MM: Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetics?
NW: The LA lifestyle!!!
MM: "Badwood" tagging can not only be found on your clothing and prints, but also through graffiti. How does your attitude towards art-making change from studio and street? Do you approach the processes differently? Does your message change?
NW: The Badwood ski mask originated from a stencil I had made which I used to put up on the streets. It all portrays the same message.
MM: In your opion, why has the art world been so reluctant to embrace street art and graffiti?
NW: I think people don't like graffiti because they think it is related to gang affiliation. They don't really know what's up so they buff it all, which I think is understandable. But I believe street ART should be left alone. It gives character and color to plain walls. It's my favorite.
MM: I agree 100%! How does your family feel about what you do? Who are your biggest supporters?
NW: My family has supported me since day one. I love them so much. They inspire me and motivate me. The best feeling is to see my dad being so proud of me. I hope one day I can make enough money to spoil my parents with nice things. My mom, dad and little sister are my biggest fans.
MM: Talk us through your usual day.
NW: Wake up, put my slippers on, print sweatshirts, pack and ship orders... taking care of business during the day. At night time, I'll be drawing or painting while drinking beer in my room and listening to music.
MM: Tell us about a recent project you just worked on that you're really proud of.
NW: Well the last project was the "Get Bad" Event at the viper room. It was a pop-up shop event and three music acts performed. 250 people showed up. It was unreal. i hope to do something like that again and raise money for charity.
MM: Is there anything else we should know about you?
NW: When I'm not working, I'm the laziest bitch you'll ever meet :P