Wednesday, 21 October 2015


Narin Barnett draws sweet personalised illustrations for your
loved ones with a sense of fun and loads of charm

Tell us a bit about your artwork?
My Hidden Forest illustrations are all drawn in Melbourne, Australia and are all produced with lots of care, thought and love. My inspirations come from my natural surroundings and the loved ones in my life that help me to create and draw upon a place where my heart is forever smiling. All illustrations are unique and can be customised with a special message to add that personal touch.

Can you tell us about yourself and your background?
My name Narin - means delicate in Turkish.
I would describe myself as caring, creative, and overly organised. I love pretty things.
I have been a primary school teacher for the past four years. Currently, I am teaching a beautiful Grade 3 class at Brighton Beach Primary School who I simply adore. They inspire me every day and always make me smile.
I have always being passionate about art but this year I have had more time to pursue my passion. I love drawing, there is something about it that is really calming and relaxing for me and I find it is the perfect down time for me as a teacher because it gives me some time with my thoughts.
Before teaching, I was working in marketing at an educational toy company called Colorific. Among many things a big part of my job was to conduct all the market research for the new toys that were developed in house.

What sparked you to begin your own business?
My spark to begin my business was ignited during a recent family holiday to Noosa. I was inspired by all of the beautiful scenery in the Noosa National Park and I just started drawing. After doing a bit of research I realised that there wasn’t many (if any) brands in Australia that do customised illustrations so My Hidden Forest was born.
It’s only been one month since I had this idea and I now have around 30 pieces in my range. I am launching on etsy in September and have already had a lot of interest in my illustrations, which is really exciting.

What inspires you in your designs?
The little people in my life, my students, and my beautiful little nephew Noah, my family and my friends who have been so supportive and encouraging.
I am also inspired by the pretty things in my surrounding as they seem to revitalise my soul. I love flowers and being in nature.

Who are some of your favourite artists and why?
Brett Whitely – I have always been fascinated with his work. I love the soft lines he uses and the exaggerated strokes and beautiful warm colours.

What is your most favourite artworks that you have completed?
I’m not sure I have a favourite. I do love my illustration ‘New Friends’ because it encapsulates that gorgeous time where little people make friends for the first time.
I also love my illustration ‘Tea Party’. This piece was inspired by my husband Simon, who is always the best part of my day. I love coming home after our busy days at work, sitting down togethers and exchanging stories about our day.

What has been your biggest highlight?
Seeing my range come together in such a short time. My highlight so far was receiving some beautiful feedback from my first customer
‘I received my little parcel today. I love them. You have done so well. I just adore the packaging, it looks amazing. I am so proud to be your first customer’


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