4 by Natalie Tyler

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Tetraphobia is an aversion to or fear of the number 4. It is a superstition most common in East Asian regions such as mainland China, island of Taiwan, Japan and Korea. The Chinese word for four sounds very similar to the word for death in many forms of spoken Chinese. Similarly, the Sino-Japanese and Sino-Korean words for four, shi and sa sound identical to death in each language.


death, four, ginkgo, skull, typography, watercolour

Hello and welcome to my portfolio. Pull up a chair, grab a refreshing beverage and have a nose about.

I ♥ design, illustration, typography, and strong coffee. About once a year I develop a roll of film too. Thanks for checking out my schtuff. If you like anything you see, please leave a comment! :)

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  • Matt Penfold
    Matt Penfoldalmost 4 years ago

    Deadly work Nat, I’m glad you have six tags though eight would be better ;-)

  • I wonder if the good power of the number eight cancels out the bad power of number four. Now this is getting complicated ;)

    – Natalie Tyler

  • Danny
    Dannyalmost 4 years ago

    I have a similar problem

  • That’s pretty freaky. What happens if you don’t notice what the page number is? Or do you sort of know it’s coming and plan ahead?

    – Natalie Tyler

  • matthewdunnart
    matthewdunnartalmost 4 years ago

    This looks fantastic Nat!

  • Thanks Matthew :)

    – Natalie Tyler

  • Danny
    Dannyalmost 4 years ago

    I always know

  • ayarti
    ayartialmost 4 years ago

    back with a bang. lovely design!

  • I never leave, I just never get anywhere near my art supplies ;)

    – Natalie Tyler

  • Pip Gerard
    Pip Gerardalmost 4 years ago

    That watercolour is fantastic!! Curious whether it was a happy watercolour accident or did you plan for the skull the whole time? love it!

  • Hi Pip! Ok … here’s the whole process. I started painting ginkgo leaves yesterday and it was all a bit cheery and green so I wanted to balance that out with something not so pretty. I had a sort of buried skull in mind (even though my brain was screaming ‘predictable’ – but it seemed to work conceptually as ginkgo is apparently one of the best examples of a living fossil which apparently means they’ve survived major extinction events and can be dated back as far as 270 million years) … but it was a ‘practice go’ at a different idea on another bit of paper that turned out to be alright. So I combined it with the ginkgo leaves and it turned out ok. Then I was researching for a name to tie in with the ginkgo (now found mainly in China) and death and superstition and came across the info about the number four, so I added the bit of type and it all came together. Oh and it was a colour version but due to all the pale bits, our wonderful previews were making parts of it grey so I just went with grey. One day I hope to start with a fully formed concept which I will draw exactly as planned and it’ll turn out perfectly. In the meantime, I’ll stick with stumbling through the whole process. It’s kinda more fun, although slightly embarrassing to explain ;)

    – Natalie Tyler

  • modernistdesign
    modernistdesignalmost 4 years ago


  • Pip Gerard
    Pip Gerardalmost 4 years ago

    That’s exactly how my process works most of the time. Most of the time I loathe to do sketches… I just love a blank canvas where I can just go for it which is why I call a lot of my work doodles although they’re not really doodles as most people think cause they can be so detailed. It’s just a doodle because it’s spontaneous. I think that’s when the happy accidents happen. I relate so much to how you made this. Thanks for the background… I love hearing that kind of stuff.

  • micklyn
    micklynalmost 4 years ago

    great tee, and I love your dialogue with Pip, above, fascinating, reassuring and inspiring, all at once. (( :

  • o0OdemocrazyO0o
    o0OdemocrazyO0oalmost 4 years ago

    yeah funny fact!
    loving you crazy new art at mo…
    rock on…

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