Raising much-needed money for animal conservation by creating works of art using nib and indian ink on paper is keeping artist Nathan Ferlazzo rushed off his feet. Nathan’s intricate designs are stunning from afar, and on closer examination you’re delighted to discover leaves, flowers and other animals embedded into the design.
We spoke to Chelsea-based Nathan before he jetted off to New York to exhibit Marini Ferlazzo at the National Stationery Show. Marini Ferlazzo is a family business, with sister Simone responsible for accounts and orders while their mother and co-founder Clare handles the business development. Having worked as a graphic designer for eight years, Nathan decided in 2014 to pursue his passion for drawing, a talent he’d nurtured since he was four.
“After being inspired by a Eugene von Guerard exhibition, I purchased my first pen and ink set,” the 33-year-old said. “I experimented drawing plants, then decided to draw a cockatiel made out of flora — I liked the way it looked so I drew more and more animals in the same style. It progressed rapidly from there.”
Nathan’s passion for drawing animals led him to pursue in-depth research into conservation. After reading about various organisations, he decided his artistic flair could help raise awareness and money for them. Since Nathan founded the business in 2014, Marini Ferlazzo has donated an impressive $25,000 to various organisations around the world. These include World Animal Protection, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Edgar’s Mission, and Painted Dog Conservation Inc.
Nathan’s Nonno came to Australia in the 1950s from a small town in northern Italy and is credited as the inspiration behind the idea to start the business. “His perseverance and good intentions towards others has always inspired our family,” Nathan said. “It was important to us that we created a business that had a positive impact on the world. We are a family of animal lovers, so it was an obvious choice to support wildlife conservation.”
Farrell’s Bookshop in Mornington stocks Marini Ferlazzo greeting cards, or if you’re in the market for a new tea cup, we beg you to check out the range with Maxwell & Williams, which all started after Nathan emailed its team with visuals of what he thought the collection could look like. “This led to a meeting and it progressed quite quickly from there. Before we knew it, we were looking at the first mug samples. The range is expanding later this year and will include an Australian wildlife collection.”
To find local stockists and check out more of the company’s range, including prints, colouring books, calendars, stickers and magnets, visit mariniferlazzo.com.au. Remember, your purchase supports a more sustainable future for our planet.