Artist Spotlight: Natalie Fuller | PostIndependent.com

Artist Spotlight: Natalie Fuller

Billboards Parking Lots

Billboards, parking lots, strip malls, TV

Get a car, go to college, job, house, family

It’s all been done before & they’ll do it all again

A broken record of our culture, if you pay it than you’re in.

Welcome to suburbia, asphalt seas and beige prisons

Makin people act like machines, and tell em that their livin

Hook em up to cables, and feed em the same diet

Kills all imagination, and keeps the crowds quiet

Livin in an age when banks kiss the sky

People livin for their mortgage, and their piece of the pie

Every day starts and ends the same with the sun in the sky

Ever stop? And ask yourself, why?

Ever stop, and close your eyes

All around the world rebellions are rising

People standing on their feet, and together their fighting

Using their bodies, and their voices to make a statement

No longer will the greedy have our silent consent

Add your voice, join in, the truth won’t be silenced

Add your voice, join in, the truth won’t be silenced

Green trees, blue skies, get up, outside

Ride your bike to the market, feed your body, spirit, mind

The change begins with me, and I pass it on to you

Once you get to know your farmer, you get to know your food.

Natalie Fuller is a relatively recent addition to the valley, but she has already put her stamp on the community through her poetry, songwriting, environmental advocacy and sustainability work. She serves on the Carbondale Environmental Board and spent her summer working with Evergreen events, a local composting company. She recently sat down with the Post Independent to discuss her passions and how they intertwine.

What are your creative outlets?

Writing, singing and picking up trash.

I was always fascinated with writing from my early childhood. I’ve learned through having great inspirations and writing all the time and through struggles and letting it get pent up that writing is the key to getting through a lot of emotions.

I’ve really found an affinity to songwriting, and poetry is kind of a passenger. My first inclination is to have a beat, but after going to a few poetry brothels in the audience, I got up and spoke, and that’s how I joined the group.

The creative recipe for me is passion, prompt and pressure. First I have to care about it. Alya is amazing at getting folks on stage. And if I haven’t done it a month before, it’s usually the week of, and I’m frantically writing on the bus. That always seems to work out.

Do you play an instrument as well as sing?

I grew up playing the piano and the upright bass. I left those because I was playing it by ear, and I’ve picked up the guitar while I was in Maui to back up my singing.

If I do performance, though, I ask Sage Dawson to play, since I’m not very proficient at playing and singing at the same time yet.

What about picking up trash?

I love to bring that up, because I get totally inspired and creative about it.

This summer, working with Evergreen Events, I decided I wanted to pick up trash in style and look good doing it. I have this whole new persona called Glitz and Litter. She wears pearls and dresses while picking up trash.

During simple, monotonous tasks like sorting trash or weeding a garden, it gives a lot of time for me to think about creative things. It’s doing something that I really enjoy with simple movements to let my brain run.

How did you get into that in the first place?

I’ve become really passionate about our systems. Where are things coming from, and where are things going? Instead of going to college, I went organic farming on Maui. There’s a heritage of the Hawaiians living there completely cut off from the world, and now we have established not only military bases but scientific test zones for GMO producers. I got to see that dichotomy.

I came to this valley for Jerome Osentowski’s permaculture institute two years ago and fell in love with this place, and then found out that there’s a local private company working with our landfill to take our waste and turn it into soil.

Is that what you end up writing about?

A lot of my poetry and songs are calling out different cultural norms and things I’ve been disillusioned about. “Billboards, parking lots” is a rap I came up with in Portland that takes on the cultural box we’ve been living in — go to school, get a car, go to college, get a family, get a house, become successful… I rebelled against that growing up in a Mormon family. That song was full of angst as I was writing it at 19, but I added a last verse to it three years later living here. That felt really good.

What’s next?

What I have been doing lately is working with Alya’s contemporary dance team for a performance in November. I wanted to be a ballerina as a kid. My mom said I would break all my toes, so I became a goalie and I broke all my fingers.

I want to keep Glitz and Litter alive. I’ve never had a persona before, and I love it. I felt like a superhero getting to bring awareness to something that’s so menial.

I’ve also been slacking on writing, so I want to find the nooks and crannies to do that.