A peek at chic: Nathalie Márquez Courtney

Thursday, March 3, 2016

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This post is long overdue.  Mostly because it has been in my head for a good long while and today, I get to celebrate this lady.  Nathalie is a wonderful blend of past, present and future - her innate ability to put you at ease for meaningful conversation mixed with her straight-talking, forward thinking creative mind is a testament to this sentiment.  I have never been more inspired or thankful to one lady in the industry than this one (there are many, many who feel the same) and as she creates a path from writer, photographer, editor to tech guru I cannot help but cheer her on her way.

She is my cliff-notes version to learning all things tech and creative.  I am so excited to share an interview of sorts, snapshots and a bit of her style and words here.


One thing that people would be surprised to know/find out about you.
That I grew up on the circus… but I’m not sure how surprising that is anymore! I asked Ben and he reckons that it could be that I love playing Hearthstone (and, in his words, am “annoyingly good” at it).

You’ve made an exciting leap into the world of tech.  What have you learned so far about that world?  Favourite apps?
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I’m learning so much about this world! My biggest lesson to date is definitely how under-represented women are. We need more female voices in this space. Technology is going to shape our world in so many ways, and we need to be involved in those decisions.

I’ve been working on a mega blog post of my favourite Mac apps, but it just keeps getting away from me. There are so many! But the super short version:

For Macs: Evernote is basically my second brain. I use Fantastical, Feedly, Flycut, Text Expander, and Day One on a daily basis.
For iOS devices: Spark Mail, Buddhify, Timepage, Wunderlist and, most recently, Quartz. For games, I love Monument Valley and have been enjoying Pause.
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DSC_0056 (1) Favourite design shop and place to get away within the city?
Please don’t make me pick my favourite design shop! If I’m recommending places in Dublin, I always suggest Article, Irish Design Shop, Indigo & Cloth and Industry. Clare and Laura at Irish Design Shop are true champions of Irish craft.
For a breather, the Bull Wall is currently a favourite little escape, as is a yoga session with Susie at Susita in Herbert Park. But honestly, anywhere I can walk and listen to a podcast does the trick.

Favourite place to eat in Dublin?
Right now, definitely El Grito, this teeny taqueria in Merchant’s Arch, Temple Bar with incredible tacos al pastor. I’m craving some right now just typing this.

You’ve given so many aspiring creatives an opportunity to be heard or seen (myself included).  You’re our fairy godmother of sorts.  What advice would you give to yourself way back when or to someone first starting to keep dreaming big even in the midst of an overly populated market?

Thank you! I honestly feel I’m getting the lucky end of the lollipop in getting to work with creatives like you. For reals. Looking back, I definitely wish I had reached out to people I admired sooner. Most people are happy to share their knowledge or help someone out. I felt intimidated by the scene – be it publishing or photography or blogging – by the huge difference between the quality of work I created and the work I aspired to or admired in others. So maybe me reaching out to people who may not have been inclined to get in touch, to offer support when I can and how I can, is my attempt to demystify what’s often seen as a very closed space.
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I remember you telling me ‘’ you’ve got to learn the rules before you decide to break them’’, it’s something that has stuck with me over the last year.  What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 
Haha, yes!

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given I actually have written on a Post-It and taped to my iMac at home. I’ve written and re-written it so many times over the years. It’s from Adrian Moran, a professor of cognitive psychology at UCD. I loved him as a lecturer when I was in college, and a couple of years after graduating I was lucky enough to interview him for a piece on career success for the teen magazine I was working on. He told me:

“Motivation is the most important ingredient to success. Intelligence is less important than passion and motivation. Don’t ask yourself, 'Am I intelligent enough?’ but ask, 'Am I interested enough?'"

That has really, really stuck with me and helped with some big career moves. If you’re curious about something, you should follow those breadcrumbs, even if you don’t feel you have the skills just yet.
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Girl crush. Thank you, thank you and a massive squeeze Nathalie for letting me share this here!


p.s. Another peek with Kate O'Dowd here. 

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