Nation citizen Nathalie Standingcloud works on her Uktena
piece that she said she would like to turn into a tattoo design.
Standingcloud became involved in creating her art after attending
art classes at Northeastern State University. (photo by Stacie
Guthrie - Cherokee Phoenix)
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. Creativity flows from Cherokee Nation
citizen Nathalie Standingcloud's mind and fingertips as she creates
artworks, whether they are temporary such as chalk or permanent
such as tattoos. Through her creations she illustrates her calling
Standingcloud said she started drawing as soon as she could
hold a pencil.
"Being an artist as a young child, I have a lot of artists in
my family so it's kind of in my blood," she said. "I always grew
up drawing dragons and stuff, and people would tell me how good
my drawings were and that I should get involved with it and really
go with it. I just thought it was something good I could do. I never
thought that I could create a career until I got older and realized
that I don't want to sit in an office. I'd rather just be outside
Growing up she never took art classes, she said, and didn't
until attending Northeastern State University.
Nation citizen Nathalie Standingcloud created this Uktena
chalk art piece in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She said the piece
is created after a traditional Cherokee piece. (photo by Stacie
Guthrie - Cherokee Phoenix)
"I really haven't become super involved in my art 24/7 everyday
until maybe about two years ago when I started college because I
took art classes there and really found out what my potential was,"
She said at NSU she won the 43rd annual Symposium on the American
Indian poster contest in 2015.
"They featured my pregnant woman on the poster, and I got to
see it not only on the poster but in the newspaper, around town
and on a billboard. So that was the first time I actually got to
see my illustrations up and out there for the world to see," she
said. "To see that up there on the billboard, my artwork, it's way
different from seeing it in my notebook that's for sure. It just
made me feel, I don't know, useful. Made me feel like I was making
the world pay attention a little bit more, look at things and be
Since early summer she's been involved with chalk art after
winning a chalk art competition in Wagoner.
"A family wanted me to go out and draw a portrait of their son
who recently passed and we won first place. The family was happy.
I was happy," she said. "I never worked with chalk before then so
there's something about that competition that really inspired me
to work with that medium a lot more."
She said some of her latest chalk art consist of traditional
Nation citizen Nathalie Standingcloud created this double-headed
woodpecker chalk art piece under a bridge near Northeastern
State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She said it took
her approximately two hours and contains various types of
chalk. (photo by Stacie Guthrie - Cherokee Phoenix)
"My first piece is a double-headed woodpecker Cherokee original,
traditional design that I did," she said. "The other one, the big
circle with the two dragons, Uktena, that's another original Cherokee
She's also drawn Pokémon around Tahlequah, which she
created after the hype the mobile game Pokémon Go made.
"Pokémon's a big thing now, so I like to draw Pokémon,"
she said. "For some of the kids who don't have a phone it's kind
of not fun to go outside and not see Pokémon, so when little
kids walk by and they see Pikachu on the wall or Squirtle under
the bridge it's a little magical."
Standingcloud said because her chalk artwork isn't permanent
it's important to see it before it's gone.
"My chalk work does take quite a bit of time to finish, but
I think the fact that my chalk work is washable kind of makes it
a little more special because it isn't permanent. You only have
a couple of days before the rain's going to wash it away," she said.
Standingcloud said along with painting, sketching and tattooing
she likes trying new mediums.
"Being an artist, I just love to explore new mediums and hopefully
chalk won't be my last medium to explore," she said. "I plan on
becoming a full-time professional tattoo artist, so ink is another
medium that I'm interested in. Just anything where I can get my
creative juices flowing."
Standingcloud said she enjoys being an artist and hopes to continue
creating and getting commission work.
"I really enjoy this, and I hope that I get more commissions
so my purpose of being an artist is fulfilled, and I just keep growing
and learning and keeping people happy," she said.
To view her art or to commission a piece, visit her Facebook
page, Instagram at littlemisscherokee or email email@example.com.