Natalie Irish (born 8 October 1982) is a Houston-based visual artist. Her mediums include metal, paint, clay, fabric, and charcoal, but she has gained attention for portraits created using lipstick. She gained media attention in 2011 for her lip print portraits of pop icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, and Roy Rogers.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana to parents Denise and Sherman Irish, Irish has lived in Manvel, Texas since elementary school. Irish married Dennis Bateman at a drive-thru chapel in Las Vegas. They live together with four cats and a dog. Irish also has two brothers.
Irish was diagnosed with type I diabetes in 2000 during her senior year in high school. She uses an insulin pump to manage her disease. She attended the University of North Texas for their metalsmithing program, but left school after three semesters. She returned to Houston and has since become active in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and American Diabetes Association, donating both time and art to raise awareness of the disease. In lieu of wearing a medical alert bracelet, Irish had “Diabetic” tattooed on to the inside of the right wrist.
Irish was interested in art from a young age. The first pieces of art she recalls creating are a pitcher, two cups, and a bird - all made from clay she dug up in her backyard and dried in the sun while in elementary school. She still has the pitcher and cups in her home.
In 2011, Irish gained media attention when website Oddity Central linked to a YouTube video of her creating one of her “lip print” pieces, a technique that Irish pioneered in 2001. Irish’s lip prints are created using lipstick and kissing the canvas. A 2011 Houston Press article details her method, including a video of her creating a self-portrait.
Jermaine Rogers, a celebrated Houston-born poster artist known for his work with rock and roll bands, met Irish during a promotional tour for Vans. Irish’s first commission was a lip print of Jimi Hendrix for Rogers. Her lipstick portrait of Princess Catherine hangs in Ripley’s Believe it or Not in London.
In addition to her signature lip prints, Irish creates fashion accessories including clothing, purses and jewelry, as well as sculptures, charcoal drawings, pencil sketches and oil paintings. She has been featured in ABC News, Bored Panda, Glam.com, The Conan O’Brien Show, The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, Time, and Yahoo News. Her art has also been featured at the Scottsdale Art Festival.
- Oddity Central “Incredibly Talented Artist Paints with Her Lips” Published on 6 July 2011
- Houston Press "Lips First" 3 August 2011
- American Profile "Texas Artist Shares Celebrity Kisses" 15 March 2013
- Six Until Me "Natalie Irish: Artist with Diabetes" 23 January 2013
- Diabetes Mine "A Diabetic Artist’s Lipstick Creations" 14 January 2013
- Houston Press Blogs "Cover Story: Natalie Irish Paints With Her Lips (With Video Of Her Painting This Week's Cover)" 3 August 2011
- Huffington Post "Artist Natalie Irish Creates Portrait Of Dutchess Kate Middleton With Kisses (PHOTOS)" 15 August 2012
- ABC News "Luscious Lips: the New Paint Brush?" 12 May 2012
- Bored Panda "Natalie Irish Paints With Her Lips" 9 September 2011
- Glam.com "MEET NATALIE IRISH, THE KISSER OF THE CANVAS" 8 October 2013
- The Conan O’Brien Show "Lipstick Artist Natalie Irish Unveils Her Conan Portrait" 20 December 2012
- The Huffington Post "Natalie Irish Creates Amazing Portraits Using Only Her Lips (PHOTOS, VIDEO)" 9 September 2011
- The Daily Mail "Kiss of colour: The amazing portraits of a young artist who paints only with her LIPS" 8 July 2011
- Time.com "The Art of a Kiss: Woman Paints Portraits By Puckering Up" 7 July 2011
- Yahoo News "Art by Kiss" 17 August 2011
- Desert Living Today "120 Seconds: Artist Natalie Irish". 7 March 2012.