Meet Natalie Martyn of On the Clouds Media
I would say that my journey started years ago, at the age of thirteen, when I got my first little digital camera. I immediately fell in love with the way I was able to capture the beauty I saw in the world and in the people around me, freezing fleeting moments forever. Over the next several years, I continued to explore this passion of mine and quickly began to learn and grow.
When I started college, I decided on what I saw as the “safe” choice: majoring in Psychology and keeping film and photography as a side hobby. I experienced a lot of uncertainty during my first year as I saw how everyone else around me seemed to know exactly what their purpose in life was. I couldn’t say the same. Towards the end of the fall semester, I was sitting in one of my classes and experienced a powerful conviction. I had never heard God’s voice clearly before, but that day, I heard Him speak over me, urging me to pursue film as a career and reassuring me that I needn’t worry. He would get me there.
I had no idea what this calling entailed- I wasn’t even sure if my university offered a film major. But, in faith, I responded with a “yes”. With no active effort on my part, doors began opening and details began falling in to place. A month later, I was asked to shoot my first wedding. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work on countless other projects, including short films, music videos, interview shows, promotional videos, and short documentaries. I have watched God reveal his sovereign plan to me over and over again, constantly reaffirming my calling to use this passion for His glory.
Now, four years later, I’ve just graduated from college and am making my start in the professional world. I recently launched a startup production company, On the Clouds Media, with some of my good friends. My hope is to continue finding stories that inspire me and tell them in a visually impactful way.
For the most part, everything has fallen in place pretty perfectly so far. I’m surrounded by extremely supportive friends and family and have access to privilege and resources that have made my start in this field possible and generally smooth. However, I have definitely struggled with self-doubt and receiving criticism.
I’m really hard on myself and often get caught up in the details of everything that could be better, instead of being able to see a project as being valuable for what it is, imperfections and all. It’s definitely been a battle for me to move past this and put my work out there, even if it has flaws. Along the same lines, I’ve also had to learn, and continue to learn, that critique does not invalidate everything that is good about a project. Listening to feedback has been a critical part of my growth as an artist and collaborating with others has opened my eyes to how diverse perspectives can make a piece far greater than it could have been on its own.
On the Clouds Media is a start-up production company, specializing in music videos, promotional videos and short films. We’re made up of a small, tight-knit team of young, bright-eyed artists, and love working with others like us. Whether that’s an up-and-coming musical artist or a small business just getting its start, we strive to lift others up on their journeys while embarking on our own. We work at a fast pace, we love to experiment with new techniques and creative ideas, and we are committed to telling important, authentic, and underrepresented stories in our work.
To me, success is being able to do what I love the most while making an impact in the lives of others. I love the way Frederick Buechner puts it. He said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Being behind the camera and creating meaningful work is my greatest joy and the place I feel most at home. It’s something that I truly feel I need to do. My hope is that through my art, I can open eyes to see beauty, spur hearts to have empathy, and restore minds with wonder.
If I can keep doing that for the rest of my life, I consider that a success.