Natalie Homewood: Rooted in Lake Worth Beach

Faces of St. Andrew’s-Natalie Homewood: Rooted in Lake Worth Beach

To London native Natalie Homewood, adjusting to life in the United States offered more of a culture shock than she expected.

“You think it wouldn’t be a big deal. We speak the same language,” says Natalie. “Grocery shopping overwhelmed me—you refer to things by different names here in the States.”

Natalie grew up in Camden Town, North London. Artistically inclined, creating art fascinated her as a child and inspired her career as a visual effects artist.

“When I was a kid, I loved Jim Henson’s work, The Muppets, and considered becoming a puppeteer. Later, as 3-D animation appeared, I was blown away by movies like ‘Toy Story.’ At school, the only subject I felt passionate about was art.”

Following a short stint as a student at Essex University, Natalie stumbled upon a computer animation course. “It was still a relatively new program at the time, but I took a chance, enrolled, and really enjoyed it! Luckily, it saved me from a potential pile of student debt.”

After she completed the course, she landed her first job at Cinecast as a runner. “I was a go-fer, making coffee for the crew.” To keep learning, she volunteered to do effects other people couldn’t do. “As long as I completed my other work, they allowed me to stay longer and learn. It was invaluable on-the-job training.”

Natalie specializes in creating very detailed work for both live action and animation productions. Her worked has appeared in films including the fourth and fifth installments of “Harry Potter” as well as “Narnia.” Today, she supervises the Character Effects division for The Mill, part of Technicolor Creative. Although the company is based in New York City, Natalie works remotely from the home she shares in Lake Worth Beach with her wife, Miriam Garcia.

The pandemic prompted the couple to relocate to Florida. “Experiencing lock down was a huge game changer and made us realize how important it was for us to be close to family. Florida was a logical choice, since Miriam’s family lives in Miami. In addition, my parents and brother live in Texas.”

Natalie grew up attending an Anglican Church in London, and then later, after a period away from churchgoing, joined Church of the Intercession, an Episcopal Church while living in New York City’s Harlem.

After moving to Florida, Natalie noticed St. Andrew’s one day while returning home from the beach. “I thought it was such a cute church, the way it was situated on the corner. I looked it up on Google Maps and was thrilled to see it was an Episcopal church! We decided to check it out.”

Natalie and Miriam enjoyed a warm welcome when they attended their first service at St. Andrew’s, and it kept them coming back. “Everyone was so friendly; this blew us away. And Rev. Cori’s sermon was so welcoming and topical. As a gay couple, we felt safe.”

Recently, they volunteered to help plan the Gatsby Ice Cream Social, and Natalie joined the Care Committee. “As time goes on, I plan to slowly get more involved, including helping to grow the church’s membership.”

With their home in Lake Worth Beach, Natalie and Miriam are intent on establishing roots. “We’re not going anywhere. We’re here for the long haul.”