FEATURED ARTIST: Interview with California Artist, Nathan Owens

Nathan Owens

Illustrator | 37 | Rancho Cucamonga, CA

@zprep | nathanowensdesign.com
We are honored to have, Nathan Owens, as our Featured Artist, he is a very talented artist that draws some amazing illustrations, you’re going to want to see the magic he makes, so go over hit that follow and support a fellow artist!

How long have you been an artist? What is your specialty? Where do u find inspiration?
My earliest memory of drawing is of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle attempt in third grade. It was just on after that…never looked back. Comic books were always my main source of inspiration growing up. I never got too fancy with the tools I required to draw. I was perfectly happy with a mechanical pencil and an adequate eraser.

After many years (the last couple of years in college and the years following that I spent focused on building my career), my medium shifted to digital. These days, I find myself primarily working with Adobe Illustrator. There’s something completely satisfying about vector work…it just fits my personality, I suppose. It allows me to get so lost in the details of a piece, acting as a terrific outlet for creativity and my OCD. Vector work also has the obvious advantage of being completely scale-able.

Regarding inspiration…I suppose I could sum it up with the hero’s journey. These stories have resonated with people for generations, and I’m no exception. It’s the fantastic, supernatural or futuristic sci-fi stories, yes. It’s the characters and their struggles, certainly. Most of all, though, it’s those characters overcoming seemingly impossible tasks with thoughtfulness, grit and determination, and coming out the other side improved versions of themselves. Take Batman, for example. Man, that guy had it rough! He had to go through some major trauma; losing his parents at a young age, mastering martial arts, battling villains much stronger than he…I mean, yeah, he had a load of inheritance and a great butler, but it was in the struggle that he became a hero. It’s the modern manifestations of this hero’s journey that inspires me the most.


Do you have a job in the art industry? If So, what’s one thing you don’t like about it? If no, where would your dream job be?
Well, I have a design job in the sports industry (which is more than ironic, as I don’t watch or play any sports), but I’ve been designing professionally since 2003. It’s actually because I’ve been in the design business so long that I was compelled to start illustrating again after a ten year hiatus. I needed something that I could call my own, and when you’re working for someone else, there is almost always external influences to the design. Finding my way back to illustrating really was a last-ditch effort to get the passion back.

Do you have a favorite Artist?
If I had to pick a favorite, it’d be Laurent Durieux…complete mastery on every level.

What is one accomplishment you’ve had in your life? Does not need to be art related.
Anything I’ve done that has enhanced my quality of life. I suppose a big one, and something that many people have trouble with, was to take the necessary actions to make sure that only those who enhance my quality of life and deserve to be in it, are in it. Those who don’t, aren’t.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
Well, I’ve only found my way back to illustrating recently (five years now…maybe?), and it’s something I plan on continuing to pursue. I think my illustrations have developed significantly in that time…at least, I think I’ve surpassed my own expectations of where I imagined I would be now, five years ago. But it’s quite impossible, I think, to accurately predict where one might be in the future, given any length of time. All I know is that I’m on a path, open to new opportunities,…where that path leads doesn’t really matter. I’m doing what I love, so it’s going in the right direction.

How is one way you make money with your art?
A steady job as an Art Director and designer. There may come a time when there is enough side work or interest in my personal illustration work (NathanOwensDesign.com) to justify a transition, but a steady job has been a great source of freedom in my life…freedom from money stress and the freedom to work on whatever I want to in my spare time…even to have that spare time.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I’d love to go back to Germany and revisit the Black Forest. I have very fond memories of it.

What is your favorite brand of art supply? Whether it’s a brand of pencils or brand of camera or software
Adobe Illustrator

Any advice for young artists?
It is only through struggle that we become better versions of ourselves. Pushing yourself and your abilities can be a very painful process, and one that is necessary if you expect to experience any moment of true satisfaction in what you’ve accomplished, to see any progress in your work, or your life.


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