Ep. 126 - Nathan Oser

Ep. 126 - Nathan Oser

This week on the Creative Waffle podcast, I chat with the designer, author and illustrator Nathan Oser about his venture from America to Japan. We talk about Japanese life, food, culture along with some casual design and book talk. If you like learning about other parts of the world then this podcast is for you. Hope you enjoy the show.

Find Nathan here:

https://www.instagram.com/natetonight/

https://www.nathanoser.com/

 

 

Full Episode - Audio Only

 

Episode Artwork by Nathan.

57390261_165026347836594_107900190121853039_n.jpg

 

5 Bullet Breakdown

1. 00:10

I kind of consider myself in the whole side hustle realm of things, more of an author, kind of like an author illustrator.

I like to think of that as like a singer-songwriter. That's kind of cheesy. But yeah, I was originally just writing books and short stories and stuff and I realised that, everybody judges a book by it's cover. You need a good cover and there were a couple artists that I had in mind to do some covers and stuff. It didn't work out. I decided to make my own stuff.

2. 17:20

What you think the best thing about living in Japan is?

The safety, I can drive down the street and the overall average speed is a lot slower than the states, like my brother. He's two years older than me and he lives in the states and he was stopped at a red light the truck in front of him was kind of over the line so it backed up and it would backed up right onto his hood. It almost crushed him. This happened recently and I heard that story and I'm like man it was that dangerous there. Here you get in an accident and you can shake it off.

3. 27:00

One thing that is really cool about Japan is you know, they have Valentine's Day and actually have a white day too, which is like the opposite of Valentine's Day.

They do it way different like Valentine's Day girls give chocolates and things to boys. In March, they have white day where boys give it back to girls. White day is not as popular Valentine's day is the biggest thing. The coolest thing about that in Japan is it's not this whole candy company, you know commercial thing. Most of the girls who give chocolates they'll make the chocolates no make cookies or something. They'll bake it at home and then they'll give somebody, there's this big down-home feel here. 

4. 40:00

The Samurai blue team has the crow with the three legs. So that's called Yata-Garasu, which is a crow with three legs and it originates from the prefecture that I live in Wakayama.

What does it mean?

You know, I don't know, but I once went on a tour where I was interpreting what the priest at the shrines were saying, and this was eight or nine years ago, but they were talking about that stuff and I remember thinking how that's cool I've got to remember that. Obviously. I don't.

5. 51:00

Yeah. It's just I guess, at first when you kind of suck you still think that you're good, right? Yeah. It's really important is thinking that you're good. Otherwise, you'll never grow, you think you're good and you put something out there, you'll look back on stuff and think and that's junk.

So hopefully, next month. I'll look back on this month and think. Oh man, that's junk and I can keep to keep improving. That's my goal.

I like how you said hopefully because that's important, isn't it? That means you are improving. You're constantly working on it.

Yeah, and as you do it, you'll learn new tricks and stuff and that'll become second nature the next time you do it, you know muscle memory that kind of thing.

 

 

Clip of the week

At first, when you kinda suck, you still think that you’re good right. I think it’s really important, still thinking that you’re good otherwise you’ll never grow.

You think you’re good and you put stuff out there, when you look back you think it’s junk, hopefully, next month I’ll look back on this month and think that’s junk and I can keep improving. That’s my goal anyway.
— Nathan Oser
 

 

Mentioned on the episode


Nathans Books:

Owlsby in Autumn

Lucky Rabbit's Foot

Midnight O'Clock

https://www.nathanoser.com/owlsby

Audio podcast version of Midnight O’Clock

https://apple.co/2ZM7Ilu


Other CW podcast guests:

James Victorie

https://youtu.be/FGu1RHV16Go

https://www.jamesvictore.com/


Events mentioned on the show:

Day of the Dead


People mentioned on the show:

Oban Jones

https://www.instagram.com/obanjones/

Sid Fleischman

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sid_Fleischman

Steven Spielberg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Spielberg

Mark Twain
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain

Oscar Wilde

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde

Bands mentioned on the show:

Nirvana 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_(band)

Pearl Jam

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_Jam

Alice in Chains

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_in_Chains

Depeche Mode

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depeche_Mode

Products mentioned on the show:

Procreate

https://procreate.art/

Adobe Capture

https://apple.co/2GPWbbZ

Posca pens
https://www.posca.com/en/

Japanese phrases mentioned on the show:

1200px-Japan_national_football_team_crest.svg.png
 

 

Full Video Version

Catch the video version of the show on YouTube. https://youtu.be/M2wkq_RXjes

 

 

Full Episode Transcript

Ep 126 - Nathan Oser

[00:00:00] We are recording although someone is tapping on the other side of the wall.

So can we start with who you are and how you found design.

Yeah, I found design recently. I guess you might say. I kind of consider myself in the whole side hustle realm of things, more of an author, kind of like an author illustrator.

[00:00:25] I like to think of that as like a singer-songwriter. That's kind of cheesy. But yeah, I was originally just writing books and short stories and stuff and I realized that, everybody judges a book by it's cover. You need a good cover and there were a couple artists that I had in mind to do some covers and stuff.

[00:00:45] It didn't work out. I decided to make my own stuff. Because I had always been you know, one of those drawing kids. I'm sure you hear that all the time and but that was me too, you know drawing in school and my [00:01:00] math tests were all drawings like there's no numbers in the my math test. So I failed all that.

[00:01:06] But yeah, so I kind of used my knowledge of drawing or what I thought was knowledge of drawing to make some covers. They turned out alright, but looking back on them. Now. I'm and I think I could do a lot better job.

Yeah, so going through education and that was all in the US and now you're in Japan, so to put me through growing up in the US?

[00:01:30] Yeah. Yeah, I grew up in Kentucky born and raised in Kentucky and then in high school, I relocated to Arizona and I went to university there, and they had this great language program. I took a bunch of different languages the one I fell in love with the most was Japanese. Obviously, that's why I'm in Japan.

[00:01:52] So there's that connection. There was a study abroad chance. I took it and I've been here [00:02:00] since I guess 2007 so it's a long time. Yeah, I have to apologize upfront if my English sounds a little jank sometimes because I don't use it everyday.

Really. So you speak Japanese most of the time.

Yeah, probably like 70 80 percent Japanese my kids they're six and four, they're bilingual. So they'll tell me my Japanese is Jank to so I'm kind of liking this no man's land.

That's amazing. Yeah, so your pretty fluent in Japanese?

I can say what I want. I can understand everything I've ever done. I don't have any problems with it. But I'll make the like the little mistake and when you're good enough at a language people will really, you know, get on your case if you make a little mistake, if you're not good at it, they'll be patient with you and let you speak and stuff like.

That's cool.

[00:02:58] So learning learning Japanese was that in the US? When you first start learning it.

Exactly yeah. I had never learned anything about Asia at all. Like my my history teachers in Kentucky. They skip that whole section and I had no idea about anything on the other side of the Pacific. So when I went to University I saw there was a chance to learn about, you know, foreign languages.

[00:03:27] I took a couple I took Japanese and Korean and Italian. But I stuck with Japanese and you know, I think that was a good choice except that doesn't really help you when you get out of college. You got to major in business with like a minor in Japanese, and my minor was liking art history or something because I just wanted to go to those lecture halls and you know hear about the paintings.

So what what what I should you took you to to Japan then?

[00:04:43] Yeah, there was a chance to study abroad and you know, I took a test I did the interview and I wrote like a thesis sort of thing. So in my fourth year my senior year. I got this like fools full ride scholarship. To study in Tokyo [00:05:00] at a really renowned University, which I didn't know at the time and I was like man I'm too shy for that.

[00:05:09] I don't want to go to Tokyo. There's too many people. I hate crowds man. So I said you have anywhere else and they send me to the the countryside in this place called Wakayama. And there's nothing here but there's ocean. There's mountains. In the daytime I can see the ocean right out the window here, which is a great inspiration or you know way to relax when I'm drawing or whatever, but I'm glad I came here studying abroad I made some connections in Japan that I wanted to keep and I found a job before I graduated.

[00:05:43] So I stayed here after that and it's just, you know become home.

Yeah, that's amazing as I looked up some pictures of your hometown and Wakayama, and it's beautiful. It's really be excellent.

I'm glad you think so when I [00:06:00] looked at the pictures I thought oh, wow. I'm going to this place you were beaches and everything and that's kind of where I'm at now, but when I first came here, it was the middle of the night because the plane comes in at that time.

[00:06:10] I took the bus to the station. There was one telephone booth to call the person to pick me up to take me to my dorm. It turns out I went to the dorm and it's this one room thing. I turned on the lights cockroaches everywhere and there's no curtains and there was no bed and I thought oh man, I want to go back on the plane and I hate traveling so.

[00:06:35] Wow. So for a guy that hates traveling. How come you like you wanted to move out of the u.s. Because this was a better life or what? What was it what then you know the study abroad here just felt like a dream and I wanted to kind of relive that dream. So now I'm going to these places or I'm working at these places that I remember passing by when I was a student [00:07:00] and it's it's kind of surreal.

[00:07:02] Yeah, and you know, everything is quieter here. It's a lot more laid back. Because it is the countryside on and it feels a lot safer than the U.S. Actually.

Right that's strange, huh? I wouldn't imagine it to be that. When I think about Japan I think of Tokyo and I think everything's wacky and crazy.

You're thinking neon sign, right?

[00:07:29] Yeah.

They don't have that here. This is like the opposite of that. It's. Yeah, I mean you can see that stuff on TV, but. It's all fields and stuff.

Yeah, I mean, it's like I said, I Googled it so more peaceful. It's like the Tranquil Gardens you see everyone doing yoga and their stuff but that there is a hint of that that's that's kind of part of life, you know, the whole Tea Ceremony thing and they do that.

[00:07:56] So when you went to Thailand did you experience that Countryside lifestyle there or?

Yeah we went to a few different places, Bangkok then we went down to Phuket and then up to Chiang Mai, that's a bit less touristy and that was cooler.

[00:08:15] I went with two friends that where Thai. And stayed with their family for little bit and I actually got a look into real life of Thai people, which is awesome.

That's a different experience right when you actually really like this kind of like homestay thing.

Yeah, exactly. I always like that's such a good thing to do.

[00:08:35] Which is a real incite, rather than just the touristy stuff, which is also fantastic like it's going to Bangkok and drinking really cheap and eating scorpions and stuff.

Yeah, I know what you mean. There's that Di Caprio movie where he drinks that snake blood in Thailand, right.

[00:08:53] Yeah, it is the beach.

I think I've seen the clip. Yeah, [00:09:00] it's more than 10 years old for sure 15 or so, but I remember seeing that and one time I went to Thailand and just because of that movie. I was like, I gotta try the snake blood thing and this guy at the market place. [00:09:13] He called me over and I tried it and it. I don't remember what it tasted like. I just remember thinking. Oh, I'm drinking snake blood and there's a snake hanging, you know right next to me. It had snakes all over it.

I know what you mean, I had a scorpion, that was horrible.

How did they cook it, was it prepared a certain way?

[00:09:35] I think they just cooked it to shit. So like basically the cooked so much that you can fixed it. It was just like cook them just tasted really badly burnt.

I love that description. We had scorpions in Arizona to you have to check your shoes. Sometimes before you went out because sometimes they'll get in there.

[00:10:00] [00:10:00] Nasty nasty, that's my best pair of shoes like a spider or something is in it.

I definitely agree. I have a bug phobia to but yeah Alex the cockroach is obviously a bad thing.

Oh, man. Yeah, I couldn't stand it.

So going onto the work stuff, you are doing story books and children's books. Was that as you came to you that Japan or was that in the US and abroad over.

That's after I came to Japan, but I'd always been interested in that kind of stuff. So I wanted to do something writing related. I just had my kids so I wanted to do some kind of children's stories and you know, honestly that kind of stuff reminds me of my own childhood.

[00:10:50] So I would. Probably done that regardless but I wrote some stories and I did a couple books and when I was doing the [00:11:00] illustrations, I needed some you know, typography and what is typography? I don't know what that is. So I study about that online or whatever asked some friends and I discover, all these new fonts and all that kind of fun stuff.

[00:11:14] So I had a lot of fun putting that together. Threw that I discovered. This awesome designer named ... Jones, and he did some fonts. And he actually does a lot of playing cards which I love as well. One of my books that I was writing is like a western and then you know, they have these poker games and Italy pharaoh and all that stuff.

[00:11:36] So as I was writing that I was, you know, shuffling cards and trying to do magic tricks at the same time, to keep myself from fidgeting I guess that is fidgeting while I was writing, you know help me write. Yeah, that got me through to the design world, you know following him and stuff and I decided for my next book.

[00:11:58] I want to do like chapter headers. I want to do a one illustration for each chapter and they were like 25 chapters. So that's you know, that's one of those monthly challenges you see on Instagram, right?

Yeah, so you do one a day and you put it up there and that was a lot of fun and I decided to keep going with that and it became a habit and really now it's only been like a year and a half since I started doing design stuff and putting it on Instagram, but it's really just a like a hobby I guess.

[00:12:33] So is part time stuff, the children's books? Or was that full time?

Well, I still have a full-time job, I'm doing that and then the side hustle thing which has slowly turned into more design. So I haven't written anything in over a year.

[00:12:52] My last book that came out was a year and a half ago. I want to write more stuff because I think I could do better [00:13:00] drawings for it now. But this is just so interesting and I love doing it. And as I do it I realized it kind of leads into something else I get these emails about. Hey, can you design our t-shirts?

[00:13:15] We need a logo. Do you do branding and this hobby just kind of turned into this? I wouldn't say it's a job, but it's a... I don't know kind of this transitional phase I guess.

Yeah. Yes. So what is your full-time? What you do?

Well, I work for the city here in Japan in wakayama. I do tourism stuff translation interpretation and I teach English too, even though my English is a little little shady right now.

Absolutely not. No, I love it. That's awesome. So what was it? you teach kids only?

I teach at Junior High so Junior highest three years here. It's ages 12 to 15.

That's awesome. So you must get a pretty good feeling like when it when these kids are learning English and teaching them a new skill?

[00:14:18] Yeah, they have a blast because my Japanese teacher was so much fun. He would teach me through jokes and stuff and that's kind of what made me want to be a teacher. So I use those jokes and the kids are like, I want to I wish I could say that joke in English. So, you know, they try really hard at learning this stuff and there's a lot of instant reaction. So you do something and you can see the smile on their faces or like the satisfaction of saying something and having it be understood. So I love that kind of back and forth with the kids.

Yeah, that's powerful. From the UK learning languages... we're quite lazy. I think. I think the British people are lazy at learning languages. Typically not a lot of people want to learn it at school and when we go on holiday, we always expect the people speak English because we're in Europe.

It's like you're talking about Americans man, because that's probably the same.

[00:15:20] Yeah. Yeah. Maybe it's just. I know as I think people should learn more languages. I think I should learn more languages as well because when I'm when I'm older, I definitely want to be able to speak a lot of European languages. Especially Spanish. It's spoken in not just Spain, but in other countries as well. French as well Spanish.

[00:15:40] Right? Right, right. Yeah, like they're most of the signs and stuff in Arizona where I went to University and high school, you know, they have Spanish underneath the English. So we took Spanish classes in high school. I've forgotten most of it. But yeah, they say Spanish and Japanese are the most similar out of any two languages in the [00:16:00] world.

[00:16:01] That's strange.

It is a strange connection, right? Yeah.

So what about these kids, have they asked you to teach many swear words or anything. Have they asked you about that sort of side of it.

You know, Japan doesn't really have like swear word swear words, so they can say anything. There's no like you can't say that word to a degree

[00:16:23] They have a little bit of that but not as much as you know.

They'll ask me words like boogers and stuff like that.

Right? It's not like aggressively swearing.

Just yeah, they're not gonna say how do you say fuck or anything?

[00:16:46] Because they don't have that.

Interesting. That's really cool. I've been doing my research into aging and it sounds weird but they're getting older and they have [00:17:00] people that live longer and it was seems to be Japanese people that come out on top.

[00:17:09] Ah man the food. That was one of the biggest attractions of staying here the food. I was such a picky eater in the states and I think it's because the food was not that good. It's so good. I eat everything. I've eaten the weirdest things man, no scorpion, but I've had you know, jellyfish all kinds of stuff.

[00:17:27] Yeah, cause there's a lot of fast food and the entire Western World just has a lot of bad fats as well. I like when you come over to Japan and his amazing like fresh fish and the cool vegetables and no one knows about.

Oh, yeah. Yeah and I live on the coast here so we can go fishing and we can take home and cook whatever we catch and there's like a market just down the street here.

[00:17:50] They catch these huge tuna and they have this whole show where they cut the tuna up and stuff. It's amazing.

What you think the best thing about living in Japan is?

The safety, the safety, you know, I can drive down the street and the overall average speed is a lot slower than the states, like my brother.

[00:18:12] He's two years older than me and he lives in the states and he was stopped at a red light the truck in front of him was kind of over the line so it backed up and it would backed up right onto his hood. It almost crushed him. This happened recently and I heard that story and I'm like man it was that dangerous there.

[00:18:33] Here you get in an accident and you can shake it off. In the state's you're dead.

That's crazy. That's interesting to hear, it's changed my mind about Japan a it. That's cool.

I've had a couple of accidents where I've been rear-ended. So like that's kind of like a big thing for me.

[00:18:53] Yeah. What would be a tip for people wanting to move to Japan or people inspired to go to Japan from this podcast?

I guess don't believe everything you see on the internet.

How are Japanese people around you as well because you clearly look different, you speak different.

[00:19:14] You know, honestly, I've been here so long. I don't even think about that anymore in the day-to-day, but I'm sure everyone else thinks about it, you know, I'll go to a restaurant and then the people sitting next to me or next to them or whatever. It never fails. They start talking about the foreigners that they know or like the countries that they went to they start talking about something international.

[00:19:40] So they think you're visiting. They obviously don't expect you to know Japanese.

No one expects you to know Japanese. So I just kind of ignore it and I try to I try to block it out because usually if I go to a restaurant and I've got my iPad out and I'm trying to draw something so I need to focus anyway.

[00:19:59] Yeah, that's [00:20:00] cool.

I mean like a cafe or something. Right? Right.

Okay, going back to the stories and writing books. So where did this all start? Was it as a kid, wanting to be read stories at night or where did it come from?

I was reluctant reader so it didn't happen until a lot later.

[00:20:22] I got interested into I discovered this. Author named Sid Fleischmann and just his books were like perfect for me. They were like Steven Spielberg movies in book form and you know that was like so perfect for me. I just wanted to copy that style and write my own stuff. So I started to do that and it just kind of stuck as I have it Hobby Habit kind of thing.

[00:20:50] Yeah, that's cool. If people should be one of your books which one is a read first?

[00:21:00] I don't know. It depends on what they like one's kind of like a Halloween themed book where the whole town is just like constant Halloween. That one's called 'Owls be in Autumn'.

[00:21:11] The one I really before that is it's kind of like a. Western Midwestern kind of Mark Twain kind of style story and that one is I think that's more adventurous. I don't know, but maybe they should start with that. It's called 'Lucky Rabbit's Foot'. I was trying to look for one of those books before the podcast, in audio version.

I found 'Midnight O'Clock'. I found that on there and I listen to it, it's great. No way. Yeah. Yeah. It's like someone's really out and narrated it. Yeah.

Yeah. That's a that's an awesome podcast that I've collaborated with a couple times. Yeah. I'm I'm thrilled you. Listen to that. That's amazing man. That is really cool.

[00:22:00] Going from not reading as a kid. I was the same. I didn't really enjoy it. So I tried to rebel against it, but now I've got these design books and reading something that I'm interested about has changed it. I'm actually excited more about reading.

I remember how you said in the James Victorie interview. [00:22:19] You read that book in a day. I'm excited to dig into that.

Yeah. I mean I still have trouble reading out loud and that's strange as I do the podcast. But if I'm trying to read like a book out loud, I really struggle but I need to work on that.

Same here man like that. I bought this mic just to record that, you know voiceovers and stuff for the book.

[00:22:41] But those guys that did the podcast of 'Midnight O'Clock'. They did such a good job as. I'm not gonna do that anymore. I'll leave it to them

Yeah, they did it really well. And in an exciting way. That's something I've always admired. People that when they read a book, they read ahead and then it is as if they're telling a story, right?

[00:23:04] Right, right. Right, right. So I was gonna have to click figure out how you're going to say certain words and stuff.

Yeah, that's how that's why people read slowly because out loud to try and tell the story, at least it's more dramatic. And yeah, I love it.

Actually, that's the trick is not to rush it. [00:23:19] That's the trick. Yeah, I can't do it. I'm rushing everything.

Do you think like Japanese culture has influenced your work at all and especially to your stories?

I think it's done the opposite actually it's kind of made me being in. Japan has made me to a degree homesick.

[00:23:40] So that's why I wrote the kind of Duanian novel. You know, I missed that that's a you know, this Kentucky days where there's the Ohio River there I missed the the Americana of it all so I started writing more about that. The other book is about Halloween.

That's a. [00:24:00] I guess that's a they don't have Halloween here, of course, so, you know.

[00:24:08] What is Halloween? It's like a big gimmick isn't it? I mean, I don't know because really. Actually, that's not true because in some countries like Mexico. They really celebrate it. They really believe in it. In America and over here in the UK. It's a bit more commercialized. It's a bit more about making money people that people make money.

[00:24:26] And then in Japan they don't have it, that's slightly strange.

They don't have it. But you know, it kind of is turning into an event like right kids will start dressing up. They don't do trick-or-treat or anything, but they'll go to their friend's house in a buzz costume or something, you know, yeah.

[00:24:46] Strange how he says Halloween. I mean, I think I think other countries have lost a sense of the real meaning of it like Mexico. I think they've got it nailed of the Day of the Dead celebration.

Yeah, I'd be interested in hearing how you guys celebrate it and how they would celebrate it in the whole UK, you know, because I hear that's where it originated.

[00:25:07] Nah, Maybe. I thought it was from Mexico. I thought from the dead sort of thing. They like they celebrate their families, in particular those that have died in their families and celebrate their lives. It's like big party, which is really awesome.

But then over here in the UK and I think it's the same in the US but they've just commercialized it.

[00:25:33] It's like Valentine's Day. It used to mean something but now it's just a commercialised. That's a really annoying thing for me. Anyway, that's how I feel about a lot of these parties and celebrations.

Do you have those like childhood memories of your Halloween, when you were like making your costume and you were going out with your friend.

[00:25:52] Yeah, in neighbours yards and stuff. That's the.

Right. Yeah, I guess I suppose [00:26:00] I'm growing older is coming out a little bit like this big commercialised thing.

That's important though, right? You know, I forget who said it but... I think it was Oscar Wilde or somebody but like the shallow person.

[00:26:18] Someone who says that being shallow is is bad is more shallow, something like that. I can't remember but it's like... Recognizing the importance of these shallow things in these commercial things because you know, that's how life moves on I always think about that. This is an important part of life.

[00:26:36] I mean when I grew up everything was alt Rock, I'll rock, you know Smashing Pumpkins Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and you know screw that pop music, but there's a place for pop music that's important. And I think if you're someone who can appreciate both that and pop music. Then I think you've got a handle on something.

[00:26:59] Okay? [00:27:00] Yeah, I get it. So suddenly appreciating how the two sides it maybe at like it but like you got to appreciate why people do like in my people to it still. Okay.

Right? Yeah and to bring it around to design. I mean, you've got to think in terms of sell-ability.

Yeah. You don't have to make money off of it though - Things like Halloween and Valentine's Day. You don't have to make money off it. They've just jumped on it because they can make money off of it. I think it should be less commercial.

[00:27:44?] I think it should be purer. I think anyway.

Maybe that starts in here, you know? Yeah. That's a good idea. Actually you make it pure to yourself.

[00:27:00] One thing that is really cool about Japan is you know, they have Valentine's Day and actually have a white day too, which is like the opposite of Valentine's Day.

They do it way different like Valentine's Day girls give chocolates and things to boys. In March, they have white day where boys give it back to girls. White day is not as popular Valentine's day is the biggest thing. The coolest thing about that in Japan is it's not this whole candy company, you know commercial thing. Most of the girls who give chocolates they'll make the chocolates no make cookies or something. They'll bake it at home and then they'll give somebody, there's this big down-home feel here.

So I know what you mean.

Yeah. Yeah. Sorry to go on that rant.

[00:28:48] Yeah, we must be cool. I was the coolest experience that difference from from the U.S. To over here. So why when did you move over to Japan [00:29:00] then? He was let's see. I'm 34 now. So I've been here. So if this was what you say, yeah, yeah, 11 12. So, you know 22 pretty early. Yeah, that's cool.

[00:29:17] I've been back and forth, yeah.

How often you go back. Not recently but in total maybe 10 to 15 times, but since I've had the kids we haven't had a chance to take them back. And they're growing up. We gotta get get on it.

Yeah, absolutely. So with the design stuff. I didn't realise that you wrote books and your storyteller from your Instagram page until I looked at your website.

[00:29:47] I thought Wow. This is completely different. There is this some cool stuff going here. So why do you keep a separate.

It's not a conscious thing. A while ago. I did some like my book cover mock-ups and stuff. I kind of want to keep a book theme going on because that's what interests me.

[00:30:07] But really just since since my last book came out the Halloween one. I'm just been focusing on design and I've been enjoying, you know, doing a drawing every night or so and you know experimenting with textures and how to make this look more stylized that kind of thing.

Yeah, so you do a textures... is on procreate or how?

It's all on procreate, my computer bit the dust. So I've got the iPad still luckily.

Yeah, so where do you get the textures from? Did you make them as you use them?

That's a good question my design heroes they make their own still. That was all I had in my head. When I started to do this. I didn't know they were resources to get design materials and stuff when I first started [00:31:00] so I was trying to make everything on my own and that eventually like kind of snowballed.

[00:31:05] So I would make like a halftone and it would look like junk. And then I would make another halftone and it would look like less junk and eventually kind of developed this style that I'm really happy with now, it's kind of like a weird loophole in the procreates app that I that I do. It's it's so cool because I was looking for a way to get a nice vector line, with like bumpy edges that irregular kind of line but a straight line, you know. Yeah, and this was before they had the quick shapes and stuff where you can hold the pen down and make a straight line. So I was thinking I got these vectors I want to you know, I want to screw them up. I want to make a textured.

I tried so many things and I just stumbled on this effect and I've been honing that and honing that ever since and.

[00:31:58] I get a lot of [00:32:00] reactions to the textures. So I've been trying to get these out there. I'm currently in talks with a supplier of textures a big company and we'll see how that goes. But I would love to get these out there and into everyone's hands. That's my main priority now actually.

Yeah, it mean you should try to design cuts. My friend Tom. I can set you up with a link to him. It's cool, and I've got a referral link with them too.. So yeah, I can set you up with him.

I listened to the podcast him and there was a great interview. Yeah, he's cool.

[00:32:40] He's gives lots and lots of advice lots of kids get value brings people can listen to that one as well.

Forgive me, but I don't actually know how you use textures in procreate. How does it work to is it just a layer that you add on or like how do you actually apply the textures? What we'll see will see when those come [00:33:00] out, you know, I don't want to keep it a secret.

[00:33:04] But so many people were asking me about this and I was I was giving away how I did it. Like just because I didn't think it was a secret and then one guy he ask me. He's like it's okay. If you don't want to show me because you know trade secret or whatever and I was like, oh wait I can keep this a secret.

[00:33:22] But yeah, I don't want to keep it a secret. I want to get it out there, but I just want to find the best way to reach the most people and because you know, I just have like a little account but I think this would be a cool thing and I think actually. Procreate could use this to their advantage to the whole company.

[00:33:40] I don't know.

Yeah. Yeah, that's cool. So like when you actually apply it like a filter as it had done not just talk about your filters. But like when you use have the textures or how does it actually work in procreate and actually I don't know.

It's like an action, you know, like an action you might [00:34:00] have in in an Adobe program.

[00:34:04] Okay, it kind of works like that, but it's real quick and it's different every time.

Yeah, I need my check him out because I used to draw it draw some more stuff.

You know, I was looking at your knight, your logo with the N.O. with that the helmet and the armor and stuff.

Yeah, I was thinking that would make a great tattoo.

Has anyone got your work as a tattoo?

[00:34:29] You know recently there was a girl who contacted me and like she's like, can I get this thing as a tattoo and I was like, oh man, of course, you know, that's such a huge compliment. Someone wants to put it on their body. You know, I was like you don't show me when it's done. I would love to see that.

[00:34:50] Okay as interesting, I might get one that I might get that knight if I can steal off, you know a man, I'd be awesome. I'll send you the vectors.

Yeah, [00:35:00] that would be Wicked. I love it. I love it. I just never really thought of getting a knight. It represents a lot of thing in my mind anyway.

Is there a lot of that where you live. I mean that whole kind of like knight culture or chivalry?

Nah people look at British people and think about the a bows and arrows and shooting each other and protecting the queen and stuff like that, but we don't have that much these days. It's all sort of in the dark past of the UK.

It's just like here. I don't see any ninjas when I go to work.

Yeah, so I'm building up an idea for a sleeve on my right arm. I've got like a king kong thing I designed and all. Let me show you.

Is that black ink?

Yeah. Yeah, so it represents strength, sort of rising to the top, that sort of thing.

I love the crown.

Yeah. Yeah, and I think the knight would be a cool addition to this random sleeve.

[00:36:24] I'm going to get a sort half-sleeve. That would be a great addition.

Are you serious though? I mean...

Yeah, it's in same style, isn't it? So it's thick lines and victor lines.

Yeah. Yeah. We'll see what happens.

Dude. Excellent design. That's an awesome tat.

I'm designing a few other things at the moment and I've got swords in there.

[00:36:46] We've got a sword going to a pencil which is awesome. I've got another one which is boats on the sea and clouds which is basically. That means a lot, it's a quote from my favorite song. But yeah, it's a lot.

[00:37:04] So I don't know if you put that on the blue dear design page or how do you release that stuff? Because I'm sure you got like these personal projects and stuff ya know.

So the moment doing all the football programs and I really like doing that and it's something that I'm trying to do that for a job, as in I want to work with a football club next year.

[00:37:25] But yeah if you look back at my timeline. It goes to this line drawing style. There is one behind me there's a New York City print. That you can't see that on there but it's a black and white one.

Yeah, yeah, it looks awesome. And there's the London one on your page has a bunch of detail.

[00:37:48] That's amazing. Yeah, so do that sort of stuff. That's what I previously did. I did a whole deck of playing cards which is going to get printed, eventually.

That's my dream right? There is the deck of playing cards. Excellent job.

Yeah, [00:38:06] I'm kind of like a card junkie, are they available? I would love to have some.

I wish they were I couldn't find anyone to supply them. I need to find a proper good printer to get them made. But yeah, that's what I used to do. I used to I love that, but I need to move away from it and do something that I can sell. So football programmes.

When I was a kid. I remember I just remembered this recently, but I played football for like nine years through Elementary and high school. American football. I remember thinking the logo is on the helmets are so cool. How did they get those clean lines?

[00:38:49] Yeah, you know that thought I always had that that's not kind of like influenced where you know, wherever I came [00:39:00] to now, you know.

Yeah, that's cool.

Yeah, it would be an excellent job?

Yeah, it's good to look back at stuff you saw as a kid and seeing how it has influenced you. That's that's amazing.

[00:39:12] Yeah, I bet looking at old stamps has influenced you quite a bit.

Yeah, what sort of stuff do you look at, at the moment? What stuff do you get constant inspiration from?

It changes like my Instagram feed is like all over the place. So I'll go from like Arabian Nights to UK nights to like recently.

[00:39:39] I did a branding thing for. Coffee company in St. Louis called reconstruction and that has this kind of Mark Twain Feel and I was so into that because it's like the book and everything. So I like to jump around and I guess I'm kind of fickle with my interests. So I'll see something I [00:40:00] think. Oh, that's awesome.

[00:40:01] Now be into it for like a week or two. If does that happen with you?

Yeah high-energy. I just get interested in something different things. Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Yeah, it flips a switch and you just want to make some and you got to do it while you have that enthusiasm for it, right?

Absolutely. Yeah. I've only just been I'm not flattered follow football all my life and I really really but he enjoyed playing it and everything but I've only just this season, gone back into playing it full time and not full time. I'm not a pro but at the weekend.

Is that we like your mates or is that yeah.

[00:40:36] It's like a little Club. Yeah. Yeah local the local team. So I just got back into playing it and that's bought the spark back into my life. I'm now interested in football culture, football shirts and the design of it. Even the design of football programmes and it's really influenced what I want to design and who I want to be interviewing. Sports Illustrators and interviewing people that work for big football clubs.

This has all been brought [00:41:00] back into my life and it's fantastic, I'm loving at the moment.

[00:41:07] Yeah strike while the iron's hot right. What's your favorite team, by the way.

It's a team called Swansea City, which is actually a Welsh team but the play in England. Okay, you know that, you know, you like the English football league much.

I know a little bit because my friend was really into it. And actually when I came here soccer is huge over here.

[00:41:26] And yeah, I joined the soccer club without any experience. I have a football and swimming background, and I joined the soccer club just because I made friends there. And they wouldn't even tell me the time and place of the games are like don't come, you know, but I love the sport. Yeah, it's fun.

[00:41:45] Yeah, so Japan, amazing football design like shirts like the shirts that League teams have got so much colour and energy in there. And even if you [00:42:00] look back at the national team, that logo, the eagle is so beautiful.

Is that the one with three legs?

[00:42:07] Yeah, I think so.

Yeah, so that's called Yata-Garasu, which is a crow with three legs and it originates from the prefecture that I live in Wakayama.

Why did I think it was an eagle. It looks like an eagle. I hear you.

[00:42:27] The Samurai blue team has the crow with the three legs.

[00:43:01] What so what does it mean then?

You know, I don't know, but I once went on a tour where I was interpreting what the priest at the shrines were saying, and this was eight or nine years ago, but they were talking about that stuff and I remember thinking how that's cool I've got to remember that. Obviously. I don't.

It's beautifully designed as well. It just thickness of it and I think that's a great logo, you know, I hadn't looked at it properly.

Most people don't notice the three legs, right?

Yeah, I didn't until like to enter until now. Japan also has beautiful kit designs. Even the last one the last world cup.

[00:43:50] They had a really nice pin striped shirt and just Japan are killing it in the football world.

The girls team is so strong too. Yeah check them out. They're amazing.

Nadeshiko

No idea what you just said.

We can put that in the show notes - Nadeshiko

[00:44:16] So that's the women's team name?

Yeah, that's the women's team name and it's originally the name of a flower.

Oh nice. Yeah. There must be some cool meanings or wisdom. Do you know any Japanese wisdom or truths?

[00:44:36] Yeah, just like that logo. I'm sure they Infuse everything with that with the history and you know, the traditions and all that.

Basically like coming here and getting to know people for real. I realized that it's just the same as back home. I mean people are the same.

Yeah. That's it. I think that's what people realize like. In the world and especially in sports and football, but you've got these people that have always lived in one country. They're the people that get closed off and defensive, then they become we sport England, no one else and no one can come into our country.

[00:45:34] It really frustrates me if they just travelled they just had a little look at somewhere else. Everyone's the same. Everyone is a person. You've got to realize that that.

I could go on about this for ages, but it frustrates me.

It's just like that old Depeche Mode song, right? people are people... and that's a great song.

[00:45:58] Yeah, that must be it must be cool seeing that from first hand as well. I just a completely different culture. I know we talked about Japan in a lot on this podcast.

Oh no, it's tons of fun. And you know actually because they have that tradition with all those logos like the crow with three legs. I'll keep my eyes open all day wherever I go. I'll see a cool logo or something really neat.

Before when Japan was like a warring country. They had these old banners and sigils and stuff, that's still sticking around. I mean, they have houses where the tiles have these great designs the circle. I guess they're called roundels or something, but they have these amazing designs. They have their own version of gargoyles and stuff like that. So just you know walking down the street. I'll see a house with like 10 different design elements in there that I'm thinking. Oh man, that's great inspiration.

[00:46:58] Yeah. It must be quite a spiritual country. It reminds me of Mexico in that sort of sense. They're both very spiritual countries.

Yeah, they have that they have two religions here. So. Shinto and Buddhism and they don't consider themselves religious. Per se but they do all the know, traditions and stuff.

[00:47:20] That's cool. Yeah, you're the first person to me to speak to on a podcaster from Asia. That's cool.

I wonder if your designer listeners are interested in this kind of stuff. Yeah, I hope so. I am anyway, so I hope so, you know,

I'm so amazed it like the interviews you do.

[00:47:42] You're such a great great interviewer and you have so many juggernauts on here. I love listening to the podcast. All my heroes are on here, and it's so valuable. I mean.

That's very kind. Very appreciate that. Yeah, here I see who you like. You people you look up to [00:48:00] the most.

So many men. I would love to give you some recommendations do of like some of my buddies and stuff. But you know, you've been killing it. I there's so many new podcast coming out. Is it too weak now? Yeah, it's a week. Yeah, I love listening to that on the way to work in the car and stuff. And yeah, I'm just stunned by like the quality. Let's yeah, well just happy to be here man.

Appreciate it. Thanks for coming on. So what's up? What you doing? Currently? I will select what you planning on doing in the future as well.

Currently, I want to work on these textures and getting those out there. I want to get everything fine-tuned. So it's not as much of a process when it's released.

[00:48:47] So people can use it easily. I've got some branding stuff. I'm working on now. And other than that, I guess my dream is to one day create like a whole deck of playing cards with everything original. So I'm going to work. Keep working until I feel like I'm good enough and then I might start to work on that.

[00:49:12] So as you know, as you listen to the podcast, a couple of last questions. First, your best purchase under $100 or whatever the Japanese equivalent of that is. What's a hundred dollars in Japan?

It's going to be like 10,000 Yen. It's two digits different...

something I use a lot is Posca Pens.

[00:49:48] Do you know what those are. It's like a drawing pin.

Okay, so is it was like a brush pen or?

It's like a marker but made in Japan so you don't have to go to an art store anything they sell them at the grocery store in the checkout aisle, so you can they're kind of expensive but it's a mono-line marker and it's just so thick I think I have some here.

[00:50:31] Oh nice and bright.

Yeah, so they're opaque. You can draw on top of each other and you can scan that in or you know stamp a photo with Adobe capture.

Hmm. Did you do a lot of hand drawing stuff still then?

Yeah a lot. Most of my stuff is hand-drawn and then. Digitized and with Adobe dick Adobe capture, and I'm so glad that they changed it recently to where [00:51:00] you don't need Photoshop or illustrator to save the vectors. Whoever uses Adobe capture or an iPad. Hopefully that's helpful.

Yeah, I had a look at your Twitter from a couple of years ago. You've got animal drawings on there. These is like really lifelike. The way the strokes are fair and few of their highlights in there. It's really awesome.

Yeah that I think that's these. Yeah. I went to a zoo actually the watch them and draw that I don't do that anymore. But back in the day I did.

They're cool, these lifelike paintings. So how does that sort of come about then? Do you just constant evolution of drawing and from a child? It's gotten better and better and better

Yeah. It's just I guess, at first when you kind of suck you still think that you're good, right? Yeah. It's really important is thinking that you're good. Otherwise, you'll never grow, you think you're good and you put something out there, you'll look back on stuff and think and that's junk.

So hopefully, next month. I'll look back on this month and think. Oh man, that's junk and I can keep to keep improving. That's my goal.

I like how you said hopefully because that's important, isn't it? Thatmeans you are improving. You're constantly working on it.

Yeah, and as you do it, you'll learn new tricks and stuff and that'll become second nature the next time you do it, you know muscle memory that kind of thing.

Yeah. So what's some life lessons, or life rules that you live by or values life rules.

People don't know I don't have that arena in order yet. So I don't know. There's the basics, you know Family First and Health.

[00:53:04] Yeah, they're important things. And finally, how do you want to be remembered?

I don't know man. Mmm, I guess I just want to be remembered by my kids my family. Yeah, I just if I ever die like before them, hopefully before them, I don't know. I don't want to think about that kind of thing.

But I just want to be remembered by them. I guess that's the main thing for me.

Yeah, so lovely. Yeah brilliant. Welcome to find you say like show social media and fun at your website and all the cool work.

I usually stick to Instagram. I'm at @natetonight across the board.

I have a Twitter and Facebook and all that but I usually upload on Instagram is a hi, stop by.

[00:54:12] Awesome, well thank you for being on the podcast been it's been awesome. Thanks for talking about Japan, maybe next time we'll talk more about your work.

No man that my work is still growing. I'm still a little guy man. This is where it starts as they say in Japan.

That's a great place to leave it.

Thank you, Mark. Take it easy, man.

Ep. 130 - Austin Dunbar

Ep. 130 - Austin Dunbar

Ep. 125 - Josh Miles

Ep. 125 - Josh Miles

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