Meet Nathan Johnson of Blacklist Studios — Best known for his one-of-a-kind art pieces, Nathan draws great inspiration from love, which takes centre stage within the lettering of his latest monochromatic masterpiece. We caught up with Nathan to chat about the BLUNT + Blacklist Limited Edition Collaboration and his creative process.
How do you choose which brands to collab with?
We need to have a similar values and design approach. The best collaboration outcomes happen when two people are aligned in a few ways and for me that is design, quality, originality and trust!
Why BLUNT? What excited you about working with them?
The first thing that stood out to me about BLUNT was the quality and uniqueness of the product. We’ve all seen an umbrella and used various umbrellas in our lifetime, but when I saw my first BLUNT umbrella it all made sense. It was like a light bulb moment. They have taken something we all use and created the best ever version of an umbrella. From a design, quality and aesthetic point of view.
What has been your favourite part about collaborating with BLUNT?
To be honest, my favourite part has been the fact that I have had complete control. They just gave me the template and said ‘Do whatever you like’… and I think the best collabs happen when each party comes together and does their things, rather than trying to force something.
What’s the inspiration behind the design, and what does your creative process look like?
A lot of my work is monochromatic, so creating an umbrella felt most natural for me if it was classic and not too bright. I wanted to create an artwork that was made up of words, but at the same time the words go together to create a kind of graphic element rather than a bunch of words you felt like you needed to read every line. It’s fun and not too serious.
What’s your favourite way to spend a day off?
My ultimate day off is an early surf when the sun is rising… then a long long breakfast with my wife and kids where they is no timeframe of being somewhere at a specific time. Then a whole day revolved around swimming, eating and lazing around sounds pretty amazing to me.
What motivates you?
How would you describe your style?
Mess, paint, emotion, letters, words, and things.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Love, Family, Green tea.
How has your artistic practice evolved during Covid?
It’s been interesting watching and seeing how COVID has changed and shifted so many things in our culture. The way we relate to each other. Realising maybe we don’t need to be in 100 places throughout the week. Helping us all slow down. It’s changed my art practise mostly by taking out the things I didn’t need and keeping in the things that mattered most. I always wanted to make more original paintings and work that was more one-off pieces, and Covid has definitely helped define what exactly I want to spend my time doing.
How would you describe the feeling of using your BLUNT umbrella on a rainy day? And what do you hope our fans feel when they use theirs?
I’ve already used mine a few times. I love it so much. As simple as it sounds, I’m just excited to use an umbrella that is cool and modern and that I know will last a lifetime. I’m very proud of this one, and I hope people enjoy using it as much as I loved creating it with BLUNT.