Nate Williams

Posted by on Nov 30, 2009 in Inspired by Dan

I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, but spent the first 14 years of my life in the extremely liberal San Francisco Bay Area (Berkeley). I returned to ultra-conservative Utah in high school and that is when I really realized how diverse the world was.

I had a learning disability when I was young and reading text didn’t make much sense to me so the early years of my life I responded better to imagery such as MAD Magazine, Skateboard Graphics, Food Packaging, stickers, Dr Seuss and Shel Silverstein drawings. I was also very hyperactive so I didn’t have the patience to sit down and read — imagery was a very quick, effortless way to get information.

Art has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. But I think Became aware that what I was doing was called “art” probably at around the age of 7 or so. My mother and grandmother would say, “ah, more artwork Nathan?” and I didn’t know what it was called, so sure, “more artwork”.

My family has always showed an appreciation for other cultures / countries. My Grandmother, originally from Germany, was involved with the non-profit AFS (International Exchange Program) and we hosted a number of foreign exchange students from Nigeria, Belgium, Argentina and more. When I was about 14 years old I had an opportunity to travel to Australia with a friend. Although my mother didn’t have much money, she made sacrifices in order for me to see another part of the world. The seeds had been planted.

Later on in life I worked as a designer and art director for ad agencies and a software company. This is when I became aware of how much the media and our environment influences our lives. At this point I knew I needed to surround myself with amazing people and environments that would inspire me and make me curious about the world. Dan’s book has an humongous impact on me, it showed me a range of emotion, beauty and horror in a way I absorb information best… VISUALLY. I loved how curious and fearless he was of the world and it was contagious. 2 years ago I decided I would figure out away I could experience the world first hand .. through all my senses, taste, touch, sound, sight, and smell. I specifically have in interest in Latin America culture and I have traveled to Costa Rica, Panama, Chile, Uruguay and I currently live in Argentina.

I think its very important to contribute something positive and inspire people like so many people have inspired me. I have contributed to many pro-bono projects and continue to be involved in grassroots art projects.