Last week we finally had the chance to meet face-to-face with Nathan, the Design-a-Flap competition winner, who picked up his 'one and only' Barney Messenger Bag creation while visiting our Melbourne headquarters.
Back in September 2019, Crumpler ran a Design-a-flap competition. A blank outline of the Iconic Barney Rustle Blanket Messenger Bag was sent out to be redesigned by the fans. The entries came in and Nathan was voted the winner by our Instagram Community.
Nathan is a talented Australian illustrator and designer. His playful and experimental work spans across multiple disciplines such art, design, illustration and apparel. With an impressive portfolio of clients and editorial commissions, Nathan is really making a name for himself amongst the creative industry as one of the next big things!
While catching up with our product design team and finally seeing his creation all put together, Nathan told us about the story behind his iconic “friends”, his creative thinking, his big projects and much more…
Is there a story behind your characters?
My mum is quite an eccentric character, when I was growing up she would always refer to objects as if they were alive. Saying things like “he doesn't belong there”, “put him away”. I really liked that about her. I started seeing personality in everyday things so when I started making stuff I naturally created characters. I also grew up watching a lot of cartoons. This is where I started to unconsciously download my reference of what art was. I loved the show Pingu, it was a claymation show in the 90s, which is what I based my characters off. The characters in Pingu moved in an over-the-top elastic way and only spoke in weird noises, it was a really funny and creative show.
What is your favourite medium to work in?
Definitely digital. Adobe Illustrator is my safe place. I made my first things on my dad's work laptop playing around in Paint, so it's what feels most natural for me. I'm an internet kid after all.
Who is your favourite cartoon character and why?
That's a tough one. I think based on how long I’ve known them, it's a draw between Taz and Bart. Taz is a badass Aussie animal who runs around as a tornado. He reminds me of being a kid at Movie World. And Bart is just the coolest. He has a heart deep down, which makes him even more loveable.
What has been your favourite creative brief?
I have a soft spot for the project I created with Nike. I’ve been a big fan of the brand since I could walk. I still remember my first pair of Nikes I had in grade 2. I eventually wore them to death years later and dragged my mum around the shopping center trying to find the exact same pair. So it was a big deal for me to work with Nike. And a lot of crazy things happened from that opportunity, Nike had me do a press day at the Australian Open where I spoke at the Nike store, Roger Federer ended up wearing one of the t-shirts I designed and I had the whole Fed army heckling me on Twitter where to get one. It was a crazy time for a 24-year-old. Recently, I just finished a project with Playstation and it’s the same story, I grew up on these company's products and it’s a surreal feeling collaborating with them years later. And same goes for you guys, it’s a dream come true to have my very own Crumpler bag, I really appreciate the opportunity.
When did you first hear about Crumpler?
When I was 19, my girlfriend at the time worked at Crumpler and introduced me to a lot of your products.
Follow Nathans work Here