For the month of March, we are interviewing artist Nathan about his artwork, how his group New World Order is contributing to revising the art community among minorities in southern Wisconsin, and the struggles that a young artist and entrepreneur faces.
Artist Statement: I create to not only inspire people to take action, but also to think freely. I also create to bring awareness to issues that I feel are important, and also to educate people on how we can progress as a community. All I truly care about is unity and social development. I’m a multidisciplinary artist, so I create from my intuition and will create on whatever medium it leads me to. I create from a stream of consciousness so I never have too much of a plan unless it’s a design or creative direction project.
You’re apart of this group called New World Order? Can you explain what that is and how it all started?
New World Order first started as a result of being inspired by the public garden, and the efforts of Nams Homeless, plus many others in the creative scene from 2016-2018. It set a precedent for me to build off of, and my motive was to turn what we were all doing in the underground into something more solid and sustainable, something that affected the community in many aspects in a big way.
At first, I didn’t know what to expect with growth in the short term, but it was always my plan to turn this into something that encompassed the entire young creative community, not only in Kenosha, but bridging Milwaukee, Chicago, and all cities in between. I hope it continues to grow.
We first meet in your basement for a fashion show that the NWO hosted. You literally gave a stage for people to show off their clothing designs and had people model it down a DIY runway. There were also some local photographers there that took videos/photos for the whole thing as well as local artists performing music during the event. It seems like you guys do a lot for the community and give local artists of all platforms an opportunity to present their work. Are there other ways that NWO gets involved with the community?
I’ve put together quite a few different creative events/events that were for the community. We’ve done three fashion shows, trash clean-ups, musician meetups, poetry events, a female artist only events, photography meetups, & big music events with art and clothes there. This summer is going to be crazy with the community impact though. Finishing the space.
I see that you’re a mental health advocate and that you, yourself have been struggling with it too. Does mental health play a big role for you as an artist? Do you find creative outlets to cope or do you feel like it’s more of a burden on your creative process?
I believe mental health is one of the most important things we should all begin to focus on. I’ve struggled with mental illnesses for the majority of my life, and have dedicated my energy strongly to overcoming them and turning them into strengths. It does play a big role for me as an artist because I believe the place I create from is the same energetic place I struggled from before. I don’t feel like I use creative outlets to cope as much as I use them to express myself.
What do you do to get through a creative rut?
If I’m going through a creative rut, I try to get in tune with my higher self. I also create on different mediums and experiment. I tend to be inspired by the present moment’s energy so I usually just tap into that.