Meet an Artopian: Nathan Archer

Nathan ArcherHow has your artistic style changed over time?
My artistic style is constantly evolving and changing. I work in a variety of mediums and styles, depending on the intent of the piece as well as the audience. I was trained early on as a classic fine artist, working mainly in charcoal and graphite. In college I studied painting with a focus on abstract expressionism. Upon entering the “real world,” I transferred my composition and color skills over to graphic design, which then evolved into digital illustration. These days most of my work is done digitally on a tablet, though I relish every opportunity to get my hands dirty with traditional materials.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration as an artist?
There are so many amazing artists from such a wide variety of schools and genres that inspire me. I love the “brushiness” of Cézanne’s paintings, the softness of Rothko’s, and the power and depth of Gerhard Richter’s work. However, I also draw inspiration from cartoonists like Mort Drucker, Bill Patterson, R. Crumb, and Darwyn Cooke, as well as animators Chuck Jones and Ralph Bakshi. Tallahassee’s tight-knit artist community is also a wonderful daily source of inspiration.

What piece of your own artwork are you most proud of?
Like most artists (I’m willing to bet), I’m never quite satisfied with any of my finished pieces. Having said that, I’m probably most proud of my comic book anthology, Lydia Feeds the Pigeons, which I published from 2009 to 2014. Being able to hold a professionally printed comic that I produced was a life goal I was extremely excited to accomplish.

If you had one superpower, what would it be, and why?
I would love to be able to fly, hands down. I don’t consider myself a jealous person, save for when I see a bird in flight.

If you could meet one famous artist (alive or deceased), who would it be?
Although neither were famous for their art, I would have loved to spend some time talking with my maternal grandparents about their paintings before they passed. Both were such amazing artists; my grandmother painted soft pastoral scenes while my grandfather produced brushy coastal landscapes. Although neither had any formal training, both had such a great understanding of color and composition with the technical skills to match. I’ve always been curious why they chose to paint in their spare time, who their inspirations were, and whether they knew of other family members with an affinity for art.

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