The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
GN: Yoga and meditation for sure, that practice really cultivates creative intuition and compassion. I ride bikes with friends and by myself a few times a week, wearing a cool outfit and shredding hidden trails across the city definitely helps me cultivate energy and gives me room for my head to wander and form new connections.
When I get days off we like to go backpacking or at least get out of town and find a swimming hole or something. I take my point and shoot 35mm.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
GN: Sure, I think it can be tough to be proud of something right away. I'm super grateful for having really good art peers around me to help me talk through ideas when things get hazy. We’ve tried to make Hum into a good environment for getting feedback and pushing our thinking, I’m lucky to be able to take some of that momentum into personal work.
I think about people I follow (Geoff McFetridge, Lil B, Adi Goodrich, Ron Rege Jr, Rachel Howe (Small Spells)) who are out here with really big volume and range of creative output. I think about how they're making a body of work maybe more than every project standing on its own without context, and how they scale projects from a single piece to a mass produced series.
I was also homeschooled and and I'm an only child, so maybe making things for play is something I'm carrying into adulthood, who knows?
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
GN: Early morning. I worked with a yoga guy a few years ago who taught us that we could most effectively access our tantric / creative energies if we woke up with the sun, covered our bodies in almond oil, took a cold shower, and did a special power-breathing technique for ten minutes. I'm not dogmatic about it, but he was definitely not wrong. Some kind of exercise and breathing practice is really important for me to be able to focus, plan my day, feel sharp and interested in my work.
On Fridays I wake up with the sun to go ride bikes with the team (shout out to team heartthrob) until its time for work, feeling like I had a pretty eventful day by the time I see a screen gives me really good vibes and helps me see a path through any anxieties I might be feeling about my work that day.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
GN: I keep a kinda joke journal of work goals on twitter. Some highlights are:
1. Onboarding experience for isolation tanks.
2. Whole Earth Catalog reissues.
3. Snapchat for Strava.
4. Lifestyle brand and apparel for when you live on a commune in the desert but also love high performance moisture wicking fabrics.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
GN: I was able to put out Hum's Guide to Backpacking Washington's Enchantments website, enchantments guide, recently. We went on this really good backpacking trip last summer, and we had kinda saved our catalog of photos on instagram under #thecorezone, but a crossfit gym jacked it. We wanted that stuff to have a permanent home but wanted to offer something with some more utility than a vacation slideshow: I got to work to shape a narrative with the photo / video content, wrote all the copy to provide some real life backpacking anecdotes, and pulled some resources on permitting and goat awareness. We did a lunch talk for Seattle AIGA last month about it, it was great to have to think about how to present it as a process.
I’m working on a web project for style blogging with a character limit, beta name is the chilli.st.
I make photo zines and stickers collected as Be Your Own Drum Circle, the new issue is called Plants are Teachers. A goal for this year is to make a back catalog for old issues and a shop for stickers and stuff. Formally, my job is working for the web, brands and posters, so I think with that toolset a lot, I like things that find a home on the web eventually.
I’m just fascinated with stuff all the time. Theres just [[so much]] input, memories, eating and drinking, playing, having dreams, vibing with someone - the everyday experience of living is so wild. Connections emerge between the work you do every day, and all the more passive interests that kinda simmer in the background until you’re ready synthesize and take an action with them.
TCU: What scares you?
TCU: What does success mean to you?
GN: Harmony. Utility. Healing. Letting go of desire and expectation. The feeling of wanting to jump over one's own knees.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
GN: "All watched over by machines of loving grace: by Richard Brautigan is a beautiful poem.