Nathan Ota is an artist born and raised in Los Angeles. Since his early days as one of the early members of West Coast Artists, the seminal west coast graffiti crew, his art has traveled beyond the streets and on to the editorial pages of national publications and have been shown in galleries around the world.
Nathan Ota was in the Art Center College of Design and now he’s teaching in the Santa Monica College since 1999. He is very influenced by cartoons from television, comic books and the Punk-rock flyers. Ota’s has worked as illustrator for many famous newspapers like Los Angeles Times, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Ever since Ota can remember, he has always found himself drawing over doing my homework. Nathan’s early influences came from cartoons on television, comic books, photographs and Punk-rock flyers.
Nathan says “ I can still remember sneaking into my older brother’s room and raiding his ,”Vamperella” comics and trying to copy or trace all the covers I could get my hands on. Classical art never really interested me at that time so I turned to what really spoke to me with artists such as, Robert Williams, Olivia, Puss Head and Raymond Pettibon. “ Traditional art never came into the picture till Nathan started high school but it still didn’t speak to him.
Nathan always found himself gravitating toward popular culture and at that time it was graffiti. Nathan was completely hooked! he loved everything about it, the clicking of the ball in the can when shook, the sound of the constant flow of the paint, the scraping of the can against the wall when drawing, the colors, the scale, the friendships and the complete feeling of freedom.
Till this day, whenever Nathan smell spray paint in the air, it brings back good times. Nathan still dabbled a little in graffiti once he entered the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California but a whole new world of art was opening his eyes with Illustration. Nathan never knew what he wanted to do when he entered college and kind of left it in the hands of the instructors to lead him in whatever direction Nathan was going. It was a bit frustrating at first but soon after, Nathan started to get it and knew that he was going to be an Illustrator.