Meet the Maker: Nathan Johnson of Blacklist

We’re celebrating our 18th birthday and what better way to celebrate than an exclusive collab with our amazing friends at Blacklist Studio. Founded in 2008 by husband and wife Nathan and Jaynie Johnson, Blacklist creates limited edition art prints and the design studio works with a range of local and international clients across fashion, music, interiors and branding. Here’s a little insight in to the crazy talented and creative mind of Blacklist’s Nathan…

blacklist_03Nathan Johnson with wife and Blacklist co-founder Jaynie 


When and how did Blacklist come about?

Hey guys! Well Blacklist studio came about more than 10 years ago in 2008 and initially was a design studio working with a range of fashion and music clients. Over the past 10 years we have grown to not only work with amazing other brands, but releasing products, artworks and special collaboration with like-minded people…


Describe your style in three words:

Messy, Typographic, Abstract.


Have you always had the same style or has it changed over the years?

I think we’ve always tried to have a distinct style, and this naturally has changed and transformed over the years. We always try to approach every project with our own narrative and with our own eyes. I think as anyone in a creative field, it’s important to add your own take to what you’re creating. People want to see YOU.


Any advice you would give to someone thinking of starting a creative business?

My advice would be to go for it. Use what you have in your hand to fulfill that desire you have to create and make things. The world needs more unique creators, so the best you can do is use what you have.


What inspires you?

So many things everyday. I love fashion and seeing how designers make clothes and use different fabrics and textures to tell a story. I try to bring that into my design work and paintings. We are also lucky enough to live three minutes from the ocean, so we’re constantly drawing on nature and our surroundings to inspire us creatively.


What’s your artistic process and is there anything you do to help to get the ideas rolling?

 A lot of our ideas generate over time. So, taking one idea then evolving it and adapting it and changing it and moving it around. If you’re all out of ideas, the best you can do is go surfing!


Do you have an all-time favourite piece that you’ve created over the years?

I recently had my first show of original paintings at Jai Vasicek’s gallery in Byron Bay, so that was huge for me and I’m excited to continue to build my original paintings.  


 Are there any other artists who work you admire?

I love fashion and seeing what other artists are doing for sure. In terms of art, I love seeing how artists go from a street level into the gallery world – so artists such as Kaws, Revok, Lister, Jose Parla, Cody Hudson, Basquiat, Reeder.


Where did your inspiration for the Blacklist x Superette Skateboards come from?  

We really wanted to create an original piece of artwork you could hang on your wall for years to come… so we focused on something timeless and energetic.


We’ve done a few exciting collabs with you over the years, do you have one that stands out to you?

This one of course! And we recently did a beach towel with The Beach People which I use every time I go for surf, so that one is pretty special.


From Left to Right: Blacklist x Superette Love Skateboard, Blacklist x Beach People Forever Sea Towel 

What’s your daily go-to outfit?

Band tee/Harley tee, ripped denim and vans. I don’t think you’d need much more than that.


From Left to Right: Bassike Mens L/S Waffle Wringer T-shirt, Ksubi Chitch Stoked Scribe, Vans Old Skool 36 DX

Where to from here, what’s next for Blacklist?

So many things! We always have 6 projects on the go at the one time, so Blacklist is all about jumping from one thing to another which we all love. There’s lots of working with brands in helping with their branding, working on more limited art drops and an exhibition of artworks at Jai Vasicek’s Gallery in Byron Bay again at the end of this year! Exciting times…



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