Nat Novak on his office artwork

Studio Director Nat Novak doesn’t have much spare time outside of his client work. But when he does, he puts it to good use creating artwork that catches the eye, sparks imagination, and begs the question: “how did he do that?!” Nat’s has been involved in making more than a dozen creations hanging around the production studio in Boston, typically using nothing but scrap materials — like this skull (foamcore and old blades) or this Arnold-themed Wonder Woman (foamcore and glue). We recently sat down with Nat to talk about his background in art, the dialogue he is hoping to start through his creations, and what he’s hoping to make in the future.

How were you first introduced to the world of art?

NN: It started with my folks taking me to galleries at a young age. I visited a lot of museums growing up, and not just major houses, but smaller, lesser-known museums. My folks instilled in me a conceptual way of looking at art – can you take the pieces apart and make them bigger as a whole? That idea can be seen in all the art work that I do, whether it’s here in the studio or elsewhere.

Have you always liked to create and craft things?

NN: I have been building and taking things apart for as long as I could remember. I can recall me, my grandfather and dad putting together a shed from scrap wood we had in our backyard. I have always remembered my family as people who made their own things. There was a constant use and re-using of materials to find new ways to use them for other than their original purpose.

Have you had art exhibits before?

NN: In college I participated in senior exhibits and was also commissioned to create a couple pieces of art, one of which was quite large and was composed of metal, acrylics and a few electrical pieces that had moving parts and gears. It was a real multimedia art piece that was inspired by the work of a sculpture professor I had, who pushed me to create better work than what I had made in the past.

Where do your ideas come from?

NN: Some come from being at work early in the morning or late at night. Other ideas are seeds of insight, especially if they come from others. Often times, it’s good to get feedback and get people’s point of view on your art creations. It helps to analyze the message you’re trying to convey to your audience. Much of what I’ve created here was bettered by the feedback from others. I encourage that level of critique with anything I work on.

What is the message you’re hoping to send when making these art pieces?

NN: It’s really about encouraging a dialogue. I hope that people can interact with the art piece and make their own opinions. Great art creates a lot of emotions, and I want people to talk about what they think, what they feel, and how they see the artwork.

Will you be making things for other areas of the office?

NN: Absolutely. As we move to rebrand the office a little more, I hope to be part of those conversations so that we keep in mind that whatever we create should engage a large number of people. So if I were to make something for the office, I’d have it move so that we can get out of the 2-D space we sometimes confine ourselves to.

To see additional art creations being made at Arnold, follow @arnold_worldwide on Instagram.