Nick Dynan, Me Old China | Footpatrol Discussions

22.02.23 Footpatrol DiscussionsGeneral

With a creative spark running through him since he was a young kid, for our latest Footpatrol Discussions piece, we catch up with graphic design and now artist, Nick Dynan, otherwise known as Me Old China

First and foremost a Graphic Designer, Nick’s latest venture is a break away from the technological barriers within traditional graphic design. Gone are the screens and Adobe programmes and instead is a much more physical, tactile element to his work. Not waving goodbye for good, Nick brings a typography, graphical element into the world of pottery with these unique, expressive vases.

Take a closer look at Nicks work below whilst he takes us through this latest venture and be sure to check out Me Old China on Instagram here!

Footpatrol: Nick! It’s great to finally meet you and check out your work in person, firstly, how have you been? 

Nick Dynan: Yeah all good, thanks. Excited to have you in the studio today and show you some of my work. 

FP: Talking to you briefly before our catch up, it sounds like you’ve had a very artistic childhood? from graffiti to your design work to now Me Old China, Can you tell us a bit more about this love for creativity?

ND: Ever since a kid I’ve always been doodling or making stuff out of cereal boxes. My parents always pushed me to do whatever I wanted and I guess that’s always been about creating something. I never really got on with school and failed most of my subjects including Art. But I’d always be up to something outside of school, teaching myself to spray paint in Brighton in the early 2000’s while watching the likes of KGB, RT, RK, BARE, PESE93, ODISY, DAZ etc painting down at Tarner, The Level or Black Rock, that definitely had a big impact on me and wanting to be creative in some sort of form. 

FP: Being predominantly sneaker based at Footpatrol, we love tangible objects, things we can get our hands on and really examine the finer details. Me Old China gives us a similar sort of vibe, branching away from a digital screen to make something tactile and timeless, was this always the plan?

ND: I’ve been a graphic designer in London for almost 10 years and as much as I’ve always loved it and still do. I always had a scratch that needed itching in terms of making tangible things that you can pick up and hold. I took photos for a long time but in the end it wasn’t creative enough for me. Photos mostly just ended up on a hard drive and never got looked at. Creating these vases has definitely been the right thing for me to turn to. Knowing people can pick these up and hopefully admire them in their house has definitely started to scratch that itch. 

FP: Does your mood dictate the vocabulary you choose to ordain your objects with? is it a release of stress if anything? Or simply aesthetical?

Nick: It’s definitely more of an aesthetics thing. Growing up on the weekend we’d go to the pub for lunch with my parents and there were always interesting characters in there. One couple who always stood out were Pat and Dave who chain smoked and only ever had cash on them. Inevitably they’d end up swearing and then had to put a quid in the swear jar on the bar. That was the idea behind my first series ‘Swear Jars’.

FP: How was the transition into pottery? Was this something you had previously trained in or has that in itself been an experiment?

ND: I haven’t had any training in pottery yet. I’m doing a course at the end of the month, once I’ve done the course I want to start making really big statement vases. I’m sure I’ll find out everything I’m doing is wrong but I’ve done that for most things. Just start doing it and learn on the job. I never went to uni for design, I just used Youtube videos to learn anything I needed to. I’ve done the same with this. It turns out there’s a lot of middle-aged American women making pottery videos that are actually really helpful. 

FP: We can see a clear connection between the pottery and your design background with the typography aspect. Do you plan on bringing anymore of your previous backgrounds into upcoming designs, or are you hoping this is a completely new journey for you?

ND: I definitely want to start experimenting with other typefaces, layout styles and patterns. See what comes from that. I’ll always draw inspiration from subcultures I grew up around. What that ends up looking like who knows but that’s the fun part. 

FP: What’s the future plans for Me Old China? Do you see this as a full time venture at some point? What’s the chances of seeing comic sans? haha

ND: haha yeah I might have to give that one a miss. Leave it to the professionals. Definitely want to go full time at some point, but not getting ahead of myself is the plan for me. Keep learning and growing. Eventually get some vases stocked in galleries and shops. Liberty if you’re reading this, call me! Just keep enjoying it and create things I actually want to own myself and not what I think people want. 

FP: Putting your designer head on, how would you design a Footpatrol inspired vase? 

ND: I think I’d start by looking at the history of FootPatrol, maybe some old trainer adverts, t-shirt designs and in-store trainer launches. Taking typography inspiration from the old Nike adverts using Futura Extra Bold.

FP: I think that’s it from us Nick, massive thanks once again for allowing us to come down and chat, we tend to hand over this last question to you, a chance to offer any inspirational words or shameless plugs! Haha. 

ND: If you’re bored of what you’re currently doing and you don’t know where to go next, go watch What If Money Was No Object? – Alan Watts. It definitely helped me realise when I was younger to always do what you actually enjoy and not to chase money. Also, obviously check out Me Old China and buy a vase! 

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