Nathan Ota

Ever since I can remember, I have always found myself drawing over doing my homework. My early influences came from cartoons on television, comic books, photographs and Punk-rock flyers.  I can still remember sneaking into my older brothers 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 I started high school but it still didn't speak to me. I always found myself gravitating toward popular culture and at that time it was graffiti. I was completely hooked!  I 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 I smell spray paint in the air, it brings back good times.  I still dabbled a little in graffiti once I entered the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California but a whole new world of art was opening my eyes with Illustration. I never knew what I wanted to do when I entered college and kind of left it in the hands of the instructors to lead me in whatever direction I was going.  It was a bit frustrating at first but soon after, I started to get it and knew that I was going to be an Illustrator.

Shortly after graduating in 1993, I started working as a freelance Artist for newspapers, magazines, recording companies, background art for the gaming industry and gallery.



Illustration  1993–Present

Newspapers:  Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, San Diego Union Tribune, Sacramento News & Review, LA Weekly, City Beat.

Magazines:  Business Week, US News & World Report, Writers Guild of America West, Mix, Jazziz, Electronic Musician, Guitar Player, Music & Computers, Swing, Request, Keyboard, Movieline, Computer Life, Computer Gaming World, Stocks and Commodities, Financial Executive.

Exhibitions  1992-Present

Roq La Rue Gallery

"Hiding Out" 2009

Gallery 1988 L.A. & San Francisco

“The Gentleman’s Gang” 2008

DVA Gallery

“BSFAGroup Show 2008

“Evolutions and Explosions” Group Show 2006

Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery

“Dialogue, The Fine Art of Conversation 2004

La Luz De Jesus Gallery

"Way,Way South" Two Person Show 2008

“Bright Ideas” Two Person Show 2007

“Uncommercial Art by Commercial Artist” Annual Group Show 1998-Present

“Everything but the Kitchen Sync Show” Annual Group Show 2003- Present“Group Show

” Four Person Show, February 1997“Good Times Bad Times & Caffeine” Two-Person Show, May 1994

“Day Of The Dead” Annual Group Show 1992-95Korean Cultural Center

“Art & Issues” Group Show 1999

Café Gallery

“Dances With A Line” Group Show, June 1994

Entertainment & Publication  1987-Present

Clients:  Capital Records, Virgin Interactive Entertainment, House Of Blues Music Co., Imago Recording Co., 2-13-61 Publications, Quarterstick Records, Murphy Designs, Giant Merchandising.


Santa Monica College  1999-Present
Figure Drawing, Design and Painting for Illustration

Otis College of Art and Design  1999-Present
Drawing & Painting and Communication Studio

Education  1990-1993

Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction Honors in Illustration           
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA


“No Red Ribbons” Artwork selected for inclusion to, ”Heal” benefit Art Auction.  1997,98,02.

Society of Illustrators NY: Artwork selected for the 38th, 45th and 49th annual Illustration exhibition and publication.  1996,2007

Communication Arts: Artwork selected for the 43rd, 44th and 45th annual Illustration publication.  2002, 03, 04 and 06

American Illustration: Artwork selected for the 22nd and 23rd annual Illustration publication.  2003& 04

Society of Illustrators LA:  Show Chairman 2002

Society of Illustrators LA: Artwork selected for Gold Medal in the 41st annual Illustration publication.