Ah yes. The mysterious and elusive Nelson. Who is he? Where is he from? What is up with his hair? These questions and more are answered here, in this blog post - 55 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Nelson
1. I'm a Leo, which means my passion for creating a life I'm proud of and happy with is a genuine part of who I am.
2. I'm a Leo / Virgo Cusp. Which means I'm incredibly outgoing and an introvert at the same time.
3. I never read the directions first. I love to let my instincts guide me.
4. I have one totally awesome tattoo on my left shoulder. It's very Polynesian, primal, and refined. Very similar to myself.
5. I have a fish named Sandecker in my art studio. He's smart and charistmatic, and inspires me to think outside the box when I create designs and new art pieces. He also knows when I'm talking to him. I'm not making that up.
6. When I was young, I wanted to be a NASA scientist. I later discovered I suck at math, which limited my possibilities. So I may not have gone to NASA, but I still, to this day, believe in a bright future for us and our world, and I love big ideas.
7. I have a BA and MFA in theatre - specifically set and lighting design. Though I currently use very few of the skills I learned in theatre, what I did learn was how to find my passion. It helped me to focus ideas and to know how to drive them forward.
8. I designed lighting for a Broadway show when I was 25. Yes, it was awesome.
9. My car is a 2003 Honda Element. It is the greatest car. Ever. It's flexible, a great ride, and pretty much lets me put my entire studio in it, go anywhere, and paint.
10. My 2003 Honda Element has a name - it is Mojo, and its color is called Malibu Sunset.
11. I didn’t really know I wanted to be an artist full time until last year (2014).
12. I honestly don’t know why I waited so long to be a full time artist, I love it beyond words.
13. I'm a gym fanatic. It makes me feel great, gets my blood pumping, and creatively frees my mind.
14. I’m a hiking fanatic. Getting out doors into the wilds really gets my brain and imagination going.
15. I grew up in New Jersey, outside Atlantic City, spending every single summer on the beach.
16. I love my parents more than they probably know. They are unrelentingly supportive and amazing. They knew I could be an artist years before I did. Years.
17. I believe flying coach is barbaric and should be against the Geneva Convention. Travel should be the way it was during the Golden Age of flight. Especially with dressing like a boss and having legit cocktails.
18. I've been to the Yosemite Valley three times in this last year. It is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. I have never seen anything like it. You need to go there.
19. I cannot wait to hike Half Dome. I imagine it will be one of the most inspiring events of my life. I’m about as excited to visit Hawaii as I am about hiking Half Dome.
20. Actually, in general, I am always excited about travel. Whether it is to Dubai, or Yosemite, or even just Virginia, I love travel. It inspires and excites me about life. We live on an amazing world. Where are you going next that you’re excited about?
21. Duke's Malibu has my favorite nachos on the planet, IMHO. They also make killer Mai Tais.
22. Mai Tais are my summer drink of choice, while Manhattans are my winter drink of choice.
23. Mack’s Pizza in Ocean City, NJ has my favorite pizza on the planet. I can eat an entire pie by myself.
24. If I could, I'd go to the beach every single day. Honestly, a single day at the beach makes me appreciate everything about life more, and that reflects in my work.
25. That pretty much goes for any beach, anywhere. On an ocean, on a lake...hell I'll even go with poolside if need be.
26. My life goal is to live on the Hawaiian Islands. That's probably pretty obvious.
27. The furthest around the world I've travelled is Dubai.
29. Dubai is cool. Literally a city of the future. Even the social etiquette is impressive. It is a place of fantastic beauty in a wasteland. A citadel of big ideas. I loved it. Even if it was 125 degrees.
30. I like cool wrist jewelry and necklaces – usually leather with a cool design. I have been known to wear 3-4 at a time of both.
31. I used to have a dog – a Black Labrador - named Chuck. Just thinking about him makes me choke up a little.
32. My circle of true friends is incredibly small.
33. I love video games. Very specifically western role-playing video games.
34. Skyrim, Fable, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect are at the top of my charts. Any game with really deep narrative where you love the characters and the world you live in and I'm hooked.
35. I own 3 game consoles. You have to guess which 3 I own.
36. I love heroes. Heroic people who take a stand for what's right. That's part of the reason I love a good RPG. As I get to test myself against heroes - would I make the same choice? Would I do the right thing?! I am happy to report that the answer is, more often than not, yes.
37. Andy Dooley changed my life and helped make me into the positively motivated man I am today.
38. Leigh Brown is the love of my life.
39. My last 'day job' - at Apple, where I worked with a team of incredible people to create new Mac owners - is still my favorite job ever.
40. I learned more about life working at Apple in 2 years than anywhere else. Ever. How to work selflessly. How to truly empathize with a customer with an issue. How to listen. How to high-five.
41. Nelson is my middle name.
42. At 44 I have nearly all my hair, and it has yet to go grey. And I spike the heck out of it almost every day.
43. The first book I truly remember reading is A Wrinkle in Time. It inspired me to be okay with being an individual, as opposed to wanting to fit in more than anything. What was yours?
44. Growing up I was the fat, unpopular kid. The summer of my 14th birthday, I lost all my weight, shot up three inches, got rid of my braces, and got contacts. The first day back at school in the fall, nobody knew who I was. Especially the cute girl who never talked to me. In fact, our first interaction that year was a note that began "hey cute new guy..."
45. I love good, deep, story-rich comics about the nature of comics and heroes. (See: 'Planetary' by Warren Ellis or the Hickman run on Avengers)
46. I passionately love doing my own web design. It lets me create and fashion my brand in particular ways that I'm not sure people immediately get.
47. I'm kind of a health nut when it comes to food. Not so much when it comes to booze.
48. I'm a horrible singer, but I've totally got the guts to do it in front of people. Don't try me. Side note: Karaoke makes me very uncomfortable.
49. Up until recently I dressed like a total beach bum. Torn jeans. T-shirts. Maybe sandals. Now I am totally swank and yet still look like I belong at the beach. Absolute win.
50. I use sandpaper on my toenails. I am not making this up. They are that badass.
51. I hate large-scale social situations. I'm not big at small talk. In small groups though I am completely 100% genuine.
52. I would keep my Christmas tree up for three months if it wasn't a fire hazard. There is something about the glowing lights in long nights that I just love and speaks to me on a spiritual level.
53. The Winter Solstice is one of my favorite nights of the year.
54. I love waking up early, hitting the gym, and then watching the sun rise as I think about what kind of awesome art am I going to make today that will inspire others.
55. I believe your perfect life is waiting for you.