With art, with a painting at least, if you’re making something out of nothing, you can always get it right. It’s not like you had your chance. It's not like you had your three strikes.

—Nathanael Roney

Nathanael Roney

Nathanael Roney is a full-time pedestrian and artist. Most of his work begins with black-line drawings that get turned into posters, fine illustrations, commissioned paintings, public murals, and signage. He lives in Asheville, NC.

What time do you get up?

Most days between 8-10 a.m.


What time do you go to sleep?

Most nights around 1 a.m.


Is your creative work your full-time job?

Yes. I also clean and door a bar part-time.


Do you wait for inspiration before you begin or do you begin regardless of inspiration?

Regardless of inspiration, regardless of fun.

How many hours a day, on average, do you do your creative work?



At what point are you done for the day?

When I’m tired and hungry


Do you work primarily in the morning, afternoon, or evening?

Best time is in the evening.

Do you have a daily routine for your creative work?

If the work is anything, it’s routine, and I’m frustrated without it.


How does it start?

Arrive to studio and manifest a day’s to-dos: usually a prioritizing of ongoing project lists and the day-to-day calendar.


How does it end?

Either productively or less productively. Items from the day’s to-do are almost always forwarded to the next.


How has your creative process changed over the years?

It carries and requires more. It worries and feels pressure.


Do you have a dedicated work space?



If yes, do you have anything in your work space to encourage creativity?

A lot of my own work, notes and lists, papers and photographs.

How do you maintain your creative energy?

Recorded music and privacy. I find not talking a lot can limit distractions. Also, regular sleep and stretching, water, bananas, nuts, routine errands.


What other activities do you engage in to encourage your creativity outside of your creative work time?

As a full-time pedestrian, walking both starts and ends my day. The walk almost protects the work, like a translation to life outside of that space. I play, watch and follow baseball. I also skateboard, read, and listen to records.

The deeper stuff...

To listen to the conversation with Nathanael on The Creativity Habit podcast:

Every Monday a new interview.

Conversations about art, creativity, and courage.