The sound of glass shattering blasted through the speakers of the WWE arena. The crowd went wild as ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin tore down the ramp and slid into the ring. He climbed the ropes, popped open a beer, and ceremoniously poured the contents all over himself. Cheers rose as a different voice pierced through the air: “Can you smell what The Rock is cookin’?” Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson stepped out and strutted towards the ring. Somewhere in Lawrence, Massachusetts, sat eight-year-old Nathaniel Amaro on the other end of a television screen. He watched, captivated, as the two wrestlers sized each other up.
Nathaniel recalls his fascination with WWE as a child, “In retrospect, it was the branding of a person.” Each wrestler had a distinctive symbol, title design, costume scheme, theme song and personality. “The art reflected the wrestler,” he notes. Nathaniel sketched for hours, trying to mimic the typefaces and designs of each character. Around the same time, he watched his father build and paint cars in his auto shop. He fell in love with the hands-on process, vividly remembering the mixing of colors and how a fresh coat of paint could rebrand a vehicle.
Nathaniel enrolled in the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. He graduated in 2017, interned for a quick stint in the city, then landed at Laddawn in 2018. As Junior Graphic Designer, he vetted each Print Designer-generated technical drawing and created final art for our most challenging orders; all while providing constant feedback to our software development team. He helped bring life to the brands of our distributors’ most demanding customers. In January, we removed “Junior” from his title. Now Nathaniel lends his practiced hand to push new innovative content for Laddawn.com.
In his spare time, Nathaniel creates sneaker designs. Like WWE, this passion started early, with a pair of Ninja Turtle velcro kicks. “I really love and appreciate the aesthetic of sneakers,” he says, but it’s more than just that. He derives inspiration from Nike®, a brand that has grown into more than something people slide their feet into. Their “Equality” campaign, which featured athletes like LeBron James and Serena Williams, donated $5 million to community organizations in 2017. Nathaniel aims in a similar direction, hoping to inspire change and support like causes through unique campaign strategies and artist collaborations. “I’d like to use sneakers, something that I love, for a social purpose,” he adds, “They can represent more than the object. They convey a message and the story of the brand. In that way, they’re similar to Laddawn.” Thanks for helping tell our story, Nathaniel. We look forward with anticipation to where yours may lead.