Small Businessman of the Year

The Etsy shop is all done. 124 pictures put up, described, and priced. It wasn’t short work, about 13 hours of typing and sorting. Not to say it wasn’t fun. Checking out Nate’s work in detail as I wrote short blurbs was exhilarating. He really is quite talented.

Though 124 drawings were listed, 122 remain. Two items sold, from the lowest priced to the highest.  They are no longer on Etsy, though you can check them out on Facebook at Obsessive Construction: The Strip Mall Art of Nate Katz (http://www.facebook.com/#!/ObsessiveConstructionTheStripMallArtOfNateKatz).

Nate draws strip mall signboards on magazine subscription cards. These little gems are scattered all over our house. A great Chicago friend was intrigued with one particular work. Seems that Nate had rendered the Edens Plaza mall directory on a Wired insert. This friend lives in Wilmette, where the Edens Plaza is, and his house is littered with Wired subscription cards. Nate’s drawing called his name and the first purchase was arranged.

Tobias Picker is a famous composer of opera and, it turns out, a friend of Karen’s family. Tobias grew up with Karen’s cousin and she’d met him over the years. He came up to visit Cooperstown this past summer to take us to The Music Man at Glimmerglass Opera. We, in turn, took him to Blue Mingo Grill for dinner. Between events we came home and Tobias met Nate and checked out his strip mall work – and loved them!

Once we got all the framed gallery pieces back and they were posted on Etsy, Tobias had a catalog of work to choose from. He picked The Marketplace, a nearly 8 foot long goliath of a piece. Nate and Karen drove down to meet Tobias and, bang, another sale! Here they are (Note how Nate has grabbed Tobias’ hand. That’s something reserved for a select few).

So we’re off and running. If you haven’t checked out Nate’s shop, StripMallArt, it’s here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/StripMallArt

As to Nate’s other design work, Alpha Folks, we are moving forward. Many of the letters are near ready to be reproduced on t-shirts. Once done, it’ll be another shop on Etsy and, I think, down the road a dedicated Nate Katz site for all his work. He’s becoming quite a cottage industry.

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About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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