Nathan Osei

You can call me Nate (for short) and I’m currently a Visual Designer still morphing into a UX Designer. My goal is to become a Design Engineer, to help and empower other creatives to deliver solutions faster and with less friction during the process, while making a comfortable living doing so!


Nathan Osei

You can call me Nate (for short) and I’m currently a Visual Designer still morphing into a UX Designer. My goal is to become a Design Engineer, to help and empower other creatives to deliver solutions faster and with less friction during the process, while making a comfortable living doing so!

What motivates you to mentor creatives?

What’s your current role and origin story as a creative?

I am currently a freelance UX Designer, doing Visual design contract work for a startup. Throughout my childhood to this day, creativity has been woven into every craft I’ve attempted for as long as I can remember:

From drawing favorite cartoon, movies and comic characters as a kid to “exploring the tech world” back then; I remember ‘soft-bricking’ the first true mobile I ever had (the Sony Ericsson C902) by just trying to update the software, couldn’t get any repair guy to fix it. Long story short, my zeal to try to find a solution had me diving deep into the tech universe and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve picked up on some hacks, tricks, skills, scripts, etc… I felt were essential and still integrate them into my overall ‘tech-flow’ to this day.

Thinking back, I realized I did some forms of ‘UX’ work without realizing it. One I just remembered was when a friend some time ago brought an early generation Pentium or Celeron laptop over (had 4 gigs of RAM and a 24GB HDD (not a typo, 24GB storage!) ). He’s not the tech-savvy kind (at least not before then) and, I remember clearly asking him which archaeological site he pulled that out of (and this was coming from someone who was still using a first-generation i5 laptop 🤷🏾♂️). Anyways he was saving up for a new one so spending on parts was off the table (every penny counted!), plus waiting till he was able to purchase a new one wasn’t really an option either especially since the exam was fast approaching (good luck trying to borrow a friend’s laptop during that period).

Now the good news was the laptop did power on. However, it did run an old version of windows (XP). William (the friend) had been exposed to using newer windows versions and even used Mac OS X (Yosemite upwards I think 🤔) at some point so telling him to stick to using XP wasn’t gonna cut it; heck he wanted windows 10 if possible but “at least windows 8 is fine, plus office and a pdf reader too”. I don’t think Houdini would’ve been able to pull this off (don’t forget bro had a 24GB storage, for contrast the new iPhones start from 64GB storage). WHY? For starters, a new windows installation would’ve ate up more than half of the storage space (and do not get me started on drivers installation), and while the performance wasn’t a topic we discussed, it definitely had to be optimal (at the very least) because what is the point then if he couldn’t at least somehow ‘enjoy’ using it? Then there’s the purchasing of activation keys for both windows and office (let’s not forget he was saving to buy a new laptop hence every penny counted!). Had to play the cards we were dealt.

Then I asked him, “If I had a magic wand that could sprinkle some fairy dust on this laptop (I’m exaggerating a little bit, I’m aware), what would he be using the laptop for?”. “Normal stuff” he said. “Can you be more specific?” I asked. “Well, browsing, typing documents, reading PDFs, listening to music and maybe watching a movie or two” he said. “Charle (~ a common slang which means friend), I know the storage isn’t much but abeg (~ another slang which means please) work your ‘magic’ on it for me” he added.

Before then (I mean before all of William’s laptop drama), I had been using and trying out different distributions and flavors of Linux (all part of my tech world exploration). Just for the fun of it I loved trying out new OS’s if possible; tweaking, un-tweaking and re-tweaking, breaking stuff, spending time going through forums for fixes and implementing (like I said earlier, I did pick up on some stuff), etc… (remember the first generation i5 laptop I mentioned? I had quadruple-booted that machine which I know, doesn’t make sense 🤦🏾♂️ but then again why not 🤷🏾♂️). Anyways back to the subject at hand, William definitely didn’t care about my tech exploration (at that point, I’m assuming), he just wants his windows laptop to work. So then I asked, “what if it’s not Windows but a different OS?”. He said; “what do you mean?”. I said “You just want to do the normal stuff you mentioned earlier right (which he nodded yes), well it doesn’t have to be on Windows."

Now the ‘challenge’ would’ve been deciding on what flavor to choose if I had no prior experience or interaction with any linux distribution. However, given the laptop’s resources were limiting, I had to be creative about it.

Now you’re probably wondering why I had you read all of that (I’m assuming that you did). Back then to me it was just another day of experimenting and getting to play with another tech product (didn’t care how old it was as long as it was modifiable and susceptible to being tweaked). William called me the following day telling me how he enjoyed his ‘revived’ pc and then went on and on about how I really helped him out  (again was not a big deal). One thing, however, did struck out; how what I somewhat took for granted in a sense meant that great of a deal to someone (I remember how lit up his face was). I’ve had many similar moments (maybe not as deep) but this one right here tops it. Upon reflection, I think someway somehow it was this moment that laid the foundation for this career path trajectory I’m currently on.

Bonus: William uses an M1 MacBook Pro now, got a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics and is looking to become a Data Scientist/Analyst. I totally forgot about the whole laptop ordeal until he mentioned it in a convo we were having sometime 😅, plus I still haven’t fixed my old phone yet so the journey continues…

What creative work(s) are you the proudest of?

Definitely helping William out but since I’ve got no pictures of that, here is a picture of some of the drawings I found from a young age (they were no masterpieces but I was really proud of being able to do that, I still am a bit though 😅).

These are just characters I drew from one of my favorite animated TV shows (Avatar the last Airbender), then there’s my attempt at Ezio Auditore (from Assassin’s Creed) which didn’t turn out well as I hoped 😅 and then finally ‘Snake Eyes’ (from G.I Joe).

They’re from different time periods, I think some are about a year to two (or even three) apart.

What’s your current “creative studio”/desk setup like?

Nothing spectacular really, all I need is a comfortable chair and a good enough sturdy table (or desk), and I’m good to go. I do, however, work mostly from my bedroom desk setup, which isn’t anything fancy but comfortable enough, plus I’ve got a couple of back braces too for when I need it and I do try to take short breaks (stretch outs usually) in between work periods. We (my next-door neighbor who’s practically a brother at this point) do however have an office space (with a whiteboard and all) available for when we do need it.

The bonus picture is a night shot of my room desk setup (my camera angles suck) which I know ain’t much really but it works for me. Plus a few sticky notes and the Logitech M325 external mouse I use next to it. Behind it is this sorta mounted add-on that has on it my mug, router and a plastic cup (full of pencils, pens, a marker, highlighter, etc). That red light underneath is my speaker system (on standby).

Where do you go to get inspired?

I’d say nature, the environment around us, and people (other creatives, to be more specific). It could be anything that catches my attention, really. Especially the things we normally take for granted. I believe every invention or innovation was referenced from something existent (there’s nothing new under the sun, just a new way of doing what we’ve already been doing) so I try to relate whatever it is I’m trying to achieve to what already exists.

Do you have a ritual, or time of day that unleashes your creative powers?

I’d definitely say music, usually high-tempo (dance genre) kind or lo-fi music depending on mood and state of mind. Stretching out and taking occasional breaks has an influence and I recently discovered listening to hymns help as well.

What’s an album that changed your life?

Well, this is a hard one (almost impossible I’d say 😅). My music taste is almost all over the place (they have all in one small way or another been instrumental in my life) and having to pick just one is near impossible. Instead, here is a playlist I made some time ago, so you get a fair idea of what I do listen to at times


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