Artist Feature: Max Nelson

Max Nelson is a Bay Area based web designer and visual artist. He has worked with various aspects of design including illustration, logos, and image layout. Max discusses the interconnected nature of Reflection and Response as the feedback loop between the brain and the images we encounter. He discusses the role of Reflection and Response in his piece Talking Type, and showcases a handful of other works from his archives.

Max Nelson

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

MN: Berkeley, CA is where I was born and raised. Still basically just crushing it in the city of B-town…I need to GTF outta here.

Max Nelson - "Watercolor Fingertips"

Max Nelson – “Watercolor Fingertips”

Max Nelson - "Turquoise Gemstone"

Max Nelson – “Turquoise Gemstone”


What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

MN: Well a reflection is an aspect or image of a thing, cast onto another thing. A response is essentially a directed reaction. The two combined remind me of  like, a brain with an image projected onto it from like, a projector. The image is like a volcano or something.

Max Nelson - "Swept" (Click the image to check out the piece in full)

Max Nelson – “Swept” (Click the image to check out the piece in full)

How does your piece “Talking Type” fit in with that definition?

MN: I’ll choose the typographic guide ‘Talking Type’ – I did the marker version one night in college. It was probably about 3am, I’d been studying a shitload of typography, and with all that in my system (reflection), I busted that out in sharpie in like 15 min. (response). Years later I found the pages and liked them and decided to type them out in Photoshop.

Max Nelson - "Talking Type" (Click the image to check out the piece in full)

Max Nelson – “Talking Type” (Click the image to check out the typographic guide in full)

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

MN: I don’t really do traditional art at all anymore, even layout design, I basically put down the pencil and went full web developer about  a year ago. Now I work as a Front End Developer at an amazing tech startup, it is awesome and I am constantly learning, which is all I ever wanted.

Max Nelson - "Spaceboy Click" Logo

Max Nelson – “Spaceboy Click” Logo

Max Nelson - "Cats"

Max Nelson – “Cats”

Who or what inspires you?

MN: Im inspired by the hero software engineers that go out there and slay demons by solving API incompatibilities. I’m inspired by anyone who tries their hardest even though shit sucks and its hard.

Max Nelson "Awkward Conversation"

Max Nelson “Awkward Conversation”

Shout out to…?

MN: David Adams, Greg Freidman, Perry Young, Michael ‘Fan’ Summer, John Lawrence, Evan Loeb.

Max Nelson - "Original"

Max Nelson – “Original”

Reflection and Response.


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