199: Nathan Gallagher/On Validation

Nathan Gallagher photographed by Owen Tozer, London, January 2023.

I’ve had a couple of admin and R&R focussed weeks since I released the Festive Special, but now I’m back and raring to go with a lovely, timely chat with photographer, musician and snowboarder Nathan Gallagher.

Nath’s a very old friend I first met in the mid-90s, when we were young snowboarding idiots looking for a way into the industry. We’ve been friends ever since and I’ve watched with real pride and interest over the intervening years as he’s created a really unique and commercially successful creative career for himself.

Photo: Owen

And, as you’ll hear, Nathan has a lot of really original and interesting things to say about art, creativity, the voices in our heads that dictate the paths we follow, and our wider search for validation.

I must be honest: this conversation came at a good time for me personally. Firstly, there was the chat itself, an intensely pleasureble exchange that reminded me that, for me, the conversation has always been the ultimate reward when it comes to Looking Sideways.

Photo: Owen

But I also needed to hear Nathan’s canny, empathetic message about the importance of remembering why we do creative work, and how, in today’s digital landscape judging anything on the numbers (especially your self-esteem) is a modern fool’s errand. Like anybody, I’m not immune to falling prey to such corrosive reflections, so I found Nath’s expert, passionate analysis of the dynamics at play here very fascinating and, personally, much needed.

I hope you get as much our of our conversation as I did. Listen below: