‘THE WRITING ON THE WALL’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY EDDIE DONALDSON
A CREATIVE, CORPORATE COLLABORATION BETWEEN A FATHER & SON What do you find at the intersection of ‘corporate’ and ‘creative’? When it comes to Nick Simon and his father Adam, you find CANTSTOPGOODBOY where the best of both worlds meet. They accepted an invitation by Eddie Donaldson to speak about the business of art and the partnership of a father and son. EDDIE: Let’s start with introducing ourselves. Both of you, let us know who you are and what’s going on?
NICK: My name is Nick Simon. I’m also known in the art world as CANTSTOPGOODBOY. Adam is my manager and father (my ‘dadager’). We have a pretty cool story about how we tie in the business and family together. I started off in the street art world. I’ve been a contemporary artist for the last 13 years now, I think. Right dad?
NICK: Yep… My dad has been with me since day one… literally.
ADAM: Whether he liked it or not.
ALLIÉ: So how about you, Dad? What’s your story?
ADAM: Sure. Adam Simon. I’ve had a couple of careers since I moved to Los Angeles almost 40 years ago from Toronto with $200 in my pocket, literally. As Nick was saying, it’s been 13 years that I’ve been managing Nick - full time for 6 or 7 of those years. It’s been a progression, and now it’s what I do full time. Once I started to understand the art world and how it works, I sort of had a game plan of how I wanted Nick’s career to go. For the most part, it’s gone in the direction that we’ve laid out. I’m the business side. Nick does all of the creating. Although we do overlap a little bit, we’ve been able over these years to figure out what our roles are and we kind of stay in our lanes.
NICK: Yeah, I remember in the beginning… My dad came from the corporate insurance world. In the beginning, I was the typical artist that woke up at 3 in the afternoon and went to bed at 3 in the morning. My dad would always wake up in the morning and go, “It’s a 9 to 5, Nick. You gotta wake up at 9. You stop at 5.” It was a constant battle for a couple years. Then finally he said, “I get it now. You work at night. You work when everyone else is sleeping.” So, that was a cool transition when we both figured out how to play our game. He came from the corporate side of the world, and I came from the creative. So, we merged both of them together. I think that’s how we’ve come so far these last years.
ALLIÉ: Amazing. I love the merger between corporate and creative… and the balance you two have found together.
EDDIE: How did we meet? Does anyone know the answer to that? How did our worlds collide? All I can remember is a show at Warner Brothers that you did. I didn’t even know you. Was that the first time we came in contact?
ADAM: When Nick and I first started, we had this list of people we wanted to meet that we thought would open up doors for us. Eddie, for what he’s done in the art world, he was at the top of our list of people we wanted to meet 13 111 AWARENOW / THE LIGHT EDITION