Nod Norkus is a modern-day renaissance man. His paintings hang in NoDa's Green Rice Gallery. He plays drums with The Hinges, a local rock band. Recently, he added clothing designer to his lengthy artistic résumé. After a stint living in L.A. and struggling to break in to the acting biz, Norkus, thirty-one, returned to the Queen City to manage his uncle's business, Freeman Screen Print. "I was going crazy not expressing myself," he says of his early days on the job.
Rather than let a traditional nine-to-five stifle his creative spirit, Norkus embraced screen printing as an artistic medium. He began experimenting, free pouring and screening designs onto canvases and then T-shirts. Soon, N/O/D (Nod Original Designs) was born. The company now boasts a full line of graphic tees for men and women.
"I don't want a single shirt to look the same," he says. "Each one is custom made with a bit of individuality." Many of the shirts look like modern takes on 1970s concert tees. Others allude to a deeper political message. One attention-grabbing design, titled "Original Suicide Bomber," was inspired by terrorist activity and the 9/11 crisis. Norkus believes his shirts have been popular because each one is completely different from the last.
"You know that nobody's gonna have a shirt like that," he says. "It's a point of pride."
Find N/O/D designs at Lotus, located at 1247 East Blvd., or online at nodnorkus.com.