Nathan Heleine is wary of tidy autobiographical one-liners (of both the incisive and self-deprecating variety) and so, after numerous failed attempts, has chosen to omit any such regrettable instance in this space.*

Even when the height of your branch became dauntingly apparent.

Even when the spring clouds parted to reveal an incessant, overbearing, self-obsessive and oppressive summer sun. Even when that amorous white-breasted nuthatch shat on you. Even when your friends grew too quickly, faded, then fell.

Excerpt from Ways to Encourage a Leaf, a reassuring entry in Now They Hear Nothing.


Now They Hear Nothing

An original photo-fiction collection.


A portfolio of my photographs, unadorned.

Art & Commerce Menu

Available for select assignments in strategic consulting, writing & photography/film.

Crush & Lovely

Co-founder / Chief Creative Officer

Motion (by Crush & Lovely)

Director / Head of Content

Duet (by Crush & Lovely)

Product Strategy / UX
Imagined Future Clients & Patrons

U.S. Presidential Administrations of sound mind
Climate adaptation advocates / organizations
Gun reform advocates / organizations

The National Basketball Association
The American Civil Liberties Union
The New York Times
Visual Supply Co.
Premier League
Gillian Welch
Tesla Motors
Frank Ocean
Sierra Club
Past Clients & Patrons

Doctors Without Borders
The Clinton Foundation
Tippet Rise Arts Center
National Geographic
Ben & Jerry’s
ABC News
Post Secret

Past Projects of Note

Fifty People, One Question
Susty Party

Art & Commerce Menu
(i.e. hire me)


After many heartfelt attempts to define my interests concisely on the internet, I now accept the fact that specialization and brevity just aren’t my forté.

I invest my time in photography, writing, games, politics, documentary filmmaking, music (especially traditions that emphasize improvisation – jazz, bluegrass, hip-hop, etc.), design, visual arts, digital publishing, slow content, and strategic consulting for progressive organizations.

I’m keenly interested in climate change and adaptation, American gun violence, various social reform pockets and movements, most presidential politics and some local politics (note: I need to flip this balance), recripocral effects of the emergent ‘creative class’ which I both benefit from and loathe, our increasingly fragmented notions of what constitutes ‘home’ in western civilization, the triangle offense and the strong-side box defense in their respective heydays, the wild ups and downs of our ever-evolving relationship with technology, and the spirit of the adjacent possible.

My projects tend to revolve around some or none of these interests, and I recently learned to aggressively avoid the latter.

I once had the pleasure of meeting Michael J. Fox who told me to “keep going until they take the crayons away.” I love what this says about staying young in mind and spirit while making the most of our productive days throughout each new phase of life. If I have a central aim beyond supporting the people I love and tilting our collective human dignity needle ever so slightly in the right direction, then I guess that’s it.

Interested in working together? Please see my menu of services.

Still with me?
Here’s a quick then, now, next.

I was born in Normal, Illinois (yes, it’s a real place) in August of 1981. I landed my first job a few years later running the cash register in my parents’ ice cream shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Music was my first love. I studied jazz & contemporary media as a saxophonist & composer at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and concocted my first business plan while playing Love Train in the O’Jays horn section at Pat Riley’s high school reunion. I then moved to Brooklyn, New York and started digging.

In 2004, I co-founded Crush & Lovely, an independent creative technology studio, and worked almost every day for 12 years on its growth and development. Through it all, my primary ambitions were to create a vehicle in which the people I most admired could do their finest work, and to make a meaningful contribution to society reflective of our values. This was the biggest challenge of my life to date. The studio has outgrown my day to day involvement.

I recently took a leap to pursue my longstanding love of photography and writing. I'm particularly interested in projects that combine and remix these two practices. Thematically speaking, I'm obsessed with the relationship between people and technology both literally and figuratively.

My wife and teammate is Dearbhla Keegan and we have a son named Hugo. We live in Portland, Oregon and it has felt for some time as though we’re at the beginning of an adventure.

All works presented here © 1981 - 2018 Nathan Heleine.