“Nothing beats working with your hands in this technology-rich age.”

That’s Nick Stroia, Buffalo Nickel Co., the man whose heart rules the hand that’s working the latest collection of Black Deer merch.
Foolish is he whose pencil burns out faster than his eraser goes the old saying and it’s a maxim Stroia adheres to strictly. “I do more erasing than anything else,” he reveals.

“I draw, I measure… and that translates into my branding and design work as a whole – then I’ll solidify a sketch via ink pen. Only after being completely illustrated by hand does my work become digitised and developed to be used in all media.”

We asked Nick, the artist behind the first in a series of Black Deer merch collaborations, about a couple of the best-selling designs from our latest featured range:

“From the moment my pencil first touched the paper, down to the last line and dot, my journey with Black Deer has enabled me to bring a pretty plenty of ideas to life…”



“Music is incredible. It can do great things for your mood. It helps you to focus. It’s good for your memory. It creates an ambiance and adds to the experience of whatever it is you’re doing. It unites and brings folks together – like a universal language of sorts that we can all understand. In this specific design, this concept takes the shape of a strumming cat and melodic bird, which was the result of one of American folksinger Willie Watson’s cheekier tunes (‘Kitty Puss’) popping up onto my stereo as I brainstormed designs to illustrate for Black Deer.”


“Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’. This classic quote from ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ was the inspiration for this design. Life is short. Too short. I think there’s few people out there who won’t wish for more time when they’re lying on their deathbed… and that’s even if they get the luxury of that. So, take that risk. Buy that plane ticket. Knock out that bucket list. Listen to good music. Hug your loved ones. Get the most out of your life ’cause the clock’s ticking.”

New collections now available.