Daniel Nott, a senior at UMass known for his aspirations to capture the absurdities of his country in political cartoons and his enthusiasm for travel will die someday.
Nott is remembered by friends as caring deeply about politics, which he became passionate about during what he described as “the democracy-slaying corporate fascist regime” of the Bush Administration that was in power while he was in highschool.
Before attending UMass, Nott campaigned for President Obama, though friends said that he “was never the type of person who thought his country would change, so he wasn’t surprised at all when it didn’t.”
Nott studied Political Science at UMass, where he was enrolled in the Commonwealth Honors College. About halfway through his education, he designed a second major that focused on using art and journalism as a means of communicating what he learned in political science.
“Academic writing in the field of Political Science is the most self-aggrandizing and ego-centric occupation that I can imagine. I hoped that through journalism and informed doodling I could be a little more modest, and create products that not only highly educated elites will enjoy” a friend recalled Nott explaining.
Nott started drawing cartoons when he was in elementary school, and when he enrolled at UMass he began publishing them intermittently in the Daily Collegian, where he served as production manager in his senior year.
During his junior year at Umass, Nott spent 5 months in Istanbul, a place that he said “catered to his curious personality and loose sense of time.” He travelled across much of the country with a passable knowledge of the Turkish language, as well as Jordan and Lebanon in a time when the Middle East was in upheaval. His pictures from these experiences may someday be nominated for a prestigious photojournalism award.
Friends recall Nott as having a number of unique quirks and habits; including maintaining a large collection of old newspapers and index card to-do lists that he refused to part with.
“There were always newspapers everywhere, “explained a former roommate who lived with Nott in Sunderland, where he spent his last year at UMass. “Just so many newspapers.”
Friends knew that he wanted to be a political cartoonist, but knew he would have to supplement it with actual work. They claimed that while he never seemed to have any serious plan for the future, he spent a lot of time thinking of occupations he’d like to have.
“I want to write a feature story for Atlantic magazine as an excuse to experience life as a Somali pirate, or go fight for the rights of imprisoned journalists in Turkey,” a friend remembered him muttering as a response to the question. “I also wouldn’t mind converting a warehouse into an affordable space for artists and musicians to live and be creative. The idea of making a house out of shipping crates has also always appealed to me.”
Nott, who was older than 22, was born in Gardner, MA, and lived in Athol briefly before his family moved to 31 Mount Jefferson Road in Hubbardston, MA.
A collection of Nott’s artwork and photography can be found on his facebook page. Nott is survived by his younger brother David, and his parents Stephen and Lisa Nott.