I guess I should start by saying how grateful I am. That’s the best way to describe how I feel everyday about where I am and what I’m doing in life. I’m from upstate New York, but have been living out west for the past 5 years. I split most of my time between exploring Oregon and Idaho right now, but have no plans to settle down anywhere just yet. Besides having an awesome and supportive family, I feel like I owe a lot of my better attributes to living out here. It’s opened up so much to me; from the people I’ve been blessed to meet, to the outdoor lifestyle, snowboarding again, to my introduction to things like bike touring, rock climbing, sailing, kayaking, cliff jumping, hot springs, camper vans, meditation, yoga (the list goes on). All of these amazing introductions and additions to my life shape and expand the kind of art I make.
Art to me doesn’t feel like a decision, “I’m a creative person, maybe I’ll try making some art.” It’s just something I’ve always done and will always do, whether everyone likes it or no one likes it, whether I make money with it or not, whether I make a career out of it or not. What I create is a part of me translated onto paper in a way that makes sense to me. So that’s why when someone else actually likes something I make, it’s so personal. I make what I like to look at, and it’s like, wait, “You like looking at this too!?” It’s a pretty cool feeling to relate to someone in that way, and to have people see that part of you.
The past few winters I’ve been living in Driggs Idaho, making art in between snowboarding as much as possible and working part time as little as possible. A lot of fun art opportunities have been coming into my life, and a lot of it is thanks to friends and family doing the work of putting my name out there. (I’m not so solid on the marketing side of things). I did some ski graphics for WSD Custom Ski, which is fun to see something I painted riding around on the snow.
I love diversity, trying new things, playing with new mediums, making art in different ways. I literally wake up amped to make/try something new, and I feel really lucky for that passion. I also just illustrated a kid’s book. My boyfriend and I lived out of our camper van this fall, and he would weld rails for the resort’s terrain park while I would bundle up and illustrate in the van. That was a great experience. Even if I didn’t get paid for it, it’s all about the experience. I would be happy just to have one copy in print to read when I have kids some day. It’s in that way that diversity in art is so exciting, how when you’re open to anything it can all just permeate your whole life. Nothing is separate; snowboarding is a part of art, is a part of meditation, is a part of working, is a part of playing, is a part of relationships, and so on.
Recently I was given a tattoo gun from a friend. I have tattoos, but never thought I’d do my own. I did my first tattoo on my foot, and it’s always exciting to do something you never thought you’d do. So that’s my new exciting medium experience as of late. And I’m just open and excited for anything that’s up next, no hope or fear, just having fun with it all.
Hey all you creative awesome people! I hope that you’ve been doing great; some of you I’ve talked to recently, some of you (sadly) I don’t know what’s new in your life. But, hopefully that will change soon!
The last couple of years I’ve been thinking about my life and how it compares to what the ‘norm’ is for someone my age in the US, and sometimes I get freaked out. What am I doing? Traveling? Snowboarding? Working minimum wage jobs and moving every six months? Barely making it paycheck to paycheck? Occasionally putting groceries on my credit card I still really really need to pay off fully?
And then I talk to people outside of my regular life, outside of my circle of friends, and when I tell them what I do they always say something along the lines of, “You are so lucky! Do that as long as you can.”
Ultimately I come back to this: How I’m living my life is not within the average, but it’s because I have that little bit of drive to live differently that I can love my life and make what I love work in my life.
Ok, so what’s the point of this? For a while, I’ve also been thinking about how lucky I am to know so many amazing people who also have decided to live in a way that trends away from the average. I’ve thought about how you all have awesome stories that you share with me, and how fantastic it would be to get them all together in one place to share with a bunch more people.
I’m not a blog genious (yet. Just like I’m not a helicopter pilot…yet.) so I’m currently working off of a wordpress template, but I did put something together using that and I’ve decided to call it ‘GOFER’. Gophers are really cute, and when I googled ‘gopher’ I found this awesome Wikipedia entry-
“Gophers, because of their burrowing, can disrupt human plans like commercial agriculture, garden plots, some landscaping, and some underground cables.”
It then continued on to say this, which I just thought was funny (and educational!)-
“Gophers are generally timid but may attack if provoked. If deprived of their normal vegetarian food supply, gophers have been known to resort to cannibalism.”
Gophers disrupt what people are trying to do. Rad! They dig around and operate in communities. Also, they’re vegetarian! (The cannibalism part was something I couldn’t find a connection to…)
Anyway; here’s my point- I want to make this happen. The whole backbone of this ‘collective blog’ would be each of you; my friends who are going out and making things happen. Each person would post entries a time or two a week and together it would create this fascinating collage of people doing rad shit. It would give us all a connection of inspiration too (I hope). You don’t all do the same things (some of you are super driven about similar stuff) but it’s all a bit different and each person offers their own perspective on it all.
Thanks for reading and I hope you all stay tuned and follow the stories that come out of this collective.