If you’re feed is anything like mine, you can almost drown in a never ending feed of images. In our day and age of selfies and “what I ate today” image frenzy, there are those images that make you stop, look, and listen to their story. My favorite instagrams is my version of highly addicting TV shows (since I don’t have a TV) These wandering folks have taken my imagination to some far away places, somewhere I’ve been or where I’d like to go and I’m always curious to see where their perspective will lead me next.
@ourwildabandon: They were scheduled to be back in Canada by Novemeber 1st, but they’re not even halfway through with their US road trip. These girls and their camper named Bobby Jean makes you lust for camp vibes, big skies, desert trips, and the freedom of the open road.
@BrooklynHawaii: Hailing in Hawaii, Brooklyn is a talented photographer and one badass surfer chick, yes she exists. Be warned, her photos might have you green with envy for big waves, tan lines, and mahalo vibes.
@NatKelley: A psychedelic sister and a Peruvian beauty, her photos take you from burning man to Bali through a kaleidoscope lens of colors and cosmic waves.
@Circa_1983 From misty mornings to high altitudes, his shots capture Mama Earth’s majestic silhouettes and make us want to get lost deep into the wild.
“Neither a traditional documentary nor a travelogue, SAMSARA takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation on the cycle on birth, death and re-birth. Through powerful images, the film illuminates the links between humanity and the rest of nature, showing how our life cycle mirrors the rhythm of the planet.”
It’s hard to put into words how powerful this movie is. The entire thing is presented without dialogue, encouraging your own inner interpretations through an hour-and-a-half of breathtaking imagery combined with mesmerizing music. For me it was yet another reminder of just how little I know or understand about the world. I keep thinking about birth in the sense of location, and how it dictates the entirety of a person’s life. Their beliefs, religion, perception will depend entirely upon which hemisphere, continent, country, or tribe a person is born into. Of course they could change their location at any given time, but the origins will always be there. And for many people, what they’re handed at birth will be all they ever know. It’s a humbling thought to realize that ultimately we have no control.
A quick snapshot from my phone looking out the window of a bus swerving down the mountainside of Laos may not make for a great photo per se, but I couldn’t think of a better image that can translate my thoughts. A bit out of it from a long 10 hour bus ride through the mountainsides of northern Laos, I woke up to a beautiful sunrise. We were so high up that the mountains rose above the clouds and laid like snow. We passed by small villages and I couldn’t help but smile at the children waving as the bus drove by. What a radical change this Friday morning is compared to my Friday mornings prior to leaving. I used to wake up to a screeching alarm clock, sit in morning traffic with other anxiety ridden, overworked, road raged people and I was no different. As each day of higher sales quotas, and tighter deadlines drained every bit of me I kept asking myself, so this is it? This is what the “real world” that I prepared so diligently for throughout college is like? This illusion was sort of depressing. I found myself at a crossroad and I wanted to run the exact opposite direction. So I did.
You always hear people say “follow your bliss” ‘live like there’s no tomorrow” like a broken record of cliches. I settled for a one way flight and trusted the unknowingness of tomorrow. I admit, it gave me goosebumps, but in the best way possible. The journey of creating yourself didn’t go off like a lightbulb, but it was a mashup of moments such this sunrise on the bus where you feel a slow yet permanent change. It humbled my perspective, and shook my understanding. I finally understood the feeling of being rich with time, knocking out a to-do list that’s all yours, and getting up in the morning excited of what might come about today. Working with dream clients and collaborating with friends, and past colleagues to produce work that we’re passionate about and proud of is truly rewarding.
Someone once told me the difference between fear and danger is that danger is very real, and fear is something we have made up. Made up of a misuse of our imagination to create anxiety of what might happen. Live in the present and trust yourself enough to know that you’re on the right path and that you’ll know when you need to veer off. Trust that you are not in control and if you let the current of life take you, things will unfold as it should. Don’t just work hard, work passionately. If you’re decent at performing at a job you don’t like, imagine the meaningful work you can produce doing something you’re truly passionate about.
I had to write this to express my perpetual gratitude and hope that this energy manifests into whoever is reading this. If missed most of my ramblings, just remember this: Whatever it may be, follow your bliss.
We truly were enchanted with our stay in Santa Fe. Above is some shots on the road and in our hostel. We spent two nights in Santa Fe International hostel and it was a gem of a find. The outdoor courtyard was charming, our room was a sunny sanctuary, and the feeling of community was welcoming. We enjoyed the details that surrounded us in the city. Every bridge we passed displayed artwork, wooden doors carved with intricate designs, and eclectic shops that boasts influence from Native American arts to artisan pieces from all over the world. I met an inspiring local named Ian who runs Peaceful Wind Gallery. Every piece selectively collected during his travels through India, Nepal, Tibet and Southeast Asia. I was in awe with his finds. There were original scrolls from Tibet, intricate furniture, and beautiful Buddhist statues. We also chatted with his son who has embraced his dad’s gallery by branching into the up and coming art scene of Tibet. They both travel and meet with different artists to showcase their work. The most amazing part of our visit to this gallery is seeing how passionate they were about each piece and the story behind the artist. It was a great karmic encounter, and grateful for people like Ian who walk into your lives, even if just for a short visit to open your eyes with wonder.
Happy Halloween everyone! I admit, I do miss toasting pumpkin ales, roasting pumpkin seeds, and having an excuse to bust out in costume with friends. However I am very grateful to experience something as beautiful and eye opening as our couple weeks spent in Cambodia. They recently just started welcoming tourists into Cambodia the past decade or so after their suffering through the Khmer Rouge. Still today, the struggle remains in this poverty stricken country as they battle corruption in their government.
Understanding this, we were more aware of the darkness found in their past which showed through their music and artwork. If you ask the locals they will share their stories of death, starvation, and survival. When visiting galleries during our time in Battambang, we noticed the essence of darkness expressed in the majority of the artwork that I, as an outsider can never fully comprehend.
Walking through the alleyways of Battambang I was in awe to see the French architecture still remained here. I also noticed many women on their sewing machines on the bottom floor of their house which opened to the outside like garage doors. The vibrancy of fabrics I felt represented the Cambodian spirit. Through a dark past, the survivors, and those to follow express their hope through their smile, willingness to reach out, enthusiasm to work, and in their craftsmanship. I especially was drawn to these colorful kaftans with playful patterns which danced in the wind. We brought them to the rooftop of our hostel and let the sun and wind bring the kaftans to life.
These will soon be available in the shop.
This past Saturday we found ourselves people watching at a bar in Bangkok when this video came on. Just had to share it’s radness with you! Our trip to Banaue Philippines remain to be one of our most favorite visit. The rice terraces of Banaue is dubbed the eighth wonder of the world, yet it still doesn’t bring in as much tourism as other parts of Southeast Asia. Spending some time in Thailand, I was happy to see amount of tourism they bring in, and amazed to see how well it helps their economy. I realized that there are far more tourists walking this street of bars, than there is to trek the mountain regions of Banaue. I always wished for more tourism in the Philippines to help fuel their economy, but I also love the fact that the lack there of in certain spots allow it to have the sense of being “untouched”, less western influence and a more rooted connection with their past. Spend a few days here and you are overcome with surrealism. Aside from the western clothing which started in the 80’s and the trails created for jeepneys to carve around the mountainsides, you realize not much have changed over the past thousands of years.
This time last year I was working full-time for a cool little design shop in Austin. The environment was laid back, the work itself was fun, and I couldn’t have asked for a better boss or co-workers. I understood how fortunate I was compared to most people having a job that I absolutely didn’t hate, but still, I had an over-consuming feeling like there was something else I should be doing. I found myself waking up every morning looking forward to the weekend, and time after time I realized that the week had flown by…then a new month…and then a whole year had passed. I couldn’t believe how fast time was moving and how many days I spent wishing I were somewhere else.
The greatest perk of being a designer is being able to work with headphones on and listen to music throughout the day. When I needed a break from music I would listen to lectures from Alan Watts and others to get my brain stimulated with things other than design. I came across this short video montage that uses an audio snippet from one of Watts’ famous lectures and it really struck a chord. It made me ask those questions and reach deep within to understand the simple truth that I could do anything and go anywhere I wanted. I shouldn’t be living 5 days out of the week with this feeling like I was wasting my time chasing money. Although I enjoyed my job, I knew I was only in it for the money just like 99% of the people in this world that work. I knew that I still wanted to design, but the thought of being tied down to one place was root of my discontent. I wanted the freedom to pick up and go if I wanted to or to extend my stay longer if I loved the place. This video along with a few other influences led me to talking with Charmie into taking the big leap — stop chasing the dollar and start living as we truly wanted to. We may not have as much money now as we did when we both had full-time jobs, but we’re content and happy. Somehow small projects keep coming in here and there and they’re keeping us afloat. It makes me think of something Tina Roth Eisenberg said at her SXSW keynote speech, “When things keep falling into place, that’s the universe telling you to keep going.” We’re now somewhat living the way the majority of the world does. Living day to day not knowing where the next dollar is coming from. It’s such a thrilling experience and right now I wouldn’t want it any other way.
All Roads Design consists of artisan duo Robert Dougherty and Janelle Pietrzak. Janelle first met Robert when she apprenticed for him at a motorcycle repair shop. It was only natural that their projects outside of the garage would be the best of both worlds. Robert was a jack of all trades, from welding to carpentry, and Janelle was well seasoned in fabric sourcing for the apparel industry including retailers such as Anthropology. Today their work is curated by numerous specialty stores that see the uniqueness and beauty in all of their dream weavings. I’m specially gravitated towards the mix of texture and the abstract patterns in each design. Their designs epitomize everything I love about artisan pieces; artist expressions translated by their hands.
Wherever we might wander off to, we will always call United States our home. These American flags reincarnated by Sarah Rahbar are beautiful, thought provoking, and to some controversial. Sarah is an Iranian-American artist who lives and works in New York.
“The first body of work that created international recognition for the artist was the flag series (2005-2013), in which traditional fabrics and objects are reworked as collages that form various incarnations of the American and Iranian flag, exploring ideas of national belonging, as well as the conflicting role of flags as symbols of ideological and nationalistic violence. “
Read more here