What is Storytelling? The working definition I’ve written is “…the demonstration of struggle, creative or otherwise, before a community, with the intention of imparting and sharing both information and wisdom.” Storytelling is a tool. As a artist, an activist, and wilderness-guy, I am preoccupied with what a tool is? Definition 1 in any dictionary is something you make utility with. A tool is something full of potential. I’ve recently drafted a long list (see it at in the sidebar of this website), or more to the point: I’ve drawn a big-circle… Progressive types. Friends. Family. All of whom have been bitten by this tiny, passionate contagion that compels them forward, keeps pushing the envelope. Maniacs all; full of hope in the morning that what they are doing is good, although completely outside the box. Independents. Freedom-seekers. Wanderers. Storytellers. All heroes of mine. Creatives who have influenced me deeply, all of whom I have worked with on some, beautiful thing, and very much looking forward to working with again soon.
More and more, I want a connection to the things I interact with from day to day. The connection lies in knowing the people who make these art-objects – as I believe that is what they are – I don’t believe the line between art and craft is necessarily relevant in the emerging post-superpower world, where nationalist entities require dominant branding over top/down corporate structures; I am fascinated by the backlash against that, the bottom/up approach to doing things from beginning to end – the thing, the passionate process that flies in the face of “good business sense.” The witness that I so enjoy to bear before the hearing/knowing of the stories behind this subtle movement, this joyful retaking of all things made with love and vision, fills me daily with great love. Below is a record, in photography and website links, to some of my favorite objects and the people who live by their creation. #trailpaintings on instagram.
Storytellers depicted (above):
Storytellers depicted (above):
Storytellers depicted (above):
Capsule Men‘s New York City. What would I wear? What do I like?
above, two images, Indigo Fera – a casual line of denim that has a real open-road vibe. Welcome to California via Northern Europe.
Tito Sandal by Yuketen. New and classic is hard to pull off, but easily done with these impeccably made shoes.
Backpacks at Yuketen – Amazing originality overlapping with functionality
Every Stitch has a Soul. Monitaly. Impressive quality with even more impressive design.
I was there with Jessica, representing Juniper Ridge. Find us on the social networks with the hashtags #nofakefragrance #mountainsinabottle and #lifeonthetrail
Woolrich, the original outdoor clothing company. This might have been the most talked about piece in the show. Hello old New Mexico, I love you.
Eat Dust‘s vibe is cool and effortless, they float above the world, giving two shits, exactly where they should be.
Patagonia‘s Legacy line makes me drool on myself. There is something about that logo that makes me want to climb a mountain.
This is a real pack, ladies and gentlemen. Made by good people that know what the hell they are doing. I want my life outfitted by Frost River.
I’ve gone camping with Paul Kaufman and his shoes, made out of recycled crap are to absolutely die for. They rock the world, fuck it.
Coast-Wide by POP studio is blowing my mind and making me reconsider some fundamental truth I hold about art and my whole damn life. Well played.
These guys work. Man, nothing vibes like Lightning Bolt. The brand hovers in the ether, waiting to strike like some kind of cosmic serpent.
Please give me everything these guys are about – Iron and Resin – California bike culture refound and presented to the 21st century like the baby Zeus, ready to go!
I have three pairs of shoes. They are all Danners. That is all.
At 111 Minna, this last Saturday, there was an amazing exhibit of makers from across the country. A collection of American craft, value and fashionable goods called Northern Grade. I work with and for Juniper Ridge – we were represented in a collaborative Dopp kit, having parterned with Winter Session for a Fathers’ Day offering. The Dopp Kit, available here at the Winter Session website, could very well be the perfect gift for dear old dad; it includes our Trail Crew Soap and our Backpacker’s Cologne, and is presented as either a Forest or a Desert collection.
The Fathers’ Day, Limited-edition Dopp Kit by Juniper Ridge & Winter Session. Peering into the bag – you see there is plenty of room for Dad’s other bathroom junk:
Here I am (firstname.lastname@example.org), at right, with our friends from Colorado: Winter Session’s Roy & Tanya. Their amazing goods are entirely covetable – check out these amazing roll up pencil/tool cases.
Here are some of the other wonderful brands representing at Northern Grade. This show is indicative of the real, new, American economy: stuff made by hand, made here, beautiful designed, and elegant in both form and delivery. Sign me up. Sign me up for good.
The real tools are the sketchbooks, the whiskey, maybe then, the knife. I take these with me, on the trail, on the road, seeking sense where there may be no sense to discover. The wild is jealous and forever gorgeous, all we can do is worship and follow.
A thunderbird. My private totem. My expressed freedom. Whatever would we, or could we, be without our personal angels? These vapors, these wretched saviors, that at once, would either protect or devour us. An arbitrary decision, really.
Wildcrafting with Juniperridge.com. Take these fragrances: a particular kind of real therapy. Mending unknown broken parts. You have license.
The collection. Apart from clothes, art and books, this is all my shit. I do own a computer too, I suppose. I work very hard at not having a lot of stuff. Not having stuff feels like a job. I am working on getting it all down into a manageable, portable unit. I don’t like stuff – in fact I believe acquisition is an easy source of anxiety. Although, a few treasures is of course, a good thing.
Rise of the Ranges of Light, Landscapes and Changes in the Mountains of California, Heyday, Berkeley, California, 2011
On the Sierra Nevada: “All of my experiences in other ranges in the contiguous United States seem to shrink next to the scene before me. Here are more mountains of more different types than I will ever climb in my little life, with more different stories than I could ever tell. And of all the dozens of ranges that make up California, none seem so profound and aesthetically perfect as the Sierra Nevada. So many superlatives describe this place that one wonders by what divine grace were so many fantastic things gifted to one mountain range. Here is the longest singular mountain range in North America, and the highest in the lower forty-eight. The Sierra Nevada is home to the highest alpine lake in continent, more species of conifer than any other North American range, the largest and richest alpine flora in the continent, and the largest single living things on the planet. More snow falls here than any other range on the continent besides the Cascades. The granite of the Sierra was formed in one of the largest granite-forming events the planet has ever known. The list goes on. And on.”