Right Back Where We Started From or: Thanks California

It never fails.

We always seem to come out on top when it comes to “meeting great folks”. SF and LA were great to us last week. Well, SF was a bit warm for my internal nw-native thermostat, but LA was darn near perfect with awesome meet-ups to match.

Through the years, I’ve noticed that there seems to be a fairly consistent and direct correlation between the quality of the individuals we’re fortunate to meet in person and those that take the time to respond to the actual requests to meet up. Now, we could get into a whole correlation vs. causation thing, but we’d rather just put on the blinders, not take it too seriously, and believe that the universe has some sort of cosmic filter that automatically sorts out the wheat from the chaff. There has to be, since everywhere we go we find that everyone who’s able to get together is awesome. That’s a fact. And, we’re wise enough to know that the world isn’t 100% populated with winners, so those may just be the folks we miss or don’t hear back from. It’s the unseen, yet all seeing, omnipresent coffee filter holding back the grounds. Or if not, it’s fun anecdotally to think of in that way.

Great studio meet ups, meals, coffees, and beers all made for a fun trip. Though, just meeting in person, face to face, is reward unto itself. Phone calls and written correspondence only go so far. Sharing stories in the same space, learning about other people’s work with inflection only perceivable when in proximity, and laughing hard enough to squeeze out a tear are like health food for the soul…Difficult to grow on your own, sometimes hard to find, but you always feel better for having been fortunate to sample.

An honest and sincere thanks to those that offered up countless hours from their busy days. Truly appreciated, and we’re always happy to return the favor anytime you all find yourselves up North in our small piece of the world.


Hello LA


I beat feet out of SF this afternoon and am now in LA enjoying the simple pleasure of a/c on high with the fan on low. I, Daniel, will be here until Friday meeting up with folks new and old while a guest in el ciudad de Los Angeles.

If you’re here while I’m here and would like to meet up, then tweet or DM me @impactist or send an email to daniel @ impactist.com (remove the spaces) and we’ll see what’s up.

Time to hit up a favorite for dinner. Shhh, it’s a secret!


The Cusp


“The Cusp” as seen from satellite 

My first apartment was adjacent to an imaginary boundary line I’d come to term “The Cusp”. It was right on the line between quiet and calm, and violent and extreme. Heading South from my front door had you walking carefree and content with the world. Leave North? Well, you’re looking over your shoulder, avoiding eye contact, and just trying to make it to the safety of your car. From the front, the small parking lot was void of activity besides the comings and goings of people living quiet lives. In the back, an alleyway was filled with a parade of characters ranging from “should be committed” to “should be incarcerated” with most acting like they had been either and had recently escaped whatever jail or asylum couldn’t hold their particular type of anti-social.

Late one night while studying for an art history final, I heard a loud scuffle outside my door on the common walkway that joined the units to each other. In the light of the next morning I saw the physical results of the sounds I’d heard hours before. Blood splatters on the walls and pools where it had collected were everywhere. Later that day, as I returned from class, the manager informed me what had happened. Apparently, in an escalating argument between two crazies, one loon successfully popped out the eyeball of another using nothing more than a Dixon Ticonderoga. Resourceful.

I moved from that location soon after. I knew I had been on the cusp of something awful. To this day, that mental boundry between decent and disturbing still defines a huge swath of Eugene, Oregon for me despite having fond feelings for the area as a whole.

The edge defines the interior. The contrast between the two sides gives identity to the other.

We’re talking edges.

What It Isn’t

When I was 14, I had a revelation. No, not about why we’re here, how the universe works, or whether dark matter exists or not. Nope. This was about color. It was the idea that the color we perceive an object to be is actually exactly the sum colors that it is not.

So, a green leaf is not green. A yellow sunflower is anything but yellow. And, a red apple is absolutely not red. I came to realize that viewing the majority of the world via reflective light meant an object was actually just reflecting the color with which we were trained to identify it as being. But, that meant a green leaf was actually everything except green, or more accurately, the color of a leaf is “not green” since the colors it actually possesses, keeps, absorbs, does not release, are all the other colors we place in the visible spectrum that are “not” green. The green is expelled, deflected, and rejected. Reflected.

What’s the point? Well, it’s an example of how most often that details and adjectives which we believe to be intrinsic to something, specifically defining of its character, may not be what we casually declare it is. But, instead is more about what it isn’t.

It’s where something ceases to be itself which defines what it is.

We’re talking edges.