Left to right, Shweb, Dan, Charlie, Frankie, Chris, me, and Anthony. I was probably 11. Was one hell of water balloon fight. Anthony’s mom, Sally, took this picture. I can’t imagine an image that better captures how we grew up.
We’d spend our days seeing who could throw what the farthest. Who was the fastest. Who was the bravest, which typically entailed wrestling Frankie. He had such a strength advantage, that anyone only ever agreed to wrestle him if he was on his knees. We were wild and we ran like it, and the suburbs was our place to do it. Couldn’t have gown up anywhere better. Not specifically my hometown, but just the fact that it was the suburbs.
I live in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles now, a long ways from my hometown. I like it here, but didn’t always. It’s the people I’ve found and the girl I love that make it what it is for me. It’s where I belong now, but I couldn’t imagine being a kid here. I don’t know that I could have grown if not in suburban soil. I don’t know that any kid could. Confinement and wild freedom seem at odds. For that, I think some far off day, I may belong to those suburbs again.
My friends Mike and Christina are getting married. They deserve the best, and they found it in each other. I was honored that they asked me to design their invitations.
I’ve only ever worked for friends as favors to them. Here’s the first time I didn’t. When you’re good at something, people will say it’s easy for you. Maybe that’s true, maybe not, but you shouldn’t ever feel guilty about doing what you do, and doing it well. I’ve done it so much, but that’s done now.
My Gram wrote and sent this to me nearly six years ago, when I first moved to California.
I really miss her. I wish I could show her everything. Everything I’ve done, everything I will do.
I think about the little cousins I have sometimes. I’m far away enough from them in years and miles, that it’s a struggle to even hold on to their names. But I think about how unfortunate they are, to grow up without her. Then I think about how fortunate I was. I wouldn’t have grown as tall.
Just shy of 27 years old, I am the proud recipient of the Royale Lifetime Achievement Award. And what exactly is that you ask? Well, in typical Royale fashion, it’s just a majestic glimmering bald eagle, carved from crystal, weighing in at a solid 5 pounds.
Regardless the humor of it, it really does move me to be so appreciated by the people I consider to be heroes.
This is Kim, and I made this for her birthday. As colorful as it is, I don’t think it quite captures the sheer positivity and happiness she radiates. She may be the most sincere person I’ve ever met, but by no means, takes shit from anyone. That’s what I like best about her.
She also keeps a really fun and quite popular blog. Check it out!
This is Michelle, and today is her birthday. She has a contagious smile and I swear, more teeth than the average person.
It’s really something when I stop to think about everything we’ve done, and everywhere we’ve been together. From my first drink, to my first stamp in my passport. Ten years is a long time when you’re young.
She’s seen me at my best, and helped pick me up at my worst. Through and through, one of my truest friends. I’ll know this one till the day I die.
My good friend Drew, and about a year ago, maybe less, mailed me a book he thought I should read. I’m not much a reader, but his opinion is one of the few I tend to consider. The book was Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. I finished it a few weeks ago, and since the first page, I’ve thought about it daily. Couldn’t have read it at a more appropriate time. I’ve been in a such a fog. More and more, I watch my actions contradict my thoughts. But the ideas in this book have brought some clarity to me. It has reminded me of the values I’ve already known, and more importantly, believed, but have not practiced.
Countlessly, I have surrendered my time to causes I believed to be less important than my own, for nothing in return. I’ve been taught that this is virtue, to give without receiving. I can say with honesty that I have never felt the “goodness” in these means of trade. Only a feeling of guilt for not enjoying it, as I am supposed to. Ayn Rand has reminded me that value is traded for value, and nothing less.
I could quote some of the writing that resonates with me, but to truly communicate what I took away, I think a question is best. Something that will likely cross my mind, throughout the expanse of my life and help me navigate it. The question being, what would Dagny Taggart do?
My girlfriend brought these flowers over for an Easter brunch we had at my apartment. I don’t have a vase, so we put them in my glass boot, which was a gift from my friends Anne and Andy. Typically it gets filled with beer, not flowers. When I saw it, It reminded me of how much I’ve slowed my drinking, and how much of a good thing that is.
Alexis. Drew. Magic Johnson’s Friday’s. LAX. San Jose. Terminal Drinking. More flying. My first stamp. Lima. Our apartment. Carolina. Sebastian. 4am 90s top 40. Taxis that weren’t taxis at all. Karaoke. Pisco sours. Sushi. Con permiso. Agua con gas. Agua sin gas. Tour busses. Catacombs. Chili’s. Our taxi ran out of gas. Ice cream. Another plane. Cusco. Our hostel. Cinemax. Michelle. Dancing in markets. Hiking. Hunted by wild dogs. Altitude sickness. Snickers grande. Canadian Irish pub. Dos mas please. A train. Aguas Calientes. Jurassic Park. Hot springs. Market bargaining. Machu Picchu. Touring. Hiking. Photo ops. Wonder. Naps. Rain. A late train. A missed bus. High-speed taxi driving. Intercepting and boarding our bus. Frostbite. Arequipa. Sand boarding fail. Rafting. Rafting rescue. Cerveza hunting. Bibs. Alpaca. Another plane. Back to Lima. More Chili’s. Ramada. Security cameras. More Cinemax. Another plane. San Jose. More flying. LAX. Mckenzie. Home.
That was my trip to Peru. Exhausting, but I wouldn’t do a thing differently. If this was difficult to grasp, then I described it perfectly. You really had to be there.
Royale, the company I work with, sponsored me and two others to attend the Style Frames design conference in New York City. I took in a lot from the experience, and feel truly fortunate to have had the opportunity.
It was my second, and longest visit to the Empire State. I spent most of my time in Manhattan. It’s an amazing thing to walk through its streets. Literally standing in the shadows of the achievements of men. I could see a contagious hustle about everything. Everyone moves with purpose. It’s inspiring. But even in all this wonder, I remember feeling most amazed at the sight of my own breath.
My apartment doesn’t have a washer or dryer, or even the hookups. So naturally, I kept a key to my old apartment complex. Twice a month, for a good three years, I ran their treadmills while I did my laundry. If you listen to your headphones loud enough, people know better not ask you what floor you live on.
Anyhow, they finally changed the locks on me. But now I’ve got a girlfriend kind enough to let me wash my clothes at her place. What’s funny is, mile after mile on that treadmill, for three years, she was always the one I was thinking about. I would daydream the impossible event of her falling for me. In reality, she hardly knew I existed. And now, I drive to her apartment, and she lets me up to do my laundry.
Art Director Linds Redding published these words in an article on his blog last March, and died of cancer the following October. The article is called A Short Lesson in Perspective and is one of the rawest pieces of writing I’ve ever read.
I’ve gotten out of bed In the middle of night to remove art I just published, out of fear of upsetting people by morning. Fuck that.
If I truly believe in what I’m doing, and I do, then I shouldn’t ever feel sorry for the things I do here. I can offer no apologies. Close your eyes if you have to. This is my new standard. We’ll see if I have enough spine to honor it.
Hasn’t been an entirely unproductive hiatus. Things are always in motion.
Years ago, Six Foot Giraffe started out as my digital portfolio. Where I kept student, professional, and personal work, all under the same roof. But overtime, these humble doodles I call my personal work, outgrew my other efforts. At least by my own standards. After several years of living a homeless life, I’ve built a new home for my lost commercial work to belong.
Sought a few quotes on having it built for me, but my old friend Nick Hand, I believe without him even knowing it, inspired me to do it myself. Doesn’t look like much, but I worked very hard for it. And I am happy.