Shot at Sue Bierman Park in San Francisco, looking at the Bay Bridge. Recently there for a short work trip. Haven’t spent much time there before, just a day, years ago for a friends birthday.

I took the longest bus route I could find from the airport to my hotel. Wanted to take in as much of the city as I could. Spent the first day there scouting shoot locations. Essentially an all day walking tour. Spent the second day at the shoots, and that was that.

Fun to see and be part of the process away from my desk for a change.

Another CicLAvia with my good friend George.

Don’t really remember much of high school. I have more memories of my after school job than of school itself. Never thought it was important.

Ten years later, I can say with certainty, I was right.

The Parker, Palm Springs.

I made Alexis again, she dislikes it. I think it’s pretty spot on.

An ugly portrait of my beautiful girlfriend.

My friends watching the fireworks.

I intend on breaking these buttons when I have no more use for this shirt.

Three generations of Smiths. My Gramp, my Dad, and me. I was 15 years young.

They make a person believe their work is done.

Recently updated my portfolio site. Designed and built it myself. A lot of time and energy went into it. Happy to say it’s done.

Self diagnosed.

Our good friends Drew and Kelsie spontaneously invited Alexis and I to Hawaii with them. Good company and paradise? Who would say no?

We spent a day and night in the touristy and beautiful Waikiki, enjoying the calm waters and local eats. Seeking the local experience, we drove in our tiny convertible across the island to the North Shore. We stayed the rest of our nights at a small beach house, in a Mai Tai fueled state of rest and relaxation. Day after day, we explored, watched sunsets, and emptied our cups. It was nice to just slow down for a change.

Thanks for having us along.

At least they aren’t using MapQuest printouts anymore.

Mom and Dad exploring the Huntington Library.

The college I went to, wrote and printed their own textbooks for many of their courses. I was hired by them before I even graduated to be the illustrator for all their books. These images are a few samples of the work I was doing.

Come a long way since. Bizarre looking back and thinking I was content with it for a time. Met some great people, but I didn’t belong there. Co-workers told me I didn’t belong there. The person who hired me told me I didn’t belong there. Sure enough, I got a call one day, and put in my 2 weeks the next.

Glad I had the opportunity, more glad I didn’t settle.

My friend Jon Kim, who once convinced me he was from, and escaped North Korea. I believed and told this to people for at least a year. Still a running joke.

For years now, no longer than a few weeks have gone by without catching up over beers. Sometimes talking about nothing, sometimes talking with weight in our words. Always enjoyed the conversations.

He’s moving to Seattle today, so there’ll be a bit less of all that. I’m glad to see him go though. Nothing sad about a friend chasing opportunity, trying to better their life. Upwards and onwards.

Godspeed Jon Kim.

Spring Shaving

Blue Ridge Mountain Blues performed by Wayne White

Visited Seattle for the first time. Beautiful city and geography. Good eats, good drinks, and good company.

The idea to go was suggested and agreed upon, among friends sitting in a hot tub with full beers in hand, with plenty of empty ones nearby. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say the idea would fade away in the sobering light of tomorrow.

People don’t really do what they say, especially if they said it after a few drinks. But as luck would have it, we did what we said.

Milo Greene at the El Rey in Los Angeles.

1957 by Milo Greene

Signed a lease for this car when I was Twenty-Five. Paid too much for it, but have no regrets about it. Always wanted to drive a car like that. And I did.

Returned it today, three years later, after its been to the mountains, the snow, the beaches, and the desert.

Going to try not having a car for little. I have strong legs, and a bike that needs pedaling.

I do miss those big Florida skies.

Few weeks back at Jenn and Duncan’s wedding. Was an honor to be their guest, and a night to remember. I’d like more images like this to live here. They’re more important than the things I make.

Favorite part of the day.

Souvenir from a magical night at The Magic Castle.

Hand cut silhouettes by Dave Spafford.

Not everyone can say their health insurance puts a smile on their face.

Día de los Muertos.

I don’t live by these words as much as I’d like, and I’m probably going to gravely regret that someday.

Alexis and I under the St. Johns Bridge, in Portland, Oregon.

My friend Craig married his wife Chelsea here. It was beautiful. And a bit hot out. Not sure if I was sweating from the Sun or from the taxi ride over, which rivaled any attraction at any theme park I’ve ever been to.

Over the years I’ve been to a handful of weddings, but Craig’s was really the first one that involved someone I’ve known since we were practically kids. Knowing how the story started, and to see it all come together, is really something. Most people don’t get the privilege.

Congrats Craig.

There was no “Four”

Thanks to my friend George for taking the original picture this piece is based on.

One of my best and longest standing buds, Giovanni. Came to visit Los Angeles for the first time, and it was the best time.

A rare shot of an Alexis, captured in the Angeleno wilderness.

My Dad, manning the grill, next to the pool, under the Florida sun. Following his dream of getting his family the hell out of the Chicago winters.

Here’s to him, and my Mom, for showing me what it means to take a chance and follow a dream, and for always encouraging me to follow my own.

I’ve lived in California for nearly seven years, but feel like I haven’t lived a single day there. Los Angeles is where I’ve been living, and to me, that’s a very different place.

Just a couple hours north took us here. To California.

My mom being my mom. Love her so much.

Haven’t had an in-unit washer and dryer in seven years. That’s a quarter of my life!

Even back then though, the washer only worked if we ran the garden hose to it, and the dryer didn’t dry as much it just spun stuff around for an hour. College.

Anyways, we’ve now acquired this prestigious city living status, and I gotta say, it’s a beautiful thing.

Maybe my favorite in Downtown LA.

Words from Mark Borchardt, an unusual source of wisdom that reminded me how poorly I balance what’s important.

I chip away at the integrity of my ambitions to maintain meaningful relationships, and chip away at my meaningful relationships to maintain my ambitions. Sounds balanced, but it never is. Always leaning too much one way or the other. I just can’t find it.

It could be argued that I want too much. But is there such a thing as too much, if one is willing to do the work?

I really don’t know.

The fine and talented people I work with, standing on the observatory deck of the beautiful building we work in. Beers, margaritas, the sun and the sky. Not a bad workday.

I grow a beard every year, from the first of winter, to the first of spring. It’s a reminder that even though I live somewhere without black and white seasons, the days still pass.

Easy to get lost in all this sun.

She loves snow, and I love her, so up the mountain we went.

My favorite piece of dialogue from There Will Be Blood.

Watch this.

My one-thousandth post. Took me seven years. A lot of time and work. I wonder now, have I accomplished anything? Was I even trying to? Have I gotten back what I put in?

Absolutely.

I started doing all this when I was twenty years old, jobless, and in college. Thought employers might like it. Turns out they did. It brought me 2,700 miles to California, and changed my life forever.

I’m twenty-seven now, and still at it. After seven years, my work now rests in the homes of good friends and total strangers. The times I live in have allowed it to be seen and appreciated by tens of thousands of people, across entire oceans and languages. Weird and awesome to think about. I never set out to accomplish any of these things, but I’m glad I have. I’m sure this is all sounding a bit pretentious, but I don’t care.

I am proud of what I’ve done here.

My good friend, Anthony Madlangbayan, or as I like to call him, Mr. Madlanghootandholler.

Done a lot of projects and eaten a lot of lunches with this man. Worked side-by-side with him for over five years. He’s the type of person that’d take ten steps backwards, if it meant helping someone else get one step forward.

A little over a year ago, I was invited to see him and his wife Stacie exchange vows. Just two weeks ago, they had a baby girl.

Couldn’t be happier for them, they’re gonna do great, and I wish them the world.

Whenever I blow my nose, it reminds me of a Rorschach test.

So much fun making these little sculpts. Specifically because I really don’t have a clue what I’m doing.

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