How much does location matter? Can I live anywhere or would it help my career to move to a bigger city like New York or L.A.?
I definitely see a lot of my friends going [to bigger cities], but I know that I would flail so hard in L.A. It’s just not me, I’m not a city guy. I don’t think my vibe would go well with that style of living, that style of art that they do. I grew up on an island with 2,000 people and it’s just not how I see the world. I see the world through this lens of nature and outdoors stuff, which is almost all of what I do.
Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I could do that. Would I have more opportunities? Would I be able to do bigger projects? But at the end of the day I’m pretty happy. I really enjoy having my own space and having my own niche and having the space to create in this environment.
It has really helped it. It’s more up-and-coming out here with youth and counterculture. Especially in the snowboard community. There’s a huge gap to fill. I was able to make a lot of friends my age who have moved here. In California there are hundreds of skaters and painters, which is fine, but it would have taken a lot more to stand out. It’s easier to stand out here.
I love it. I love it. I don’t know how to be somewhere with more people. I wouldn’t do well.
You can make anything you want in this place. The vibe of this whole place is young, active, healthy, positive, lots of time to play. It’s Saturday for somebody every day and so mentally I’m thriving on that part.
Well my wife and her family are from Crested Butte, [Colorado], so we’d always talked about moving back here. And once we had kids it kind of sped it up.
I grew up in basically the suburbs of the East Coast where it’s just housing developments and strip malls. So we both had ideas of what we did and didn’t want to give our kids. We weren’t tired of Denver, it’s just we knew we wanted to be in the mountains. We were in Denver about 11 years. It was great and it was definitely a good place to be for getting a career started and meeting the community.
All my work is through email anyway, all my clients are in California or somewhere else. After a while I was never having any face-to-face meetings with people and I found myself going to art openings less and less. So it got to a point where I could pretty much live anywhere and do the same thing but not have to battle I-70 traffic to get up to the mountains.[But] you can’t just run out and buy art supplies. So that’s the only tough thing to get used to, just the accessibility to things. You just have to plan ahead. Whenever we go to Denver I stock up on things.
It’s just very inspiring out here [in Denver], all of the nature, all of the artists, there’s just a lot of talent. So I feel like just moving out here was a giant success.[But] I do feel like there’s a stereotype of the Wild West out here and it’s totally true. It’s just harder out here. I don’t really know what it is but a lot of things just don’t come easily, you have to work harder. I don’t know, just have more patience for stuff that’s going on.
Well, I can’t quickly go to a meeting at a large ad agency. I can’t make networking happen right in my small town.
But it’s just a lifestyle choice. We didn’t want to live our lives sitting in traffic or dealing with a whole bunch of people confined to one area. We wanted to be more closely in touch with nature. I think that’s been beneficial to our company and who we are as people and what we see and like in the world.
I don’t really know what advantage there is to being in a city all the time. I guess you could have more conversations face-to-face. I do live in a small town of 2,000 people but I travel one week out of every month so I’m out there talking to people all the time.
I was in New York working and drinking all the time. Working hard, playing hard. And that’s kind of why I moved away to come back home [to Denver] because I didn’t have time to do my own art. I told my wife, I’m glad to go. So 2012 is when I moved to Denver and actually dived into my art.
It was hard at first but yeah, it’s definitely good to be back. That was a long trip. I’m still pretty tired. [Laughs]