Hey, Where I See This Guy? – Joe Strummer – The Clash
Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, I have lived most of my adult life in the USA, since I am fortunate to have dual citizenship. From the earliest age, I have been driven to create, tell stories and explore the world around me. I have been drawing, painting and designing my whole life and it never gets old or tiring. I’m constantly learning new things and nothing satisfies me more than sharing what I’ve learned with others. I love to inspire and be inspired in equal measure. We live in a truly amazing world full of incredible people and places.
I have two design degrees including one from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. I also have an MBA degree in Information Technology, which I have used to good effect as a longtime Creative Director working in advertising and online games. I began my career as an Illustrator in Los Angeles and in time moved into art and creative direction. Over the years, I have worked with many Fortune 500 clients such as Disney, Mattel, Lego, Ford, Scion, Unilever, Entrepreneur Magazine, Nickelodeon, Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures etc. As an illustrator, I had long running comics running in Climbing as well as Flex Magazines. For a few years, I co-owned a clothing company called Controlled Burn that designed and manufactured apparel and accessories for rock climbing. That was a ton of fun and a good lesson in business. It was also one of the reasons why I ended up going back to school and getting an MBA degree. I guess maybe I’m a floor wax and a desert topping (thanks SNL).
Somewhere along the way, that little kid who spent every available moment drawing, doodling in the margins of schoolbooks (apologies to all my math teachers) and writing stories ended up using most of his creative bandwidth on making all these other clients and companies more money and more successful. So a few years ago, I began to take that back and work more on my own ideas and projects. I’m increasingly working on making my own dreams a reality now and hopefully inspiring others to do the same while providing some entertainment and educational value.
In 2013, I published my own first written and illustrated children’s book titled “The Ball in the Hall.” It’s been amazingly well received on Amazon and select booksellers around the country. Getting to the point of actually getting it done and printed is a whole ‘nother story in and of itself, but I am now well along on my next kids book, two memoirs and a book of poetry. I hope to see them all published in 2015.
I have also been actively pursuing my other passion of adventure travel around the globe, which is the primary, but certainly not the only focus of this blog. Living nomadically for the last year and a half has been amazing. I feel extremely blessed and gratified to be doing it and sharing with so many other people. I feel I have barely scratched the surface of this incredible planet, the people on it and the adventures it has to offer. I think it would take 100 lifetimes to just make a dent. Having said that, I’ve also realized it’s nice to have some kind of a home base somewhere. To that end, I am exploring options and right now leaning heavily toward Portland, Oregon… or maybe Ecuador…
People often ask how I afford this and I am working on a resources section to help others live their dharma and create abundance for themselves that transcends simple financial well-being. I have also written articles for other blogs and websites explaining some of the ways this can be done.
In some ways many of these income sources are early in the curve and I have a long way to go in order to fully realize them, but other proven sources still keep me very busy. These are primarily design and consulting projects for a variety of wonderful clients around the globe. Much of this is a continuation of the work I have been doing as an Art and Creative Director for years. All I need is my trusty laptop, a Wacom tablet and an Internet Connection. I am also able to create income from various creative projects such as books (including e books), graphics, photography, teaching etc.
A lifelong commitment to fitness continues to occupy much of my time and energy. I want to continue climbing, skiing, cycling, kayaking, practicing yoga, bungee-jumping and skydiving until I am older than dirt, which now that I think about it, is only about three days away. I’m in this for the long-term so staying fit and injury free is a core part of who I am. Having said that, I do like adrenaline sports and take risks, but I measure them carefully first. I believe life is meant to be lived and experienced as a participant, not a spectator.