Happiness is other people.

I believe that our worlds become better places to live in when we surround ourselves with those we can love, respect and learn from. I've been touched in some way by the lives and work of these individuals, and I encourage everyone to appreciate and support their work.

This is a running list that is updated frequently:

Liz Tapp
My wife and a creative force in my life

Joseph Shipp & Michelle Haft
Musical collaborators and talented designers

John Phillips / Phillips Forged
A talented knife maker. Keeps it raw and refined at the same time.

BJ Alumbaugh / Cryptic Press
An old friend with whom I have spent many hours in a letterpress shop

Kevin Bradley / Church of Type
A master of typography, letterpress printing and wit; a mentor to me

Julie Belcher / Pioneer House
A creative genius with a keen eye for style, a gilded ear for music and a sense of adventure

Bryan Baker / Striped Light
A prolific, productive printer and educator with endless enthusiasm and a golden heart.

Taylor Morgan
It was a joy to witness his creative process firsthand at Mountain Hardwear.

Hunt Clark & Deborah McClary
A creative couple living a simple and passionate life in rural Tennessee

Sonnenzimmer / Nick Butcher & Nadine Nakanishi
Power couple fighting the good fight one print after another

Marc O'Brien
A true design thinker, adventurer and advocate for good

Happy Ho Ho Holy Daze

Christmas music: We love it. We hate it.

It reaches our ears earlier and earlier with each coming year, prompting us to quickly change the station and say 'It's not even Thanksgiving yet.' In an attempt to soften the blow, I've added to and subtracted from this holiday-themed playlist since 2012. The initial hope was to reach beyond the traditional songs, while still giving a nod to the classics we all know and love...and sometimes hate.

From Oakland, California to Chattanooga, Tennessee

Coupled with the importance of proximity to old friends and family, easy access to wilderness was a big reason why my wife and I decided to move from the San Francisco Bay Area to Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

California is lucky to fall second only to Alaska as having the most wilderness area in the nation, but while living there, we soon discovered that much of that territory had become crowded and overrun, often to the point that it provided anything but an escape. Nearly every weekend, we found ourselves driving farther and hiking deeper into the mountains and forests in order to find the wild experiences we were looking for. We would spend 16 hours in the car driving to some remote region of California, Nevada or Oregon in order to have a full 24 hours of solitude. In turn, we landed in some places we never thought we would, perfected our off-road driving skills, discovered unnamed hot springs that still don't exist on the internet, and even had a run-in with the elusive Mountain Lion.

 Camping at Warm Lake in the Long Valley Caldera. Eastern Sierras-Nevada Mountains, California. May 25, 2015

Camping at Warm Lake in the Long Valley Caldera. Eastern Sierras-Nevada Mountains, California. May 25, 2015

In the three months that we've been here in Chattanooga, I've found so many unique and diverse landscapes within an hour or two of town, and the nicest thing about them is how quiet and empty they are. Perhaps the chilly winter winds and overall brown hue of the East Tennessee landscape are keeping folks out of the forest this time of year.

 Rainbow Falls, Signal Mountain, Tennessee. December 11, 2015

Rainbow Falls, Signal Mountain, Tennessee. December 11, 2015

Setting this time aside to be in the woods has worked wonders for my overall outlook on life. It has allowed me to familiarize myself with my new backyard, and given me time for uninterrupted thought. It has helped to clear my head, creating space for new ideas.

I've found that when you immerse yourself in the still and quiet of a remote and simple landscape, those things that are most important to you and situations that need to be worked out will make their way to the forefront of your thoughts. 

I imagine that after I am here for a while, I could begin to take all of this empty space for granted, that I might forget the value of a morning trail run or evening hike. May this post serve as a reminder to make time and consideration for this important practice.