The bitter winter months in New York City bring a triple threat of car-sized piles of solid ice, slush puddles deep as the ocean and biting cold temperatures that prove an insurmountable challenge to a specific sporting group — street BMX. Where most would only observe challenge, Karston Tannis perceived an opportunity. A time to bring together a disparity of individuals from various walks of life with a common bond — visual art. At the intersection of the arts and a desire to build community, we met Karston.
Tad and Jessica Carpenter are building a thriving brand, design, and illustration business from their live / work space in downtown Kansas City. Their brilliantly creative and dynamic portfolio of work can be spotted all over the country in bookstores, your favorite burger joint, and within the never-ending aisles of retail giants. This powerhouse couple officially partnered in business recently, and are actively investing in expanding their firm. They focus on bringing messages to life through design, packaging, illustration and mobile design. Their process is effective, artistic and honest. And both truly feel lucky to call their collective passion a career.
Nestled along the eastern coast of Delmarva – the shared peninsula of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia – lies a long fragile strip of barrier island accessible only by two narrow bridges. There are two unique qualities of Assateague: no development and wild horses roam free. In the midst of our meandering road trip around the country, we made a detour east to spend several days camping at the Assateague Island National Seashore. The wind-swept beaches, brisk Atlantic surf, scrub oaks nestled behind the dunes, and wandering horses create an idyllic landscape of which dreams are made.
Building community through a common passion of the craftsman
As I’m winding my way through an old industrial area on the east side of downtown Cleveland, I pass one amazing building after another, after another – all stunning turn-of-the-century brick warehouses and manufacturing facilities. Finding my way slowly through this maze of glorious memorials of a time long past, to my surprise, there is a bustling of activity. What was once rust, has been refurbished – repurposed – as part of a city undergoing a renaissance with impressive potential. I park. Searching for the entrance, I wait for Sam who was kind enough to welcome a total stranger meandering across the U.S.
Call it wanderlust or some sort of idealist theory, but I have really been wanting to go camping lately. Sometime in my formative years my family would camp, and that timeframe quickly ended with trading the glorious outdoors in the middle of the night for the warm glow of the local Hampton Inn. This week my adult self decided to give camping another try. Who needs AirBNB when you have a polyester dome and the great outdoors. Besides, Pinterest makes camping look so glamorous these days, with their endless gourmet smores recipes and Taj Mahal inspired tents — of course I can hack it in the great outdoors.
It’s winter, just before my fourth birthday. I clamber onto a metal folding chair with a scrap piece of wood in hand. Before my skinny fingers is the tearing blade of an old, rusty bandsaw. In my father’s makeshift woodshop down in the garage, I was given full autonomy over the scrap box. Filled with spoils, that cardboard box contained an endless trove of opportunity, just waiting for the next idea.