Paddle In Hand

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Growing up in Minnesota you’re around a lot of water. Even more so when you live in a town called White Bear Lake. And one of the formative people in all of this is my friend Lucas Will. Together we encouraged each other to get kayaks while we were High School, and would regularly go paddle after class. We’d also just sit out on the water, hang out and enjoy the the outdoors.

This is where we started to form our love for paddling. Except Luke just took it a little further than I did. He’s since been an Alaskan kayak guide, paddled around the worlds largest body of freshwater, Lake Superior, and now he’s paddling down one of the worlds most iconic rivers, the Mississippi. The whole thing. From the headwaters of Lake Itasca, to the Gulf of Mexico. 2530 miles in all.

So to mark this enormous three month long journey, I helped Luke with a logo for his newly formed “adventure brand” (if you will), apply named Paddle In Hand. Along with a few other variations and icons. And hopefully this is just the start of things to come for Luke and Paddle In Hand. So keep an eye on this stuff because it’s only going to grow.

Also, be sure to follow Luke and his dog Tisher on their epic journey. He’s giving daily updates on the PiH Facebook page. And if you live along The Mighty Mississippi, swing by and wave at them as they float past.

Andy's Winter Adventures. . . . .

This winter I’ve been doing my best to get out and enjoy all the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest. Particularly on my snowshoes. I’ve also been doing my best to chronicle these snowy adventures. Not only for myself and my friends who are along for these journeys, but also for my friends and family who live in far away lands and can’t be there to see the incredible beauty of the snow covered Cascade Mountains.

So if you fit into any of those categories, check out the Flickr set of all these adventures here. Unfortunately it’s mostly just been with my crummy iPhone camera, but it’s hard to beat the size and the fact that IT’S ALWAYS WITH YOU. Luckily the shear incredibleness of these winter wonderlands makes up for it. And hopefully the size of this set will only continue to grow as the number of these adventures grows.


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I was going through some old photos recently, and came across this one I had always liked. It was from the first roll I ever shot through my old 1950s Toyocaflex TLR 120 camera while I was out walking around in the fall of 2011 to give it a test. I was down in SoDo near the port, and happened to be walking past an old favorite dive bar near where I used to work called Hooverville. So I pretended to take a shot of the glowing neon sign while this (probably) tough biker guy enjoyed himself a cigarette. Although, he didn’t seem to care one way or the other.

Kinsey Polaroid

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Yes, this is a picture of a polaroid of a Polaroid also taking a polaroid of the Polaroid which took the polaroid that you are currently looking at. It’s also a picture of a very talented designer by the name of Kinsey Gross. Check her out!

Compeoples Computer. . . . .

We look at our computers all day long (at least it seems like I do). Whether it’s a laptop, or a smartphone, or an iPad tablet bla bla, our eyes are often glued to some type of screen. But that also means these high tech devices are looking back at us, right? Why not.

So with that in mind, Compeoples were born – digital faces you add to your computerly devices to bring out their inner personality. Check them out:

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All the computer wallpapers are built to 1440×900, but if you’d like any different size, just email me and I’ll make one up. Same goes for colors or faces (if they work for the proportions). I also tried to get the iPhone5 wallpapers to fit nicely in between the lock screen UI, and to work nicely both vertical and horizontal for the iPad. But either way, I hope you guys like them and actually use them. I know when I pull out my phone and see it smiling back, it does kinda brighten my day in a small way. Obviously my computer desktop is usually too cluttered with crap for that to happen much, but it certainly can’t hurt.

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I really love cereal. And after I found this, it’s good to know cereal loves me, too.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

Carhartt - Hire These Pants. . . . .

When it comes to a pair of pleated slacks, simply head down to the mall and buy yourself a pair. That’s not the case when we’re talking about Carhartt work pants – the toughest, hardest working, longest lasting pants the world has ever known. Because you don’t just “buy” a pair of Carhartt’s, you hire them. You enter into an unshakable bond between man and pant. A loyal co-worker who will be with you every step of the way. Which is exactly how it’s been since Hamilton Carhartt founded his namesake company back in 1889. And that won’t be changing anytime soon, either.

So the next time you have a job that’s bigger than any one person can handle, look to Carhartt. And Hire These Pants.

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Anywho, this was a super fun campaign to work on with Carhartt, and one of my personal favorites since being at Wexley. Not only is it always a pleasure to wrap your head around such a great brand, the end product turned out great and our clients were super happy, too. That always helps. And we also got to work with the extremely talented John Keatley to shoot our badass pants. And if that wasn’t enough, Mr. Andre Vriesman even got to be the pant model. Unfortunately we had to photoshop him out in the end, but if you don’t believe me, here’s proof:

Carhartt Pants Shoot

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Recently I picked up a Dremel electric engraver to, you guessed it, engrave some stuff. So for a little practice I took an old soup can and made a new receptical to hold our X-Acto knives around the office. After sprucing it up a little, of course. And the engraving went easier than I thought, too. So hopefully this is just the start to many projects like this.

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Sometimes when you work at a small, scrappy ad agency like Wexley School for Girls, you have to take matters into you own hands. So that’s exactly what we did for our client Oberto. Not only did we shoot a series of :10 second commercials ourselves, but we also acted in them as well. Take the spot up above for example. First you have Mr. Alex Smith (a Producer at Wexley) and myself, putting our mad acting skills to the test as Siamese twins. And we had the pleasure to perform alongside our good friend Mr. Peter Zakshevski, and fellow Wexley Art Director, Ali Sooudi. Also Siamese twins. It’s a shame we only had about 5 seconds to actually be on screen because I think, had it been a full :30 sec spot, you would have seen us really use all our acting prowess with a full range of emotion. It should be noted that we can all cry on cue as well.

Anyway, it was a ton of fun helping with these quick, weird spots. If you’re not lucky enough to see them running on MTV, SpikeTV or wherever else the media buy happens to be, you can check them all out here. I’m also an extra in this one, too.

P.S. I’m still experiencing the phantom pains from my Siamese twin, Alex. Sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and thrash about in search for my other half. Alex, if you’re out there, I miss you. I miss us.

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I don’t know how lucky you have to be to find three rolls of old, lost film over your lifetime, but apparently I’m that lucky. Film that went forgotten about for decades and decades, locked away in a camera that was also forgotten and locked away in some box in a closet somewhere. And somehow these rolls of film keep finding me.

What’s extra interesting about this roll is that I actually have been able to find out a little about it’s background and the people in the photos. Here’s the story:

One of my all-time best friends back in Minnesota, Katie Yernberg, came across five old cameras at a family garage sale for Steve & Bev Steberg, who have been very close to her since she was a wee girl. Knowing me, she knew they would make a perfect Christmas gift for a guy who collects vintage cameras. Also (from what I hear), I’m apparently difficult to shop for, so Katie was just relieved to find me anything I’d like. But little did she or the family know, one of the five cameras she gave me contained another present, a roll of Kodak Verichrome 620 film.

So after I got them developed we found out a little more about the backstory. The cameras belonged to the family’s late-grandfather, Clifford Steberg, the older gentleman in the photo above. It should also be noted he was a veteran of WWII, where he lost a leg and was obviously a total badass. The photos were taken around 1964 to 1965, and had been waiting patiently in a Spartus Full-Vue camera. On a side note, the camera is actually built for 120 film meaning someone had re-spooled it for 620.

The first three photos were from when the family was moving a new house onto the farm near Willmer, MN where Steve’s mother, Val was actually born. The kids in the photo are Steve when he was about 8 years old, his older brother Jim, and their cousins Gary and Mary on the right. From what I hear, this was a pretty big event on the farm, and it’s pretty cool since you can actually see the blocks and the crane they were using to lower the new house onto the old foundation.

The camping photos were taken at a state park somewhere in Minnesota where we find Steve at the water fountain when he was about 9 years old. Not only does Minnesota have numerous state parks, but they also run thick with water fountains, so it’s difficult to pinpoint which state park they could be in. The car to the right of the awesome camper trailer is apparently a ’56 Chevy Station Wagon, and the young man crying in front of it all is a friend who was visiting for the camping trip. What had him so upset is lost to history. The mother, Val Steberg, also makes her first appearance. And I may be to blame for the black stripe across the top of the last photo. I didn’t expect there to be a roll of film inside the camera when I first opened up the back, and unfortunately it wasn’t completely rolled through.

But either way, it’s always incredible finding a roll of film that had been lost for almost 50 years. The family was as happy and surprised as I was to finally see the pictures, which it felt good to actually be able to get them in the hands of some true owners.  Which was rewarding and an added bonus (that hadn’t been the case in the other two rolls I’ve found seen here and here). And it’s another good lesson in always keeping your eyes open for hidden treasure.