Our unconventional life under the same roof.

Archive for the ‘Creative’ Category

These Things

We all have things in our lives. Things we hate, things we struggle with, things that help, and things that hurt. And one of the biggest things that we can struggle with is how we cope with those things.

How I cope, and work through these things is through music. I’ve been playing music ever since I was 10 years old. Playing drums was the first passion in my life. It was the one thing through which I could express myself wholly and fluently more than anything else. Since then I have expanded my expression to other instruments, but the reason and passion always stays the same.

The past couple of years have been tough on me musically. I’ve been in limbo. No one to work with, and no direction to go. So I wrote. I wrote about me, and the struggles, thoughts, regrets, and emotions that were always running through my head. Wondering what I was supposed to do, wanting to give up, my laziness in my marriage, being tired of the day-in-day-out, and most of all, my faithless and stagnant relationship with God. I was in a major rut that I kept digging myself deeper into.

The songs that came out of that time,  I recorded with a few good and very talented friends, and out came my debut EP, These Things. The album is the past couple of years, compiled into five songs that come straight from my heart. I felt that I should put this out, not as a career starter, or even as a promotional tool, but because I knew there are some people, maybe you, that would relate to the same feelings I had. Even maybe help someone through their own “things”.

So here it is. The EP is on iTunes now, and will soon be on Spotify, Rdio, and a bunch of other places. You can also listen to, and buy it below!

Thank you for reading, and listening. Hopefully, we can get through our things together.

Music Monday – July 30, 2012

Duncan released his debut solo EP, These Things, this month and you should take a listen!

In addition to his solo project, Duncan has started a new rock outfit with Corey Keller named “Sandusky“. Check out their first demo.

You think you have great friends?

This time last year we visited the Blue Dome Arts Festival in downtown Tulsa. We watched some bands, grabbed some food, and shopped around all the artist’s booths set up in the streets. One thing I didn’t do was think, “Next year, I’m going to have a booth here.” In fact, I didn’t even know that I would start Darby & Dash five months later.

But, here we are, one year later and we did set up at Blue Dome and I would first like to say; I have the best friends and family in the world! Let me explain.

I had a vision of what I wanted my booth to look like but unfortunately I do not have all the skills to complete it on my own. One of the ideas was a small bar height counter that would sit in the middle of the booth, but because I drive a Scion XB and not the stereotypical Oklahoman F150, the cabinet would also have to be collapsible for storage and transport. Duncan was up for the challenge, and after working many hours on his off days and before his scheduled shifts at his day job he delivered even better than I had imagined.

Jess has been helping me with all of the photography of the products from the beginning and the photos are too good not to use in a dominate way. So I envisioned a large banner that covered the entire back wall of the tent and smaller poster shots running down the sides. Luckily, my Grandpa runs A Better Sign Co. and was able to make all the foam board posters and the banner on a short deadline.

Even more bragging on how awesome my friends are, most of the models are all friends from our CityChurch community group.

The booth is almost complete with one major piece missing, something to hang the clothes on. You know, the whole reason for the booth. Duncan is back to work on this one, building all of the racks in two days. Now we are ready.

This is all just the weeks leading up to the festival. 6 AM Friday morning, Duncan and I head downtown and set up the booth which took us until 11 AM when people started showing up. At 1 PM, Duncan was replaced by Jess so he could go work a full shift at his day job. Sarah joined later to finish out the night after getting off. A 15 hour day to start the weekend.

This was the case for the entire three day festival, we all worked 12 to 15 hour days either at the festival or split with day jobs. Like I said, I have the best friends in the world. Over all, the festival was a huge success, we sold tons of product, made new connections, and the counter that Duncan built was so good he was hired by one of our booth neighbors to build her one. Plus, a huge thank you to all of our friends who came out to show support!

Sunday, after the festival closed and we spent a couple more hours tearing down, Duncan and I went out on a man date since the girls left us earlier in the day for a wedding. Perfect ending to a long and exhausting weekend.

Where the heck have we been?

We have been so incredibly busy lately.

We have not had the time or energy to blog.

Sad day.

Here is a quick recap of what we have been up to:

May 11, Cody and I shot the Wann Wedding. It was a beautiful night at Skelly Lodge. With Sarah’s help assisting and our new purchase of some HoldFast Gear, the night was a success.

May 18-20, Darby & Dash had a booth at Blue Dome Arts Festival. Cody and Duncan spent weeks leading up to the festival constructing the perfect booth. We all took our turns working the booth and by then end, we were all exhausted.

May 19 During the festival I had to leave early and drive out to Grand Lake. Our friends, Melissa Letney and Josh Woodward got engaged! I was lucky enough to be able to witness it and photograph it.

May 24 I surprised Duncan with a puppy. He has been wanting one so badly and we had decided to get one but he thought we needed to wait. Meet Henley

May 25-27, Duncan and Sarah’s sister, Jessica, graduated from her first year of Master Commission in Dallas. So we made a mini-vacation out of it and went shopping. We hit up our favorites IKEA, Urban Outfitters, H&M and the boys ate their way around town. We had much fun with the family all weekend.

Ikea Swedish Meatballs

So needless to say we have been busy. So we took to the lake yesterday to enjoy some down time. We will be blogging about these events in detail later.

Looking Past the Lens

When I am behind the camera, it feels as if I am watching the world from a glass room. I feel separated, nothing can hurt me. I experience the moment differently than if my camera was not there. It’s a different connection. Sometimes this is good thing, however it can also be bad.

Last Saturday CityChurch was working at Laura Dester Shelter, just one of the organizations partnered with LoveTulsa. The shelter is a short-term emergency care facility for use while child welfare specialists conduct investigations into alleged abuse and neglect and to hold children while staff look for suitable foster care placements for those coming into state custody. We cook out, have inflatables, face painting, crafts, and just have with the kids. When I arrived, it was in full swing, however I was quite distracted. I had an engagement shoot that evening I was worrying more about. I took the pictures and was about to leave when this little boy came up to me. He did not say a word and instead of posing in front of the camera as most kids did, he came beside me. He grabbed my camera while it was still around my neck and looked inside. He would “snap” a few, only using the wrong button. I would watch his finger and take a photo in sync with his movement. Then he smiled and ran off, never saying a word. This little boy was autistic. He returned several times. Though he never said anything, I knew how much he enjoyed it.

He made me be apart of the day. These kids come from horrible situations and finding so much joy in something so simple. Something I do daily and have started to take it for granted. Laura Dester is incredible place and I am so glad to have to chance to be a part of it, even if just for an afternoon.

Geek Tattoo

I’ve been using Photoshop and the entire Adobe Creative Suite for 8 years. Photoshop CS was given to me by my youth pastor in 7th grade, but the first version I purchased on my own was CS2. To commemorate the start of my life as a graphic designer I decided to get a tattoo. One that illustrates my roots, my passion, and my personality. I felt the feather that branded that first copy of Photoshop to arrive at my door step, does just that. The complete image depicts the starting point, the color fading with translucent gradients conveys my appetite for art, and the feather personifies my free spirit. I’ve been wanting to get this tattoo for some time now and I couldn’t be more elated with the way it turned out.

2 Year Old Paints Her First Masterpiece

Last week we watched my niece, Rylee. She is two years old and a complete blast. It can be difficult sometimes to keep her entertained, which pushes me to creatively make everything a game. During the week, we had an accident and my white seamless paper ripped in my studio. Before we threw it away, I thought of a brilliant idea.

We put her in a white shirt, pulled up her golden locks, loaded her with paint and let her lose.

Asking the right questions.

Do you like this Shirt?

Spelled Wrong

That’s the question I asked at least 8 different people before sending it off to the printer. I should have followed up with “Do you see anything wrong with it?” but because no one was looking for it, no one saw it. Even after the printer prepared the file, looked at each shirt during printing, and boxed them up, no one saw it. Multiple people wearing it in public, showing it off, no one saw it. I’m sure, until now, even you didn’t see it. After dropping the shirts off at some stores, I get the following email…

Misprint Email

Gentlemen! Are you kidding me, how did no one see that… it’s “el” instead of “le” and it’s singular instead of plural!

No one saw it because no one was looking. If you want the right answers you have to ask the right questions. Spell Check couldn’t hurt either. Lesson Learned.

Hunger Games T-Shirt

Corrected Hunger Games Shirt

 

You can purchase the (corrected) shirt HERE!

Do you have any experiences with not asking the right questions?

Idea. Shoot. Edit. The Hunger Games Photo Shoot

It is said that “great minds think alike”, this was confirmed when Sarah and Cody came to me with the idea to take Hunger Games inspired couple pictures, an idea I had been sitting on but with no one to shoot.

A couple of weeks ago we started the creative process: rereading the books, looking at behind-the-scenes photos of the upcoming film, finding the right outfits, props, and locations.

The Outfits

For Sarah’s “Katniss” outfit we found some green cargos at Target, boots she owns, a belt from the Army Surplus store, my brown leather jacket, and we modified a Mockingjay necklace to be a pin.

Cody’s outfit started with the black t-shirt and the rest took a while to locate. After visiting a half dozen stores we finally found the right style and color cargos, but Cody had to do some tailoring to get them to not look like “JNCO’s”. After finding some desert boots on clearance we were all set on outfits.

The Props

In the story, Katniss uses both a hand carved wooden bow in the woods and a modern silver bow in the arena, we wanted both. The silver bow was simple, Duncan and Sarah’s grandpa had a bow Duncan played with as a kid, after some silver spray paint, we were good to go. Arrows seemed as easy as a trip to Bass Pro Shops but after visiting four different sporting goods stores, we came to the conclusion we had to make one. A $3 arrow from wal-mart, fly fishing feathers, and super glue made our “Arena Arrow”. As for the “woods” bow and arrow we had all but given up, when a visit to the Tulsa Flea Market produced a bow better than we could have asked for! A wooden bow, hand carved over 30 years ago. Perfect. We were content with using the same arrow for both bows until Cody’s father found a genuine indian arrow in New Mexico. Now we are ready to shoot!

Location

We are kind of obsessed with going to the park so we already knew the exact location, Chandler Park.

Shooting

We took well over 1500 photos over a few days of shooting. We would rush to the park as soon as we could during the week and rise super early to get there with the sun. Cody and Sarah had some of the hardest parts. They had to climb trees and run the same path avoiding getting smacked in the face by branches over and over. Sarah is not naturally stern and hard so between shots she would be laughing. Duncan would be off on his own until I needed help down, because I was so focused on getting the shot, I didn’t consider the rough terrain I would have to descend. Sarah had a hard time keeping the bow pulled back, but gained some arm muscle doing so. Everything we did, we did for a reason. From their facial expressions to how sarah’s belt hung, we were very meticulous. We hiked, and climbed rocks and trees, trying to steer clear of thorny vines and poison ivy, which we did a poor job of. We have been treating poison ivy ever since. It was quite the adventure.

Editing

With over 1500 photos to go through and edit, it became a group effort. I narrowed down the photos to about 250, which I thought was a great accomplishment, but we still had a long way to go. Since I had grown quite attached to my work, Cody, Sarah, and Duncan went through the photos and cut it down to 70. After editing, I presented them to Cody. He sat in silence as I went through them, one by one. Scared that he hated them, and thinking that all my time editing was a waste, I was getting nervous. After I showed him the last photo he paused and said, ” It’s going to be hard to narrow those down.” Whew! While I felt proud of my work, we still had to find the best of the best. So the four of us went through them again and again until we all were happy.

As you can see this was quite an experience. So much of ourselves went into these photos and it is great to look back and see that.

Check out all of the photos on my website

How excited are you for “The Hunger Games” movie?

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