Sunday 2/10/19

Sunday 2/10/19

February 10, 2019

On Sundays I reflect.

Last week got away from me, sorry. I'm still abstaining from alcohol; next week marks 11 months since I quit. Next weekend is also the biggest event of the year for me: the Vail Cup Collectors Club.

Last week my childhood friend visited me. He called and asked if there was any help I wanted in my studio during his week off from the oil field in North Dakota. I didn't know what to expect, but he came and improved my studio in ways I couldn't have even imagined. In addition to finishing my cold working room with ventilation and other details, my friend and I built a new set of shelves and places to hang jackets and bags in my foyer. I had been using a closet made from plywood that looked like shit for the last year. I'm very pleased with the upgrade.

My friend and I grew up attending a summer camp in Wisconsin together. When we were 16 we took a trip to Colorado and Utah where we hiked for weeks and peaked a 14er; Uncompahgre. 14,309 feet up. I'll never forget that trip, and the personal growth I experienced with those people. My friend from that trip, whom I'll keep anonymous, was always someone I was close with, but also someone I was in disagreement with over life philosophy. He used to make fun of my dreadlocks (yes I had dreads) and give me a hard time about my father's Prius along with criticizing all of my other liberal attitudes. Today my friend is a Republican, a Trump supporter, and works in the oil field where he wants to shift into the fracking field. Ideologically, I'm opposed to everything that this man is. We were still able to spend half a week together and discuss philosophy with respect for each other. I probably haven't done a very good job of diving into this one, but it was a very interesting experience after going years without seeing each other.

I've been watching my friend's dog for most of the last few weeks. He's a seizure dog and is never left alone. When his owner skis, I bring Tarzan to my studio. It's nice for me to have a surrogate pup, after losing my dog just over a year ago. Nothing could ever fill the void in my life that the Carly Bear left, but the companionship of another pooch is great while I live in a place where I cannot have my own.

We had another lifestyle photo shoot the other day. My photographer is buried under 1000+ photos to edit from that shoot plus our last product shoot. Thanks for being patient, the content is just going to keep getting better. Special shoutout to Pano Boutique in Vail and EightSpace in Miami for sponsoring our shoot with fancy clothes and bathing suits!

I've really been digging the music of Boogie Belqigue lately. Someone told me it's Electro Swing. Then I was turned onto A Tribe Called Red during a mostly naked impromptu dance party with some of my guy friends that happened last week during an evening we had decided to spend exploring our spirituality together. Initially we had planned to discuss our own personal growth referring to pictures of ourselves from childhood, but sometimes you've just got to go with the flow.

I've mostly been off the mountain, working insane hours in the studio but a few days ago I took a half day at Beaver Creek with a foot of fresh powder. I usually avoid BC because I prefer Vail where I know my way around. I'll admit I had a bit of a pretentious attitude before this last session when Seth took me to Royal Elk (a double black diamond back country area). While I still prefer Vail, that area of BC is some of the most beautiful terrain I've ridden and the most fun.

Unfortunately, I've felt a little under the weather for the last two days. I'm thankful to be back to myself this morning, and I'm ready to enter the final week long Crush Mode before my show (more details on Vail Cup Collector's Club here). The cold working room is fully operational, and therefore we were able to finish the lips on a handful of cups I had made for the show that needed a little love. I'm hoping to be able to finish another five cups or so before Friday. I've never been more excited to release a body of work. The amount of progress I've made with this line since last year is beyond inspirational to me. You would not believe how many of these cups I've lost along the way, in attempt to make every detail perfect. It's been humbling, and rewarding.

I'm feeling very inspired by the documentary I watched on Netflix about Bill Murray. What a guy! I hope we get to connect one day. I know these essays are rather random, and stream of consciousness. I'm just trying to share a glimpse into my life. On most days I experience something so unpredictable and outrageous that I laugh out loud at my own existence. I spent a lot of my younger life being afraid. I worried about what was coming next. I worried every time I spent money on my credit card. I worried about every bill and every meal and how I would make enough money to get to the next studio sometimes hundreds of miles away. Now thanks to your support and the support of my team, I'm not worried at all.

I remember when I learned about Andy Warhol and The Factory and I decided that was what I wanted. Now I'm a year and a half into building it. It's such a rewarding experience to have a space to offer artists after years of being a homeless artist with no space to call my own. Collaborating with people in a space created with intention has heightened my experience tremendously. Everybody brings their own flavor to my studio and leaves a mark one way or another. I'm beyond grateful as I look at what we've done so far. I'm beyond excited as I look ahead at what's on the horizon.

Enjoy your Sunday,
Ben





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