A career in the video game industry was my path of choice late in my college years. I was never into nature, having grown up playing video games nearly nonstop and never giving much regard to anything outside. Had there been kids making money from recording their game activity on YouTube in the late '90s and early 2000s, things might not have changed, but I'm glad they did.
I moved out west after college, seeing anything west of Austin, Texas for the first time. After settling down in Phoenix, Arizona, I noticed the South Mountain range in the distance and wondered, "I wonder what Phoenix looks like from the top." Video games took a back seat that day, and subsequently, every day that followed.
Gradually I began spending my free time exploring Arizona's more remote areas: the Mogollon Rim, Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, etc. Soon I was making friends with hikers who took me on amazing adventures. As I explored more of the natural world, the urban sprawl of Phoenix began to irritate me. Empty neighborhoods sprang up over pristine and fragile desert. I could feel a change coming.
Around the same time, I had developed an itch to see Wyoming. I had no idea why. The idea seemed completely random to me. Regardless, I followed the instinct, and in spring of 2008 found myself on my way to see if Wyoming had anything to offer me.
The one day I was planning on spending in western Wyoming, I discovered that Yellowstone National Park was still closed for the season, so I backtracked through Grand Teton National Park, eager to venture across the state. Before reaching the park boundary however, I noticed a few cars pulled over, something very unusual from the rest of the day. I stopped to check it out and found myself in the company of a grizzly bear and her three cubs who had just come out of the den. I spent the remainder of my trip in Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole, awoken to a wildness I had never felt before.
Seeing these top predators in their landscape brought a whole new meaning to the outdoors for me. I packed up later that year and called Jackson Hole, Wyoming home. It didn't take long before I was seeking out wildlife to both understand and photograph. The landscape simply has a more vibrant and alive feeling to it when all the species that should be there are there. I devoured all the knowledge I could about them and their home, which helped me secure a position as first a wildlife tour guide, and a photography guide, where I try to convey that interest and passion with my guests.
All of these experiences led to a new creative outlet when I met my future business partner, best friend, and wife, Erica. Together we channeled our love for the outdoors into fun, creative, and whimsical designs for stickers to share our passion with the world. I try to imbue at least a little of this passion with each sticker I create, so that the rest of the world can experience it.