Dog tags.

Hello Everyone!

The past few weeks have been crazy! I had a minor scare on Saturday when I received an email saying the funds had been deposited into my bank account, however my bank account said otherwise. On top of that I accidentally made two Amazon accounts with the same email and different passwords... how that is possible I have no idea... so I couldn't log into my Amazon account to check on the deposit- it would just send me to an error page saying that the email account was already in use by someone else. It was stressful. Luckily, like a few people had said, the money delay was probably a Sunday issue. Sure enough Monday morning the funds appeared in my account. Phew!

I was mostly stressed because as of Monday (read: 8 days till hanging) I still had not ordered the prints. I called the lab and they said they could have all my prints (and yours) done by Friday! Which is way faster than I expected.

Livia asked me about how I was going to show the names of the prints. I hadn't even planned on putting names up but the question got me thinking. The lab offers to drill holes in the corner of the prints so that you can hang them by wire. And the lab also makes metal photo dog tags. How cool would it be to have the name of the print and edition number hanging from a dog tag off the lower corner of a print? So cool.

So yesterday I set Livia on the task of pricing engraved dog tags. (I felt like the photo dog tag would distract from the print). She walked down the huge hill we are staying on, to a pet store that only had brass ones. There was another fancy-pants dog place in Mill Valley we checked out, however they only had chrome ones which, since the prints are on aluminum, felt too fancy. I don't want the tags to outshine the prints! However, on the counter they had silver and copper hand stamped dog tags ...for $24 a piece!!! I fell in love with how they looked. So we left the store and I started calling around to jewelry enthusiasts and DIY'ers to see if they knew where to get a stamping kit and the metal dog tags. I was so excited about the idea. Plus, it gives Livia something to do. She is so eager to work but I keep running out of projects because she is so efficient.

At dinner that night I was telling my Grandparents about my idea to custom make the tags. My Grandpa said "if it has anything to do with Metal, talk to Mark. That is his area of expertise!" I had completely forgot! My uncle Mark owns Paragon Machine Works- a machine shop that makes custom titanium, aluminum and copper parts. I walked over to his house and interrupted his family dinner. He was super willing to help and seemed, even for his calm demeanor, excited. He gave me the catalog for a company that makes metal tags in a variety of shapes and allowed me to put them on his account. He also lent me a letter stamping kit!

So one day after coming up with the idea, we have the tags ready to be produced. How exciting.

Tomorrow morning Livia and I are waking up to get on the 4am ferry heading to Alcatraz for the Sunrise Ceremony. Native American tribes all over California come to dance. It will be freezing. The forecast says 37ยบ. Wish us luck! Poor Livia, she thought she was on vacation from the cold weather!

I am really very excited for the show.

So much love,


I am back in San Francisco for the next few weeks. If you look below you will see my Kickstarter video. I decided to do a Kickstarter project because my upcoming photo show got bumped up from January 1st to December 1st, and I had yet to get any prints made... and I had no money to make said prints.

For those of you who don't know what Kickstarter is, it is a great website where people can post up projects and ask for funding to help "kickstart" a project. In trade for donating, or backing as they call it, you receive rewards. Rewards vary project to project. A musician might give a reward of a CD in exchange for funds to help record the cd. Essentially you can pre-sell or promote your project before it exists in order to bring it to life. It is pretty great way to see if your project will float and if people are interested in it.

With Kickstarter you have to set a dollar amount that you would like to raise by a deadline. If you do not raise all the money by the deadline, the project is a wash- no one has to donate any money and you don't have to provide rewards. One of the projects that was recently completed was a tripod for an iphone. The two guys who came up with the idea were asking for $10,000 to manufacture this product and one of the rewards was a pre-ordered iphone tripod for $20. By the time their deadline came they had raised $137,000 instead of $10,000. This is an extreme example but it is a great way to "test market" an idea or product with minimal overhead. Brilliant.

I had no idea if my project would succeed but I set a goal of $3000 in 8 days.
I asked my friend Chad help with the editing. He agreed and suggested that he help shoot the video too, which was awesome. I sat down the day before Halloween to brainstorm what I wanted the video to look like and what I would say. Then I opened up imovie and began sort of roughly piecing it together. Next thing you know it was 5am and I was totally obsessed. Chad and I were supposed to meet the next day to shoot the video but I let him know that I thought I had it handled. He said to send it over to him if I needed any help.

I ended up completely pitbulled onto the project for about 30 hours, missing all Halloween festivities. I had never made a video with imovie though I had recorded a few clips with the built in camera. Immediately after I finished it I posted the video on Kickstarter and Facebook and people started sending in donations. At first a few friends donated, then some friends of friends, then some complete strangers who found me through Kickstarter. It was incredible. Then people began posting my video on different pages and it all sort of took off.

Within 3 days I had reached my target goal of $3000 and by the deadline it had totaled at $4450 which is very exciting. Because the project went over the target, by quite a bit, I was able to hire my friend Livia from NYC to come and assist me. Which is really exciting. Right now we are waiting for the funds to come through Amazon. It is sort of a hurry up and wait situation. I am loading all of the photos up to get sent to the lab and Livia is assembling a database and organizing things for the show. Once the funds clear we will be sent into turbo mode.

I am really excited and grateful about all of this. I feel blessed. It is very humbling to feel so much support from the people around me. I feel as if I am community built. I am community built.