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Q + A with Kosmas Flores

Zachary Kilgas

Q: Why did you choose your craft?

A: I really just fell into it as a high-schooler with no thought whatsoever. That being said, when I started by food blog some 8 years after that, I started shooting and styling food because I wanted the recipes to look as good as they actually tasted.

Q: How hard was it to become profitable at it?

A: It took me about 4 years before I made the transition to blogging full-time. I was supporting myself as an assistant in the television industry in LA and living in a little apartment in Studio City, and taking that leap was a really big deal since I didn't have any back-up plans. Working what was essentially 2 full-time jobs for that 4 year period was pretty insane, but it allowed me to really hone my craft and establish my blog before making the big leap to leaving my day job. I recommend *not* rushing into blogging full-time if you're on your own and supporting yourself financially. Try balancing both for at *least* a year and be smart about it, start saving up a certain amount each month and setting it aside to give yourself some padding for the first year of freelancing as a blogger. If you have enough saved to pay your rent and groceries for 6 months, you won't feel as much anxiety about the whole thing and you'll be able to focus more on getting freelance work and doing a quality job with all of it.

Q: Any suggestions to newcomers to the field?

A: Make friends! Seriously, all my food blogger friends are the best people I know, and we all help each other out. It makes a world of difference being able to ask someone with experience about any issues you come across. Like something that's in a client contract that you're not sure is normal, or what is an ok amount to charge for a sponsored IG post based on your following, etc. I actually started a First We Eat Facebook group where all of us could share this info super openly with each other and it's been so fun watching it take off and seeing everyone giving really helpful and awesome advice to each other. Anyone is welcome to request to join!

Q: If you couldn’t be doing your craft, what would you do instead?

A: Man. Well it'd probably be either one of three things—if I stuck with the entertainment industry I'd probably be doing something documentary-related because that was my ultimate goal when I started in that career path years ago, and I still do love documentaries. The second option would be something with plants. Maybe an herbalist? Just a job where I could be surrounded by plants all the time haha. And the last option is teaching. I loooooove teaching people, and my mom and my sister were/are both teachers so it's kind of a familial trait haha.

Q: Any favorite moments of your career so far?

A: I have a few! One of my favorite moments was getting my new cookbook, First We Eat, in the mail and opening the first copy of it. It's the book I've always wanted to write, and it felt so crazy just holding it there in my hands after having it in my head for so many years.

Another favorite moment is the last supper of every one of my First We Eat photography workshops. We've spent several days shooting and eating and exploring together at that point and we've all become so close. Everyone is having the literal time of their lives. Sometimes I mentally step away for a second in that moment and just feel really humbled and amazed that all these incredibly talented people came together to learn from me. I get kind of emotional during those moments haha, gotta reign it in before the waterworks start!!

And my last favorite moment is probably the 'Wintertide' Secret Supper I co-hosted with my friends Danielle, Mona, and Jaret (we all host seasonal Secret Supper pop-up dinners together). We have an awesome group of kickass women volunteers who help us with each supper, and for that particular supper we all spent hours and hours digging a giant trench out of 3 feet of snow so that we had somewhere for the table and chairs for our guests to sit for the meal. Everyone just had the best attitudes and it was such a crazy and wild adventure. The guests absolutely loved it, the food was amazing, and afterwards we were able to clean up really fast and then just hung out in the main room of Suttle Lodge and had hot drinks and relaxed by the fire. It was the best.

Q: What would you do differently if you could start from scratch?

A: I'd have taken it seriously earlier haha. When I first started blogging, it wasn't really a career option like it is now, and I was just doing it for fun to share recipes. I didn't have any strategy or plan or anything like folks do now who start blogs. I think if I had even had like 1 or 2 goals set each year for the first couple years (like 'start a mailing list' or 'start a Facebook page') it would have sped up my career/blog growth.

Q: Is there a defining moment in your career so far?

A: When I opened sales for my online photography course I met my 6-month sales goal in the first 4 weeks. My husband and I had worked SOOOOO hard on it for months, and at the end of a long project like that I always wonder "will anyone even use this?" You know you start to get a little nervous and doubtful closer to the release date. But the response was HUGE, and all the feedback has been so insanely positive. There wasn't really anything of that caliber out there for people who wanted to learn about food photography and styling but couldn't afford a travel-based workshop, and being able to provide that for folks and hearing from them and actually seeing the improvement in their work through their instagram accounts and their blogs has been really moving. It felt so good to be able to teach and help so many people at one time.

Q: Is there anything you really enjoy in your craft vs another line of work?

A: I really like that I can travel a lot. I love learning about other cultures, especially when it comes to how they interact with and prepare food, and hosting the photography workshops helps me be able to go to many different places and then also share that food culture with the attendees while we're there. I also like that I'm able to work from home, because when I'm not traveling I'm kind of a hermit and really really really love being in my house and in my garden.


Q: Biggest pet peeve about the industry?

A: I think like any large public platform, it gives some folks the ability to be publicly disingenuous and then be rewarded for it. Which basically means that sometimes people are phonies and don't practice what they preach, which is a bummer. But those are few and far between in the food blogging realm, honestly. It's a pretty fantastic community and I am so happy to be a part of it!

Q: Is flannel really always appropriate?

A: F*CK YES IT IS.

Be Kind // Stella Marina

Zachary Kilgas

Be Kind. 


Kindness in its essence is a trait sometimes undervalued and often forgotten.  
Yet a few words carefully selected, or simply left unspoken can mean the difference between a smile and a tear.  We speak of intention, of gratitude and karma, but a simple act of selfless kindness is all it can take to brighten or soften the days of at least two people. 

 

It is present in babies when they are born, no child comes into this world with a preconceived idea of malice or hatred, we arrive with the capacity to love unconditionally, yet slowly that capability becomes ground down and chipped away over the years. In some minds, the potential for love, charity or altruism becomes crystallised, growing in new forms, in others a sort of calcification takes place, a smooth, hardened shell presents itself to the world.
 I might like to add here, that I do not write this from some rose-tinted cloud of kindness and empathy. I write this from my kitchen table, where I am slumped. I dragged myself here across the carpet because today I had a panic attack and I had to leave work.  I have felt the rumblings of one for the past week or so, but some loose-lipped words this morning sent me over the edge, and as I lay on my bed in that hazy aftermath where you feel completely empty and a little bit numb. I decided that the best thing to do was something constructive with this feeling (I also had to stop the day from feeling wasted).  
 

To draw us back to my favourite analogy, life on a boat actually offers up a wonderful platform for kindness. 

To be at sea grants us a condensed version of the outside world, yes it is archaic and often patriarchal, but it relies on wanting to keep one another alive. We depend on one another, knowing that the task ahead would be so much harder if not impossible alone. That self-reliant entity that is your ship, allows you to shed the skin of daily life, removing all other roles and responsibilities aside from sailing, eating, sleeping and how you will progress from A to B. Each change of direction is predetermined by a greater force, you cannot fight the wind, you can only harness it in order to move forward. Maybe this applies to our emotions, to anger or frustration? Bottling them up inside will rarely relinquish them, you may only harness that energy in order to move forward. Then there are the consequences of careless harsh words in an environment fuelled by broken sleeping patterns and constant movement. Not only are those words magnified but there is no easy exit, you are with those people for better or for worse, so please let's be kind. These words are easy to write, the thoughts are easy to form. The hard part is in the heat of the moment when you are distracted or angry. I do not claim that it is possible to constantly check yourself for thoughts of anger. The freedom to express our thoughts, ideas and emotions in any way that we like is a human luxury, we must try only not to exploit it. If you are granted words, please use them kindly. If you are granted authority, please use it wisely.

Carpe Noctem // Evan Pollock

Zachary Kilgas

Carpe noctem. Sieze the night. This series by Evan Pollock shows nighttime as it should be seen.

A Look at Chernobyl // Barbara Arcuschin

Zachary Kilgas

Photographer Barbara Arcuschin submitted these eerie photos of Chernobyl.

It’s been over 32 years since the catastrophe, and less than 10 since the site was opened for tourism. The area surrounding the former power plant won’t be safe for human habitation for the next 20,000 years.

“Chernobyl is like the war of all wars. There’s nowhere to hide. Not underground, not underwater, not in the air.” 
― Svetlana Alexievich, Voices from Chernobyl

Photographer of the Day // Mike Kelley

Zachary Kilgas

From the first glance, each of his photos are extremely inviting. So inviting, that I almost felt like a firsthand witness. My brain invented sounds, smells, and sensations immediately-- the bears' snarls, the salty sea air hitting my nose, bare toes on a wooden dock. 

Click through for an adventure. 

Adventurer Q&A // Giulia Woergartner

Zachary Kilgas

The color yellow is bright, full of life, and undefinable. Many adults cower away from wearing yellow though, offering the excuse that yellow is "childish." Yellow is a color that requires a boldness to wear. It's not a color for the faint of heart. 

Giulia Woergartner calls herself, "the girl with the yellow jacket." Her yellow jacket she explained, is her trademark, a stamp that marks her adventures and photography as distinctly hers. 

[Q] Why do you adventure & Why do you explore? 

[A] Exploring means discovering new things, having fresh eyes for every new day and being inspired by little moments. I want to keep my eyes, ears and heart wide open. I want to create my own vision of the world and share it with others to inspire them to go on their own little adventures. I have a desire to see the most beautiful corners of this world. I have traveled and experienced quite a lot over the last few years, but the curiosity to see more keeps me going. My goal is not just to come home different, but better.

[Q] Why take risks in life?    

[A] Because life is short and it can be over at any given moment.

[Q] Where are you from?

[A] I am from the Dolomites, Italy.

[Q] What is your 9-5?

[A] I am a full time travel photographer, still sounds crazy to me if I say it!

[Q] When you were growing up what or who did you want to be?  

[A] I have always been a creative child, I always dreamed about being a painter or musician. Well any kind of artist really!

[Q] Favorite place you've visited?    

[A] The Faroe Islands and New Zealand still are my favourite destinations to this date!

[Q] Place you most desperately want to visit?

[A] Patagonia and a lot of places in the US.

[Q] What  has  changed  about  you  because  of  your  travels    

[A] I have become a more confident, open and loving individual

[Q] Who  is  the  most  dynamic  and  thought  provoking  person  you've  ever  met    

[A] Good question, I think that person is still out there!

[Q] If you could travel with one person in history or in present who would it be and why?  

[A] I would like to go back in time and travel with some of the real explorers 

[Q] Must haves for travel?

[A] My camera and a yellow jacket! 

[Q] Travel tips?  

[A] Sleep in cars, cook for yourself, save your money for more travels.

[Q] When  did  you  feel  you  were  most  out  of  your  comfort  zone? What  did  you  learn  from  that  lesson?

[A] I did a 7 months solo trip to New Zealand after graduating high school. I flew from Italy all the way to the other side of the world to explore ad capture every corner of New Zealand. I bought a van and lived in it for about 6 months. The first few weeks were tough as I had to adapt to this lifestyle and to the new environment. After a few weeks I realised that I was free to do whatever I want and I could simply enjoy life and see all these stunning places. The few things that I was really worried about at first ended up being the greatest benefits and lessons of this adventure: when you have a dream or a vision, you just have to go for it. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it, no matter how silly or ridiculous your dream might appear to others. Following your passion is the only thing that will bring you happiness.

[Q] What would you say to someone who has never travelled before? 

[A] I would show them my pictures and let them speak for me.

[Q] What would you say to your former self?  

[A] Love more, hug more. Be bold. Don't let fear run your life. Have confidence in yourself. Don't be self-conscious. Don't be so hard on yourself and have more patience.

[Q] Where to next?

[A] Canada!

[Q] Is flannel always in season? 

[A] Of course!

Photographer Update // Joshua Fuller

Zachary Kilgas

I have always loved idioms. If you're unfamiliar with them, idioms are seemingly nonsensical phrases that by usage became loaded with meaning-- kill two birds with one stone, once in a blue moon, pot calling the kettle black. 

There's an Icelandic idiom, "Það eru margar undur í höfuðkúpu," which translates roughly to "there are many wonders in a cow's head." To my understanding, it's a way to say that the world is crazy. 

These landscape photos from Joshua Fuller's trip to Iceland had me pondering the wonders in a cow's head. 

Adventurer Q&A // Derek Tice

Zachary Kilgas

At Folk, we're actively trying to get to know our readers. We know that each person adventures for a different reason, and we aim to tell your stories. 

[Q] What's your name?

[A] Derek Tice.

[Q] Why do you adventure? Why do you explore?

[A] I want to see and experience as much as I can in this short lifetime I have been given. My brother and I grew up in a family that pursued an outdoor lifestyle. I was on skis by the age of two and dirt biking as soon as I had mastered the peddle bike. Growing up in this fashion has led me to appreciate and pursue a life of adventure where I feel most at home in the outdoors.
I didn’t find a passion for photography until I took a photo course in grad school where I picked up my mom’s old Nikon film camera and began to shoot. I was immediately addicted, the feel and sound of the shutter button was bliss. I soon found myself documenting all of the weekend adventures my friends and I would go on. Photography was a way I could implement design/art into the adventure lifestyle I had grown up knowing.

[Q] Why take risks in life?

[A] Have you heard of adrenaline? Yeah it’s nice.

[Q] Where are you from?

[A] Bozeman, Montana

[Q] What is your 9-5?

[A] I work as an Architect in training for a design firm.

[Q] When you were growing up what or who did you want to be?

[A] Growing up, I was always fascinated with the ocean. Being from the land locked state of Montana, it was a mysterious entity to me. As a kid I always thought I would be somewhere in the marine biology field, or scuba diving at the very least (sad part is, I have yet to go scuba diving).

[Q] Favorite place you've visited recently?

[A] Swingarm City= Epic Landscapes + Dirt bikes

[Q] Place you most desperately want to visit?

[A] Any place I haven’t been to yet.

[Q] What has changed about you because of your travels?

[A] My travels and photography have taught me how to see the world. Finding beauty in the everyday makes life worth living.

[Q] Who is the most dynamic and thought provoking person you've ever met?

[A] This is a tough question because it suggests I need to rate the people that have been/are in my life. I would have to say any person who has had the time to share a conversation over a campfire. Everybody brings their own ideas to the table, you just have to know how to listen.

[Q] If you could travel with one person in history or in present who would it be and why?

[A] My girlfriend, she levels me out, and is the jokiest joke maker I’ve ever met.

[Q] Must haves for travel?

[A] A tripod. I tend to usually forget mine and end up stacking rocks or finding some other means of creating a stand that never quite adds up to a sturdy tripod. Oh, and a good attitude.

[Q] Travel tips?

[A] Go with the flow. Our lives are inherently based on routine. Take the time to travel and break the mundane schedule of the everyday world.

[Q] What is the single greatest moment of human humanity you've experienced while traveling?

[A] My girlfriend and I took a weekend trip to Glacier National Park. Knowing that the crowds would be outrageous during tourist season we planned on getting to the campground a little before 6:00a.m. to ensure we got a spot at the campground in the park (a first come first serve basis). We arrived before the sun was fully up to a line of cars waiting at the entrance of the campground. We ended up being the 14th car in line. Ridiculous, but we were anticipating it. Everybody was frustrated and there was even a car who managed to sneak their way into line, cutting a bunch of us off and putting us further behind in line. It was pure chaos. As we pulled up to the gate being the next car inline, the ranger told us that it was a 50/50 chance we would get a spot. 20 minutes later she appeared and told us we would be getting the last spot for the day. Feeling relieved we couldn’t help but feel bad for the 15 or so cars behind us that had wasted their entire morning. So we took it upon ourselves to have the ranger invite the car behind us to camp at our spot. They immediately took the invitation and were extremely grateful that they paid for the camp spot. Even if it were the slightest of gestures, we were relieved to offer some humanity in a morning full of disarray. To this day National Parks do not appeal to me as they once did, but I hope I left it a little better then I found it.

[Q] Based on your travels what is the single most needed improvement for humanity to be stronger.

[A] Kindness. Respect the people around you and treat this earth like you live here.

[Q] What would you say to someone who has never travelled before?

[A] To each their own

[Q] When did you feel you were most out of your comfort zone. What did you learn from that lesson?

[A] Any time I’m standing on a cliff edge I’m out of my comfort zone. This taught me that I’m very scared of heights.

[Q] What would you say to your former self?

[A] Good luck out there

[Q] What gives you hope?

[A] The two days at the end of the work week and a full tank of gas.

[Q] Where to next?

[A] I ask myself the same thing everyday. I normally don’t know until I get there. I travel for the in-betweens not the destination.

[Q] Is flannel always in season?

[A] Only if the sleeves are cut off, Hell yeah brother.

Stay Outside // Photographer Ben Hoffman

Ben Ashby

There's a specific kind of joy that comes from being outside-- toes in the grass, a cool ocean breeze, the smell that lingers after a long down pour. It's all magical. Ben Hoffman's love for photography stems from his love for the outdoors. 

Each photo he sent us feels like an invitation, a call to get outside, and stay there.  

35 mm and Marrakech

Zachary Kilgas

Katie Bird is a photographer with a passion for traveling. She sent this mini series of a single stop on her 18 month trip throughout Asia, and Australia. She captures life with vivid simplicity.  

Photographer of the Day: Nick Cagol

Zachary Kilgas

Thirty year old, Nick Cagol is a part time photographer who lives in Northern Italy. His goal is to capture more than just the beauty of a landscape, he aims to capture a story. More of his photography can be seen on Instagram @alchenick

Do What You Dream

Zachary Kilgas

The melodic words of Ingrid Michealson’s song “You and I” bounced around in my head as I read a long email from Christian Bendel. Truthfully, I felt silly about it. As I continued to read Christian’s candid recollection of his adventure through Provence, I broke down and got reacquainted with the song.

“Let’s get rich and buy our parent’s homes in the south of France,” Ingrid says whimsically. 

The rhythmic song dared me to dream, but Christian’s words pushed me further. The goal of the adventure was, in his words, “to do what he dreamed, instead of simply talking about it.”

Much like the song, Christian’s adventure was a love story, and his photo series captures their relationship intimately. Together, they traveled through canyons, cities, and around mountains. They cooked their meals on a fire, and slept in their car.

Christian said he aspires to do things differently. He explained that living this dream was not a straightforward path, but one that required spontaneity, and flexibility. He called this adventure, and his past ones, “Crossroads” for that reason.

Joshua Fuller // A Look at Landscape

Zachary Kilgas

Josephine Hart believed that our souls have an eternal geography, a landscape if you will. She said that we constantly search for its outlines. Much like explorers, we attempt to chart maps of our souls, day in and day out. Landscape photography, at it's best, allows us to see the shapes of our souls. We're able to juxtapose ourselves with the divinity of nature, and decide where we sit between the two. 

Photographer, Joshua Fuller submitted this series from his travels. More of his work can be found on Instagram @Joshua_Fuller_ 

Alex and the American Kids

Ben Ashby

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Photographer Alex McDonald has shared dozens of photo essays with us over the years. This one was a few years ago and remains one of our favorites. 

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Alex and the Red Hair

Ben Ashby

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Photographer Alex McDonald has shared dozens of photo essays with us over the years. This one was a few years ago and remains one of our favorites. 

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Alex and the Boy with Flowers

Ben Ashby

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Photographer Alex McDonald has shared dozens of photo essays with us over the years. This one was a few years ago and remains one of our favorites. 

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Wolf Jaw Press | A Conversation

Ben Ashby

We love upstate New York! between Earth Angels, Upstate Stock, and now Wolf Jaw Press we are itching for a visit! Recently we sat down with Alicia Burnett, the owner of Wolf Jaw Press for a brief chat about what she does, why she is a maker and why you should support American made. 

Who are you?

I’m Alicia Burnett, and I am a designer, artist, and all around maker. I’m also the sole proprietor of Wolf Jaw Press, a small independent printmaking studio that produces fine art screen prints inspired by the beauty of the natural world.

Where are you?

Right now my studio and I are located in the northern Hudson Valley region of New York State. I’m really happy living and working here. I think it’s a great location for makers like me that love nature and feel more comfortable living in the country versus living in a city. The countryside and farmlands of Upstate New York are a beautiful place to live; it can be quite rural, but it’s not so rural that I feel isolated and disconnected to the surrounding makers and local arts communities. I love the fact I’m surrounded by serene farmland and plenty of open space while still being close enough to New York City, Hudson, and Albany to be physically involved the art communities of those cities. 


Why are you a maker?

I am a maker because it feels like the most authentic and natural way for me to live my life and make a living for myself. I am a maker because for as long as I can remember, I have had an insatiable compulsion to create. It’s just something that is in my DNA I guess. 


What do you make?

Through my studio, Wolf Jaw Press, I make limited edition screen prints. 


How long have you been a maker?

While I’ve always identified as being a creative, artistic individual with a strong desire to make and create, professionally, I haven’t been a maker for that long. I graduated with my MFA from Pratt Institute in 2015, and shorty afterwards I established Wolf Jaw Press. I’ve been a professional maker for less than year! Establishing my own studio and business has been quite the process, but putting in the long hours and hard work has been so worth it. Everyday I learn something new, and seeing my studio slowly but surely grow and flourish gives me an indescribable sense of satisfaction. 


Why did you decide on what you do?

It took me a long time to find myself artistically. I attended the Rhode Island School of Design where I spent most of my time as an undergraduate student trying to find a medium that felt comfortable for me. I watched so many of my friends as freshman and sophomores immediately gravitate towards a specific major, and then to a specific medium or process. Meanwhile, I felt like I was interested in too many things. I wanted to do any try everything, but nothing I artistically experimented with felt right. 

It wasn’t until the tail end of my junior year that I had a moment of clarity. On a whim, I decided to take a screen printing class with RISD’s printmaking department during the spring semester of my junior year. Within weeks I was completely in love with the screen printing process, but it still took me a few years to find the courage to establish my own screen printing studio and business.

The catalyst that finally pushed me to take the leap of faith and start my own studio were the repeated failures I had at trying to break into the corporate world of design. After my graduation from RISD with my BFA, and then from Pratt my MFA, I had interview after interview with companies and design firms, but it seemed that no one wanted to hire me. In hindsight, these “failures” in getting hired, while discouraging and frustrating at the time, pushed me to realize that maybe I should try to open my own studio and be self employed.


Favorite part about being a maker?

There is so much I love about being a maker! In short, I love the freedom and control it gives me in my personal and professional life. While being self employed undoubtedly comes with an expected level of uncertainly and stress, I have been able to experience a level of freedom that is both liberating and exhilarating. By being a maker, I get to do what I love everyday and I get to be my own boss. I decided what I want to make and when I want to make it, I create my own hours, I decide what projects and collaborations I want to work on, and I get to decide how and in what direction I want my business to grow. 

I also love that each day always hold something new and different. I could never have a job where I do the same thing everyday sitting at a desk. As a maker and a self employed artist, I get to first and foremost create the art that I love to make, but I also get to explore and learn about financial management, business strategies, legal procedures, accounting, and marketing. I’m learning and exploring so much. I find that my days bouncing between slinging ink in the studio, compiling and analyzing finical reports hunched over my laptop, or researching small business growth strategies are engaging and deeply rewarding. 


Why support makers?

When you shop for items made by artisans and makers, you can expect receive high quality goods crated with care while your dollars contribute to and strengthening a local economy. By supporting makers, you are also helping support someone’s passion. We makers care so deeply and passionately about what we do, and through buying our goods you enable us to make a living off of our authentic passion for creating.

FOR MORE: WOLF JAW PRESS

A Lifetime of Leather with Duluth Pack

Christophe Chaisson

In the year 1870, a man named Camille Poirier came to Duluth, Minnesota with a dream of opening a leather and canvas good's store. Over 130 years later, this dream is still alive and growing. 

Duluth Pack is the is oldest canvas and leather bag and pack company in the USA. Still located in Duluth, they have not ceased manufacturing high quality, built-to-last canvas and leather bags, packs, and outdoor gear in their century-old factory.

Their quality and values have not wavered or waned since their beginning. Duluth Pack continues to embrace their American made heritage. Not once have they compromised quality for quantity, instead they continue on in the one-customer-at-a-time way of doing business that they have always valued.

 

Duluth Pack sticks to tradition well as their craftsmen and women have been using the same reliable, timeless artisanal techniques since the beginning of the company. Not only do they cherish their customers, but also their employees. The talented sewers are actually able to sew their name with pride into the high quality product that they have thoroughly hand crafted with skill and precision. 


Typical products found other places are built to fall apart and be thrown away. One of the many amazing things about this company is the life time warranty that they offer. It is a guarantee of the longlasting quality of their products.  



 

 

 
 

As they honor tradition, they also have been cutting edge in their designs and keeping up with the times while maintaining the beautiful essence their company carries. There are 15 canvas colors available, along with wool, American bison leather, and an assortment of other American leather products to choose from. No matter the product you are interested in, you can be reassured of the highest quality.

 

Duluth Pack is special for a myriad of reasons. Their packs carry the power of storytelling and so many memories are made with the packs. Adventure calls when you get your hands on one of these packs. 

Their humble beginnings back in 1882 has grown and amassed into a worldwide organization. Products are sold to a global consumer through their flagship retail store in Duluth, MN, their online retail store, and a global network of dealers.

Duluth Pack has extended a 15% discount in the online store for all of those apart of the Folk Family. Go pick out a pack perfectly suited for your next adventure. With so many styles and colors to choose from it is going to be a hard decision. (Personally leaning towards a Burgundy Scout Pack myself) 

CODE: FOLK15

Click here to view their website and online store

 

Follow them on Instagram to share some love with the Duluth Pack team for their generosity and commitment to their customers! 

Instagram: @DULUTHPACK 

America The Great: A Roadtrip with Alexander Miles

Christophe Chaisson

These last few days have been incredible stressful and emotional for many Americans, so to hear what Alexander Miles, an Australian, had to say about this country was balm to my soul. To see the beauty of the land that this nation was built on and to hear the affirming insights from a foreign traveler was a refresher for the love and hope I hold for America. 

Enjoy a glimpse of Alexander and Lana's Great American Roadtrip where these two  traveled, explored, and photographed the grand natural landscapes of the West.


Where are you from:

I was born in Sydney, Australia.

I've spent just as much time in Melbourne, Australia.

Age:

Depressing

Where do you live:

I live in East London.


From someone on the outside what is the appeal of visiting America? 

 As a kid, I always thought the USA was like the wild-west. Fame, fortune, wild people and wild nature. Most of the media we consumed in Australia - especially growing up - has been centred on America. We are spoon-fed doses of Americana all our lives. As an adult, and having spent a lot of time in the USA, I realise that its part true and part fallacy. America is stunningly beautiful, complex and surprising. Anyone i've ever spoken to that've taken a trip in the states comes out of it enlightened and humbled by the people and the beauty of the nature. 

What are the most iconic ideas/places/landmarks/narratives of "America" to the foreigner?

The great American Road Trip is something that almost every person I ever speak to states as the thing that they want to do. A rolling landscape of the road, dotted with weird and wonderful Americana. A lashing of the kitsch and miles of tired, weather-beaten signs advertising cheap gas or rooms. 

I keep going back to the desert. There is a bleakness, a tiredness which I find really compelling. You can drive for days and at the end of your journey you can end up somewhere like Zion and you feel like you've landed on another planet. Incredibly rewarding as a foreigner to have the interplay of bleakness and the grand scale of the natural sights.

Also, not to be discounted are the people and places - those roadside truck stops with funny 'attractions' and museums. Diners always about the diners.

 @lanadelporto

@lanadelporto

 

Where did you go on this trip?

We flew from NYC straight to Vegas. Picked up a convertible Mustang and hit the road - it is totally cliched, but we're from Australia, so we figured we had to do it. From there we drove through the deserts to Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Moab, finishing in the refreshingly green Colorado Rockies for a week.  

Where all have you visited in the past?

Lots of California, highlights being Yosemite, Death Valley. Nevada, Utah, Colorado. A little bit of the east coast, NYC and Boston, basically. For me it seems like the bigger attractions are always more in the west. 

13731699_10153658838485936_3013442622320099763_n.jpg
 @lanadelporto

@lanadelporto

What are some tips for navigating America if you aren't American?

Hire a car. There is no other way to see the USA other than by using a car. We were intimidated by the idea of driving on the 'wrong side' of the road, but it's a cinch and having the mobility meant we saw so much more.
Get out of the cities. For me the charm of the USA is in the nature, the small towns and the people who live out there.
Plan your trip and give yourself more time than you think you need. The place is damn big, and most great landmarks, national parks etc would need more than a single night to do it justice. We didn't do that last time. Lesson learned.
Try pretty much everything you can get your hands on - the variety of food you've got is staggering. S'mores! What a thing!

 @lanadelporto

@lanadelporto


Biggest pet peeve about America: 

Honestly? There isn't much. I'm trying to think of something? 

Oh! Ah! I've got it! Outside of NYC more often than not you'll find the worst coffee in the universe. It's totally butchered. For the record, to be fair, any coffee is better than no coffee, but for an Australian it's always a bit of an adjustment to get used to the heavily filtered coffee. Or, worse yet, Starbucks! 

Let's just chalk that down to cultural differences. 

Biggest thrill of America:

The feeling of anticipation when arriving somewhere extremely grand like Yosemite, Death Valley or Monument Valley knowing that it's going to be good and then it's so much better (and bigger) than you expected. When you sit there, looking at these amazing sights, jaw hanging, quietly just taking it in. It's probably not the thrill you'd expect, but it is the one that sticks with you.


What makes America, America? 

America has had a bad wrap for a long time and a lot of people still judge it harshly and unfairly today. It's a beautiful country, full of great people who are just finding their place in the world. It's far from perfect, but nowhere is. 

I always think about a very sarcastic quote from a good friend of mine in LA who said when I mocked him and the USA prior to ever having visited: "You only hate us because we're number one!" I never really had much of a comeback for that and after having travelled through much of the USA, it was really apparent to me what he meant. 

It's a damn good country. 

To me, America being a country of 'more'. You want something? Well you can have more of whatever that thing is. You want a canyon? Well here's the biggest damn canyon in the world. You like steak? Well how about a huge, table sized t-bone? You want to buy absolutely everything organic shop in a vegan-friendly packaging with a soy latte and a kale salad? Welcome to WholeFoods! 

You guys live large in pretty much every way, and it's pretty hard to fault the pleasure and charm of that way of life.

I'm inclined to agree with Alexander. America is a damn good country. Let's continue to uphold, appreciate, and fight for the beauty & values of America the Great.

You can catch more of Alexander and Lana's travels on Instagram.

Alexander: @bethebravest                 Lana: @lanadelporto

Sit in awe as you watch their breathtaking timelapse of their journey through the desert.

Beautiful Masculinity: An Interview with Ricardo Rico

Christophe Chaisson

Ricardo Rico is a 28 year old Brazilian living in São Paulo. His passion and career is photographing people. The photos he takes are very intimate and they portray a beautiful side to man's masculinity and beauty.


Christophe: When did you first become interested in photography?

Ricardo: I remember the first picture that I saw and I thought, "Wow how beautiful is it!" I wondered how that picture was created. I was a child and the picture was of Naomi Campell, from Playboy Magazine by David LaChapelle.
Ever since then, everytime that I saw a beautiful picture, I wondered how and why it was made. When I was a teenager I met a photographer and he invited me to help him during a photoshoot of a new upcoming model. That moment was my first real contact with photography and I fell in love.

 

C: Were you self-taught or did you learn in school/from a mentor?

R: Self-taught.  My first exposure with photography was through a professional, however I did not have them as a mentor.
I researched and read about photography back then, and nowadays I continue do to do the same. I never stopped seeking more information.
Knowledge is an endless cycle, never stop seeking.
 

 

 

C: How did you develop your style?

R: So difficult, I have many doubts if I developed a style.
Hehehe "I love making new experiences"
Nowadays, my experience with 'The Lonely Project' has made me happy

 

C: What themes do you explore through your work?

R: Masculine beauty in physical and emotional forms is my current theme. I try to portray another man by mixing and molding a little of my subjects and a little of myself together. 

 


C: How do you find and choose you subjects or locations?

R: The intimate/nude theme is a set for 'The Lonely'.
Normally the first contact with the candidate is online, and I explain my job and they tell me the reason that motivated them to seek being photographed by me. I get to personally know them,  and we  start a building a strong connection based on confidence. After all nudity is still a taboo and it is not easy to get naked in front of someone.
Usually, I photograph in their house. I see this place only on the day of the photoshoot.

 Sometimes the place is amazing with a lot of light and I can explore the place many ways, while other times it is a patient game where I fight against the darkness to explore the maximum that I am able to do. However, the place is not very important, the focus is the human.  The pictures I take and conversations we have are the most important objective.
 

 


C: What inspires your work?

R: The people are my inspiration. I loving walk on the street and observing the people near me. It’s fascinating to observe someone that have no idea they are being observed. Mainly lonely people, seated in the park, in the square, public transport, waiting for someone or something. 
And movies, TV series, songs, and some photographers that I like so much are João Guedes, Wong Sim and Haris Nukem.

 

 
C: How do you compose an image? Do you go into the shoot with a specific shot in mind, or does the inspiration strike when you place your model in the setting?

R: All is an experiment. First, I need to get a harmonious atmosphere to feel free and confident. After that the experimenting starts. I continue to study and search what will be visually pleasing for the photoshoot throughout this entire process. 
 

 

C: What has been your biggest lesson learned through creating your art?

R: I have learned to listen. 
I have gained the opportunity to meet a lot of different people with culture and histories totally different and this has enriched me a lot as a human.
 

 

C: What do you hope your art says to people?

R: The interpretation is free and totally personal. In my opinion, the body is art and can be interpreted to many ways; it depends on the way that you see. 

C: Why did you choose your craft? How hard was it to become profitable at it?  

R: It is necessary for me and I cannot see myself doing anything different than photography in my future. Just like any other self-employment, this is a battle with ups and downs.
 

 

C: Any suggestions to newcomers to the field?

R: Make experiences, observe, make mistakes & correct them, do not give up, remake and try it again!

 

C: If you couldn’t be doing your craft, what would you do instead?

R: I cannot see myself doing something different than photography, however Graphic Designer is another option.

 
 



C: Any favorite moments of your career so far?

R: The gaze, of who I captured with my camera, this make me feels happy.

 


 
C: What would you do differently if you could start from scratch?


R: If I changed one thing that I did, I probably could lose good things that I won during this time.

 

Rico is currently working on a project that we can all support by clicking here on the Catarse website. (Brazilian Crowdfunding)

The second edition of Lonely Magazine is in the works and he needs our help to publish his fantastic work of art.  

You can also share some love and check out his website & Instagram:

Website: RicardoRico  Instagram: @the.lonely.project