Recently I began sharing a new segment in my email newsletters titled “What’s Making Me Happy.” Here I share a new discovery, event, or activity that makes my life a bit nicer, and hopefully it will inspire yours too. The following excerpt is from last week’s mailer and I felt it was too powerful, too special to share only with my email list. If you like what you see, take a minute to subscribe. Enjoy!
WHATS MAKING ME HAPPY
This past September marked my second year of attending XOXO, an experimental festival celebrating art and technology, hosted in Portland, Oregon. The festival features live concerts, podcasts, and various meetups, but the heart and soul of the festival comes from its inspiring keynotes given by creators, designers and innovators from every corner of the Internet. This year’s list of guests included Heather Armstrong, “queen of the mommy bloggers” and author of Dooce, Lisa Hanawalt, designer and producer of Bojack Horseman, and former NPR correspondent Alex Blumberg (This American Life, Planet Money) who is the founder of the broadcasting startup Gimlet Media. Over the past few weeks these keynotes have been released online and I’ve been watching them once more. I’m so moved by the earnest and heartfelt stories from these creatives and entrepreneurs.
Some of the takeaways from this year’s talks were ideas of self expression, vulnerability, and failure, and even death. The presenters shared they ways they dreamed of new ideas. They adapted to chaos along the way. They told us how they overcame obstacles, including themselves. They revealed the raw and difficult emotions encountered when they made the decision to walk away from ideas–even if they were working. These keynotes are powerful conversations for anyone aiming to share their gifts with the world.
Featured below is what I believe to be one of the most powerful sessions of the conference with Amit Gupta, founder of Photojojo. He shared with us his vision, his tenacity, and the life-altering shift when diagnosed with leukemia and faced with his own mortality. Not a dry eye remained in the house.
Kate Ellen, owner and curator of Crown Nine in Oakland, CA, believes that an appreciation for handmade goods is forged when consumers can meet the people behind the products. This connection is deepened when they see how their favorite things are made. So naturally, catching the artist in their studio is the most insightful place to look. From sketches, to tools, to the very surfaces they work on, a peek behind the curtain shows us not only their expertise but the muse for each covetable item.
Kate is such a strong believer that she has set out to bring this story to you. Each of Crown Nine’s artists have created a limited edition of exclusive jewelry for the shop known as A Rarity. As these designs were underway, she ventured into the shops each jeweler to give you a glimpse into who we are and what we do. Each month a new exclusive design is released paired with an interview with Kate and a visual studio visit by photographer Eva Kolenko (whose handiwork you’re seeing below)
The result is truly something special.
Catch my Rarity AVAILABLE NOW at Crown Nine’s website along with a stellar interview and photo tour of myself in action.
For more on the Aspen Bounty Earrings created for this project, check out this blog post!
Like what you see? Hop on over to Eva Kolenko’s site for more photo magic.
Taking a week long work-cation visting family in North Carolina. Here’s a few sights from along the way, including some *adorable* newly born piglets!
I find this video so inspiring and energizing. Enjoy!
To Do List from Yaniv Fridman on Vimeo.
The month of October came and went. Faster than I could blink, and even faster than my brain could really register. I traveled thousands of miles in the first few weeks. I returned to Northern Michigan to join my herd as we laid a family member to rest. The countryside seemed to explode around me with the most vibrant of autumn hues. It was a fitting reminder of the seasonal punctuation my life misses in San Francisco, where the mild climate never reminds me that today is different from yesterday, and months are slipping undetected between my fingers.
I returned to San Francisco and left the same day, heading northward to the Redwood National Forest with Ryan and friends. It was peaceful and the landscape was breathtaking. We camped, hiked, wandered and explored. But mostly, I took time out to observe and absorb.
The undercurrent these few weeks was a blatant reminder of time’s painful persistence. Whether marveling at ancient redwoods or catching glimpses of fleeting foliage, the adage of ‘not getting any younger’ was annoyingly on point. As of late it seems every job I undertake is time sensitive. The more I free myself to find breathing room, the more my calendar fills up. It is something I am learning to cherish instead of stress. My work is rewarding, and I feel this path aligning beneath me. I’m lucky to be where I am and should find beauty in every second of it.
Bring on November.
We’re in the final countdown preparing for CAPSULE! Tonight Melissa and I spent a ‘Girl’s Night’ making a late-night run to Home Depot (ah…feel’s just like undergrad..)
I spent a lot of time today thinking about how lucky I am to have a father who’s a real handyman. As a child I thought there was nothing that he couldn’t fix. Toys and computers were made brand new after mere moments on his workbench. When I got older I realized the key to his success is that there was nothing he wouldn’t learn how to do. Whether it was carving, pottery, carpentry, kitchen remodeling or fixing something under the hood- He was always patient, thoughtful, and tenacious. He measures twice and cuts once. It’s because of him I know the importance of having the right tool for the job, and that mistakes have clear solutions if you keep your cool and think a project through.
Tomorrow I’ll begin building displays for next week’s show, all the while knowing it’s his example that gives me the confidence to take a stab at something new.