Design: Follow the Cycle of Winter to Waves

Selfishly, I have two basic addictions in this life. Snowboarding and surfing. Outside of family and loved ones, the snow and the surf drive most of the decisions I make. They are my biggest passions. It’s the kind of thing that gives me goosebumps just when I think about it. I spend the bulk of winter in northwest Colorado where I grew up, and rest of the year on the west coast. I follow the cycle of winter to waves. 

Going from a small mountain town to a major city doesn’t work for everyone. Most of the time I find people who can’t understand why I live this way. I either get, “Why would you ever leave this small town? It has everything.” Or, “Why would you leave this city, it has everything?” It’s funny to me that others try to understand ‘why’ I live this way.

You can be almost anywhere and do design work. Matter of fact, sometimes being in different places makes the work better. Being a designer allows this balance of life to be possible. It’s pretty unbelievable. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to put in the work. 

At Smartwool in Colorado, I worked as a digital, print, video and e-commerce asset generator - really a multi-media designer. I was involved with the company rebrand and transition to new web platform. As well as most other creative requests.

I love the practicality of a mountain town that is laid back, hard working, not caught up in the digital world and constantly focused on the outdoors. Bonfires, camping, tents, sleeping bags, and open spaces. The simplicity of just being in nature. Sometimes the best of moments do not require words. 

I also love the electricity of a city. The energy in a city is addictive. Live music, art, and people create an environment that feeds the creative soul. No matter the time of day, I can go look at beautiful art, listen to live music, or go find a show that inspires. 

For DC in Huntington Beach, I assist with camera work. For the Scooter Farm in San Diego, I design products, Instagram shorts, banner ads, apparel and the marketing of those products. 

For DC in Huntington Beach, I assist with camera work. For the Scooter Farm in San Diego, I design products, Instagram shorts, banner ads, apparel and the marketing of those products. 

The combination of these two places is how I average out. But there is nothing average about it. It’s terrifying, challenging, fulfilling, and completely possible for anyone who wants it. To me it’s how I always dreamt of living.

My advice? Don’t ever feel like you need to explain yourself to anyone. Trust your gut. Go with it. Remember to eat good food, sleep when you can, wake up early, write things down, work your ass off, and enjoy every part of the whole process. 

Kurtis Jackson Designer

Author: Kurtis Jackson is a grad from Portfolio Studio who combines his passion for nature and travel with his passion for design. 

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