Hi everyone, since our announcement of our non profit Expedition Art, I personally have gotten many questions about what we are and how we came about. Many of our colleagues even thought we were a new concept art studio since, we were known for that in the past, and we very well could be, but we're on a totally different ship and journey. Three of us at Expedition Art were part of a studio that we were pretty passionate about and leaving it, I personally felt a void. But that decision was the best thing that could have happened to all of us. Funny how things work out.
I was out on a hike doing a lot of thinking and searching when an idea hit me. I got on the phone and called David Levy and chatted about an idea I had. We talked about what drives us and where our passion lies. It was a no brainer. The outdoors. We talked about starting a blog, to keep us motivated. Going outdoors, taking your sketchbook and water colors. Getting back to what fueled us as artists. Talking about camping equipment, tools, brushes, markers everything art and outdoors. We were stoked. I quickly called our counterparts Thierry Doizon and Kristy Tipton to explain what we were doing and both were quickly both on board.
The plan was for a blog, plain and simple. Some art tips, product reviews, hikes, parks and of course wildlife. Which all of us are passionate about. The blog got followers and the emails and questions started to come in. Those that know me know me personally know my passion for the outdoors and animals. They know my love for big cats, my work in Africa with animals and my passion for birds of prey and falconry. Over the years I've been fortunate enough people throughout my world travels. Hunters, biologists, conservationists, painters, animals wranglers the whole spectrum and all this was because of my passion of art and nature.
Being the group that we were, we had been contacted by several organizations to help with different causes. We felt we weren't quite ready and we were at the moment, just a blog team. We appreciated the interest and continued with our blogging, our ideas and goals ,until we were called to help put on an event with some friends who thought we could be of help to put in a workshop event with an amazing cause. By this time around we were very fortunate to pick up another great team member who really believed in what we were striving for, Terryl Whitlatch. Not only is Terryl an incredible artists but she is an amazing human being. There was no question she would be an amazing part to the team of "Art Explorers." The workshop fundraiser was hosted by Alex Alvarez and Travis at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects. An amazing array of artists and speakers were brought together to help out the California Nature Center and their marine rehabilitation needs.
After the event several more things came up and we decided to move the blog into something more meaningful. Keeping to the blog but redirecting to what we originally had in mind. A project that would bring together our love of art, nature, and education together as one. Expedition Art 501 (c)(3)was officially started. A non profit organization that would use art as our main tool to educate and bring awareness to initiatives we feel strongly about. As we continue this journey we were lucky enough to pick up another person onto our team. An amazing very inspiring artist who himself has the same believes as us and ran in parallel with us, Aaron Blaise. His incredible career is one thing but his love for art, animals, conservation, education and awareness made him a perfect fit in this journey. Aaron himself has helped many initiatives and his travels have taken him thru inspiring beautiful places and experiences. He and his business partner, Nick Burch are now part of the team.
We feel that the Expedition Art team has a tool that we can use to educate and make an impact.
Art. It is louder than words a proven tool. Passionately driven it is an amazing force. As a team we already have quite a task in front of us. We will be filming a documentary in Africa to help bring awareness to one of the earths oldest mammals who needs human intervention. The rhino. The team is motivated and preparing but lots of work and preparation is still under going. We plan on doing workshops, events, and our upcoming "Camp and Draws" which we are proudly announcing soon.
The Expedition Art journey has been a great one so far. We have had several interested organizations and individuals contact us wanting the team to help. From Nepal to Africa. From elephants to eagles the need is there and with time we can grow and make art the much needed tool to help and to educate. Expedition Art is a team. It's the team that I think we all have been waiting for. As a small passionate group we look forward to the growth and initiatives where we all can help change things for the better. "Let us change the world one drawing at a time."
We hope this answers the who and what is Expedition Art.
In closing I would like to thank some people who have meant a lot to me personally. Without these peoples words, friendship, motivation and encouragement we would not have gone as far and shoot as high as the limits of the sky.
Brian Rodgers, Travis Bourbeau, Claire Wendling, Bobby Chiu, Kei Acedera, Tee Shwarz, Alex Alvarez ,Gnomon School of Visual Effects, John Tipton, Bengal, Iain McCaig, Ronda Rousey, Jonathan Kuo, Dylan Cole, Ben Proctor, Neville Page, Sparth, Sergio Aragonés, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Keith and Lisa Dutlow, Tracey and Chris Hugill, Anthony Newall, David Arkenstone, Lauren McGough, Amy Wagner, Kevin Boyle, Tim Boyle, Aleksi Briclot, Jack and Barbara Baum, Buck Brannaman, Bill Paxton, Mark Schultz, Pete and Lucy Weidner and Steve Irwin, RIP mate, you make us dream big.
photo in Wyoming by Aaron Blaise