Happy New Year!

Thank you to my 50 followers. I appreciate your commitment.

This New Year has been a resting period for me. I apologize that the blog has been less active, and this can be expected for the next two months.

Opportunities have come up with my edible company, and I am currently trying to settle on a name that captures my brand and stands out from the crowd. Since we also offer salves.

We have sold out of products at Emerald Genetics/ Cal Sole, and our next harvest is in February. We will have on the shelves Gelato 25/ Dosido and OG. Sales and building client relationships have proven to be a challenge. I must constantly reevaluate why our product stands out and what we offer that no one else does. As I’ve been told, growing cannabis in Humboldt county isn’t enough. Even though we can’t hold onto product, I am still establishing myself as a sales face for Cal Sole. You can find Emerald Genetic Products at 101 M Street Dispensary inc. in Crescent City.

I am taking a writing course with my favorite writer Francesca Lia Block. This is the real secret my blog is being put on hold. I write ten pages a week, and I answer some questions that help me explore my characters and also myself as a writer. I then review my peer’s work and then meet on Sundays to review our pieces. It has been a dream of mine to take this course and I am very thankful to be under her guidance.

Little Lost Forest is working on getting its business license and signing up for upcoming fairs. Competing with the artists in Humboldt county takes work. All the talented people seem to come out of the woodwork to live here! So I am going strong with my Etsy and will update it soon.

My best friend, who you might be familiar with, Orion, moved in. He is going to Cal Poly and working on a social worker degree. He will be helping me with the edibles and also with the children.

My husband and I have talked about doing more things together, but we still need to do actually do them. We spent many years getting stable enough to have a child while raising our oldest. We don’t have a lot of time with each other… alone. For now, it is what it is, but since I talk about marriage and relationships in this blog, this is a genuine piece of my life. I miss having “fun” with my partner, like going on car rides along the coast or spending time together at the beach without the kids.

Please take a second to reflect on how you have come into the New Year. Reflect on all the progress you’ve made in the past fifteen days and the goals you have set in place for the rest of the year. Your goals are attainable.

I hope that you are going through the New Year with ease. Enjoy the rain Humboldt County.

Zen Humboldt

Saturday, December 5, 2022- (Eureka, CA) Little Lost Forest put on its first art exhibition, Eris’ Apple, at Zen Humboldt dispensary, which will be on display throughout December. The opening occurred during Arts Alive Eureka from 6-9 pm, accompanied by other local artists. Landscapes, female characters, and meditative practices are themes in the acrylic and spray paint art by Natascha and Jeremy Pearson. The paintings are strung along with a story that will be developed into a book called Discordia, to be released in 2024. 

@original_cannabis_leaf_art– Dan, a Rio Del local, creates unique customized items using real marijuana leaves in his delicate approach. He showcased Christmas ornaments and “high Santa” and Halloween art like a framed pot leaf spider.

Ruthie Creates Art @ruthiecreates_4 (IG) & @Ruthiecreates (FB) from Arcata brought a whirlwind of fun, colorful, and comfortable goods such as crocheted animal-styled beanies, plushies, and shell chimes sourced from local beaches. These pieces are all unique, custom, and one-of-a-kind, perfect gifts. 

Alexis, a Eureka artist, and her partner Novak set up their booth Fern + Fire which can be found on Etsy under FernnFire. They displayed wood-burned wall pieces, runes, Christmas ornaments, and beanies. 

Loren with Primitive Roots brought his wooden goods! (info@primitiveroots.art and FB at Primitive Roots 707) displayed resin and wood bowls, cutting boards, some with transformer-burned wood designs with a resin coating, unique cribbage boards, and much more. You can find a video of Loren woodburning with a neon sign transformer here and his IG.

Jeremy and Natascha Little Lost Forest @littlelostforestart brought rolling trays, local photographs on metal plates (@emeraldtriangle.photos), and self-care boxes including rose salve, face scrub, and body scrub made from all-natural ingredients. 

Water and Tea were served, and as it rained, guests trickled in. They folded up their umbrellas and walked through the cannabis room to a large lounge room where the artists were set up. Guests had a chance to talk with the artist, and once again, our community came together for a beautiful event. If you find yourself in Eureka, please stop by Zen in December to see the Little Lost Forest paintings.

 

Thank you, Zen Humboldt, for allowing us in your space, and I look forward to January’s Arts Alive at Good Relations. See you there! 

Interviews on Using Proper Pronouns

(Ranma)

I conducted three interviews this week on folx in the LGBTQIA community. Here is one of them!

Natascha: Hi, this is Natascha with Little Lost Forest, and I will be interviewing Ranma today. A very good friend of mine for the past ten years. Ranma, how are you doing?

Ranma: I’m doing good, thank you for asking.

Natascha: Awesome, I’m so happy to hear. Will you please tell us your pronouns?

Ranma: Well, my pronouns are she and her.

Natascha: Sweet, and as I understand, you have transitioned?

Ranma: Yes, that is correct. I have been in transition for about a year, and I think four months now.

Natascha: Wow, the time has gone by. It flies. Can you tell me a little about yourself, what you do, and what your hobbies are?

Ranma: I’m an artist. I’m very athletic. I used to break dance. I love listening to music. I love making illustrations. I try to do illustrations for the trans community, and I also do designs for everyone else. As you know, I’m very open with my artwork. As for a real job- that is basically my real job because I have epilepsy and can not work.

Natascha: Well, a full-time artist is definitely a real job, and you keep yourself quite busy.

Ranma: It helps when you’re mad.

Natascha: Yeah, it does help when you’re mad. I can agree with that. How has transition healed you?

Ranma: Um, well, it allowed me to be myself completely. And now I actually have a bigger palette of fashion than I had before. More clothes to choose from, which can be awesome and really bad at the same time. If you saw my room, you could see the toll it’s taken.

Natascha: That’s great. The clean-up might be more now.

Ranma: Yeah! I need one of those machines now that they clean the ice with-

Natascha: Like in Meet the Jetsons.

Ranma: That’s right, a Zambonie. A Zamboni or a mechanical maid or something.

Natascha: I’m sure you can manifest anything. It will come to you. Why is it important to use proper pronouns while someone is transitioning?

Ranma: Well, because, for one, that person was never actually their birth gender. Inside they were always woman or male, and actually saying so would help their body’s energetical cells (helping every trans person realize that they are beautiful, Angelic even) to actually blossom. -Because it feels good to be called what you’re striving for. It was always there, but you know, you’re just trapped in this skin suit.

Natascha: That’s beautiful. Why do you think some cis-gendered folks are bothered by others’ use, announcement, or display of their correct pronouns?

Ranma: Well, to be honest, I think a lot of cispeople are very uneducated about their own sexuality. And also I think that they’re fearful. For instance, if they see a cute woman and that woman turns out to be a transwoman, it’s like, ‘Oh Shit, am I gay now?’ You know, and vice versa. To be honest, I think it’s just insecurity.

Natascha: Do you feel transitioning has changed you in any way?

Ranma: I can’t answer that one too precisely because I have always been me, but the biggest change that I can say is that I am actually 24/7 happy.

Natascha: I’ve heard that a lot in these interviews. That it [transition] has helped with depression and has made people very happy. That is wonderful.

Ranma: One of my friends I went to bars with was like, ‘Oh my god, you’ve changed so much.’ For instance, you smile more, and I thought to myself, I thought I always smiled. No, no, no, you smile a little bit, and then you put on a depressing song for karaoke, and then you sing a depressing song for karaoke, but here you are dancing and smiling and more upbeat songs for karaoke. So I’m like, alright, well, thank you, I didn’t notice that.

Natascha: Cool, this is a question I threw in there, which is kind of important to me because I have children, and I’m introducing my daughter into the LGBTQ(IA) community.

Ranma: Awesome-

Natascha: Why do you think it is important to introduce children to the LBGTQ community?

Ranma: That has so many answers. For one, it’s really good for child evolution right there to be accepting of everyone and everything and to realize that there is more than one way to live life. And everyone is the same. You know, it is also the journey of who you are. There are grown adults who have no idea who they are.

Natascha: Yeah, absolutely, and there are people that transition later in life so, and don’t find happiness until then.

Ranma: I am one of them. I didn’t even know I could do this until four years ago when I had my trans fiance, and we broke up, and I found out that, as much as I don’t want to admit it, I was completely jealous of her.

Natascha: Does it all make sense now? Are things coming together for you?

Ranma: Yeah, the only thing I have to really be cautious of is haters.

Natascha: Can you tell me a little more about that? What kind of negative reactions or discrimination do you have to face?

Ranma: Basically everything that comes with being a woman, those discriminations (referencing that women have to go through, all women have to go through, being judged on their beauty and being seen as just sexual entities, etc.)- that type of stuff. And then there’s little stuff like my aunt still likes to mislabel me, misgender me, as you know he. And like someone did this to you! And it’s like, no, I did this to myself, and I’m happy. I made a choice. And it’s quite interesting. The landlord still calls me he ’cause he caught me at the entrance of my transition, and he’s old, he’s sweet, you know he just can’t open up that third eye and get down with me being a woman and him being able to still talk to me and chill and have a beer with me.

Natascha: Yeah, I’m sorry you have to deal with that. At the same time, I think you’re really blossoming into your true self, and you’re absolutely beautiful and stunning. I don’t think anyone is going to get you down, and if they do, you call me. Is there anything else you want to add?

Ranma: There are some of our old friends that just recently saw me and haven’t seen me in a bit, and I just went to the bar. I have this overall skirt. A beautiful overall skirt, and I think you know Kevin. You know, dreadlock, Kevin. He couldn’t say to my face that he found me attractive. He told Eddie, my housemate instead, and said, ‘Oh my god, who’s that? She’s got beautiful legs,’ and found out it was me. ‘That’s Ranma,’ ‘Oh, Ranma? Can I meet her?’ ‘Kevin, you already know Ranma. Ranma used to be Rasheed. That’s Ranma.’ ‘Oh, okay. She has beautiful legs.’

Natascha: Now you get to show them off.

Ranma: I love showing them off. Especially when an old friend hits on you. ‘You don’t recognize me?’, ‘Okay.’

Natascha: Well, you’re a new person now.

Ranma: Not even how I speak? I think I still speak the same.

Natascha: I think you do, but you know it’s a new you, and I am so proud of you. Is there anything else you wanted to add to help educate the community on transgenders or using pronouns?

Ranma: Well, all I want to offer is a little bit for everyone on this one. Loving yourself will allow you to love others. And that’s the basic thing if you’re cis, trans, or miscellaneous, you know it doesn’t matter. It all starts from loving yourself; once you love yourself, you can be yourself and learn to love everyone else.

Natascha: Thank you so much, Ranma, for coming on today. These are short ten-minute interviews. I appreciate you.

Ranma: No worries.

Thank you, everyone for reading, educating your community, and spreading the word that using the correct pronouns when someone is in transition is showing respect! I look forward to sharing more interviews early next week.

TLC Artisan Festival Manila, CA

@littlelostforest

Teach Learn Create Join us at TLC artisan fair on Manila. We will be holding space for artist as a nonprofit monthly. DM me to vend. #humboldt #art #420 #manila #eureka #arcata #calpolyhumboldt #paintings #littlelostforest

♬ Dreams (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac

October 29, 2022- (Manila, CA) I am honored to share my latest volunteer assignment at TLC and our first Artisan’s fair that took place last Saturday. TLC showcased seven local artists, a band, and DJ at their new building on the Samoa peninsula. The TLC location includes a wood and artist studio space and a festival location open for the community to educate, create, and display in a safe and judgment-free environment.

TLC, “Teach, Learn, Create,” is a nonprofit funded by Jonas Kavanaugh and Patrick Murphy, two Humboldt County artists whose goal is to promote community interaction, share the knowledge of entrepreneurship, and showcase local artists. Jonas with Monument Settings builds benches for Arcata Skate Park, the Eureka waterfront, and other local sites. His partner, Patrick, owner of Redwood Humboldt, facilitated an art gallery in Arcata and is known for his picnic-styled wood benches. Patrick closed down his gallery due to multiple hospital trips and brain surgery. He is now on a mission to allow artists the freedom to showcase their art and get it out in the public’s eye.

TLC has set up booths at the Medival Festival of Courage in Blue Lake and the Zero Waste festival in Fortuna. Now they have put on TLC’s first festival at its home location. They plan to have a booth at Humboldt Cal Poly and other upcoming events and host TLC artisan fairs bi-monthly. You, too, can be a part of TLC, come to our meetings every Monday from 6-7pm at 2050 Peninsula Dr., Manila, CA to be a volunteer.

Photographer Matt Fahey is a supportive volunteer of TLC, offering his extensive knowledge in photography and videography to help artists with product photography, commercials, and documentation. He vends Hypertufa (concrete pots), suitable for succulents and concrete/ upcycled stepping stones.

Andrew Morin, an active TLC volunteer, is a metal welding artist who incorporates local tumbled rocks. Anything from metal key rings to stone door knobs, hangers, and much more. He has been getting back into metalworking since moving to the area last year. He enjoys reusing steel from the scrap yard or from the locals. He also enjoys incorporating other local resources, including reclaimed wood. He makes practical pieces with fun features such as enamel and beach stones.

Micah Edgar is a music producer, musician, and sound engineer. He is an active TLC build crew volunteer. He has been producing music with a friend for a year and a half. He started working on custom instruments by repurposing old electronics about six months ago. Since then, they have changed the invention of sound and look forward to putting out their first album. Patrick and Micah collaborated on a tape loop sampling synth. Micah’s collaborative electronic music reminds me of an early-day Radiohead. You can find his music here.

Natascha Pearson (that’s me!) is also a frequent volunteer. I am an acrylic painter with themes of surrealism, the female body, mythology, and spirituality. I am also a practicing pagan supplying my community with altarpieces, salves, bath salts, and tarot readings under the name Little Lost Forest. I help connect artists and collectors to our TLC community. I also vend my husband, Jeremy Pearson’s paintings. He paints landscapes and space.

The Tea Fairy brought a child-friendly, fantasy shell-building station with moss, mushrooms, and natural goods to decorate in a shell! She also displayed degradable glitter, Dream Sachets, and needling art.

Mihael Kavanaugh preformed on stage. He is a singer song writer, and poet. His business is Fairwind Botanicals with lavender sprays and balms.

Primitive Roots with Fortuna farm owner Sarah (info@primitiveroots.art and FB at Primitive Roots 707) displayed resin and wood bowls, cutting boards, some with transformer-burned wood designs with a resin coating, unique cribbage boards, and much more. You can find a video of Sarah’s partner Loren woodburning with a neon sign transformer here and his IG.

Steadfast Creations offered knitted and crotched goods and cute octopus plushies!

Violinist, Uncle Steve, an Arcata local, played with band members Erick on drums, Joe playing keyboards, and Frank on the flute.

@littlelostforest

TLC Artisan Fair. Manila, CA Uncle Steve rockin the violin with this local band. #humboldt #artfair #tlc #littlelostforest

♬ original sound – littlelostforest

I look forward to more TLC artisan fairs, and I encourage you to spread the word to any upcoming artists still getting their feet on the ground to contact Patrick on the TLC Facebook page or come to a Monday night meeting to participate!

Medieval Festival of Courage

October 1, 2022- The Medieval Festival of Courage was hosted by Coastal Grove Charter (K-8th) in Blue Lake, CA. With 50 vendors, two stages, and three unique arenas, the festival attracted a large crowd dressed throughout the ages. I had the privilege of vending with TLC. My children, their friends, our friends, and school and work peers all came to indulge in the festivities. This two-day event spanned from Saturday to Sunday and was a very special showcasing of central Humboldt’s hidden gems.


At $10 a ticket, knights, wizards, queens, and kings entered the gates! Greeted by a sword-fighting arena for children and a few rowdy fathers, took on foam-covered sticks and fought to the death! The sword fighting arena was one of the most popular activities full of children’s rampage. The front stage was bedecked with belly dancers, clog dancers, poetry, and bagpipes. The days were full of thespians and musicians belching out their hearts in a medieval dialect. Surrounding the arena were vendors of jewelry, clothing, food, and wine. The cherry wine flushed the lady’s cheeks and beer overfilled grizzly bearded men’s mugs. Carmel dripped off green apples like witches’ muck, and meats and corn were cooked on open grills.


Over by the paddock was a tent for the kings and queens, dressed in authentic 500-1500 ce costumes excluded from the common folk. A large crowd lined the fences as men on horses jostled, flinging one another from the horse’s back. Between shows, men in armored suits and beautiful women dressed as royalty paraded the horses for the audience to touch. Within this arena were a petting zoo, a miniature pony ride, and even axe throwing! The animals warmed the children’s hearts while leaving their turds along the pathway.


Even though there was a metal fence on the high-top areas, I combined this arena as one. The front entrance welcomed the crowd to a beautiful children’s area and homely vendors. One tent offered toys for the children, blocks to make castles, animals to dress, and playsets decorated with dangling tassels and velvet flooring. A majestically dressed woman read stories from a book and welcomed groups on a story quest with the legend of the Sword in the Stone. Also displayed were gem vendors, free pin-making stations, and a gnome dome, the safe haven for the tired-out child to live in a fairyland.

Then there was “TLC” a non-profit showcasing local artists, including me! I represented Little Lost Forest displaying wands, resin trays, acrylic art, and ruins! I had the pleasure of live painting and reading tarot. My friend Savana showed her unique electroplating copper jewelry, and Patrick his locally made wood tables, mushrooms, and swords. We advertised for our upcoming festival in Manila next month! Behind the metal fence were aerial silk performers with young girls climbing the ropes! Musicians played at a small stage in the back, serenading us with the violin. A jump house, jewelry vendor, and archery station fit with plenty of room along the basketball court. Men, women, and children pulled back their bows and shot toward haystack targets. A few performers free-flowed with staff, poi, and Hoola hoops.

The Medieval Festival of Courage was a well put on event that brought the community together, offered affordable vending spaces, and showcased some top performers. The children ran the show, and Coastal Grove Charter did a good job relating its artistic and out-of-the-box curriculum. More adults (then I think would like to admit) dressed in their favorite garb and transported back in time. At the end of the day, the playful and innocent collaboration of our communities youth shinned through, and I can’t wait to return next year.

Why You Should Buy Art

(Cale Mc in action.)

Sometimes it’s hard to commit to buying art. I’m sure I have made plenty of excuses, particularly that art can be expensive. I want to propose some ideas about why buying art is good for you and your community and why you should make a habit of buying it. 

Art is excellent for placing color on a white wall without upsetting your landlord. We aren’t meant to live within a world of walls, but if we must be confined to a box, we might as well make it beautiful. Putting art up on your wall contributes to the Feng Shui of a room. It creates ambiance in a space meant to entertain guests and will help them feel comfortable and welcomed. It sparks conversation, unique thoughts, ideas, or concepts. Art can provoke meditation, deep thinking, and inner healing. Art is an excellent form of self-expression, giving your peers an insight into your style, personality, dreams, and fears. Art can remind you of something you are trying to put into your practice or take out of your routine. 

You can find art that resonates with you by attending local events. All types of themes attract artists and entertainers who gather at festivals as well as fairs. If you have a niche you’re dying to scratch, search for the nearest festival that caters to that niche. If there isn’t one, try something similar to it, and you will come to recognize people at the event who also relate to your niche. You can also turn to Instagram and social media to find artists that produce what you’re looking for.

But you’re a starving artist or don’t have the money to spend. This is no excuse. Buy art you can afford, prints are a great alternative! Get something small or settle with an artist that may not be your absolute favorite. When you buy art, you learn about the process. You have a product to critique, admire, to share with the people you love. Only good things come from buying art. Even better, the more art you purchase and the more of a collection you acquire, the more you expand your mind, provoke conversation, support your community, engage in imagination, and gain an inner fulfillment that people who do not buy art will never understand.

SUPPORT ARTISTS <3<3

Interview with Adam Schluter: Hello, From a Stranger.

August 24, 2022: Transcribed Zoom Interview

Natascha : Hello Readers,

My name is Natascha with Humboldt counties lifestyle blog, Little Lost Forest. Today I will be talking to Adam Schluter, producer, and photographer of Hello, From a Stranger.

Hi Adam.

Adam: Hey Natascha, thanks for having me.

Natascha: How are you feeling today?

Adam: I’m feeling- I’m feeling pretty good. Honestly, I think you saw I had open heart surgery like two months ago and I just had some weird ups and downs but it’s summertime, it’s wedding season, we’re filming the show, it’s Monday Night Dinners, I’ve just been pushing it too much. I think I’ve just been an introvert crashing, hard but other than that life’s good.

Natascha: You’re looking great and you’re spreading positive energy, you are much appreciated.

Adam: Thanks, Natascha.

Natascha: Where are you talking to us from?

Adam: I’m in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.

Natascha: Cool. How’s the weather out there?

Adam: It’s magic, perfect. Like 85 sunny but in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho you have like three months of good weather, June, July, August. September, October are usually pretty nice. You never really know. But then you have literal six months of deep pure winter. There’s six hours of sunshine during the day. It’s brutal. This area is perfect.

Natascha: Do you stay in the area year round?

Adam: No, fuck, no. That’s why I photograph weddings during the summer. I make all my income for the whole year in those three months and then I have nine months off, so I like to spend like one month in the winter because, it’s very ideal like a hallmark town. Everything shuts down, you walk everywhere. It’s like ten feet of snow a month. It’s just gorgeous. But you know if I’m not working, and I don’t have routines in place it’s really easy to succumb to seasonal depression and my mental health stuff. So, it allows me that time to travel out into the world and focus on my project which gives me a lot of purpose.

Natascha: I can understand that we have a year around cloud coverage here in Eureka. Winters can be harsh.

Adam: What do you mean year around?

Natascha: We’re right there by the bay. Right there in Eureka, not in southern Humboldt or in Oregon but right where I’m at, clouds accumulated by the water and were stuck with it.

Adam: That’s tough.

Natascha: Can you tell my audience a little about Hello, From a Stranger?

Adam: Six years ago, I lived in Mexico and I wanted to move to a place with more opportunity. I was in a long-term relationship with a girl that I loved like crazy- with all my heart. I thought we were going to get married. So, we got sponsored by this outdoor company to travel the Pacific Coast highway from the southern tip of Mexico to Alaska and pick the best place to live out of the three countries. 22,000 miles, I spent ten months on the PCH, and I chose this town where I’m living now, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.

We spent ten months together. Every day was bliss. We were on vacation, everything was cool. We were both travelers, so everything was cool. We were running from some demons. She was really running from some demons. She was getting over drugs and alcoholism, and a whole bunch of some darkness we were running from.

So, once we slowed down and we moved into this home that I’m in right now we literally had nothing, we only had enough money for the prorated first month’s rent and the deposit- we had nothing left for groceries, for food, we had no jobs, didn’t know anyone. But we made it work, got jobs, figured it out, obviously. Once we got more comfortable those demons came back and it pulled us apart. It came to a spot where I couldn’t do it anymore and we ended up breaking up. I was in a town where I didn’t know a single person and I was way far away from my family and friends, and I moved here with this girl that I thought I was going to marry and be with for the rest of my life and now she’s gone.

I was living in Mexico for three and a half years and I didn’t have a phone, so I just didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to make meaningful relationships without technology in America, especially. It’s easier in third world countries. I finally hit a wall. I was going into the first winter out here and I was suicidal. I was thinking about suicide, I was actually planning it. And one day, I really just didn’t want to do it to my family. So, one day I was just looking at a world map, just kind of dreaming, still very broke, not very much money. I was waiting tables at a restaurant, but I knew I was going to die if I stayed in this house stuck in my thoughts. I just said fuck it I’ll just do what scares me the most. If it confirms my fears that I’m alone and the worlds not there, then I can still commit suicide and give up but maybe it will wake me up and get me out of my head.

I booked the cheapest flight the furthest I could away, which was Copenhagen, Denmark and almost no money left, again. I was homeless in my late twenties. It never bothered me. I’ve always lived a very minimal life guy. I don’t mind being uncomfortable. I was like fuck I need to sleep somewhere, and I need transportation. The trains- the trains are all over Europe. There’s one company, Euro Rail, that does 95% of all trains in Europe. I just started hounding them to sponsor me for it, I didn’t have a big portfolio, it was just an idea, and we went down to Fort Bay to ask the group that sponsored part of the trip. Okay I can sleep on the trains; I can move around on the trains. From there my only plan was to find the beauty in the world and try to wake myself up creatively and do what scared me the most, which was to say hello to people and to interact with people. It’s easy as a photographer to be behind the camera and photograph stuff from a distance. I was trying to wake up. I was really trying to wake myself up. I knew I had to really challenge myself.

I’m an introvert. I’m terrified of rejection. So, I was like what is the scariest thing I can do? It’s like just go say hello to strangers and try to have conversations with them. That was the base of this whole thing. Now we’re twenty-one countries in thousands and thousands of strangers, been published three times by National Geographic, there’s a Ted Talk. There’s a book and we have a second book coming out on it this year. We started filming the show last year. We’ll have a show coming up here too. It’s still a work in progress. Mental health is not like one and done, alright I’ve solved this. No, I need to continue moving this project forward. It’s because give me a lot of purpose and it reminds me of the things I need to do for my own mental health and just keep trying.

Natascha: Your story gives me goosebumps. Congratulations on moving this project forward.

Adam: Thanks, Natascha.

Natascha: Of course. Out of all the creative outlets you could have pursued what influenced you to talk with strangers?

Adam: I think- A) I was incredibly alone. I felt incredibly alone but I was surrounded by people. It was like how the fuck does that make sense- I’m sorry, I guess you can take that out- I’m surrounded by people, I feel completely alone. We have social media and people around us, but there’s no in-person depth of those relationships, and that’s hard. It’s easy to send a text but it’s hard to sit with someone. It can be awkward sometimes. And ask for help, sometimes, and to give help when it is asked of you. They really need to learn this, because the technology, it doesn’t matter how many friends I have on that. It makes me feel worse. It makes me feel more alone. Because it’s not in person. The cool thing about this, I was actually so afraid, the first night I was throwing up in my room. I was deathly terrified. And there was no turning back. I didn’t have the money to go back. So, I put it all on the line and it saved my life, but I made up this script because I thought I better sound cool approaching strangers. I have to sound like I have this all thought out and put together. The script was on approaching and saying hello to strangers all over the world but only if I saw something beautiful and, in this moment, this is so beautiful would you mind if I took your photograph? That sounds aliquant and cool. but what I found was that when I approached these strangers you have a millisecond to earn their trust. You have to decide if they can trust me, if I’m trying to sell you something, see if I’m trying to get something from you and if you think that I’m bullshit then in that millisecond you’ll just walk away. You’ll never stop to talk to me. I found that script was dis-ingenuine. And so, through hundreds of rejections. I was getting rejected 90% plus when I was using the script. I just became more and more vulnerable. I was tired and beat down, I was still trying to figure this out. And the more vulnerable I became- you know I thought as a man it was dangerous to be vulnerable, weak to be vulnerable and foolish, obviously. The more vulnerable I became, everyone started trusting me and everyone started opening up to me. Strangers are crying on my shoulder five minutes after I said hello to them, it’s like what the fuck is going on. I didn’t have to do anything. I’m awkward and goofy. I don’t have the right thing to say, there’s moments when I don’t know what to say but like- it’s read as authentic and that’s all it takes.

Natascha: Cool. How do you choose your subjects? How do you decide that a moment is beautiful?

Adam: Honestly just pure curiosity. I love to pay attention to the world around me. There are absolutely no rules to it. It’s never forced, there’s days where I’m like I should get some stories today and I’ll go out and I just don’t find anything that inspires me that day but it’s just mostly I try to inspire people to put their phones down and notice the world around them and I feel that if people did that- come here [grabs cat]- I feel that if people do that and get off of the technology I think we’ll have a much more realistic, the actual beauty of the world around us, no fluff, no over optimism, reality by itself is pretty fucking beautiful. It’s pretty fucking special. And so, I just go out into the world, I’ll pay attention and I’ll see something that makes me curious. A lot of times it’s like a person reading a book in a park, it’s a person covered in tattoos, some of that sticks out. But I’ll say this, I never approach anybody that is staring at a phone.

Natascha: [laughs]

Adam: I don’t try to be cynical about that, it’s just really there’s nothing interesting about that and I already feel that your head is going to be completely busy if I say hello to you and it’s just not my deal. I prefer people that are doing something else.

Natascha: While abroad how did foreigners view you as an American?

Adam: Yeah, really cool question. The main reason above all why I wanted to do this internationally is that I wanted to do it in places where I didn’t speak the same language, I don’t look the same as the other people that are with me. I’m doing it all in countries that I have never been to. That I don’t know the customs, the rules, the cultures, and what I’m really trying to show above all, now, is the power of vulnerability and the crucial necessity of intuition. Those two things together are enough to open the entire world to help you navigate it.

I found me by being myself, being vulnerable and being curious, it’s also- people like to see curiosity because you can see that I’m excited about something I’m passionate about it. People open up to me with that. I’ve been in some of the most complicated situations in countries around the planet, like the Jamaican story, I did this for six weeks in Jamaica. I would always be the minority. I wanted to be the minority, as a white guy to be the minority- unlike in America where I’m not. I wanted to really stick out, I wanted to earn that respect and not be able to hide at all and that’s a great example of that. We never felt those differences. We never noticed it. We’re sitting there, we’re not talking about things that divide us, we’re not talking about things that are different, we’re not talking about politics or religion, we’re talking about life and humanity and emotions and relationships and stuff that as humans we all share. Whatever the differences are we never notice them because they really don’t matter, we’re talking about real human stuff and in those conversations we both feel very human together. I’ve always been welcomed. I have only had one bad situation ever out of thirty-eight countries I think I’ve been in throughout my life. This is all spontaneous traveling. I only have plans for the first two nights, to get established and then it’s up to me to meet the communities, interact with the world, leave my comfort zone, and let them lead me to where to go next. I am very very vulnerable in these spots. And they do have chances too but I’m intuitive and that’s crucial but I’m also, the world is a pretty damn good place, it really is.

Natascha: You must be pretty street smart as well.

Adam: It comes with experience.

Natascha: If you don’t talk about current affairs, religion, or politics, do you avoid these subjects or does it not come up, does it not cause people pain and other emotions when you approach them?  

Adam: I try not to set any rules to it. The problem is if we get into a political conversation accidently let’s say, I’m just very honest. I don’t know enough about politics to have a strong opinion about it and that’s by choice. Also, I’m not saying that everyone should be like that, that’s just how I am. I haven’t owned a TV in ten years. I haven’t watched the news in six months. I just blissfully go out into the world to go see the real story and see what it is for myself. I just don’t know a lot about it. If someone is- the problem with politics or religion- people have already made up their minds. They’ve already created their identities. They already know their speech, they know exactly-there’s no balance to that. Most of the time, like 95% of the time, there’s no doubts to those conversations. It’s I know this, and this is this, and that’s how it’s going to be. There’s nothing for me to learn from in that. I learn a little bit but there’s nothing for them to learn also. Those conversations aren’t very connected. If they do come up, I’ll stop it or I’ll let someone do a rant. If it just continues to not be balanced, I’ll just wish them a nice day and walk away.

Natascha: Are there any common topics or themes that arise in conversations?

Adam: No not at all, honestly. A very broad one, I love to talk about relationships. I love to talk about what inspires people, what they do outside of their jobs that give them inspiration or purpose. I love to talk about families, because I’m really trying to learn about those things. A lot of this is me being curious to help myself learn how to continue growing. I’ve never been married, I don’t have kids, I would love those things. I’ve been through some really tough relationships and I’m trying to learn from other people on how to make sense of that but it’s also a way for me to learn about myself too, in conversation. I’ll tell you this- the secret sauce to this is people know when I’m talking to them that my mind is totally clear. They know that I’m listening. They know that I am genuinely there, present in that conversation and that’s what allows people to open up to me so much because they know that I’m listening. If I had bullet point questions, oh yeah there’s that sound snippet – okay, next! They won’t tell you anything. And that’s fair, I shouldn’t. I’m not really listening. But I really am listening and there’s no format to the conversation and that’s why they go so deep.

Natascha: What are some fears or passions you’ve heard of?

Adam: That’s a great question. Passions are very individual and unique. I’ve just heard millions from juggling to painting to, I hear lots of music, to being a mom. Really beautiful stuff. I just love to hear all the stuff that people are passionate about because it inspires me to continue trying to find them myself. Fear is a lot more- there’s definitely a dread in the entire world right now of fear about life as we know it changing so dramatically so as a global humanity, as a global society, whatever you want to call it, were breaking apart. And so there’s a lot of loneliness that is felt all over the world, everywhere I go. There’s less in third world countries because those are really built on relationships because there’s poverty and poverty doesn’t have much besides the relationships. There’s deep, deep, deep understanding being communicated about technology creating a bit of a chaos that we don’t know what to do about. And the world’s very scared of that. What it’s doing to relationships to communication, friendships to love, and daring. The addiction, people don’t really know what it’s going to continue doing to us. It’s just taking us away from each other in person, so I think we’re going to see a lot of the damage that it causes.

Natascha: Thank you for sharing. Can we talk about your hardware for a second? What is your favorite camera and lens for portrait photography?

Adam: Great question. I always use only one lens ever, for my entire project and it is a Sigma R rig 50 ml 1.4 lens. I’m cheap and I travel light. I just mastered that lens. And I’ve always used ninety-nine cameras. I’ve had a Nikon, D7000, but this project has always been on the D750 and I moved it to the Nikon Z6 last year and it’s made my job incredibly easy. What’s so helpful about having the exact same camera and lens for the entire thing is- I’ve always seen the world in pictures. I’m cursed as a photographer, a lot of us are. I already see the exact picture. I don’t need to take out the camera, I don’t need to take out the lens, I don’t need to look through it. I know the lens so well, it’s like in my eyes so well that it saves me a lot of time and also, I already know exactly what the picture is going to be. If it is something real quick, like holy shit this is an amazing shot, I can get it in to take a picture in two seconds I can get the picture and then we can get into conversation. It helps me a lot.

Natascha: Nifty, cheap and trustworthy.

Adam: Yes.

Natascha: I know we’ve talked about this a bit but what is your stance on the social media dilemma?

Adam: I think that it’s the end of the absolute foundation of relationships that is absolutely critical to us being able to move forward. We’re already seeing it, I mean suicides of despair are down to the age of eight now. There’s eight-year old’s committing suicide. It is so heartbreaking.

An example of that is, I was photographing a wedding and there was this adorable girl, she was eight years old too. She had this little dress her mom gave her and we were all running around. And I said, Hey! Let me get this shoot, it is such a beautiful shot of you. I went to take the pictures and she says, no! Not this side of my face. I only like this side of my face. And I was like, you’re eight years old, where did you get it? She was like, my mom says it all the time. And I see it on TikTok all the time. Children are mimicking what they’re seeing.

I didn’t know when it got cool to be so self-critical. Somehow it got cool for people to feel ugly and talk about themselves poorly. If we don’t have self-confidence then- it’s not ego, it’s self-confidence. It’s like pride in the person that you are. You don’t have to have the best body or be the most beautiful person in the world. Just being okay with who you are. It takes some self-work and that’s a gift we should give ourselves and to the world around us but right now that’s just not the norm. The norm is self-criticism, self-deprecating, belittling ourselves. That’s a bit of cancer to other people around us because then other people around us are like hey that persons beautiful, then I’m ugly. They think they’re ugly then I have to be ugly. There’s no end to that.

So that all being said, with this insane addiction that didn’t exist a few years ago, where people wake up with their phones and they go to bed with their phones, everything in the present moment has been lost. And obviously, the less present we are, the more anxious we are, more depressed we are, the more chaotic we are, we’re not planning on the future, we’re not thinking about people that are right in front of us in that moment everything is expedient, everything needs to be fast. And the most important parts in life are not fast. Love is not fast; relationships are not fast. Like communication is not supposed to be fast. And now I feel like I need to jam in a thirty-minute scheduled time with my friends just to catch up on how life is. We can’t live like that; people are dying because of that and have been. It’s just getting worse and worse every day.

Natascha: Thank you. How do you suggest breaking down barriers within a community?

Adam: I think that’s an easy one, I mean A) barriers are obviously constructed on pride, again, whatever barriers have come in between connections has to come from us swallowing our pride first. And so, the only reason that I wouldn’t go out and try to connect with the community and the people around me is if I was being prideful. Like oh man if they reject me, I’m going to be hurt by it or I’m going to be mad about it, so we think about ourselves so much that we end up not doing what the world needs us to do. To help the world out also, so.

For me, breaking down those barriers is forming relationships and conversations that are vulnerable, authentic, but also not focusing on those things that divide us. I mean, because that is just too easy to do and those are based on identity. Not based on who that person actually is. A lot of people right now with social media, all the stimulus and technology, they don’t really know who they are, they don’t really give themselves the time to find out who they are. They latch on to an identity, this is who I am, this is how I think, this is what’s right, this is what’s wrong. Again, there’s no balance to that. Focus on what’s behind all of that. It’s like who are you really and what do you love? What scares you? What inspires you? And not just question, question, question, because that’s not balanced. It’s like telling them about you also, like really having a balanced conversation. It allows people to have this foundation of trust, that all those barriers just melt away.

Natascha: Good. How do you see conversations with strangers as a healing tool? How can a person overcome their own barriers and talk to a stranger?

Adam: Yup, well however to overcome your own barriers, it’s kind of related to the question before. But again, just try. Like that’s honestly all I can say. What do you have to lose other than your pride? Just try. Hey, I want to talk to that girl. Hi, my name’s Adam. How are you? Hi my name’s Natascha. Nice to meet you. Hey ya’- I’m really busy right now, I can’t really talk. Okay, no worries. And then you learn a little bit. Have a nice day, I just wanted to say hello.

Also, I’d say appear to people without expectations and without an agenda because people can feel an agenda, too. So that’s important, to have an open personality when you approach someone. I think the most healing part of conversations with strangers is this understanding that I saw you. Everybody sees you, and we know that everybody sees us. So rarely do people interact with the world around them that even though everyone sees us, we still feel alone. And so, here’s an idea, I saw you, I said hello to you, and I was vulnerable with you. It’s very scary to do but now I know that you see me. And now we’re going to have a real conversation and we’re both going to walk away from that feeling less alone and more connected to the world around us but also understanding that each and every day we can do that. It might be hard, it might not work, it might be awkward sometimes. But we can do that. So now we have that understanding, we’re back in our home or apartment or whatever and our mental health is having a bad day we know what to do about it. Now if we do it, that is up to us but we at least know something that we can do to help.

Natascha: Do… you believe in BigFoot?

Adam: Oh, that’s a cool question.

Natascha: We are big believers here in Humboldt County.

Adam: I was going to say no. But I’ll just say no because I don’t know enough about it. To not know definitively but know I haven’t researched and don’t know enough about it. I watched I’m All Gas No Breaks on the BigFoot rally, it was pretty revealing but I don’t know enough about it. Do you believe in BigFoot?

Natascha: Yeah, yeah. They are interstellar type of beings that can be- not necessary here all the time, kind of jumps through dimensions type deal. I have another Humboldt County question for you, any stories that relate to pot farms for marijuana enthusiasts.

Adam: Oh man, I can do a whole movie on my time there. I mean the whole thing was so wild. We lived in Clear Lake, but it was off the grid in the wild, this was like twelve years ago. It was like the wild west. Those people are recreational. It was like you can have ninety-nine plants with a doctor’s order, if you had one hundred it was a federal felony so like ninety-nine plants. There were no police because Fish and Game Conservation were the closest thing to police that we had. You’re on your own fucking island. Out in the middle of nowhere. Lots of money in the house, lots of weed plants in the house, you have guns in the house, it was wild. And, toward harvest time there’s like no protection, you know, there’s no regulation. Everyone would do these twelve-hour shifts and there’s people sleeping on patios with shotguns. There were these two sixteen-year-old kids that were out there, and they came out on four wheelers. Not on our farm but the neighboring farms, grabbed a bunch of plants and the people from the farm chased them down and the kids accidently drove off the cliff on the four wheelers and killed both of them. It’s the wild west. There’s a lot of- you probably want more of an optimistic story, but you know.

Natascha: That’s a common story unfortunately.

Adam: Yeah, it is. A lot of boredom really, so fucking boring. You’re trimming ten hours a day, and it was before cell phones were big. You get bored of it. Everybody’s on drugs, a lot of people are on drugs because of the boredom, and I never did drugs. I smoked pot and ate mushrooms. I love those two things, a lot. But I’ve never done hard drugs. And everyone’s on some real hardcore drugs. We had people overdosing. One of our closest friends, out there, OD’d and died. It’s just boredom. People really don’t know what the fuck to do. They’re really just sitting in the house together doing nothing at all. Every once in a while, there will be cool stuff. Like one of the owners of the farm who would never talk to us like the trimmers and the people in it, but he’d come in and he was this very ominous figure. He was nice. He’d go up to the kitchen and sterilize every single thing in the kitchen and nobody was ever allowed to go toward the kitchen. He would put on Grateful Dead, and he would stand there for like twelve hours and he’d just be silent. You know never say a word. We’re all feeling his presence. And then he would walk away without a word, and we’d never see him again. So, there’s just interesting characters.

Natascha: Yeah, yup. My zoom is cutting me short. It says I have three minutes remaining unless I upgrade to pro, which was unexpected. Can you just tell us what you plan on doing next?

Adam: In my personal life I am starting to date for the first time in my life. Really trying to figure out relationships. It’s kind of complicated for me, for the reasons that we talked about before. With my show, my project, we just sold forty percent of it to a major production studio and now we have a major team that is taking, really my team- which is just my director and my camera man, two close friends of mine, and were all merging forces. The next six weeks we are creating our new trailer and we’re taking that too market to sell the show. Which we expect it to sell. Hopefully in the next two to three months we’ll have the show sold and you guys will be able to see what it looks like.

But for my Monday Night Dinners, concept which I do in just Coeur D’Alene, I’m going to be taking it on the road this winter. The idea is to put me in a new city, new country, new place, anywhere in the world. I have two weeks to be there. I have to meet all the strangers but everyone that I meet, every stranger that I met and have a story, I’m going to invite them to have dinner on the end of that trip, two weeks down the line because I always wanted to leave the cities and countries more connected after I leave because, you know, I’m meeting these people and then I just leave. I want to put you all around a table together and I want you to meet each other too. Because of my time there, because of all of our time together, we’re just connecting the world, bringing it a little closer together with every place we visit. Hello, from a Stranger is merging with Monday Night Dinners and that would be the actual show. Some really cool stuff. I’m very excited for them.

Natascha: Alright Adam. Thank you so much for sharing with us. These are some beautiful projects you got going on that are very inspiring and feel good. Looking through your art makes me feel- good.

Adam: Thank you, I appreciate you looking at it and I appreciate this time I really do! It’s an honor and an opportunity. I just want to spread it and remind people that they can do this too. I actually need them to do it because I’m only one person and it’s a big world out there.   

Natascha: Thank you, readers, for checking in at Little Lost Forest. Please check out our IG @littlelostforestart. You can find Adam Schluter at hellofromastranger.com and purchase his book at hellofromastranger.com/orderthebook. 100% of all sales go back to the humanitarian mission.

LGBTQ in Children’s Animation

Living in a liberal state, I am surprised to hear the uproar in the mom’s’ community on LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) in Disney, Pixar, and children’s animation in general. Children’s’ cartoons have always had heterosexual lead roles. As society becomes more accepting of people in our community, diversity is inching onto the big screen. Yet, some parents insist that homosexuality is being pushed onto their children. For years the princess will one day meet her prince was the “only way” that a child’s movie would play out. I want to ask, “How long are we going to keep homosexuality in the closet?”

In 2013, the hit movie “Frozen” came out, a coming-of-age animation about two princesses, Elsa and Anna, one of whom is overcome with the powers of winter. Frozen was the first Disney movie to portray witchcraft in a positive light, a significant progression compared to Disney’s bias towards Christianity. The hit song “Let it Go” was said to have been an innuendo for coming “out of the closet” and a piece on self-acceptance. Even though I did not find any correlation with to homosexuality in this film, this song started the buzz. When will Disney include everyone in their movies, not just heterosexuals? 

In 2020, the Pixar animation “Onward” was released with a butch lesbian supporting character as the father figure. By no means was this character a leading role. Now with the cat out of the bag, we’re not all made to fit into generic categories. I witnessed mother’s’ taking offense to this character like she was invading their children’s perspective on how they might feel about themselves. If this is the root cause, then these parents also need to reflect on how they view their children, and whether they would love them if they are different. Perhaps that is what Disney has tried to teach people through diversity in their movies: to love everyone and not just those that fit into your category. 

“When The Proud Family premiered on Disney Channel in 2001, it was not only the first original animated show on the channel but one of the few all-ages animation programs on television at the time centered around a Black family.”

(-Radulovic, polygon.com)

Bringing backThe Proud Family” was nostalgic to all 90’s babies. What kind yet strong-headed lead would we want on television for our kids, other than 14-year-old Penny ProudDisney brought it back asLouder and Prouder,” and accompanying the Proud family, in a supporting role is a gay couple with non-binary siblings. They brought in voice actors that also identify as their characters—bringing work and awareness to the community. I am an open space, but it pains me to hear other mothers take offense to this rising trend and the feeling that we can’t be honest with our children about treating people as equals. Let your children follow their hearts instead of making them feel like they have to hide. 

So on that note, is it just a rising trend? This is a rebuttal I heard the other day. “I would be okay with it [homosexuality in animation] if they [animation studios] weren’t doing it to make money from a fad.” 

Well, I hate to break it to you, but as a bisexual female, I have been waiting my whole life for homosexuality to be in children’s animation. I honestly found heterosexuality kind of gross growing up. Seeing the go-to man marry a woman scenario over and over; got me sick. There are so many things we should be protecting our children from,: war, violence, hatred, negativity, but love? If we shield our children from love, what kind of hope are we giving them for the future?

Lastly, Disney released a short film called “Out,” about a man having difficulty telling his parents he’s in a relationship with another man. He switches lives with his dog and they play cat-and-mouse, almost exposing his live-in boyfriend to his folks. My husband didn’t like the movie when he saw it. The situation was all too familiar to him. We’ve all heard of the struggle LGBTQ people may have coming out to their parents. He wasn’t seeing what I was seeing. This was the first step. There it’s “out,” it’s been spoken. For a story to be told, it has to build from the beginning. Otherwise, the audience may not understand the world’s laws, but here it was. I would expect Disney to prep their audience to understand the struggle of queerness through this simple short, so that more complex characters can come into play in the future. Instead of immediately judging the characters, the audience may show compassion. We all live on this earth together. 

Radulovic, P. Feb 17, 2022. Polygon.com, The Proud Family creators: ‘There’s not just one view of Blackness or a Black family.’ https://www.polygon.com/disney-plus/22939385/proud-family-louder-and-prouder-creator-interview

Kinetic Sculpture Races

“For the Glory!” The crowd cheered at the finish line of the Kinetic Sculpture Race in Ferndale, CA on May 30 2021. Fifty three participants created a Kinetic Sculpture and raced from Arcata to Ferndale within three days, over hills and through water. There are no set rules on  building a kinetic sculpture race car besides that there shall be no motor! Sculptures may have any number of wheels or pilots, they can not be bigger than 8’x14’, all steering wheels are welcomed, must be able to move through land and sea, and most importantly your chassis (a.k.a frame). Kinetic race sculptures should also acquire chains, wheels, welding, axles, bearings, sprockets, gears, brakes and a whole lot more you can find here! Growing in interest, you can find people from all over coming to Humboldt county to participate in the national, grand championship Kinetic Sculpture Races!

Hobart Brown, founder of The Kinetic Sculpture Race in 1969 began building his art in local Ferndale studio, Mind’s Eye. He started the Sculpture Race with his own contractions and kids down Ferndale’s main plaza. This home of magical inventions and contraptions did not cease with Hobart but continued on as Marc and Lieah Daniels, current owners  of Mind’s Eye, offer studio space to local crafters and artist while maintaining a hub for Marc’s True North Boats, as stated on his website, “We create one-of-a-kind custom kayaks, teach skin boat building workshops, and are committed to helping traditional skin boat building thrive in the Native communities where it was originally invented and developed.” Over coffee we chatted about the beauties of Alaska and I got a sneak peak on a newer project, a wide frame boat they will attempt to use a skin in replace of wood panels. Anyhoo… back to the races!

If the art cars don’t completely take you away then allow it to be the celebratory finish line where my family and I awaited for the cars to zoom to their final destination! The Kinetic Sculpture band was a hoot. The bandleader led with a spatula as the announcers on a truck bed hollered, “If you like the band buy them a beer, if you don’t like the band buy them two. They play better when they’re drunk!” Colorful misfits and sparkle ponies, fairy godmothers, and “Kops” with bubble guns stormed the street. Performers playing with hula hoops, unicycles and poi. The historical buildings have a magical lust for such a festival. 

Kids and adults of all ages danced to the music and as the cars came in one by one the audience collected memorabilia from the Kinetic Sculpture’s squads, ranging from balls, stickers, to the “Bear Minimum” (a piece of paper stating just that!) Everyone was in great spirits and people from all over opened their hearts to this incredibly artistic event after such a long silence of COVID.

The sculptures and riders don’t have it easy and I would assume their following posse do not either. Starting in Arcata at noon all racers take off as onlookers cheer for their favorite stylized and sustainable art car. They finish day one at Halvorsen Park in Eureka. Day two starts off at Wharfinger Boat Ramp. Art cars must test their skill through the waters and finish at Samoa Bridge. On Memorial Day the racers started at Crab Park through the Eel River bridge, to the valley and ending on historic Main Street. Through the finish line came glory steelers and then our actual winners, in first place was Lemonheads, second was Live Wrong, and third place with Wing Nuts. Speed is not the only ranking place that the judges look for but also the Grand Champion, Best Art, Best Engineering, Best Pageantry and many more (that have yet to be posted!) You can find those results here! Our favorites being the three humped camel and plan bee! Thank you kinetic sculpture championship for such a family friendly and exciting event.

Renascence Festival Pre-Party

[Contains Adult Content] 

May 21, 2022- Arcata Theater Lounge hosts the Renascence Festival pre-party/ Mad Hatter Tea Party. With room to breathe, festy goers mingled and got down to dirty bass music. Headliner Ahee, known for his dubstep and 90’s smash mixes, drew in an eccentric crowd of all ages. Jewelry, merchandise, and crystal vendors lined the walls: local artist Joe Mallory painted acrylic on canvas with abstract surrealism concepts that opened the viewer’s third eye. Fire dancers and performers set the stage for theater doll Tori Love as Alice, who took away the show. Despite the teenyboppers, this was an adult party, and we can expect the Laytonville music festival to live up to this raunchy dance hall. 

Arcata Theater Lounge

Arcata Theater Lounge was opened in 1938, showing six films at a given time. Since then, the theater has expanded its offerings to include concerts and other events but still cherishes its vintage form. Drinks are affordable. Three levels from the stage allow for a pit, a dance floor with high chair seating, and a top-level for vending and coat check. The theater’s sound is crisp, without reverb despite the heavy bass. A comfy bean bag in the VIP lounge for the festy snoots. 

Ahee!

I was honored to speak with Chris Adams, a.k.a. Ahee, who has performed at music festivals like Infrasound, Excision, and Lucidity. His particular style could be categorized as “Alien Music.” While he makes the booties on the dance floor drop, he explores mixing his tunes with songs such as Eiffel 65’s Blue (Da Ba Dee) and All-Star by Smash Mouth. Besides his dirty bass and dubstep tunes. You can also find psytrance tracks and collaborations on Soundcloud. This DJ stands out for his relationship with his audience, feeling the crowd and recognizing them in his Facebook posts, never missing a group photo. Ahee creates tutorials on youtube so that you, too, can become a dubstep DJ with wubby bass. A lot of respect goes out to Ahee for being personal. When I asked him where he was from, it wasn’t a surprise that he answered, “I’m from here [Arcata, CA.]” Aliens like this come from out of the redwoods. 

Live artist Joe Mallory is nothing close to ordinary, inspired by psychedelic art and surreal nature. When asked, “What is this all about?” He replies, “Psychedelics play a big part but, as of recently, so does past life regression.” He explains to me that we come to this earth to experience and how each lifetime, we learn something new through life and death. He continued to share his past lives with me as a ceramics artist and his death by scooter. When asked how I could tap into past life regression, he replied to find an excellent psychic or look further into past life regression with a combination of psychedelics. Joe paints redwood trees, snowy mountains, and ocean landscapes with “moai” statues, oceans, and sacred geometry patterns. You can find Joe Mallory vending on the streets of Arts Alive in Eureka frequently. 

What would a Mad Hatter Tea Party be without Alice? And what better Alice than burlesque dancer Tori Love. Along with juggler Wiley, poi performer FigBungus and a fire spinning duet couple, these performers took the stage! Tori’s specialty twerk made this a randy R-rated performance! We can thank these performers for bringing the audience onto the stage for a costume contest. The winner, Mr.Komboujia, aroused the audience with his goldilocks wig and renaissance dress sporting and supporting Humboldt’s LGBTQ community. Also in the crowd were Little Lost Forest top hats that will be set up at a DIY station at the Mateel’s Summer Arts and Music festival. 

Are you dying to see more of the Renascence’s Crew? The festival will be held in Laytonville on June 10-12. Initially postponed due to COVID, Renascence’s team has been working hard to bring you a spiritually enlightening experience. We can expect to dance under the stars along with, aerial arts, amazing DJs, and vendors at this exquisite northern California event. Headliners include but are not limited to An-ten-nae, Mimosa, Atyya, Suds, and Beat Kitty.

600+ acres, fifteen minutes from downtown Laytonville. They encourage carpooling for parking is limited. Camping and glamping on site. They are still accepting vendor and volunteer applications. 

See you there!