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One Year

Cy Whitling

If you’re just here because you want to buy a radical fanny pack or some flip flops, just click this link and treat yo self. Otherwise, here’s a look into what’s been going on around here.

A year ago I walked out of my last day at my “big kid job” and sat down on the START Bus for my last commute home from Jackson Hole. I didn’t have any real future plans, just a basement I knew I needed to finish remodeling, and a rumor I’d heard about somebody starting a new youth bike program.

The next day I walked into an informational meeting about that new bike program, realized I really, really wanted to be involved, and walked out the Program Director. I spent the next month finishing the basement, the new tenant moved in with the paint still drying, and I flew off to California to learn how to yell at little kids on bikes.

With the basement done I was sure I was done with adult jobs so I struck out to be a starving illustrator. The starving part was easy, the illustrating part wasn’t so bad, but it turned out that the hard part was finding people who wanted to pay me, on time, for my doodles. But the ones that did want to were awesome.

So I’ve spent the last 365ish days drawing stuff for people and brands. I love it more than any job I’ve ever had, and I’d like to think I’m not too terrible at it. Starting out I figured I’d end up spending about equal time swinging a hammer to make enough to live and working a pencil to justify it. Luckily for my aspirations as a professional drawer, and unluckily for my construction calluses, I’ve gotten to spend a lot more time at the art desk than the jobsite, but I’m lucky enough to have a great construction boss who lets me pick up hours when I need them.

A year in, one mountain bike season, one ski season, and one adopted and very needy dog later, I’m hooked on this art thing. I love it, and I can’t wait to keep doing it. So here’s some random highlights, in no particular order, as I look back on this first year, and forward to what’s next.

A few personal pieces I was stoked on:

Last spring I got aggressive with the apparel line, added a bunch of designs, and drew some of my favorite stuff. This spring I’ve added some new products, some new art, and kept the old standbys. If you like my art, buy clothes from my website. I love seeing something I drew on somebody cool, out in the mountains. That might just be the most exciting thing about this.

Last spring I also started a free sticker service. Just send me an envelope and I’ll send you stickers. Disclaimer: I’m often a little slow at sending them back, because you guys send a lot of requests, and I don’t have that many stickers on hand and I don’t check my PO box that often. Sorry, but also, not really sorry, since this is a free service. I lose money on the sticker thing, but I just can’t quit it. I remember too well how it felt as a 12 year old kid sending sticker request envelopes to every brand I could think of. So I’ll keep sending out stickers as long as you guys keep sending me envelopes to stuff them in. And if you put a couple bucks in your envelope, or art, or a nice note, you’ll be getting VIP sticker treatment.

Since I started this program last year, I’ve sent out over 2500 stickers. That’s an insane amount. Thanks everyone that sends me requests. This year I’ll be working on responding to requests more promptly, with more sticker variety. Thanks for your patience. And also, if you don’t have an envelope and a stamp, because apparently us younger generations aren’t into those things anymore, you can just buy apparel off my website instead. It’s not that expensive, it’s way bigger than a sticker, and if you do I can afford to buy my needy dog the fancy food she really likes.

The biggest driver of everything I do is client commissions, individuals or businesses that want me to draw something for their brand. I love commissions. Working with people to come up with something beautiful that helps tell their story is one of my favorite things. If you or a brand you manage ever needs any sort of visual assets created, shoot me a note. Let’s make your swag awesome!

Here are a few commissioned highlights:

I did ten pieces for the Hub and Pisgah Tavern in North Carolina. Rad, rad folks running a great outdoor shop in an incredible place. I can’t wait to visit this fall. Working (and skiing) with Sam and Jordan is a huge highlight of my winter.

Logo for Teton Valley Sprockids. More kids on bikes, with cool stickers to vandalize their parent’s cars with, what’s not to love?

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Stickers, website, and apparel for Yeti’s Post. When a new donut shop opened just a few blocks from home I was hooked. A few of the best breakfast and lunches I’ve ever had later, and I left an envelope full of stickers on the doorstep when they were closed, paying my respect from afar. It turns out that Seth, the mind behind their incredible bacon, is a rad dude, and my donut habit grew into an apparel line, some stickers, and a website redesign. And yes, I can make magical things happen on your website if you so desire.

Speaking of websites… If you like bikes and bike trails, and hate trash and downed trees, you should head over to Teton Mountain Bike Alliance. Rad riders doing great stuff for riding in the valley. I cranked out their website, a poster, and some apparel.

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Derek at Inspired Van makes big vans into beautiful homes. And I got to make him some stickers for those homes. I love projects where the client has a few straightforward ideas that work really well. If you don’t feel like cutting a hole in the roof of your new van to install a fan, call Inspired Van.

When Garage Grown Gear asked me to do a few designs I jumped at the opportunity to crank out a few stickers for them.

A little rabbit for Chatham County

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A few stickers for the Children’s Grand Adventure

A few shirts for Friends of the Teton River

This little guy for the first ever Teton Valley News Turkey Trot

And finally, a big highlight of the year, my first mural. I can think of no better first canvas than a Forest Service vault toilet. A conglomerate of local non-profits commissioned me to paint the bathrooms at the Teton Canyon and Horseshoe Canyon trailheads. The Teton Canyon bathroom is all finished and open to anyone who feels the call of nature, while I’ll be finishing the Horseshoe bathroom in the next few weeks.

On the non-art side, in the last year I’ve built three decks, learned how to plumb a bathroom, poured four concrete counters, installed two hardwood floors, demoed innumerable walls, done some terrible drywall work, and some much better finish carpentry work, painted more rooms than I’d like, installed less trim than I’d like, and managed to not cut off any digits with the table saw, yet.

I’ve also skied more pow, run more miles, and ridden more new trail than any other year in my life. Thank you clients, friends, partners, and dogs. I can’t wait for another year of making stuff and doing things.