Three talented partners collaborate as one artistic arsenal to tell short stories with impact and emotion. Guided through high-quality direction and shooting style in the outdoors. Through the stories we pursue and tell, each partner strives to infuse masterful talent through professional execution in order to give a breath of fresh air and to keep you craving more. A short does not compromise the production of quality and quality does not compromise a short story! A unique visual perspective in storytelling.
We are always looking for the next collaboration!
The word “tattoo” is derived from two languages – the Polynesian word ‘ta’, meaning to strike something and the Tahitian word ‘tatau’ meaning to mark something
The history of tattoo art began over 5000 years ago and is as diverse as the people who wear them. The first tattoo is rumored to have been an accident which took place when someone had a small wound and rubbed it with soot and ash from a fire pit for relief and healing. Once the wound had healed, they noticed a permanent mark. Despite the society’s growing fascination and immense popularity of tattoo art, the art and practice doesn’t hold much of an historical record. According to the historical records we do have, tattoo art spans from the ages (Bronze Age and Edo Period) to different cultural influences (Pazyryk culture, Celts, Vikings, and Polynesian) to different regions and countries (Egypt, Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand, Thailand, Africa, England, South America, and North America.)
Today, tattoo art is still an unwritten language which encompasses our personal interests yet is a personal sanctuary of memories we hold close to ourselves illustrating life’s experiences or showing something we identify as what inspires us, drives our passion, or demonstrates the things or people we love. Today, tattoo art is created by inserting colored materials beneath the surface. And where you think you may not find it or may not expect to see it even in the fly fishing world. Personally, fly fishing just happened to be a passion. The sport is full of conservative ideals yet has an under layer culture of people who walk a different walk or have a different background, a depth to the sport, a unique story or blanket of uniqueness of what introduced them into the sport and lifestyle of fly fishing. And yet we are all anglers pursuing that one moment of contentment and happiness on the water – but once the shirt is rolled up or the shirt has been taken off on a hot day, that is when a layer of individualistic spirit is revealed by marks, symbols and illustrations presenting honor, memoir, death or a personal sacred of something about themselves revealing the depth of another person’s DNA code, a road map, a journey to which that soul has experienced. Regardless in how you may feel against this ancient artisan language of coded symbols of tattoo art, of self expression that goes back historically before you and I were conceived, holding rich practice in various societies and cultures which is the fabric of community and growth to adulthood around the world. The art is real, the nature of this person is still just as equal and unique as you are, and it is here to stay even in the fly fishing world.
I recently was approached with an awesome opportunity to design a tattoo for a fellow angler and U.S. Army veteran that tied back to where he served (in Oahu) and where he met his wife. It was an honor to have this opportunity do some design work for someone who was not just a fan of Soul River, but respectfully dug my style as a designer to the point of where he commissioned me to create an artistic tattoo for his back. Awesome! I always welcome the opportunity to do custom design work for companies and individuals today, whether it is to help develop and solve a communication design problem, branding/rebranding, or designing new images. This was an opportunity to work with an Army veteran and his wife by developing a tattoo design that embodied the elements of what they both love, the place where they met, mixed with an Polynesian-style, infused with the sport and life that they love in fly fishing! Having the opportunity to design for a wonderful couple, I was honored to learn their story of encounter, love, and history and then bring everything full-circle by giving a commitment to capture the essence of what they cherished most.
Behind the walls of Soul River I still find myself doing contract commission work for individuals, returning past clients and businesses seeking to build or develop their brand. Before I started Soul River I was blessed to study art and communication design traditionally within the walls of the highly esteemed Pratt Institute in New York City. I learned the art of visual communication design and had the opportunity to study under some of the most respected professors including Mr. Tony Dispinga, a master and expert who has made such an impact in the area of design not only in American history but throughout the world. Neville Brody, Milton Glacier, Saul Bass, Paul Rand, David Carlson, Barbara Kruger, and Stefan Sagmeister, to respectfully name a few world-renowned creative professionals happen also to be on my list of favorite designers who heavily influence me as I study their writings and designs. These creative souls are known mavericks in the history of design.
Most of my past work has been developing company brand images, spearheading creative teams, developing campaigns and creating editorial stories through film/video and product/fashion photography shoots around the world. My favorite mediums of design are through fashion, symbolism, and iconography building and developing ideas around ancient symbols and hieroglyphics from our Egyptian, Native American, and Edo Period pasts. It is interesting in how a mark is formed from a deeper meaning into a brand we see today which was once tribal and acted as a mark of survival or spiritual interpretation of telling a story of a particular clan or time. Today, this moves into the fundamentals of design and how we perceive or read into the underlying message of what is being presented whether it is a brand or specific advertisement. Another interest dwells in indigenous culture which is layered by rich history, deep meaning of life, and spiritual realms where nothing is taken for granted and details translate into a different meaning once the layers are pulled back to reveal symbolic design. This concept intrigues me on so many levels and flourishes deeper human connections. This also translates into fashion and textiles, print design we see today in our silk screen or patterns in our shirts and not knowing or realizing how a symbol can be depicted and translated back to a Greek cross or a Chinese monk.
As a designer, creative director, entrepreneur, and founder of Soul River Runs Deep, LLC, I conceptualize, develop, design, and practice out of my humble Soul River office studio in Northwest Portland. I am also a lead photographer and internationally-recognized designer in Asia, having been commissioned numerous times by long standing clients established in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Bangladesh. A most memorable venture was when I worked alongside the government of Bangladesh to design and develop campaign poster advertisements for the Bangladesh Independence Day campaign celebration holiday. Design is meant to live simply, derived from chaotic thoughts and wild fire ideas while channeling back to a simple flow or form of communication which all can respond through emotion, understanding, and appreciation. As a creative professional and anthropologist through design, my passion is to connect your idea to your goal in order to create a meaningful and tangible communication design piece. If you (personally or professionally) are interested in collaborating on projects that you may have, feel free to contact me as I am always willing to find time to connect with new clients.
New Currents, Outdoors, officially titled Team NCO, by Soul River Runs Deep, LLC, is pleased to announce a collaboration with the Coast Guard Auxiliary to provide at-risk youth the opportunity to learn more about the Coast Guard Auxiliary USCGA, water safety and survival, maritime stewardship, and career opportunities.
Until now, New Currents, Outdoors (NCO) has primarily focused on exploration, conservation, and safety in freshwater, river environments. This exciting collaboration with the Coast Guard Auxiliary will allow us to reach out beyond the rivers and to the ocean. Participants in NCO programs learn to interact safely and comfortably in a water environment, effectively breaking an often generation-spanning fear of water. To combat this fear more effectively, USCGA will act as a leader, teaching basic cold-water survival techniques to youth in the program.
Coast Guard Auxiliary USCGA will also further offerings of education programs by teaching a class on ocean conservation and the growing impacts of plastic pollution in the ocean. NCO looks forward to merging an existing freshwater conservation effort with saltwater conservation education thus creating a well-rounded educational program.
This collaboration will involve learning about the professional duties, safety, equipment, and vessels, as well as providing the skills and experience to explore future career opportunities within the United States Coast Guard.
NCO is thrilled with this opportunity to work with the Coast Guard Auxiliary to provide valuable lessons and guidance to youth. By establishing an interest in conservation and leading into careers with the United States Coast Guard, NCO will help youth and veterans navigate to new waters with new opportunities.
New Currents, Outdoors, officially titled Team NCO, by Soul River Runs Deep, LLC, is pleased to announce a partnership with Boy Scouts of America’s Cascade Pacific Counsel to bring exciting new opportunities to the youth we serve. New Currents, Outdoors (NCO) has been established as an “exploring post”, a position with the Boy Scouts of America’s Cascade Pacific Counsel to provide experiences helping young people mature and prepare them to become responsible and caring adults, focusing on the meaning of interdependence in their personal relationships and communities.
Explorers will focus on five main areas of emphasis including life skills, leadership experience, character education, citizenship, and career opportunities. NCO’s involvement will focus on these areas of emphasis built off embracing nature and integrating and instructing the sport of fly fishing.
NCO will provide youth the opportunity to get outdoors and explore with an emphasis on career building in the realm of nature and fly fishing. NCO will introduce the skill sets necessary for leadership responsibility (i.e., career opportunities, citizenship, and character education) and survival by the way of river expeditions. Expeditions will vary with both day classes and overnight outings on a river base camp, with the opportunity to explore fly fishing, fly tying, conservation, backpacking, river navigation, rafting, and spark an interest in wildlife and natural sciences.
NCO is excited about this excellent opportunity to reach out even further to the community and provide valuable lessons and guidance to youth. By establishing an interest in conservation and river health will ensure a new generation of dedicated, passionate, river ambassadors who will meet the needs for future careers on the river.
“Eww, what is that? Oh, let me see!” These are a few of the things you hear from the innocent, young hearts exploring the outdoors. Searching for tiny life, getting dirty, asking question after question after question at 100 mph, only to see speechlessness and giggles transform into curiosity and investigation. You see in their faces a glow that resonates a young mind hooked on the experience, awe, and wonder.
On Saturday, February 22nd, New Currents, Outdoors (NCO) spent the day with our fellow partners on location at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge (TRNWR) in Sherwood, OR. Insightful and engaged volunteers from TRNWR and a handful of NCO supporters made up a team that encouraged investigation, fostered curiosity, and allowed unlimited exploration. We were all there to teach, to share, and to inspire new young minds about TRNWR and to explore what this incredible resource is all about.
We started our morning embarking on the trails to observe plant life and wildlife amongst the wildlife refuge, witnessing red tail hawks, bald eagles, and deer. We visited the ponds, which turned into a complete game changer for the young minds! The youth learned about invertebrates living in the pond water at the various levels. Realizing so many little living insects living, surviving, and reproducing at the different water levels helped solidify the concept of our role in conservation and beautifully intertwined a hands-on opportunity of a lifetime to engage with Mother Nature’s evolutionary cycle. This was truly where the “oohs”,“ahhs”, and “let me see” comments all started to come out! The opportunity to freely explore and engage with Mother Nature first-hand created an even stronger burning curiosity to the youth – with so much interest in what lies beneath the waters. Simply and organically amazing!
To top it off, we took this learning experience from the trails and the ponds to the classroom learning about conservation and fly fishing, including what the sport is all about and its lifestyle. At this point, their young minds were soaking it all up, and then we added a new dimension of challenge and individual art and expression– teaching the youth to tie a Wooly Bugger! Each child had their own vise and fly tying materials as we sat together and learned. The age range of youth was 7 years old to 17 years old and I am sure you can imagine the attention span on this one! But we did it! And they loved it! Every one learned not just the study of entomology on the ponds, but the application in how to tie an artificial insect that could possibly imitate one of the insects from the ponds. We learned how to use the right materials and tools to execute art on a hook, to imitate life, and to know and understand that fish eat more than just worms!
The young minds learned science, art, eye-hand coordination, and especially mental focus all wrapped into one day exploring the trails, investigating the ponds and incorporating everything together by tying a fly!
Sometimes, we get so caught up into our own world, complaining about so many things gone wrong, or feeling entitled. Don’t get me wrong, we all deserve the best! Each and every one of us! But, when we can stop for a minute and look at where we’re at in life is when we need to count our blessing and be thankful. There are youth in every neighborhood and community yearning for your attention, your time, your smile, your acknowledgement of their existence. As an adult, you have the opportunity to be a friend even if it is only for a few minutes. I look at myself today and then I look at myself as a wounded veteran of the U.S. Navy suffering from PTSD. When I then look at a young mind suffering silently from fatherlessness, lost family members, abusive parents, or drugs yet this young heart still smiles I can’t help but consider it a wake-up call and medicine to my soul to keep fighting the good fight and to never give up. Our youth need the guidance and the support and love. NCO teaches fly fishing – the art of fly fishing and the lifestyle, that it goes beyond the sport! Fly fishing is a way of living, a code we are guided by in life with rewarding delights around the corner, beyond every tree, around every river bend, past every street corner, and interwoven in every relationship. It is how we communicate and learn (or re-learn) to be conscious citizens as new ambassadors of our environment! I am proud to say that on Saturday, we taught, we explored, we learned, and we shared. But tomorrow we fish!
Front - Mikah, Nuradin, Delorean, Natalie, TreVon
Back - Robert Blake of NCO, Riley, Chad Brown of NCO, Niko, Tamarea, Wesley and Dominic NCO Volunteer
Thank you to all friends, supporters, volunteers who came out to make this extremely successful day an unforgettable experience and opportunity for our youth. This is where change begins.
Purchase your NCO 4-inch vinyl decal sticker to support the cause and make NCO “zero-cost” for our participating youth and veterans on one day outings to multi-day expeditions. Whether you’re a participant, parent/guardian, veteran, teacher, or a leader of change, support us and share our mission within your community. A small purchase goes a long ways.
Location: GPS Cordinates – N 40˚ 42’ 51.67” W 74˚ 0’ 21.503”
There’s a place in the Pacific Northwest with rugged glaciers, capped mountains and three distinctly different ecosystems expanding a 60-mile range of wild forest. Within this wild forest wonderland, lays an old-growth temperate rain forest that incubates within. These diverse ecosystems are pristine in character and phenomena, about 95% is wilderness and this natural world presents a stunning, diverse environment of seasons from a fog-shrouded coast with booming surf and manicured beaches protruding into alpine country holding sparkling lakes, lush meadows and glaciers. The wilderness interior reveals itself through some of the most wild, beautiful, scenic rivers such as the Sol Duc, Hoh and Quinault. These resources provide anglers with a grand stage presence for spey fishing which is a mere glimpse of the Olympic Peninsula’s diversity.
Nestled in this amazing phenomenon of natural beauty sits a resource where steelheaders can replenish their flies and gear while delighting in cool conversation of fishing stories…and a few lies! This place reminds me of a dream or a children’s book illustrating a path through the woods revealing a little cottage nestled in a magical forest. The name even reflects the coolness of this business like a headline pulled out of a Tom Sawyer adventure – The Ho Hum Flyshop! I was very excited to see the Ho Hum Flyshop as we turned onto the road, since it was barely visible from the highway. I was impressed as we parked in front of this unique, nostalgic and very creative shop! Hell, this is true passion here and you can feel it! Talk about a steelehader’s lifestyle and guide business! I sat there in the car and was simply puzzled by its size. My first impression was, “Cool! This is freaking cool! Creative, out of the box thinking!” This was the ultimate example of how a shop presents itself in a unique location and storefront that will separate it from competitors. There may not be any competitors within a 25-mile radius, but the bottom line is that their position is unique and their service is classy. Ho Hum Flyshop is a place of its own even with customer service. They are professional and respectful with customers. Their creativity and innovation of space is unmatched elsewhere. Just as unique the fish we chase like ghosts in Mother Nature’s epic arena gives that shared experience, so does the unique Ho Hum Flyshop as it centers itself in reflection of what they are all about and what they truly love and are willing to share.
Even if you’re not an angler but you’re visiting the Olympic Peninsula, visiting this epic natural forest alone or taking the family camping in the magical rain forest, you should stop in and visit the Ho Hum Flyshop. More than likely you will come across two awesome folks who run the business there – Alyssa (who operates the retail and is also the artist of the Ho Hum Flyshop and pretty darn cool) and Neil (who is the guide and owner and provides an awesome service) filled with the oozing passion of a steelheader and with a rooted kindness of heart and soul whom is willing to share and guide you on the river. Alyssa ties some pretty freaking awesome creative flies for the local rivers that you can purchase. She has a cool style of sharing how to tie steelhead flies through her comic style guide page online if you decide to attempt to tie some steelhead flies. You will also find some of Neil’s flies he has tied as well as some of Trey Combs’ plate patterns! Hand tied is like Made in America! Totally diggin’ it! There is nothing like handmade cool creative flies to fish with! If you’re going to chase some chrome then give the respect back and chase with some locally-made, hand tied flies! A steelhead deserves that that right! Alyssa is always ready to answer your questions and you may run into Neil between his guiding.
Check ‘em out! Especially you spey anglers! The Olympic Peninsula is a spey haven, an awesome place to explore, hike and camp, all while standing in a centuries-old, unique rainforest. Hey, some of us just need to get off the grid to replenish our mind and soul. If that’s your case, I suggest you check out the Olympic Peninsula where you can do just that! While you’re there, say hello to Alyssa and Neil at the Ho Hum Flyshop!
Disclaimer: The Olympic Peninsula is a natural place to visit and enjoy and is open to all. When you enter this epic and amazing part of the Pacific Northwest as anglers, you’re an ambassador of the environment we fish. Leave it this way please.
Check out the latest issue! Big R Flyshop!. There are 140 pages of great photos and articles. The December issue is well worth a look. You can subscribe to the magazine by email so you don’t forget about it next month. Check it out.
This magazine is a bi-monthly e-zine that appears on the 15th day of every even month. It is the first online magazine devoted exclusively to fly fishing in Montana. Each issue covers a range of topics, including fly-tying demonstrations; fish species and location profiles; interviews with fly tyers, artists, and industry professionals from throughout the state; photo essays, and humorous articles. Those who subscribe to this free online magazine are automatically entered into drawings for fly fishing-related prizes.
Film Synopsis: Soul River challenges traditional media by embracing the unconventional with their production of Conservation – Consciousness Runs Deep. Created and written by creative director Chad Brown, Conservation captures modern urban mythology with the message of consciousness and awareness of responsibility we have as urban dwellers and environmental protectors.
This short film mixes art, mythology, music, and poetry to provide a fresh perspective through the personal lens of environmental justice and the outdoors. In this film, a young man goes through his life in the city and morphs with his consciousness by the guidance of a Naiad. Conservation provides a breath of fresh air from a young, urban, and hip approach and inspires our consciousness to run deep and become ambassadors of the outdoors.
We are excited to partner with the Intertwine! And we look forward to the future with this phenomenal build alliance of collating private firms, public agencies and nonprofit organizations working together to tap new sources of funding, better leverage existing investments, and more fully engage residents with the outdoors and nature. The Alliance was built over many years, but was formally launched as a nonprofit in July 2011. In its first year in operation, The Intertwine grew from 28 partners to 68. And now they are at 80 partners.
There Alliance exists to ensure the region’s trail network gets completed; that our natural areas get restored, and that people of all ages discover they can enjoy the outdoors near where they live. We exist to make our region more attractive to new businesses and to help our existing companies attract talent. There here to reduce utility and transportation costs and keep our water clean. And now Soul River has now partner up with this strong alliance of Intertwine!
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Partners with Soul River Runs Deep’s New Currents Outdoors Program
New Currents Outdoors (NCO) has partnered with the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge to promote accessibility of local outdoor resources to urban youth. The Urban Explorers, based out of Portland, Oregon, was founded by Robert Blake with the intention to raise awareness of the outdoors, wildlife, and environmental justice. Urban Explorers works with different resources, such as wildlife refuge centers to provide information to the urban population. Recent studies have shown that the future of urban America is rapidly growing. This growth has created a wedge of disconnection between urban communities and experiences in the outdoors. The more populations increase, the further we get from nature and the outdoors, as well as the less aware future generations are of resources who preserve land, water, and air as well as foster natural growth. Wildlife refuge centers nation-wide are mostly based near highly populated cities. As the cities and urban boundaries expand, the wildlife refuge centers and other natural resource organizations and facilities are easily forgotten and become obsolete to younger generations. NCO sets out to bring youth and U.S. veterans into the outdoors. NCO collaborates with the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge to bring passion with a forward-thinking cool factor by combining art classes with the wild life refugee center visit.
Participants will learn “The Art of Fly Tying”, a lesson from Soul River Runs Deep’s proprietary curriculum. The event is a combination of the introduction to and tour of the wild life refuge center for participants to explore. Participants will investigate insects within the wildlife refuge and then take the new knowledge and incorporate it into the lesson “The Art of Fly Tying” to ultimately create art by imitating life they investigated. Soul River and its partners are looking forward this fun event!