Episode 007: ☵ (WATER) Jay Nelson - Stoke The Dream

On my way down the West coast from an extended and truly magical solo road trip to the Pacific Northwest, I reached out to Jay to see if he would be willing to connect for an episode on the podcast when I pass though San Francisco. He graciously accepted my invitation and welcomed me into the historic, sand coated and salt-crusted neighborhood of the outer Sunset in SF.

After being mistaken for a tree delivery man upon my arrival by a friend of his, I made my way down the stairs of a beautiful new atrium style room Jay had constructed and into his downstairs workshop. The pungent smell of various cedars, and oaks infiltrated old factory senses while the sound of morning NPR talk shows filled the airwaves. Jay arrived shortly after along with his scruffy little old dog, Rodney. We met, shared some small talk, looked for his missing keys and admired some recent projects before deciding to go for a walk and check the surf. Fortunately, the winds had switched and settled since my initial dawn patrol surf check and the swell was still offering enough decent energy to shape up some fine inside bowls. After some consideration, we decided it would be in our best interest to go kill some time in the salt.

After each finding a few good waves and taking a few hidings amidst the shallow near-shore double ups, we wrapped up our surprisingly fun session and headed back to his his place for a chat. From there the stories and laughs flowed like wine, stoking our engagement and making us feel more clever and keen-witted than either of us really were. But there was an ease to this conversation and introduction to Jay that allowed us to meander and segue without loosing our sense excitement.

For those of you who haven’t already had the pleasure of experiencing Jay’s art, he is a remarkable individual with a unique life perspective and his work is no exception. Through his persistent creative endeavors, Jay has become widely known around the world as a builder of imaginative mobile spaces and a curator of fascination, commonly drawing out the inner childlike mind of most who are lucky enough to experience his art.

In this episode, Jay and I have a chat about creating your own path, bridging the gap between childhood dreams and a sustainable reality, finding identity through our passions and much more. As a long time fan, it was great to finally meet him and I loved getting a sense for the source of his inspiring creative output and I’m sure you will too!