You can learn a lot about someone by what’s in their bag. For Dave Keller, that means all-weather gear that holds up so he can free his mind and body (by bike, by board, on the Jiu-Jitsu mat).
Skateboarding was my entry into design in so many ways. It was the first place I could be creative. From trying to do tricks with a certain kind of style to seeing skate lines everywhere when pushing around from a ledge, gap, or staircase. It was the first community that I really got rooted in where everyone wanted to have fun and vibe off each other to push our skills further each day.
It taught me a lot about failure and perseverance because you'll have a six-hour skate session where you don't land the trick until the last three tries. The sense of accomplishment after all of your hard work then propels you to keep going even after being battered and bruised by your attempts.
I still skate as a mental break to work through design ideas or any creative block that is going on in my work or life. It's a place where I can be creative and problem solve in a different way than I do in my day-to-day.
I like the clean simple retro lines of the Biltwell helmet for when I ride into work on my motorcycle. There are tons of helmet options but something simple is preferable, even though there's little ventilation so the Utah summer months can be brutal. I guess that's the cost of looking cool?
I went on my first trip to Europe last year where I grabbed these rad gloves from Rusty Gold Motorcycle Shop in Amsterdam. They looked way too cool to pass up and I use them when I ride my motorcycle in the Fall.
About a year ago I sold all of my DSLR gear because I was tired of lugging all of it everywhere I go when traveling, hiking, or hitting the desert on my motorcycle. A friend showed me his X100F and I've never looked back since. It has a primed 35mm lens which is all you really need, small, handy, and it bakes in the Fujifilm stock looks into your photos which looks pretty awesome. It'll be my only camera for a long time.
I used to carry my camera with just a wrist strap since the X100F is small and I didn't want to drop it. However, that can be pretty cumbersome when you need to use your hands for other things. Gordy's is located in Oregon and they make this awesome leather strap that is both a wrist and neck strap. That way you can alternate between stowing it and shooting.
Benny is a bud of mine from when I lived in SF. He's a local graphic designer there and has been killing it in the streetwear game for a long time. I started buying his stuff when you could only get it at HUF on Sutter/Jones to now, I've always been a long time supporter of the brand. I'm positive that 90% of the clothing that I own is from him. Support your design buds and rep their stuff!
This is my favorite bag that I've had in years. I've always loved Chrome bags since my college days of riding a bike in San Francisco. I like that it’s waterproof because my X100F isn't weather sealed and it'll keep my laptop safe if I get caught in the rain. The roll top is rad since I can pack a bunch of stuff inside of it. I've used this daily for work, strapped to the back of my motorcycle, gym bag, small hikes, and a carry on bag when I travel. It's hard to beat the durability and customer service from Chrome.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt
Last year I resolved to start taking better care of myself (like everyone does in January) and get in shape. I tried other things before but I never stuck with them for too long. My brother was telling me about Jiu-Jitsu for months and I decided to give it a try. After the first day, I was hooked and have been grappling with people five days a week ever since. It's an awesome outlet for exercise, mental break, and self-defense. I can really unplug from work or whatever is going on because it demands all of your attention, especially when you're trying to not get choked by your friend at class during a roll.
My bag doubles as a gym bag from time to time so my belt is often buried at the bottom when I get to work.
Recently some of the Underbelly crew went out to the Brand New conference in NYC where Jon Contino was one of the speakers. He talked about his new book and I pre-ordered it right after he spoke. He's a designer that a lot of us have followed for many years and it's awesome to have his story and work in one rad book. My favorite detail is that the pages are edge painted black. It completes the book and those kinds of details elevate it!
It's small, simple, and looks pretty cool. It fits really well with the wallet since a larger pen tended to get in the way. Plus, if I want to write upside or underwater, this pen has me covered!
I found myself in meetings trying to reduce distractions when taking notes. I started to carry this wallet since it could hold a pen, my Field Notes, and my money. I would often forget to bring a pen and paper to a meeting but this way I could always have it on me. It also helps that when you're at lunch, you always have a pen when signing the bill.
Also, a pro tip on this wallet: toss packing tape on the spine of your Field Notes, otherwise within a week the cover will be destroyed.