Late Night PDX



The cursor blinks at me as I’m sitting in my hotel at midnight. I’m at the Ace in Portland Oregon for the second time.

This place has become a bit of a fantasy west coast apartment for me. I’ve always dreamed of living in Portland and having a little room dedicated towards letting me pretend I’m a local.

If you’ve ever stayed at an Ace you know that it is stereotypically hipstery with vintage modern decor and artist rendered murals covering the walls. But despite what you’d expect to be a pretentious environment, it really feels authentic in it’s efforts. I’m inspired here.

Today was the first official day of the World Domination Summit that I came out here to attend. Nearly 3,000 people have descended upon Portland from 30 different countries, just to come together and connect. Everyone has been asking me what this conference is all about – and the best way I can describe it so far is that it is a gathering of creative entrepreneurs, like-minded adventurers, passionate dreamers, activists and artists of all kinds.

It’s both wonderful and challenging attending conferences like this. I think WDS has done a great job so far, and I’m really thankful that they added breathing room into their schedule between speakers. You don’t have so much going on all at once that you are overloaded, but it is just enough to give you a few simple points to think about that hopefully shift your perspective in new ways. The challenging part is making sure you take the time to absorb the content and find a way to take action.

There were some really wonderful speakers today who I could spend a lot of time talking about here, and perhaps I will get into that over the next few days as things absorb into meaning. However – one of the most inspirational experiences of the day for me, was quietly seeing a film at the end of the night by myself, called “Finding Vivian Maier”.

I was feeling pretty lethargic all day due to one too many Rogue beers last night, however, this film perked me up. It was about a woman who hid her true identity of being a brilliant photographer. A box of undeveloped film and negatives were sold at an auction to a young curious man, who decided to dig in and learn about the artist behind the pictures. There were over hundreds of thousands of negatives that were discovered and then later collections of eccentric items, receipts, letters, clothing and newspaper articles. All tangible things that made up this woman’s life. She had just recently passed away and when this man started inquiring about her life, he realized how little people had actually known her, and how no one knew she had potential to be one of the greats. All that was left behind of her life, were these things and a few personal stories from people who she nannied over the years.

I’m not going to get into the whole thing, but that film seemed to have hit on a powerful concept that had coincidentally been echoed by a speaker at WDS earlier today by the name of, Michael Hyatt. He said…

How do you want to be remembered?  You are the architect of memories for those you love.

Michael told a story about someone close to him in his family dying unexpectedly, and that after the funeral, a gathering of people got together, told stories, looked at old films, shared memories and celebrated this person’s life. We never know how long we have and his message was loud and clear. Your life not only impacts you and everything you’ve created for yourself, but the people you care about the most. You’re life, dreams and story will be shared with people who will keep your memory alive even after you are gone.

And how often do we think about what that story will be that is told?  For me, never really. I’m too busy living in the moment and building my life’s story.  However, this concept definitely stopped and forced me to think about it. We are the designers of our lives, the architects of our dreams and our loved one’s memories.

Our decisions in life shape these memories, and therefore should be made thoughtfully. It’s too easy sometimes to just let our lives drift without taking action and making meaningful decisions.  I think thats part of why I love to travel and crave it in my soul. Not only is it about the adventure of the unknown -wondering what you will encounter and what you’ll discover along the way, but it’s about giving yourself the opportunity to embrace serendipity. Something that would never happen if you just watched your life pass by while inside your comfortable routine from the couch.

So how do you want to be remembered?  What stories do you want people to tell of you?




To Portland and Beyond


One of my life long mantras is to travel as much as possible.

I think of traveling as my “ikigai”. The Japanese concept that describes your reason for being. In other words, “the reason you get up in the morning”, the kind of passion that drives you day in and day out.

Whenever I get on the road I feel that same light inside of me spark into a million fireworks of inspiration. This was no different for my recent trip back to Portland, Oregon. A place I fell in love with over 10 years ago. How could I not? There is a very tangible electricity in there air out there.

Portland is the one seemingly magical place I’ve visited in all my years of traveling that encompasses everything that I’ve ever wanted all in one city.

If you’re the type of person who needs to be by the water, you can visit Portland’s beautiful coastline. If you crave snowy mountain ranges, you could venture beside the volcanic mountain range of Mt. Hood. Then there is also stretches of lakes, forrest, desert and even a wide cityscape.

While my most recent trip was just shy of a weeks time, I fell in love with the city all over again.

During my stay, I made my home at the Ace Hotel downtown in the Pearl District. I had never stayed at an Ace before (they have other locations in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and Palm Springs) so I had no idea how awesome this was or how perfect this place would be for me. It was definitely an artist’s home away from home. The lobby was complete with a lounge area and black and white vintage photo booth sandwiched between Portland’s famous Stumptown coffee bar, and european style tavern Clyde Commons. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time going back and forth to these places.

The Ace’s event space called, The Cleaners, which was destination to the Blogcademy workshop that I attended on March 30-31st. The Blogcademy is a two-day workshop for bloggers who want to push their online presence to the next level, and is hosted by stylish super-bloggers, Gala Darling, Nubby Twiglet and Kat Williams. I joined a group of 30 women who all came together to discuss presence and voice in the blogosphere and all things related to writing, design, photography, promotion and strategy. In other words, it was a workshop full of cute nerdy girl stuff! I loved it. The class was a breath of fresh air. It was the first creative event that I’ve attended that provided an intimate workshop experience which made it was very easy to meet and talk to everyone who attended.

Leading up to this event I knew I wanted to make some changes on my website and now after attending I have a bit more of a concrete plan of attack for this year. As a spontaneous sagittarian, I’m not much of a planner, but it is so important to set goals and think about where you want to see yourself in a months time, 3 months time, 6 months time, next year, etc. If you can envision it, you are one step closer to getting there.

One of the biggest takeaways I got from the weekend was to treat my blog as more of a magazine. As someone who began blog writing in 2001 on Livejournal, I’ve always written for pleasure and mostly as a document of my life to remind myself of where I’ve come from and where I’m going. Twelve years later, I realize that while writing to document your life is a bonus, this space can be used for so much more.

While documenting my life and events, I realize I haven’t contributed here in a way that helps YOU, my readers, to join me in the exciting paths of art, design and adventure.  So from here on out my plan is to make a transformation here and feature regularly scheduled weekly columns about graphic design, VJing, travel adventures, finding inspiration and balancing creative wellness in our crazy busy lives. Keep an eye out for the next few posts – I’m brewing with ideas and can’t wait to share them with you!

What types of features might you be interested in seeing on this blog?  I’d love to hear from YOU!

Thanks for being here and inspiring me!

All the love,

Holly Danger

Hello from an airport bar


It’s been a long time since I’ve been here. Not at this particular bar, but on this road. Traveling by myself and embarking upon a new adventure. This is something that I’ve come to love in my life over and over again and if 3 months go by without thinking about, planning or making plans for traveling, I feel that inevitable itch.

So here I am!

On somewhat of a whim, two months ago I ended up making plans to attend the Blogcademy in Portland, OR. I not so secretly had been wanting to visit Ptown for a few years now since my last few visits, so when I saw that this workshop was heading in that direction, I decided to make my move and jump on board. It just felt right.

I think this will give me the perfect opportunity to put some love into this blog and feed my creative lust that has been cultivating over the last few months. I’m also finishing up a new piece that I started working on as part of a Skillshare illustration class, and will share it with all of you very soon. Just as soon as I can finish this beer, board another plane, arrive in Portland, and spend some time with Adobe Illustrator. After 12 years of being a graphic designer, I am still learning tweaks to make that program easier. Skillshare has been a huge motivator to get me to start my newest piece of the year and I’m excited to keep working on it.

Next time you hear from me I’ll be in Portland. Stay tuned!