March 16, 2019

The Art of Fine Tuning [microfiction]

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Something is invented. And then begins to evolve. People fine tune until it works better or stops working. Then we invent something else. We create. We build. We manifest. I see this throughout history. Reality bleeds over like leftover porcelain and my heart spills out my pant legs. I try to imagine myself inside of Tesla’s coil: a shard of electricity caught in the noise. Anonymous & omnipotent. Down to the molecular matter. Neuromatic. Artisan. Honing every last gravitational wave so I can surf til my lungs spit dust. It's almost as if someone planned out these ceramic progressions before we took them. Like we invented ourselves before we knew what it meant to be human. From stoneware to software. 

March 8, 2019

Q & A with Tyler Blendowski, founder of Tropical Seas Clothing

Tyler at the Point Pleasant / Manasquan Inlet, NJ
(photo by Josh Ketcham)
Tyler Blendowski is a New Jersey local and the founder of Tropical Seas Clothing. Tropical Seas was created to demonstrate that there's still good in this very careless and negative world. He aims to show us there are still people out there who are passionate about things they love, still good people on this planet. There is still good in the overall health of our world that we are unfortunately destroying very quickly. Everyone from surfers and action-sports athletes to environmentalists, and even beer-drinkers. He wants to remind everyone how effective these people can be against the rat-race. We really do love and appreciate that we are recognized as a company that’s about the environment, but we don’t want to stop there. We want to spread awareness in the action-sports world and the craft beer world. From a surf team to our own beer, we want to do big things for this planet. Connect with Tropical Seas online: FB: @TropicalSeasClothing  / IG: @seas_tropical

-------

GB: Tyler, thanks for taking time to chat. Can you share a bit about yourself? Any background info that's NOT in the bio? 

TB: My name is Tyler Blendowski, I'm 24, from Brick Town, NJ (and I say that with much pride! lol).  I went to Old Mill until I was in second grade, moved to Brick and continued education through Brick all the way through BTHS. I’ve always grown up with the beach in my life. I've lived on the Open Bay since I was a baby, so the water's just always been a part of my life. And it’s just where you go in the summer if you’re from Brick. But I became really, really passionate about the mess our world is in when my friends, Max and Jake, took me spearfishing for the first time in the Point Pleasant Inlet (Though, my first dives few dives, I thought I wasn’t making back to the surface lol). I eventually saw parts of the inlet bottom and there was so much shit resting there. But I still found it breathtaking and beautiful and I just thought to myself: imagine if there wasn't a coke bottle or piece of the garage every foot of the ocean. I did some research and found out how serious of a problem this was, so I was like dude I gotta do something about this. Then - bam - I created Tropical Seas. I chose this name because the Tropical areas of the world are so horribly polluted with plastic and garbaged that shouldn’t be in the ocean. I just want to make a positive impact on a global scale (eventually). I'm starting small.

GB: If you could use one word or phrase to describe Tropical Seas' message, what would it be and why?

TB: “Throw out your beers responsibly.” I think this kinda shows how we love to meet people and party, and show that life is important enough to take care of what we live on so we can enjoy it. But not so serious that you can’t have fun.

GB: As a fellow New Jerseyian, do you find it inspiring your work at all? Care to share any stories that some of our local squad might eNJoy?

TB: As a fellow New Jerseyian - born and raised - I find it inspiring my drive for this company all the time. Like I said, my dives in the Point Pleasant / Manasquan Inlet really motivated and affected my love for the ocean - brought it to another level. And unfortunately there is shit everywhere in New Jersey. So if you aren’t disgusted at the pollution around here, you’re whack. I probably have the same stories as any beach kid from New Jersey: from skipping school for the beach to crazy parties and (good) people lol. I will say, my second time ever diving with my buddies was on the Squan side at like 10 at night with no gun or flashlight (unless it was handed to me) and that was mad sketchy lol. But I did come to learn that there really isn’t much to be afraid of in the ocean; almost all oceanic apex predators are looked at all wrong because of Hollywood and the way the news makes the public perceive things. The one thing that hits home was Hurricane Sandy........ that bitch got my family and me pretty good. We lost like 7 cars, 2 houses, and it really put us to the test. My mom's and my grandparents' homes - also destroyed. I refused to leave the house - my family was taking baths with boiled water on the stove for a few weeks. Had a propane heater in the upstairs kitchen and all. lol. I know Sandy dragged so much garbage out there into the ocean too.

GB: What kinds of creative outlets do you prefer to pursue? Why?

TB: I want to pursue the action-sports world and clothing. I’d love to step my diving game up, my snowboarding and surfing too. I’m also not too shabby at puck -- but I really love making clothes. It’s just really fun to me and if I can combine creating clothes with cleaning up the ocean, then I'm good. If I can use the clothes to spread that awareness on the backs of awesome people, then I’m not stopping till it’s my permanent job lol.

GB: What's your process like? Do you have any takeaway routines or strategies for launching and running a small business?

TB: Well, when I want to think of another design/shirt or really get my motivation up, I have two words that I tell myself....... planet earth lol. I’ve watched that show and probably a thousand other BBC documentaries to educate myself at a base level on what exactly is going on and how I can be effective in helping to fix it. I also go to the inlet or beach and just chill out, take everything in and brainstorm. My advice on running a small business? Don’t give up. You need to go into the business world with a mindset that is strong enough to overcome negativity and look right past it because you are going to have people who will try to put you down. It’s sad but true and if you are weak-minded they will eat you up like a lobster roll. You have to love your dream and make it a reality. NO MATTER WHAT.

GB: Which artists have had the most profound influences on your work?

TB: The most influential designer is my brain. I kinda just think of things I personally think would look great on a shirt. I also used to watch a YouTube channel called SV Delos. It's about a really cool group of sailors that are around my age - they were very motivating. And you can’t forget the man Brodie Moss, who is a spear-fisherman that has a deep love for the ocean. His YouTube channel is great I’d 100% check it out.

GB: What does "success" mean to you?

TB: Success means a better tomorrow. Success is achieving anything that gets my company closer to a cleaner ocean and making it my permanent job to manage and operate. I want to dedicate 100% of my time to spreading Tropical Seas' message.

GB: What's next for Tropical Seas? Got any upcoming projects we can keep an eye out for?

TB: Definitely keep an eye out for new Tropical Seas apparel! Like I said, we’d love to get some sponsors going that are in the action-sports world. Hell, I’d love to have our own boards at one point in the future. I’d also love to have our own beer made - with a percentage of profit given to clean up crews. Oh yea - that too. I’d love to have beach maintenance crews all over the globe, at any beaches that welcome our help with keeping things clean. We organize active clean-ups locally, so check out our social pages and website if you're interested in helping out!