Kill Your Darlings

The Onward Edition

Friends, 

Many of you probably subscribed to this newsletter when you came across my site, The Hand & Eye. I started this project in 2013 as a way to flex my writing and photography skills after leaving Reuters, where I was the small business editor. 

I wanted to meet makers and designers and entrepreneurs, and I didn’t want to have to pitch editors to tell their stories. Since then, the Hand & Eye has been featured in The New York Times (When I interviewed Gay Talese), Cool Hunting, The Observer (Before it became a total POS) and other outlets, and, it helped me bring a lot of creative ideas to life, like custom bandanas, a short documentary, and a little leisure swimming newspaper called Swim Call.  

But now, I’m taking the advice of one of my favorite makers and I’m killing my darlings

The truth is, the site gets almost no traffic anymore and it exists as a creative anchor of sorts. It’s something I feel like I always should work on, not something I want to work on, and it kills me to think of it languishing away. I also want to live more offline. In 2019, I quit drinking and Facebook, and in 2020 I aim to become slightly more monastic and cut out other distractions. I’ll say goodbye to blogging, to Twitter and probably to Instagram too. I’ll keep up the creative projects (I always will), but I want my work to be physical—not digital—in nature.

This also means I’m putting this newsletter to bed for a bit until I can figure out what to do with it, if anything. 

So onward to the next chapter! Whatever that may be.

But first, a huge thank you to everyone who let me interview them, take their picture and tell their stories for the site. Meeting you and sharing your work was a huge privilege. I hope I did it all some justice.

And thank you to everyone for reading, commenting, sharing, emailing me and being part of this journey over the last six years.

Most importantly though, a BIG thank you to my wife and true creative partner Elsa Jenna. She’s the reason the site always looked so nice and has always been endlessly supportive. 

If you feel like revisiting any of the work before it disappears from the internet, I’ve included a few of my favorite posts below. 

Onward!

John

Studio Visit: Gay Talese

Shop Visit: Hunter Gatherer

Eclipsed in New York

A Watch We Love: The Seiko SKX007

Scenes from the Brooklyn Army Terminal

The Maine Shore Dinner

Make Beer in Your Small Apartment

Q&A: Blank on Blank Creator David Gerlach

Shop Visit: Asa Pingree

Shop Visit: Danner Boots

On the Job with Tall Cotton Supply

The Vibes

At Last, New York Made Sunglasses

Cape Breton Oystering

In Praise of Great Jamaican Sound Systems

How Hemingway Worked

A Day on the Farm with Island Creek Oysters

Studio Visit: Patrick Weder Design

Shop Visit DDK Guitars

Anvil’s Hand Poured Fishing Lures

A night at Sunny's with Smokey Hormel

Joining the Cult of Cast Iron

New York’s Surreal Fall Landscapes

William Eggleston’s Democratic Forrest

Gay Talese on Virtual Reality

Jon Batiste and The Dap Kinds at Electric Lady Studios

Shop Visit: Let There Be Neon

Barry McGee in New York

Shop Visit: Reed Hansuld

The Off-Season Reason

Shop Visit: Talking with Friends & Family's Taavo Somer

All Hail the Opinel

Reviving a Canon Canonet QL17

Going Deep with the Nikonos

Dispatch from Mount Desert Island

An Insane New York City Sunset Timelapse

Double Exposed in Miami

No-Knead Bread Taking You Through the Winter

Scouting Democrat Point

Long Exposure Photography 101

Getting Out on a Hinckley Pilot

Sharpen Your Knives

On The Wall with Colossal Media

On Great Bars and the Napoleon House

Axe Repair 101

Studio Visit: Man vs Ink

Old School New York with Mike’s Sharpening

At the Gatehouses, the New Kings County Distillery Outpost

A Brief History of Our Throwaway Society

*Full archive here

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