Kesterson's Gear Breakdown (with purchase links)

"What camera do you use?" "What lens is that?" "What does your setup look like?"

Here's the latest photography setup in what I'm traveling around with. Gear and bag list with purchase links at the bottom, below the sample image.

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Murdered out

The next Jeep mod was doing a full vehicle tint. I took it to the group at Las Vegas Auto Tint & Graphics, and they did an incredible job. Gordon is a long time film veteran who did all of the precise cutting with just a freestyle hand, and made strong stylistic suggestions that I couldn't help but agree with. Maggie and Brandi also did a great job helping Gordon with some of the more tricky spots.

We ended up putting 18% over the back half, on top of the factory tint, so it matches closely to the 5% limo tint we did to the front half. We also put a thick 5% strip across the windshield for more light/heat protection.

Pretty happy with how it turned out! Now to just remember to keep my Optometrist's note in the car in case I get hassled for being darker than legal... 

The windshield and anti-glare strip

Seeing the difference of no tint vs limo tint from the inside

Now the next test is taking it out at night. I'm not going to lie, it's really dark from the inside.

Check out some of the process shots of Gordon applying the tint film

Red Rock, rocks!

Recently I packed up my Pacific Northwest life and moved down to the foot of Red Rock Canyon, in Las Vegas. It's been pretty amazing getting to go venture outside daily with my Jeep, dog, and cameras.

Just wanted to share a few photos of my trips out there, and there will certainly be more.

You can view them scattered throughout the main gallery, but here is all of them together. Cheers!



Jeep: Grill mod

Recently I added some LEDs behind the grill pieces on the Jeep. They were wired in with the main lights, so anytime they are active, the lights are on. 

Allen, a mechanic at Midas was able to do the electrical, then I did the drilling and mounting:

I used a piece of aluminum to mount to the plastic piece on the hood to give it a big enough lip to attach the LEDs

Painted the aluminum piece black, attached the LED cubes, taped up the wires in the back

Lastly, I added a cut strip of kitchen light paneling to help disperse the light, and to protect the LED cubes from wind/rain/dirt. This is the one area I'm not sure how well it'll hold up, but it works for now!

I ran out of toilet paper

As I reached over for some TP, I was greeted by a cardboard tube. Usually at this point, I panic. However this time I immediately got excited, given that I had just seen Evan Spiridellis's (JibJab / Storybots) freak'n awesome TP roll sculptures, both of General George Washington (with horse!), and a selfie. How could I not get inspired? I'll never throw away another tube again. 

I jumped up quick to get started my own TP selfie... not entirely sure if I ever got around to finding a new roll. @_@




Materials used:

  Head: Green foam for head, 1/8" foam for eyes and mouth, 1/4" craft foam ears and nose, faux fur for hair, gesso and acrylic

  Body: TP roll, felt for the pocket and hoodie, string for pull strings, wire and tape for arms, gesso and acrylic, extra large popsicle sticks for pants and feet, light + socket


   2 late nights


2 hot glue gun mishaps resulting in melting and bubbling flesh 

The light works and is wired into the sculpture

The "selfie" is loosely based off of my Freak'n Genius illustration:


Intricadoodle - Puzzle

For 11 years I've been wanting to turn my 'intricadoodle' style of characters into a puzzle. At the time, I couldn't wrap my head around the production process. But now with having access to a laser, I gave it a shot as a gift for JibJab's CEO, Gregg Spiredellis.


Original sketch:

Making it vector in Illustrator: 

Under the laser:

Mounting the back:


Goodbye, Giant Thinkwell

I just sent my final email as a tentacle of the Squid to the community in which I've been able to start my life as an entrepreneur.

Giant Thinkwell has been one of the biggest puzzle pieces of my life and it's been an incredible ride with a handful of really fun stories created along the way. Some of my favorites are the scantily clad Seattle Met recap, being voted Seattle's Best Startup Designer over the people I look up to, the larger than life War Rooms and getting to do a commercial with Sir Mix-A-Lot… oh right, can't forget about the stairway battles!

I have felt fortunate every single day to be a part of the Founders/TechStars family in Seattle and have enjoyed learning, growing, creating and being inspired in a way that I have never experienced before. That community is truly unique and special and I hope to find other ways to be a part of it.

If I could leave behind two things from this experience, they would be that you should be proactive in creating an environment and culture in which you thrive, and also the importance and value of brand, design and storytelling. I would argue that it is equally as important as a technology that functions, sometimes more valuable if you want to test assertions or even raise money without having the fully functioning technology, traction or data points.

What does leaving Giant Thinkwell mean for you and me?
I'm not sure if you've ever seen Lost, but in that show, there is a electromagnetic anomaly that builds up and must be released every 108 minutes or the entire world ends. That electromagnetic anomoly they are referring to is actually the creative energy that runs through my veins. I need to find projects to apply it to, so please, for the sake of all that exists, reach out and let me know what you're working on and where I can make it fun, colorful and loud!

So much to learn from this experience and bring to bigger and better things!




Had a pretty emotional moment yesterday when Andy Sack, Director of Founders Co-Op/TechStars made the announcement to the 2 dozen startups hacking away on this floor.

Trying to grasp the impact of Jobs's influence on not only EVERY single one of our desks but being largely responsible for creating the opportunity for all of us to be sitting in this room together following the dreams we have. 
Steve Jobs has definitely made his ding.


DeathMath - T.A. McCann

Huge thanks to T.A. for his insight and time given to the DeathMath team during Startup Weekend Edu! Over the course of TechStars and various startup events, I've heard hundreds of talks with incredible brain dollops of wisdom, yet am still inspired and educated when people like T.A. just continue to dish the good stuff. You can't be around these people and not understand why they are successful in life.

Oh yeah, watch this and get inspired! (Shot by the one and only Mike Folden)



This weekend was my 9th Startup Weekend and it never fails to re-energize! I was invited to mentor teams in helping them get the most out of the weekend, which can only be learned from experience. (It is indeed where Giant Thinkwell was birthed!)

Shortly after coming in on Saturday, I sat down to hear a pitch and was instantly visualizing its potential. Getting kids to learn through compelling gameplay. They called their app "DeathMath", where you go head to head with another player, represented as figures of history, and you kick each others asses through quickly solving math equations. The idea was intended to reach the kids that would rather engage in fun video games and not through boring academic content. 

The story and aesthetic wrapper that was told around the initial prototype was one of battle and violence. It was clear that this was an idea that would make some people uneasy, which I happen to favor myself. They had a super talented team too that understood mobile, gaming, fun and education (what more could you ask for?!) A great designer from Ubermind, working on mobile experiences for large brands, as well as a developer from the Microsoft X-Box team, another developer from Teachstreet and of course the man with the idea and business guy, also from Teachstreet. The only thing I felt they were lacking was some flavorful avatars to represent the historical figures and especially in their brutalized state. I saw an opportunity to help them out and make some noise.

Check out the weekend demo at - we'll definitely polish it up and get it native to the iPad with more avatars, more violence, and more academic development. 

Oh, did I mention it was posted to Reddit, and within a couple of hours made the front page with almost 2,000 upvotes and 200 comments? Tons of great feedback and tons of great hating! (told you there'd be uneasiness...)

Here are some screenshots: (Design is Joe Shoop / Avatars by me)

Here was our awesome team:

And lastly, this is an extra little something to say thanks to Mike Arrington for not only coming out to support and judge Startup Weekend EDU, which meant a lot to the Seattle community, but also a thank-you from team DeathMath for showing enthusiasm and support during the demo. Thanks Mike!



Photography - new website section

I just picked up a Canon 60D, my first DSLR. I also just added a new section to my site - Photography - so you can follow along in my growth and exploration!

I'll update the blog with a select few of my favorites, but will keep most of the activity in that section of the site.


Mix 'n Match Assets




I recently picked up a Wacom Cintiq 21UX, which came just in time to crank out a handful of assets for Giant Thinkwell's latest game with Sir Mix-A-Lot. It consisted of about 4 dozen topical rounds where you get a chance to get to know Sir Mix-A-Lot and your friends a little bit better. The content was hilarious and needed a suitable visual to capture each round. I've used a Cintiq a bit in the past, but having this tool has easily increased my productivity by a good 300%, not to mention is faaarrr more enjoyable and awesome than even a normal Wacom Intuos tablet. If you are a digital artist or run a shop of creatives, do yourselves all a favor and invest. The productivity, quality and quality of life is worth a few extra pennies.