MOONRISE JOURNEY (so far)
YOOOOOOO - welcome-
YAY this is my first “blog” post! I basically created this section of my website so you guys could find out more about my art, myself, and how I do what I do 🤓
SO here we go… fore warning my grammar and spelling is dreadful * you’ve been warned*
Let me introduce myself my name is McKenzie hello welcome! I created Moonrise Design two years ago because I hated my job a lot and I love creating art a lot. It was a simple decision for me and even thinking about the months I wasted working a corporate business job makes me sick bleh yuck gross. Anyways I am going to explain my art journey and how I got where I am today and where I want to go with my art in the future.
When I first quit my job it was not very well thought out or planned at all I just knew I wanted to leave. I started taking commissions for giant canvases ( the type of art you hang in your living room ) It was a lot of nature scenes, birch trees, the typical Pier 1 garbage. Obviously I got sick of that shit real quick. Although I did get to make a couple really cool pieces but it wasn’t enough for me.
Commissioned large canvas painting I made
The next phase in my art journey was custom Vans like the sneakers. I started just casually with no intention of making it “my thing” but it becomes my thing lol. I have probably made over 100 pairs of custom shoes. Ranging from hightops, timberlands, converse, sandals, baby shoes. You name the foot wear I have most likely painted it. My specialty was the plain white canvas slide on Vans. I made a bunch of pairs and people saw the designs I was making and it took off. I still do some pairs here in there but in the end I got sick of it. It took me hours on end to paint them and the age dynamic they appealed to couldn’t afford them. It was fun at the beginning but shoes are such a small limited canvas I needed something more.
First pair of custom Vans I ever made
While I was deep into making custom shoes I started to experiment with painting jackets on the side. I would go thrift shopping in my free time and find the most unique one of a kind jackets. I am into the oversized big fit jackets and classic denim. I would find a jacket and almost automatically know what I wanted to paint on it. I started sewing again as well and that just added an entire other dimension to customizing. I would find vintage t shirts and sew them onto the back of old Levi jackets , add some distressing and paint on some details and BAM. The most unique one of a kind jacket you can legit get nowhere else.
some of these pieces are still available in the shop tab
So I bet your wondering where the surfboard come into play? Well bare with me i’m getting there. Ever since i first started Moonrise Design I wanted a VAN it was my huge dream/goal. Like daydreamed of it for years and all I did was research vans for sale in my spare time lol. I wanted to build a mobile art studio and travel around to art shows, set up vendor displays, and sell my stuff. Last November my van dreams came true 😍 I named him Bruce.
This is Brucey.. I may have been obsessed
I spent three weeks building out the back of this gigantic Van. I took out five rows of seats built in wood flooring with storage underneath, shelving, clothing racks, supply storage, vendor equipment, Christmas lights, and a giant cheetah bean bag. All the bells and whistles I could have lived in there.
I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and its was probably January at this point so it was freezing as hell. There were no events going on because no one wanted to leave their house. So I decided to hit the rode and drove Bruce 17hrs to Coco Beach, Florida. Let me tell ya Florida is legit the best place during the winter and is an awesome place to start out as an art vendor.
So here I am in Florida with my Van ready to hit the town and do my first event. I was a vendor at this cool flea market for creatives making cool stuff. I get there set up all is gold. People are coming in walking around loving my stuff but as I am sitting there sweating my dick off I realize no one is going to buy a denim jacket in this weather. 😂😂😂
Thats when the surfboards come into play lol I love searching Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist so it was almost instinctual as soon as I got to Florida to check it out. Before I even realized I could not sell jackets in Florida I had already bought two used surfboards off of Craigslist. After my first event I headed home and started the surfboards right away. I finished the first one in two days.
The first surfboard I painted and first one I sold!
After one month I finished almost 8 surfboards. I knew this was the direction I wanted to take my business 1,000 percent. It was official I love painting surfboards. I think its such a cool creative canvas. There is so much space to work with different designs and endless possibilities. I also started painting skate decks because why not they are like mini surfboards (plus they are easier to paint in bed lol)
Everything just kind of came together after this. I think my art was meant to be put on surf and skate boards they are such cool pieces used to do cool sports and adding art just makes everything so much more cool and awesome.
After spending a while in Florida I was ready for my next big move. The plan always was to drive cross country to Los Angeles. I planned out my route I wanted to stop in a bunch of different states and do art shows and flea markets along my way and eventually make it to California. WOOT WOOT
It was probably a week before I was planning on leaving I had so much stuff laid out in my room organizing into bins. I even had all my surfboards in my room I was preparing them for the long journey. I figured I could pack the Van (Bruce) and slide the bubble wrapped surfboards on top of everything.
At this point I was starving is was getting late and I heard a rumor spicy chicken nuggets were back at Wendys so Bruce (my van) and I went to Wendy’s. We get there its closed for renovations like being completely re-built. Lol so I sat there for 10 minutes debating if I should go to the other Wendy’s like 15 minutes away. I was like fuck it letsss goooo SPICY NUGGGS YASS.
Im on my way to the other Wendys waiting at this red light I get the green arrow start to make a left turn and BAM some ass hole was speeding going 75mph ran the red light and hit us. Bruce my dream Van, my love I was days away from taking the road trip of a life time with was completely totaled 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 I never made it to Wendys and I later learned spicy nugs weren’t even released yet so the entire mission was pointless.
THANK GOD I was driving such a big Van because I probably would have died. It was a pick up truck that hit me it was no where in sight when I started to make the turn and was going so fast it completely 180d my Van.
Honestly that all sucked super bad but i’m just grateful to be here. RIP Bruce 😩♥️🚌
So now im like shiiiiiiitt what do I do im suppose to leave in 5 days. I had no car, no where to put all of my stuff, no way of transporting all of these surf boards. Like come on Bruce was the only beast of a Van that could easily fit 8 surfboards no problem (one was 9ft longboard). All my vendor stuff was demolished it looked like the inside of my perfectly built custom van exploded. Even my bean bag was toast 😭
I decided driving cross country just wasn’t meant to be. I already had plans to move to LA so I really had no option but to fly. I donated over a dozen bags of art supplies, vintage finds, and my life to charity. I packed two suitcases and mailed 4 boxes. I took my surfboards to a local art gallery to be put on display.
I flew to LA and basically started over. First and foremost I had to lay down lol. I got rocked so hard in that accident I had to just lay for like a month. My art hand got wrecked got jammed into the steering wheel and needed a break.
SEVERAL MONTHS LATER . . .
I am finally done laying down and healing Im back at it 👻 I have so much to share with you guys and this is going to be super dope. 🖤
✌🏼 as always feel free to reach out you can comment below, insta DM or email firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: Ive been in Los Angeles for over a year now!?! like wuttt
I moved to the beach which is an absolute dream. I got a new car its a cute little jeep cause duh ... rip bruce
I have had like three different jobs since I moved here while I was trying to build my business back up AND THEN BOOM covid hit!
All markets >> Canceled
All stores >> Closed
Art Galleries >>
Restarunts were i would display my art >> closed
I got fired from my marketing job which I hated anyways lol and was basically forced to focus solely on Moonrise so covid was a blessing in disguise for me. I feel like Im finally figuring out my vision for Moonrise yay
Lets see how it goes lol
ok bye for now ☺️