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Tag Archives: HEX

  • Ghost Writer: Jamie Thomas - Off The Grid

    Photo: Jeremy Cannon

    For our second installment of our Ghost Writer series with Jamie Thomas, we wanted to let him, and his mind wander.  As you have already seen, Jamie is a complex, thoughtful and interesting dude.  We wanted to see where his head was at and in the midst of all the business his life brings, we found him thinking about simplicity.  We hope you enjoy these exclusive words and images from Jamie, off the grid.

    In modern times, it seems as if our phones and or devices are the only things that have our undivided attention. I always look forward to taking a trip or expedition to a remote place where there’s no service and very little contact with the outside world, but there’s always an initial panic that comes with going off the grid. The feeling that someone is going to need to reach you or that you’re not going be able to keep up with Social Media or your emails, but as soon as you surrender and embrace the moment, there’s a feeling of freedom that is absolutely priceless. 

    Solo walk through the markets of Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan

    Moment of peace after setting up camp in the Anza Borrego desert

    An american Bison walks his land in Grand Teton National Park

    Canoeist in the waters off Vancouver Island, BC

    If you're reading this and you feel like life has a firm grip around your neck or if you're at a crossroads and you're not sure what's next, I encourage you to take a moment to step back and plan a get away. Whether it be a long weekend or a whole week, hopefully you'll be able to clear your head and see things more clearly in order to approach those daunting obstacles with a fresh perspective.

    These photos were all shot while experiencing the freedom of being off the grid.


     - Jamie Thomas
    Follow Jamie on Instagram


    Dylan Gordon free climbs a cave off Halong Bay

    Josh Harmony off the beaten path in the Caribou National Forest

    The tinder of the ‘Cat Ba Imperial’ in the desolate waters of Halong Bay

    Early morning tent view of K58 south of Rosarito, Mexico

    Abandoned logging road in the back woods of Vancouver Island, BC

    Exploring the Vietnam countryside with the Roark Revival crew.

    A backlit Brian Hansen riding along the Sequoia National Forest

    The breathtaking view from our campsite in Pretty Girl Cove, Vancouver Island, BC

    A Vietnamese woman prepares for a day of work in the rice fields.

    Nate Zoller takes a leap of faith in a Vietnamese Fishing village.

    Dylan Gordon admires the beauty of Vancouver Island, BC


    Brian Hansen taking a moment to acknowledge the vastness of the Milky Way

  • Phoebe Dykstra's Change Of Heart


    Everyone here at HEX loves creativity, individualism and expression.  That's one of the reasons we have been friends with Phoebe Dykstra since about the beginning of our brand.  She always captivated with her energy and free-spirited style.  So when she recently turned her whole world upside down by leaving her post at MTV Canada in favor of nymph-like existence on a wooded island, we were hooked and wanted to hear all about it.  We thought you might be interested as well, so here is what Phoebe had to say about her recent change of heart.  Enjoy our exclusive chat with Phoebe and try not to get too jealous!


    HEX: How long were you with MTV Canada?

    PHOEBE: I was an on-air host with MuchMusic / MTV Canada for almost 4 years!!

    HEX: What were some of the best moments of that time of your life?

    PHOEBE: I thought at the time that the best moments were getting to spend time around celebrities, getting to be up close and personal when they performed, my new outfits everyday, getting to say that I'm that girl from TV and so forth. In actuality, looking back, the best times of that part of my life were getting to hang out with our audience members, surprising them, getting to see them super stoked and potentially getting to be a positive role model of sorts in their life. The celeb part was cool of course too, but I now know that we are all one, all humans on our journey and that everyone is special in their own special way. I think it's important for young people to remember that.

    HEX: How did you know it was time to move on?

    PHOEBE: Pretty much as soon as I fully "woke up" - when I realized that for our planet to shift to a higher level of consciousness, I needed to be living closer to nature, in spirit, doing what felt good in my heart, and living in spirit more often than filling my own ego. The internet took over TV years ago, nobody watches MTV for music videos anymore, we've got YouTube. Nobody watches MuchMusic anymore to find out "Hollywood gossip", we've got Twitter / Instagram. Ratings were dropping, the company was losing money, in turn, losing shows to be creative on. SO grateful for my incredibly interesting years on TV but, onto something new and more heart fulfilling, thank you!


    Q: So, you now live on your own fairy island? Can you tell us a little about it?

    PHOEBE: Pretty much a fairy, elf island, yes! It's this little hippie island on the west coast of Canada, about 5 hours from Vancouver. The nature is bright, green, lush, with waterfalls. The island is on a quartz crystal so it feels like magic here, what you think about expands like crazy, gotta watch your thoughts and feelings. This island has got people from all walks of life, there are super rich people here to full-on "hippies" (I'd consider myself that word now! haha!) who are living with less, growing their own food, getting back to what's real. They say this island heals you. People come here to remember how to love themselves, remember who they are, then carry on. Some people stay here forever. I myself have been here now 1 year, I am a changed person. This is going to be my home base, but the rest of the world is calling me to adventure now!

    Q: How has the transition been for you with such a dramatic life change?

    PHOEBE: Typical Phoebe, making the big leaps! I went from a farm girl living in the country to a TV host in downtown Toronto. Quit my job in TV and moved to this tiny little hippie island on the west coast. Now i'm in the midst of packing up my life and home on the little island, packing half a backpack and boarding a plane to South East Asia for who knows how long. Transitions are wild, can be all of the emotions BUT as my good friend says, "life is about having as many awesome experiences as you can, not just one" - A great quote I've been living by! Also, be dramatic with your life changes, way more fun and interesting that way!!


    Q: What do you enjoy most about your island paradise?

    PHOEBE: The nature! It's like nowhere I've ever been, lush, green, mossy trees, the way my cabin smells after it's just rained… ah! The people here are conscious, there are ecstatic dance and yoga classes all week, you can buy organic food straight from our friend's gardens!

    Q: Any words of wisdom to share based on your experience?

    PHOEBE: This is common sense, once you understand "the law of attraction" but it's still a nice reminder to hear that, "you don't need to know HOW, you just need to ALLOW" - I've been saying that one throughout my days. I didn't know HOW I was going to be hired as one of the very few humans that get chosen as MuchMusic VJs, I just pictured myself working there and allowed. I didn't know HOW I was going to support myself if I quit my career and moved to a hippie island BUT I knew it's what I had to do for me, so I did it! You really CAN do WHATEVER you want in your life!!! Promise!!!


    Photos by: Elvien Photography

  • "Always Something" - Aaron De La Cruz

    HEX recently teamed up with Minneapolis-based contemporary art space Public Functionary to bring one of our favorite artists,  Aaron De La Cruz, to the Midwest for a solo exhibition of his work. The San Francisco painter, known for his pattern-driven, maze-like creations debuted a new body of work featuring pieces on canvas and paper, 3D works made of wood and mirror and an exclusive line of limited-edition wallpapers. During his week in Minneapolis, Aaron managed to paint a mural, visit notable local landmarks and celebrate his exhibit with hundreds of Twin Cities art lovers. Documentation of the installation of the Aaron De La Cruz: Always Something exhibit was provided by the gallery, and even included a few cameos by HEX products, which Aaron rocked on his trip to Minneapolis!

    That's one great looking backpack


    To keep the work safer during transit from San Fran to MPLS, canvases and works on paper were shipped unframed and un-stretched. Throughout the week Public Functionary's staff worked up to 17 hour days preparing the gallery, stretching huge pieces and meticulously framing, while Aaron created a large-scale mural and put finishing touches on other pieces.

    Aaron doing work


    Tools Of The Trade


    The "Always Something" exhibit was a large-scale production that saw the artist's signature patterns and stark color palettes displayed floor to ceiling (quite literally) in the 2200 sq foot art gallery space. In collaboration with Public Functionary and Area Environments, Aaron has created a limited-edition line of wallpapers that are currently on view in the gallery and will be available for purchase in early 2016 under the PFxAE Exhibition Collection.

    Opening Night


    Another Next-Level Piece From Aaron


    The Place Was Packed




    Although the winter season in Minneapolis was quickly approaching, Aaron managed to get out and see a number of beautiful outdoor sights in the Twin Cities. The history of Gold Medal Flour and the Minnesota mill industry is still celebrated on the banks of the Mississippi River, where old factory ruins have been transformed into a museum and historical landmark, just adjacent to the historic Stone Arch Bridge and the world-renowned Guthrie Theater (Fun Fact: Minneapolis is second only to NYC for the city with the most theater seats per capita).




    Minnesota's Native American heritage is honored at Minnehaha Falls and neighboring Lake Hiawatha, inspired by the tragic story of the hero Hiawatha who fell in love with Minnehaha, a woman who later dies during a severe winter.


    So, in the end we really enjoyed working with Aaron and Public Functionary on this project.  The show was great, the art was amazing (as usual from Aaron), and the scenery wasn't too shabby either.


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