Have you found any consistent viewer base? A certain age or type of person?
Well one thing that i’ve found, and it’s definitely as a general observance, definitely not universal to everybody, but pretty much everyone that always assumes it’s absolutely impossible and really wants me to prove it to them are older men. I don’t know if that says anything about the age and gender… I don’t know, it’s definitely, like I said, not universal because there’s tons of older men who really love it just as much as everyone else, but I haven’t really found any women to come up to me and just straight up accuse me that its fake. I haven’t had that happen once. It happens pretty regularly with usually older men.
Yeah I’d say middle age to older, or senior…
Any particular group that is especially enamored by the project?
Um, I don’t know, I’d say it definitely appeals to middle age to older women more than that age of men it seems like. Yeah I don’t know, it could all be in my head or whatever. Just based on the accusations and the questions alone, whether it’s real or not, I would say that men are usually a little bit more doubtful or harder to make believe.
I’ve seen stuff in some of the art galleries out here that are like “rock things” but they’ve got a metal rod through it, it’s like an “art scuplture” or something like that […]
I actually bought a drill to possibly mess around with stuff like that, but I just haven’t had the motivation or interest to start drilling into rocks.
It seems like a lot of hard work.
Yeah it is a lot of hard work and it’s loud and there’s dust everywhere and it’s just kind of a pain in the ass. For me it’s all about, if there’s any living to be made at doing this I’ve always maintained it’s not in selling prints or anything like that because thats all just consumer type of stuff. The prints can have a nice effect on people. I always sit here and stare at them when i’ve just lazing around. They have a way of calming you down for a lot of a people. But the real money, if there’s any way to make a living at this, is performing it and keeping true to the art about being completely in the moment and just performing it for people in the moment at events and stuff like that. Because it’s an extremely, extremely rare skill, especially to have mastered.
Do you feel like you’re at that mastery point?
Definitely. I almost never have anything collapse on me. It always works the first time, usually. I mean I always have to be conscious of “if it collapses,” so that happens. Yeah, pretty much first time.
How do you know you’ve achieved that mastery point? Just when the rocks don’t fall? Is there a kind of internal […]?
There’s just an internal confidence and absolute knowledge of whether I can do it or not; and if I know I can, then I’ll make it happen. It might take half an hour, it might take 40 minutes, but when I know I can do it or not then I make it happen. Something I’ve really learned to notice a lot more, a phrase that I’ve started saying since I’ve started balancing rocks is Divine Alignment. It’s just this phenomenon that happens all the time when I’m doing this. I don’t know if its just because I’m doing what I love or whatever, but I always find myself in specific locations at perfect points in time and all the rocks there are perfect and it all just comes together into this perfect picture – and it happens all the damn time. I just call it Divine Alignment.
A really crazy thing that happened recently was part of this whole synchronicity and the universe enacting its will, in a way, is um – like the last full moon at the end of November. That was less than a week before the first blog did an article about my website. Before that for about the last year or so i’ve gone to the creek pretty much every day to balance. On that full moon I decided to go up to Wood’s Quarry. It’s a pretty steep hike really close to boulder. There’s tons of rocks up there and that’s where I made the first orb type of thing. I didn’t even plan on what I was going to do, but I got up there and I consciously changed my routine because it was a full moon and I hadn’t been up there a while and I wanted to go check it out again. So I got up there and decided to challenge myself and make one of these balls, or orbs, because I heard they were really hard to make. So yeah I started building my first one and right as I was about to leave the quarry the moon rose over the horizon. It was, like twilight colors and everything lit up and there was this magic. I took that picture that had that orb with the full moon in the background and the colors in the horizon. It looked like a picture of Star Wars on Tatooine. I published that and put it up on Gravity Glue. I also got threatened with copyright infringement for making that too.
Why’s that, because you referenced Star Wars?
No, because someone believed they had copyright to that round shape…
To a circle? [laughs]
Yeaaaahh. I referred the whole situation to a team of lawyers and they’re like, “There’s absolutely no basis in this whatsoever. You can’t copyright an idea, you can only copyright the expression of an idea” I think a shape is an idea. That had me worried for about a day, then I realized it was fine. So from posting that picture of the ball with the moon in the background I got a random message in my inbox from a friend telling me to submit some photos to thisiscolossal.com, the first blog that picked me up. It’s pretty big, it has thousands and thousands of followers. I sent this guy one of my pictures with the orbs. He emailed me back in ten minutes like, “Send me more pictures! I want to get you up on the site tomorrow!” So it’s all this Divine Alignment. The moon led me to the quarry and the quarry made me build this orb. At the right time the moon popped up. I took this picture and I put it on facebook and it really resonated with people. Somehow that led to me getting a message to send pictures to this other place, and then this place publishes it and then within a few days it just spread like wildfire across the world! I have a list of countries so far that have picked it up: Japan, Hungary, Slovakia, Denmark, Sweden, Romania, Brazil, Russia, France, Korea, China and Canada and USA. It’s like, everywhere. Huffington Post did it too actually in the following week. I had a tick counter on my website on the bottom for how many page hits. Before the Collosal article it was at about 6000 page views. And now, two weeks later, maybe three, it’s definitely over 40,000. So it took a pretty steep jump in page views. It was really crazy for a few days too because I was getting flooded with emails like, “This is awesome!” and all these pingbacks on my website of different blogs picking me up. I’m sitting here watching Google Analytics. There are little dots popping up all over the world of people looking at my site. I rode a wave for a couple days and then it kind of evened out and yeah now i’m just kind of, I don’t know, reflecting on the whole thing.