I'm not the Immortal Artist. You are

I'm not the Immortal Artist. You are

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Surrealism Challenge - Artists in Isolation

During the worlds isolation for the pandemic, many are taking time to read, learn new skills, or strengthen existing abilities.

As a Master Surrealist who works with photos, I often challenge myself by finding a difficult image and attempting to transform it into surreal art. 

So I've decided to issue a challenge to others stuck in isolation. 

Send me any image and I will try to turn it into surreal art. Any image is acceptable whether people, places or things. All subject content is acceptable. 

Two simple rules. The image  has to be in .jpg format and it must be a photo you have taken or been taken by a family member, past or present. Old family photos are acceptable.

If I am successful you will receive back a high quality digital file containing art created from your image and the before and after images will be posted to this page.

All images can be sent via email at: gcsartno@aol.com or by sending it through both Twitter and Facebook messages. 

Challenge me! Keep my skills fine tuned! 

We'll all get through this and maybe learn a thing or two along the way.


PS: Several artists have asked if they could participate as challenge artists. If you would like to participate let me know and I'll send you images from my personal photos to challenge your own skills! 


CHALLENGE #2 from Jay Woods

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Pain, Struggle & Surrealism - Conceptual Art Project

Last year I did some experimental work on converting screen captures of the California wild fires to surrealist art. My goal was to show the pain of the event, while at the same time casting it into the realm of surrealism.

I watched countless live feeds of the fires, having in some cases to distance myself from what I was seeing. I was not just watching from afar. I was trying to place myself in the shoes of those watching their homes destroyed by the flames. After several dozen decent screen captures, I set to work with just a single image to experiment with the concept of pain and surrealism.

After I was through, I set the experiment aside to consider its impact as an art form and also its impact upon me the artist. Was it something worth pursuing? Was it too painful for myself? Was it too painful for those intimately involved in the events? Was I walking on ground that was too treacherous to be on?

Then I thought about Van Gogh. Settings aside his genius as a painter and his craziness as a man. He was able to capture the anguish of men and women and cast that anguish into a surreal beauty. "The Potato Eaters" done in 1885 showed peasants around a rickety table, sharing a meager meal of potatoes and tea. It is strikingly real yet surreal. He did not fear showing the pain and struggle of those around him.

Then I considered another artist. Picasso. In 1937 Picasso created one of his greatest works "Guernica". In his amazingly complex and unusual style, he portrayed the bombing of Guernica, Spain during the Spanish Civil War. But he did so in the surreal style that he was so well known for. But the pain is still there. The anguish still remains.

There are many more examples of this need to cast the atrocities of man into surrealism that allows us to see the pain, while stepping back from it.

So with that thought in mind, I decided to begin a new series "Pain, Struggle & Surrealism", using the tools of today's media saturated art world to tell the tales of today's anguish.

The wild fires were experiments. They've taught me a lot. Now I watch the world. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

The Work of Artist Marko Alabaster

"Shattered Island"

I witnessed from a far the end of an era.  The closing of a place i was very fond of.  A haven.  Nothing could have prepared me for the passing.  The end?  Or was it a beginning?  Behind this mountain heralds a new dawn raising its head out of the devastation. Hope! Progression! Life!  

This piece is still available for purchase

Labyrinth Project Creators Journal - Ryan Rosenberry (New Entry 13-30-20)

Artist Ryan Rosenberry
Fargo, North Dakota


I tainted a nothingness today. And for the first time in as far as I can remember, it was not with words but with lines and shapes and objects. I created art or, at the very least, the start of a new adventure -

I’ve been here before, at the first steps of a new passion feeling that wonderful combination of awe and frustration and fear and excitement and confusion, where I want to learn everything right now from ten thousand different sources and concepts and yet straining to understand the simplest of basics…

Overwhelmed is the best way I can describe my state of being right now. (and scared, confused ect...)  I’ve stepped into a world where, until now, I’ve only glanced into. Even now, while writing this, I am leaving so much of what I want to say on the floor because I can’t even process everything my mind is going through all at once.

In time, this will all make more sense to me. Until then, I shall take refuge in the speech words Neil Gaiman spoke during his 2012 commencement speech, when in doubt... "make good art"


There is a calmness to purging your entire social media history. Friends/followers, all matter of contents, images and stories from the world. The flood, the plague…the purge.

In the grand vision of things I doubt it matters much, remove a rock from the world and see who notices, other than who put it there and, possibly, the ones that stepped on or over the rock or skipped it over the water.

I see the advantages in starting over. We, or in this case I, can shed old skin, crawl into a hole in the ground and reemerge as a new idea or thought or curiosity. Reinventing the self until it fits right and seems tailor made.

The worst part, as far as I can tell, is not the work to re-build but running across the names you knew who did not have the need or want to reinvent themselves or disappear for a while.  The ones that early on found that niche that sings to them and ranks up there next to falling in love.

I could avoid them but would rather admire them or at the very least draw inspiration from their fortitude. I could ask them the why’s and how’s and if’s and create something from that pain. I would call it: The names I knew

and whenever I feel stuck, I’ll take that as the motivation to find new paths and undiscovered opportunities.

I will stop here while I know what’s next.


The truth scares me sometimes. It’s not that I can’t admit to it or am reluctant to face it but… I wonder where do I go once I have told the truth.

Do I pull and stretch my truth to make it last as long as possible or create new truths that I may not believe in, at least not entirely, so I may continue to create.

Or perhaps I am already looking for a way out of writing because I am scared I have nothing of value to say, or no stories people will read and love.

I have an idea…

I recently read a book entitled “stop doing that sh*t” by Gary Jhon Bishop. In the book he talks about what he calls Saboteurs that is three conclusions we have about ourselves, other people and life. These are things that have been so ingrained into our sub-conscious that we believe them as truths even though they are nothing but thoughts that we believe.

The conclusion I came to believe about myself is that “I am a burden.” No need to go into why I believe this (at least not right now)believing this false truth has been my way of returning to my safe zone. That is to say I’ve been holding back because I truly believed (and still do) that I am burdening others and stealing their time buy wanting them to read my writings.

I imagine the world would be a dull place it all artists allowed their doubts to overpower their desire to create…

I’ve decided that if I will take this writing seriously, then I will purge my old ways in favor of new actions. I deleted all my social medias accounts (save for Facebook for family) I devoted the next month and a half to pure writing and reading. At least during my free time.

Then, something in the new year, I will start up one or two of the social sites again and start sharing my words again. I will write the truth (even in fiction) because I do not want to waste any more of my life on self told lies.

And maybe, if the coffee and stories flow, if I am too busy to stop and ponder, maybe I will forget about that lie that I tell myself and truly believe there is at least one person who will read my works and not feel burdened.


I'm scared, I’m struggling, I feel lost 

I am not only a writer. I write, but this is about more than my words. This journey is about embodying the concept that an artist is more than a painter or a sculptor or a writer or (enter your own niche here)

Being an artist what we do when we are alive. It’s a commitment to creativity, emotional labor and grit and love and the willingness to fail. It’s creating trust and connection. It’s forging into the unknown without a map willing to take a stand and be remarkable. Art is not something created by an artist - Artist are people who create art. (I stole that bit from Seth Godin)

Let's not get into the million dollar question of “what then I can call Art?” that question has the argument potential that might rival a drunken political debate. Instead, I want to focus more on “What we can achieve through the traits of an Artist?” 

I love to write but as a full-time worker, a father, a husband, a son, as someone who wants to spend more time working out and running (two activities that have enhanced my life the great lengths) I rarely have the time to devote to writing. This is not an excuse to not write, No- this is stating that my mental health and family come before my desire to write. Simple as that. 

I want to touch on two more things before I go

Number one: I prefer short writing pieces. I should have known this from this start. I’ve always been a person of few words, why should by writing (or anything I do) reflect my personality any differently? 

Number two: This one took me many moons and self slaps upside the head to realize. Even if I lack the time to write (other priorities win out) that does not mean I have to hang my artists attitude out to dry or feel like I am wasting the potential to be creative.

No matter what I do in life from writing to spending time with my son, to ordering a cup of coffee, (even working a dead-end job) if I embrace the heart of the artist (commitment to creativity, emotional labor and grit and love and the willingness to fail, creating trust and connection.) then I truly will be an artist in the greatest sense of the word. 

This concept opens the flood doors to a new world of possibilities. Where I can experiment with different projects in my life. (I have one brewing in my noggin as I type this)I can write when time permits or take photographs while in the park with the family. I can document an event through personal experience on video or keep it voice only as a podcast. I can reach for a paintbrush or ball of clay. I can teach what I know or listen so I may serve others better. 

I know I must create more. The alternative is to continue to be numb, and that is not acceptable. That is not living. 


From my perspective…

I am entering my forties as a confused if somewhat lost person. Which direction do I take? This road or that?  Red pill or blue? Keep the faith or find new ways? Do I aggressively pursue something new in my life that excites me or does my family's safety and stability depend on me trudging through a "safe" job. (if those exist anymore)

I have none of the answers. But I have a few thoughts, ramblings really but that's how my mine works, in bits and pieces and various ideas...

Most day I feel as if I know nothing of what true writing is, other than to be honest and make it interesting someone could consider , anything other than that might be referred to as “experimental” and hidden away from the world. Whether this is true - I don’t know perspective.  

I have not had the good fortune to find my passion(s) early in life. While this exposed me to a multitude of experiences I may otherwise have otherwise missed out on, it also delayed a deeper appreciation of the writing craft. Still, over the course of the last maybe two years, I would have had to discipline myself in the art of self sabotage not to improve, at least on some level.  

So I wrote and improved. Not to say greatness sprung forth from my fingers but enough to keep myself encouraged and churning out prose. But let me for a moment write about the negatives if only to bring them to the light of the day. 

 I never constantly went through the agonizing yet much needed realization that one's own writing, so true and painstakingly written, so full of personal struggle, has become little more than a thousand different points of failure for other writers and readers to pick apart. - I never sought and accepted the criticism and feedback I needed to grow as a writer. 

 I’m a father first and a writer second. There’s not much more to say than that. I do not see this as a sacrifice. In a dream world I could do both right now all while working a full-time job. But in reality family comes first and writing a second and if that means a less chance of filling that ambition then so be it. This is not an excuse for not writing, just a flat out the truth that spending time with my son if be far a greater fulfillment than writing can fill. 

Still- when I write, there is a dread in realizing how much more punishment my bruised ego will have to take. I find solace in knowing my writing (eventually) will reflect my own sufferings. 
And if not, at the least, when my life draws the short straw, I will have perished on my sword, and have been worthy of my own sufferings.

I'll end here for now. While I still know what to say next. 

Ryan is a writer in progress, inspired by many creators most notably Steven King, Norman Mailer, Seth Godin and Neil Gaiman (and many more). He writes mostly short works: short stories, poems, blog posts, but is also working on his first novel. He loves the entire writing process from the chaos of filling the black page to the final edits of his latest works. He enjoys nature and exploring new worlds and believes the worst day writing still beat the best day working unfulfilled

Ryan also has several short stories on this website. 

The Feral Forest - An Artist to Authors Short Story by Ryan Rosenberry

The Ghost in the Soda Shop Mirror - An Artist to Authors Short Story by Ryan Rosenberry

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Death's Head Cards - A Conceptual Art Puzzle

Death stalks its prey. 
It watches, savoring each moment before the final kill. 
It is the hunter, ready to take the soul the moment its laid bare.

Do you see death the way I do? 
Do you see its dark stare and its laughing grimace?
Do you see the way it watches and contemplates its victims?

No, you see only life, until it has gone.

Death is a strange thing. It stalks us all. But some seem destined for a preordained departure. 

All of these images share one thing in common. Death is watching them. 

Death may brush near, or may even take another's body to use their mortal eyes. But death is there, sometimes for years, or only a moment before. 

Can you identify who death is watching? 

Some are easy to recognize. Others not so easy. Some lived long lives, some only short. Who are they? 

And even more important than who death is watching, is WHO is watching death? 

Can you solve the Deaths Head puzzle? 

Click any card to go its page! 

Go to Card #11

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Immunocompromised Artist - A Creative Journey Through a Pandemic (Updated 04-03-20)

March 6, 2020

In a way this is a journal within a journal. 

I say this because the immortalartist blog is in many ways me and my way of thinking about creativity. A lot of other people have become involved since I started it 5 years ago, but at its core its me and my own creative journey. 

In recent weeks though the world has been turned upside down by a creeping virus that just might reshape the whole world. 

I don't discuss it much on this site, but I have almost no immune system. What's left of it does its best to keep me healthy. I never let it get to me. In fact I think it makes me work all the harder as an artist because I am never really sure how much time I will ever have.

So you can understand that I've been paying more than a little attention to the recent Coronavirus epidemic.

We made a few decisions over the last week. Since I know there are other artists who will be at risk from this virus, I thought it might be helpful if I posted my own journey through this as the virus takes its hold on the world.

While trying not to panic yet make certain adjustments to our life while we are still able, we've begun to implement certain precautions into our life built with one goal. Keeping me alive.

I'm no fool and I am under no illusion. I will be 55 in August. I have little to no immune system. I am diabetic and I am prone to pneumonia from even a simple cold. My chances of survival are slim if I am exposed to this. 

So let me first tell you some of the things my partner and I have implemented in the past few weeks. 

We made the decision that it might be time to take some cautious steps towards survival almost two weeks ago. We purchased the safety items that we might well need such as masks hand sanitizer and lots of Lysol. We made sure they were spaced around our home and we began teaching ourselves to use them often. 

We bought a bit of extra basic foods for the house and we arranged for our medications to be delivered to us rather than going to pick them up ourselves. We educated ourselves on what we needed to know and we informed friends and family of the decision that would quietly back out of events and places where there were a lot of people. 

We celebrated one last time by going out to the last day of Mardi Gras, which as of the time of this writing was 9 days ago. 

Since that time we've gradually pulled back from going out too often. Post office trips which were a daily occurrence were now down to every few days. Food from this point on will be gotten either late at night when the grocery stores are no full of people or better yet through a variety of delivery services. 

We are very fortunate. Within the walls of this house I have an indoor studio stalked with the various art supplies I use the most. I have an outdoor studio located in a private backyard and secluded by fences and trees. I have project spaces outdoors where I can create whatever I wish. All of this secured with a private locked gate that keeps everyone out.

In some ways this is a wish come true for an artist who wants to spend all their time creating. 

But its funny, the mind can play tricks on you. I've spent many days in the past where I did not go out at all or at the most once every few days. But the concept of not being able to go beyond the walls of my private domain is a strange feeling. 

I was seized today with a need to go beyond the walls today. Perhaps one last look around for awhile. I drove, feeling I'm safe within my vehicle and my partner went into various places where we needed things, always returning to quickly sanitize hands first. 

I felt in some ways that this was a test run. Could we limit our interactions now before there was a massive threat. I kept thinking "are we ready?". 

This doesn't feel real yet. It feels like some sort of silly game we are playing. I think about John Travolta and the Boy in the Plastic Bubble (yes a reference to an ancient crap movie from the past). 

We aren't ready as a society to shut ourselves in. Billy and I have so many more advantages than some. We drove past a homeless encampment beneath the expressway. Hundreds of tents clustered together. What happens to these people? Are they even aware of the imminent threat that may be coming their way? 

Has the city even considered them? Or will many of them die and not be discovered for days or weeks? 

We talk about Stephen King's book "The Stand" as we pass the homeless. Will they be burning bodies if this thing gets out of hand? Will there be bodies in the street? Or is this all just baseless fears.

I think about the terrible days after Hurricane Katrina when there really were bodies in the street and how much it took the city to recover after it was over. And I think about this being multiplied by a whole nation and a whole world. And I am frightened.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Oracle Wall Photo Album - Grey's Imaginarium

Developmental photos of the Oracle Wall project being built in Grey's Imaginarium.

10' x 8' in size
50% complete 

Friday, March 20, 2020

Labyrinth Creators Journal - JM Rosenberry (Updated 03/18/20)

Author: JM Rosenberry
Fargo, North Dakota 


Being an empath when the world is going mad is not fun and the stress of it all likes to make my body rebel in funny ways. I get aches and pains, headaches and the feeling of being worn down.  I want to eat and sleep as the world goes haywire around me.  Just last week things were semi normal, well as normal as things can be for me anyway.  

I was made for quarantine, but how much would I really be able to handle being stuck in my house with two very different personality's.  To say that we clash is an understatement and I often need to go away just to keep a semblance of sanity at times. They shut down the schools last week and already I am wondering when they will let the kids go back  We went from one confirmed case to five and have shut down the lobby at work.  You can still come inside and get your food to go and our drive thru is also open.  Hours will be cut and I am just waiting with baited breath for the closure of the building. 

My boys in Palaye were over in the UK, barely made it home and have been quarantined to their homes, but have come up with an idea to do some live streaming this weekend. Other bands have also taken up this trend, and right now It's a welcome distraction from the news of the world. Lot of people deal with stress differently.  I tend to eat and online shop, A LOT.  

Speaking of Shopping, We are not immune to the panic shoppers.  Our shelves are cleared out of a vast assortment of consumer goods. All I wanted the other day was cat food and some TP.  I did get both but things are very cleared out.  It made me go back last night to get some more freezer stuff and see if they had any TP yet.  I dipped into my Vegas fund for this and wouldn't you know it....Vegas is closed!!  They have not shut down the strip since Kennedy was killed.  

You can't not know about the Corona virus by now. Everyone wants to talk about it and I have spent more than a few hours reading up on it. Hubs on the other hand is avoiding any news.  I keep seeing the check lists of what it is like to have the virus and every single time I say to myself.  Yes! I had that back in Nov/Dec.  Of course back then they simply told me I had a chest infection that turned into pneumonia and was very close to being septic.  I spent three days in the hospital and now, Looking back I think I had the virus.  They didn't know what It was, just that I didn't have the flu.  My co workers all got sick after I did and all of them were told it was a viral infecting and not the flu. 

Anyway.  I am better and happy to still be able to work as everything around us shuts down. Trying to explain to a melting down kid that he can't go to playland or Skyzone was fun.  He was even upset he couldn't go back to school.  Of course the week before he was claiming blindness and hearing loss as a  way to stay home.  He's also claimed broken bones and bloody nose's along with the I am just too sick to go to school today.  His Oscar worthy performances never cease to amuse me and often get softie mom to cave and buy him things he doesn't need.  

So here I am on Tues night.  Ready for bed at eight thirty, dreading getting up and going to work.  I feel off and uninspired. I know I shouldn't feel that way but I can't help it.  I even called and talked to my dad for the first time in a year.  He and my step mother are good as is my brother and his family.  Social distancing?  I have been doing it for years now.  Give me books and the internet and I will be fine. Oh and Palaye Royale released a song called Lonely.  Off their new album, The Bastards.  I have linked it below because I can. Because in this world of messed up stuff and too much sadness they can still make me smile.  

Stay sane inside of insanity!  


PALAYE ROYALE - Lonely (Official Music Video)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Pandemic Archive Project - A Call For Coronavirus Related Art, Photography, Written Word and Music

We are starting to see some amazing creativity related to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Artists, musicians, photographers and creatives from every discipline are beginning to work on how they interpret the current world crisis.

We will be archiving all creative work sent to us in order to preserve it for future generations to see. We will also be using our social media platforms to show the work of these amazing creatives.

immortalartist.com welcomes all creatives who want to show their pandemic related work. We would like to give a forum to those who would like to talk about the pandemic through their creativity. 

We will accept art, photography, written word art including short stories, poetry, music or any other creative medium you wish to express yourself in. 

To submit, we need the following:

  • A good quality image of your work
  • A short one paragraph bio about the creator
  • Any links related to the creator that you would like to include (website/twitter/facebook)

We also welcome any commentary you would like to make regarding your work or personal stories of your trip through the pandemic. 

Its that simple. Lets show the world that creativity has a voice in this crisis! 

To submit your work or questions, email it to: gcsartno@aol.com 

Feel free to email also if you have any questions. 

immortalartist.com takes no profit from your work. It is a free site for all creatives to have a louder voice to express themselves! You may request your work be removed from the site at any time from the archive and are at no risk to your work being used in any other way except that which is stated above.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

A Cinereal Mardi Gras - The Dark Side of Carnival

Many years ago I was asked by a friend why I didn't create more art that tourists would buy. It was a simple answer. I don't create the same art that a thousand others create. I wanted my work to reflect a unique aspect and not the same thing that every tourist wanted in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

I'd seen too many artists sell out to the easy buck. No offense to those who make a living with such art. 

I have one major rule in my career as an artist. "The artist with the most unique ideas is the artist that gets remembered." 

A good example was a recent estate sale that I attended of a great artist who had passed away. Her home was filled with her work. There was a variety of styles and compositions, but there was nothing that jumped out and said to me "this artist was truly unique'. Again the work was good, but it was the same as a thousand other artists I'd seen over the years. 

It is for this reason that while I have photographed the yearly Mardi Gras celebration for many years, that I rarely share the photos. Why? Because I am fighting with hundreds of others up and down the parade route who are doing the same thing. Why bother? What sets my work apart? For many years, absolutely nothing. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The St Andrews Cross Abstracts - Mapplethorpe Meets Pollock

The St Andrews Cross is a bondage device. The purpose is to place a person on it and bind their hands and feet to the cross in a spread-eagle position.

The Idea of the St Andrews Cross Abstracts came from combining abstract body painting with a bondage environment where the tools of Dominance are used in the role of the paint brush. For example, using a flogger to spread the paint upon the body by dipping the ends of the flogger in the paint. The tools a Dom uses are varied and a lot of them are improvisations, but in the end the tools that cause pain or pleasure can also act as paint brushes. 

The goal is to use the tools in such a way as to create an ecstatic body language throughout the series. The pain and pleasure of the model is translated into that language as the body painting is created. I am using only men who consider themselves submissive and have some understanding of the sub/dom relationship. 

The cross was mounted onto a platform with a canvas backdrop behind it in order to keep the cross steady and to create an abstract backdrop that the model merges into.

Everything is controlled within the studio environment. Lighting is crucial. These sessions take place at night. Lighting allows for bright white light or ambient soft lighting from every angle. Candle light is also used. 

Even the choice of music is preplanned to create an atmosphere which the model reacts to.But this preplanning stops when the actual painting begins. The abstraction created is totally spontaneous creativity. The paint upon the body takes on its own life throughout the session which is controlled through the use of both pain and pleasure. The paint goes where it wishes based on the body language of the model. 

Other substances are used besides paint. The liberal use of mud upon the body creates an air of humiliation that again translates into the body language of the model. The use of ropes to bind parts of the body is also used. 

With all that said, here is the art from the first session. More will be added as it becomes available. 

The Glyph Dreams - Conceptual Art Project

I've always found creativity to be as much therapy as it is a life path. In fact I think creativity crosses over to so many other parts of our life that we don't even realize what an impact it has on us on a daily basis. 

Periodically I use the dream state to help me flesh out ideas which I want to pursue in my art. But recently I had the opposite occur. I used my creativity in a therapeutic way to understand a specific dream. 

I can't say the dream was a nightmare, but it was definitely one of the odder I've had. I dreamed that there was a glyph-like shape hanging over the bed. It was a turquoise and it twisted in upon itself over and over again like a DNA helix, but not the same shape. That was when I sat up in bed. My partner was laying next to me in the dark reading a book on his Kindle. I am not even sure what I said, but I know I asked him if he had put the glyph there and I pointed to the space over the bed. Then the glyph faded away into the dark and I fell back to sleep, leaving my partner a bit confused. 

The odd thing is, that the dream didn't fade like most dreams do when they end. When I woke up again I still remembered it. 

So what was the meaning? Was there any meaning at all? 

There is a theory out there that occasionally gets pushed around in theoretical science, that this is a holographic universe and we are really just a unique piece of programming that is reflected by a line of code that is our true form. 

Whether this is true I suppose we will never really know. What I do know is that I woke up thinking about glyphs and could not shake them from my mind. 

So I used my art to exorcise my dream a bit and I see if I could flesh anything out by creating images of glyphs. I am not really sure it yielded anything of value yet, but it did help to let my mind wander while I created. The value may yet come, or it may remain a mystery. 

We all need a method where we can flesh out meanings in our lives. My creativity gives me an advantage in doing so. 

With that in mind, its apparent that this is turning into a series of art. Your guess is as good as mine as to the meanings.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Improvisation of the Poor Creative

Creativity can be an expensive venture. There are lot of cool tools we wish we had and we yearn to make part of our studio. I wish that was reality for all of us. 

You have to think on your feet sometimes. 

About a year ago I chanced across a small styrofoam box sitting in a stores recycling bin. I'm unsure what its original use was. It was like a tiny cooler with a snug top that could be removed. I brought it home and tossed it in "might find a use for someday" pile.

Several months later I had an opportunity to do some outdoor photography with friends. Unfortunately there was rain in the forecast. I needed a way to keep my camera safe if the weather did indeed turn bad. I figured I'd just bring a bag to put it in when I noticed the styrofoam box sitting on a shelf.