Lost in L.A.

The Midwest landscape is beautiful, but there are no oceans, no mountains, and no twisted Canyon roads that leave you breathless with wander and sporadically slamming on your brakes. My first time ever on the West Coast was in the beginning of March, which left me with a massive case of culture shock.  I was shocked by the abundance of vegetarian fast food and the positive energy and open kindness of strangers, all within beautiful landscapes and consistently gorgeous sunsets.  I absorbed all of this the best I could, thinking I wouldn’t return to California for a long time. 

Little did I know, I would be uprooted from my hometown of Saint Louis and be back in Los Angeles in a mere three weeks.  This was a welcome change, but it left me spinning in a whirlwind of to-do lists, jam packed days, and excitedly sleepless nights.

And now, here I am, continuously lost in this sprawling beautiful city with roads that mirror adventure-driven car commercials, insane views that don’t seem fair for me to view from within a car–no sweat required–, and an endlessly inspiring mix of people and combination of cultures. 

The studio is unlike any other workspace I’ve encountered ; backup batteries share shelves with black boxes of negatives, 8×10 film is kept cold next to a carton of half & half (a studio essential), and a portrait of Will Smith eyes me from a wall shared with a grid of multicolored Volkslivin’ buses and a pierced punk couple.  While it’s a place of business, creativity leaks into everything we do.  One can’t even eat lunch without being a victim of Kwaku’s camera.  That said, I’m happy to be the lucky victim.


~Sara Swaty




My morning drive to work on Topanga Canyon Road.



Stopped by the Grand Canyon on the drive to California.

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