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Collaborating with an artist - Daniel Mahlman

Erin Wilson

Photo credit: Emily Elisabeth Photography

Photo credit: Emily Elisabeth Photography

I am excited to finally share this new shirt with you because it has been a very cool collaboration. I wanted to have an artist create the artwork for a new nautical shirt and after a few cocktails with one of my dear old friends from Philadelphia, Emily, we determined her brother would be the perfect match!  And as any big sister would, Emily convinced Dan he MUST partake in this even though his dance card was quite full.

So I am excited to introduce you to Daniel Mahlman, a Philadelphia-based artist who created this boat artwork in pen & ink, but he also works in traditional oil portraiture. Beyond creating his own wonderful pieces, Dan also teaches art. He teaches to private students but what we truly love is he teaches art at Project HOME, a non-profit that strives to empower adults, children, and families to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.  He is an artist with a heart of gold trying to help others use art to better their lives.

His sister Emily wrote a blog post about his first solo exhibit a few years back and how much she admired how Dan was following his passion, his dream.  And it is admirable, it is not always easy but it is a good reminder to find the path in life that makes you happy.

From Dan's first solo exhibit, "Uyghur Man"

From Dan's first solo exhibit, "Uyghur Man"

The artist himself!

The artist himself!

I hope you love our new shirt, which is unisex, and I also hope you will support Dan and his work. If you would also like to do a collaboration with this amazing artist, buy a piece of his work, or commission him to do a piece for you, please visit his site.  

Emily – thank you for helping to make this happen!


A Salty Soul Highlight - Leigh McCarthy

Erin Wilson

All images courtesy of Leigh McCarthy. 

All images courtesy of Leigh McCarthy. 

Erin and Leigh .JPG

Happy Monday!  Ready for some more inspiration and to learn about another awesome Salty Soul?  This girl is our dear friend and often partner in crime on Nantucket!  The photo on the right is me & Leigh on the beach, where we both love to be. She has energy like no other, is always up for an adventure and she is an incredibly talented artist.  We are SO excited to introduce you to Leigh McCarthy! 


One of our favorites from Leigh's Nantucket work. 

One of our favorites from Leigh's Nantucket work. 


Q: You spend your summers on Nantucket and grew up near the ocean, how does this affect you as an artist and how you incorporate the ocean into your work? 

A: The sea incorporates itself into my work rather than the other way around. I grew up in LA and always visited my family on the East coast during the summer. When I discovered Nantucket, I just knew I found my happy place. It has such a fascinating past that I keep learning more and more about. The maritime history of Nantucket has inspired a lot of different work but it's not an intellectual thing, it just seeps into my pores. There is nothing I like more than walking over a sand dune and dropping into the most pristine beach you have ever seen. I hope it stays like this as long as possible, so I donate a portion of the proceeds of my work to the Nantucket Conservation Foundation to preserve it.  

Q: We hear you went to the same school as Damien Hirst. True story? 

A: Ha! That's true. I got my graduate degree at Goldsmiths College in London where Hirst studied art as an undergrad. Speaking of salty, Hirst became well known after suspending a 14-foot tiger shark in formaldehyde. I never thought I would be represented by the same gallery, but now we are both at the Samuel Owen Gallery! 

Q: Is it also true that your first exhibition was sponsered by David Bowie? 

A: Absolutely true! When I was in graduate school he hosted a show called Assembly for students in grad school studying fine art in London in a derelict school building in Stepney City. Students from a bunch of different schools joined forces from all over including Goldsmiths, Royal College, and Central Saint Martins. It was great.  

Q: You live this amazing life between Brooklyn and summers on do you make this happen? It's a dream come true!

Leigh Arctic.jpg

A: A few years ago, I was gearing up to go to the Arctic (you can find some of my pics are here) and thought being on Nantucket would be an ideal spot to test my new equipment in the elements. By the end of that summer, I had created a whole new body of work, got picked up by a local gallery, and had a show! I didn't expect so many good things to result, but it all seemed to fall into place after making the decision to be where I feel most inspired. 

Q: Last year you took an amazing trip to the Arctic? Tell us about the group you went out with and what your favorite part of the journey was!

A: The trip was part of a unique residency program called, the arctic circle Autumn Art & Science Expedition. I traveled for two weeks aboard a Norwegian Tall Ship with thirty other artists. It was pretty amazing to be on one of the only ships sailing in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. We could basically ask to do whatever we'd like in the name of art which was really freeing. 

A writer on the trip spent the night in a trapper's hut accompanied by two guides and a husky. After a brief transmission via walkie talkie, they walked to the top of a hill to wave goodnight. Their headlamps waved back and forth as they hiked in the fog, it looked just like a lighthouse. There was no way to capture it because it was so dark, but it's something I'll never forget. 

A: We love your work, how does one purchase? 

You can contact my studio directly to buy work at Or, if you are in Nantucket or Greenwich, CT you can stop by Samuel Owen Gallery to purchase my work. 

Q: Biggest piece of advice to others to pursue their dreams?

A: Quiet the inner critique, gather your courage, and make as many mistakes as possible. 


Salty Soul Highlight - Kristen Brown of The Sunset Shop

Erin Wilson


It has been awhile since we had a little inspiration and highlighted A Salty Soul!  Our designer Rebecca introduced us to Kristen Brown who splits her time between Costa Rica and Savannah. Amazing, right?  She is a photographer, a surfer and an embracer of life!  We are excited to share her story and hope you will check out her work here

Q: Where were you living prior to splitting time btw Costa Rica & Savannah? 

A: The Big Apple, aka New York City!

Q: What inspired you to make a big life change?  And are you happy you did it?  

A: I was ready to make a change -- at that point I was prepping to get my MBA. Then I took a surf lesson and it literally was love at first wipeout! My New Year's resolution in 2011 was to learn how to surf, so with that first surf lesson that year, I was determined to learn how to surf. A couple months later after surfing in Rockaway (NYC) all summer, I went to Costa Rica to surf. It rained all week, but I had a blast surfing. Three months after that CR surf trip, I went back to surf and happened to meet Robert August, who shapes at the surf camp I was staying at. One day he came up to me and commented how diligently he saw me working every day -- I was studying for my GMATs while on vacation. He then asked if I was good at "marketing and promotions" -- I laughed and said I worked at a big bank. But, Robert had planted a seed and eight months later I landed back in Costa Rica to work for him. Don't regret it one bit!

Q: Tell us about your photography!  We love that you help everyone take the beach home with them!

A: Awwww, thanks!!!! :) Soon after moving to Costa Rica, I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the sunsets were. Like jaw dropping, out of this world beautiful! I first started photographing them to share with my family and friends, and then one day I had an idea to make postcards using my sunset photos - - especially since all the postcards I had seen in Tamarindo looked nothing like Tamarindo and/or used ugly stock photos. The postcards have done extremely well in Tamarindo -- so everyone that has purchased a postcard as a souvenir or sent one as a souvenir has a piece of what I like to call "Pura Vidadise". Selling my postcards inspired me to pursue photography for clients as well (I photograph a lot of families on vacations and destination weddings), and last year I opened my online print shop, aptly named The Sunset Shop. Before I launched the shop, if a client wanted a print, they had to reach to me first. After working one-on-one with several clients, I wanted to make it even easier for anyone to have a piece of the beach at home with them, so I went to work designing The Sunset Shop. I still love working one-on-one with clients if they need help picking out the best sunset print for their space or if they have a question about sizing, and I also love how a client easily can navigate to my shop, pick their favorite print, and voila!

Q: What range of work do you do?  

A: I'm a natural light, lifestyle photographer -- meaning I love working with natural light to create beautiful and natural photos. Lifestyle photography is pretty much that -- all about capturing how people naturally are in the environment around them with a little bit of natural posing or direction. I shoot a lot of families that are on vacation in Costa Rica, destination weddings, elopements, or anyone else that wants photos just because they want life captured. Pretty much if you're down to laugh and have a good time, I'm your photographer! I also love photographing for brands and editorial work -- my photos were recently featured in Harper's Bazaar UK March 2018 issue -- pinch me!!!! AND, last but not least, my favorite thing to photograph are sunsets!!

Q: What are some of your favorite spots in both Tamarindo & Savannah?  

A: Pretty much anyplace on the water or with a water view! In Tamarindo, I love photographing at low tide on the point, as well as at the river mouth. I also love to hike up the hills in Tamarindo for the gorgeous views! Savannah is special because there is so much natural beauty with the marshes, rivers, and beach, as well as charming downtown Savannah. 

Some of my favorite spots to hang out in Tamarindo and surrounding area are: Pangas Beach Club, El Chiringuito, and Lola's in Playa Avellanas

Some of my favorite spots to hang out in Savannah and surrounding area are: The Wyld, Forsyth Park, and Skidaway Island

Q: What is a piece of advice you would give others to pursue their dreams and the life they want to live? 

Sometimes you just gotta take that first step! For me, that was quitting my corporate job and moving to Costa Rica. I by no means didn't have everything figured out when I went to Costa Rica, but with a lot of hard work, determination, and passion, I found and am pursuing my passions, photography, chasing sunsets, and surfing (almost) every day! My "life / happiness bank" is pretty darn full! :) 

All photos courtesy of Kristen Brown.