Yarn bombin’ artist, entrepreneur, and eternally curious man
Stephen Duneier is not the only Yarnbomber in existence, but he is the first to grab the domain name. “It was a way to deflect attention from myself,” he explained in our talk.
For those who were hiking Santa Barbara trails in 2012, you might have heard of the tree or the boulder that was wrapped with yarn. And while Stephen Duneier isn’t the first to do this, the photos of his work took off and suddenly people the world over were contacting him with their work, donating work, and more.
The man behind the yarn is equally fascinating. He’s a former hedge fund manager who likes to challenge himself, give himself tasks, and learn everything. In this way, he kind of reminds me of people like Tim Ferris, who are obsessed with what they call these days “life hacking.” But if you look back in history, you’ll find a lot of these autodidacts, who tried to figure out how to learn things quickly, if not adequately. (Leonardo daVinci is one of the most famous.)
In this discussion we go back to 2001, where everything changed for him.
Topics discussed include:
How the iPod changed Steve’s life into “living life deliberately”
How Steve learned German intensively
Setting resolutions and being naturally curious
How to use peer pressure
Breaking through the mystique level
Learning racing under Skip Barber
Bija – the seed of future results
Breaking down your goals into small tasks
2007 – a year hiking every single trail in Santa Barbara
2009 – Reading 50 books in a year
Christopher McDougall’s “Born to Run” and going barefoot
The best hiking trail in Santa Barbara
2012 – Learning 12 new things; and 12 charitable things
Learning unicylcing and then…knitting
Steve’s first yarnbomb
Woza Moya from South Africa
Being called an artist and what it means
How and why artists devalue themselves
How yarn bombing adds value
The future of the “Alien Campsite”
Growing up from Long Island to Florida to Santa Barbara
Where he learned his entrepreneurial spirit
His other life as a economic newsletter writer/former hedge fund manager
Plans for this year and beyond
“You need to produce” and how not to waste time
UPDATE 05/16: The Yarnbomber has added a HIKING GUIDE to his page, which should help those who want to hike Santa Barbara’s back-country.
Photos by the amazing Scott London
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