Alaskan glaciers, lush rainforests, desert terrain – it’s all the backdrop of a normal working day for partners Mary Ashley Krogh (who goes by MAK) and Owen Chikazawa, the creatives behind Bound for Nowhere. MAK, an illustrator and graphic designer, and Owen, a motion graphics artist, dropped their 9-to-5 studio jobs back in 2016, and have lived and worked on the road ever since, cruising through North America’s most beautiful, remote spots in search of inspiration and adventure.
MAK and Owen’s transition to a nomadic life required souping up a 1985 camper van with a solar panel – it charges a large battery bank that powers their home office, including laptops and mobile phones. They’re rarely in one spot for longer than a few weeks, and to connect with clients in all corners of the country, they rely on Dropbox. “Every single facet of our business is made possible because of it”, says MAK. The duo use Dropbox Paper to share project briefs, timelines and checklists with clients, and rely on the core features of Dropbox to share and comment on large files, photos and other deliverables. When client work requires tracking receipts and expenses on the fly, they’re able to turn their camera phones into a PDF scanner with Dropbox Scan.
Life on the road hasn’t been without bumps – when the pandemic hit in 2020, much of the couple’s freelance design work came to a halt. “Our calendar, and a significant portion of our income, was wiped clean in a matter of three days”, says MAK. They used the pause to explore new creative avenues, including photography and videography – assets that now support their thriving social media presence and paid partnerships. “We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of sponsors and outdoor clients where we can fold what we love into our work”, says MAK. “That’s been a very fun, very new frontier for us. It’s also made us better photographers.”
“Using Dropbox has also been tremendously helpful for social media”, says MAK. “We store all of our edited photos in Dropbox, so I can hop on anytime and pull whatever is inspiring me into a post.”
Pushing boundaries – and finding ways to incorporate work-from-anywhere with their passions – continues to drive MAK and Owen’s journey. The couple recently took their camper van on a ferry to Alaska in search of fresh scenery. “To come up here and see this place where land, sea and sky meet, and are sometimes hard to even tell apart … we’ve just felt really inspired by the change”, says MAK. International travel is next, says Owen – they’ll just have to figure out how to get their Wi-Fi on wheels overseas.
Video and story by Citizen Research