Collective Quarterly Issue 3: Topa Topa


Collective Quarterly is a magazine about creating. Following select artists and artisans on trips to unexpected places, Collective Quarterly brings together illustrators, photographers, writers, and craftsmen to cover a carefully edited selection of dry goods, art, music, food, drink, and stories, rooted deeply in the heritage and land around us.

This latest dispatch from The Collective Quarterly floats in a right triangle between Santa Barbara to the west, Ojai to the east, and Ventura to the south. Consistent, perfect waves roll in off the point break and caress this parched patch of land. It ?s a place where the oaky scent of chaparral wafts in the air after a light drizzle, and hot springs bubble up from the earth in the arid Sespe Wilderness. It ?s a stretch of coastal highway where motorcyclists gallop their iron ponies at full throttle.

These three cities can, at times, feel caught in the peculiar moment of change between night and day: Santa Barbara ?s first impression feels like a contradiction, a place that is part retirement community, part haven for renegade artists who live in its industrial zone. Ojai is home to a strange friction between native citizens and transplants who have come seeking some shade of peace or spiritual enlightenment. And Ventura is a gritty surf town with an occupational dichotomy: environmentally conscious outdoor retailer Patagonia is headquartered here, within eyesight of hulking oil platforms moored offshore.

These cities defy categorization as a group. Yet, they exist within 35 miles of one another, in the shadow of the Topatopa Mountains.

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