The Book

Orange is Optimism is a genre-blending book, which we have dubbed a pictotext, a blend between a novel and photobook.

Order Now


248 pages, including:

100 full-color photos, in spreads with original quotes.

122 page novella

Dozens of original illustrations, hand-drawn by Kit.


The photos were shot by J.R. across his 4 years of wandering the wilds of the U.S. When shooting, J.R. aims to share the underlying emotion or truth of a moment well-lived.

Though all of these photos document our travels, they also were shot with the intent to perpetuate beauty, hope, and optimism in the face of a difficult world.

We paired the vibrant photo spreads with original colorful quotes. Typography and illustrations punctuate each spread.


Orange is Optimism is a modern picaresque novel that joins two seekers on a rainbow-doused, overland journey to the mystical Tangerine Hot Springs, a place of hobo dreams brought to fruition.

The book is a philosophical exploration of work, leisure, and idleness. It is also a hair-raising and comical overland adventure through the wild spaces of America.

Join Kit and J.R. as they overcome physical blunders and encounter an assortment of bums, tramps, and hobos.  Consider queries about truth, existence, and the meaning of a journey in some of the most beautiful places in North America.

Inside, you’ll learn why an Optimist is the most radical thing you can be.

The novel portion of the book was written mindfully for readers of the internet age. It can be read in the traditional linear fashion or out of sequence, as a collection of short stories.



Kit Whistler and J.R. Switchgrass (AKA Rachel and James) have been living in their bus, Sunshine, on the American Road, for over four years, wandering through the wild spaces that still remain. The novel is a based on their experiences dodging the law, meeting America everywhere from Oklahoma to Kentucky, and working as migrant laborers to get by. This is a work of creative fiction, based on true events we’ve lived.

See more of the journey here:


For all you bibliophiles, here are the gloriously detailed specs of this book:


Dimensions: 6.75 inches by 8.5 inches

Smith-Sewn Binding

100# acid-free silk-finished paper

Offset Lithography

Printed in Minnesota on USA-sourced materials

First edition copy: 1 of 2,000