Meet the Makers – Kevin Schlei & Becky Yoshikane

Kevin Schlei & Becky Yoshikane

Tell us about yourself.
Kevin: I create new electronic musical instruments for tablets, phones, and laptops. In 2010 I started developing apps for iOS devices under the name Bit Shape. I like biking around Milwaukee.
Becky: I am a recent graduate from UWM with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Technology. I focus on using technology as a medium for making art in the Milwaukee community. I have been working with Kevin on different creative coding projects for the last few years. I like gardening and adventuring.

What are you presenting at Maker Faire Milwaukee?
‘the things of shapes’ is an interactive audio / video installation where 3D graphics react to an electronic soundtrack. We created a graphics engine that produces sound, used that engine to create the music, and then made the graphics react to the music. Participants will be able to control the visuals using a motion sensor.

What inspires you to make?
Kevin: I get a thrill creating instruments that people use in their own work, especially tools they haven’t seen before. For me, using new tools helps open up different pathways of creativity, and I hope my users get the same benefit.
Becky: Boredom.

Kevin Schlei & Becky Yoshikane

Why do you consider yourself a Maker?
Becky: I consider myself a Maker because the name is based on a verb. Unlike ‘Artist’ or ‘Musician’ which are statuses or positions, ‘Maker’ is still seen as an action. I want to be known for my work and actions not the status that goes with it.

What tips or advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Maker?Kevin: Your next project should always be slightly outside of your skill range.
Becky: Everyone has to start somewhere; a rocket scientist wasn’t born a rocket scientist. You can always change who you are and what you know.

Tell us about one of your failed projects.
Kevin: Every time I build and run my code it’s a failure. There are bugs, it’s not designed right, or I see improvements to make. I’m a failure-driven developer.

Kevin Schlei & Becky Yoshikane

If you could make one thing that would improve the world, what would it be?
Becky: An education program that shows people that there is no subject that is superior over another and focuses on teaching rather than equipment or tests.

For more info check out the 2016 profile page for Kevin Schlei & Becky Yoshikane.