Tell us about yourself.
Well, I come from a blended family and have five younger sisters. I grew up in rural southern Colorado but went to college in Chicago where I earned my Bachelor of Arts from SAIC in 2000. Currently, I reside in Milwaukee. By day I’m a commercial photographer specializing mostly in product photography. In the evenings and on weekends I design and build custom lamps and light fixtures. I’ve been at it about three or four years and work under the name W Luminaries.
What are you presenting at Maker Faire Milwaukee?
I’m very pleased to be presenting handmade accent lamps made from my preferred materials: wood, metal (raw brass and polished nickel) and glass.
What inspires you to make?
The people whose work I greatly admire–too numerous to list here–definitely motivate me. But maybe it’s a lifestyle choice? I guess I’ve always just made things starting from a very young age. There’s a certain satisfaction that I get from both organizing and materializing these crazy ideas I have in my head. Simply put, I’m a relentless tinkerer with an artistic bent. I just keep wondering, dreaming and building. It’s what I’ve always done in one form or another.
What tips or advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Maker?
Don’t be afraid to steal ideas but you better be sure to make them your own. I’ve learned it’s better to be an extension of the work you revere rather than a direct imitation. Oh, and relax. Frustration is the antitheses of creativity. At least for me it is.
Tell us about one of your failed projects.
Now that’s a tough one! With so many examples of failure under my belt it’s hard to choose just one. I’ve tried so many things in my life: fiction writing, song writing, acting, sculpture, drawing, painting, photography–the list goes on and on. I’ve been moderately successful to down right bad at these many disciplines. The ones I have a real and unforced affinity for I continue to work at. Along the way I’ve come to appreciate the complete process, or bigger picture of what I’m doing. Why dwell on failure when it’s an inevitable part of the creative process? Somethings work well, others not as well. Yeah, it bugs me a little when I don’t foresee the short comings of this or that design. But on the flip side I’m all ready on to the next idea or motification. This is how I get along, really. I just try to keep moving myself forward. And I have to say that all those little failures have moved me faster towards my little successes. Of which I’m grateful.
For more info check out the 2016 profile page for wluminaries.