I create art in multiple types of media: drawings and paintings; interactive robotic LED sculptures; laser-cut designs and wall-hangings; experimental garments; fluorescent crafts and sculptures; and more. Much of my art is a blend of analog, digital, and high-tech, with light playing a major roll role (fluorescent materials, UV/black light, and color-changing LEDs). I like to describe my work as using "techno-magic".
A selection of my art.
Art doesn't happen in a void... By revealing some of the “magic” behind my art, I hope to inspire and empower people to become creators, so they might share their magic with the world too. In a world of increasing automation, homogenization, standardization, and commodification, one can easily feel trapped, powerless, and empty — but I believe we can fight against these forces by developing the confidence and skills to bring our ideas into the world — “to create our own reality” — and change the word around us.
Demoing my "Neuroflowers" project (brainwave-controlled robotic flowers), part of the Market Street Prototyping Festival.
A little over four years ago, I began to question my direction in life — I had a successful but unfulfilling career in market research and was increasingly unhappy. So much of my personality and creative drive was unexpressed and withering, with no real outlet. I longed to create, but felt trapped in the world of business analysis and research. Life had to be more than this, right? I began to consider my options and my passions. Around this time, I became friends with Sean Stevens, a life-time “maker,” who introduced me to technology-enabled creativity — Arduinos, programmable LED strip, robots and motors, sensors, and the power of CAD and digital fabrication tools like laser cutting and 3D printing — and then everything clicked. (Read more about what I've done since then.)
First: soldering an LED panel I designed; Second: demoing my first LED project - fuzzy rainbow LED belt!
I realized that I needed to be creating Art, and that an amazing repertoire of tools and technology were available and accessible to me. So, after some time struggling to juggle my creative endeavors, learning many new skills, and my soul-crushing job, I took the leap: I quit my job and moved from Boston to San Francisco, to create an educational 'art-up' — dubbed Sustainable Magic — with Sean.
Sustainable Magic has supplied me with awesome infrastructure, an inspiring mission, and sometimes paid work... but also a bunch of credit card debt, stress, and time-consuming business tasks like marketing, accounting, sales and customer management, and more... and not that much “free time” to actually spend experimenting and creating art without an express financial aim in mind. While I've received numerous art grants to make new art, those grants have mostly only covered the material costs, so I've rarely broken even on those creations either.
So, I'm asking for your help so that I can focus more of my time on creating and sharing new art pieces, experimenting with new technology, techniques, and materials, and developing my capabilities more... while not going into more debt.
Ideally, I hope to cover my living expenses (which are fairly low for SF! — I live frugally) and to have some money for materials, so that I can be focused on creating art, and bringing people together to co-create and learn. This will also let me occasionally help with unpaid large scale projects, like Dr. Brainlove, the art car I helped create in 2014 and improve in 2015 — without financial stress.
"Neuronal Light Nodes" I designed for Brainlove 1.0
Dr. Brainlove 2.0 - I designed the lighting covers that protected and diffused the LEDs and enabled people to climb on top.
I know this is the right next step in my life — and I think with your help, I can eventually arrive at a place where I am self-sustaining artist who is regularly creating and able to share and educate. I do plan to continue working on and being a part of Sustainable Magic, as its mission is closely aligned with mine, but I will make my primary focus be more individually oriented -- and I think this will strengthen my role in Sustainable Magic.
What would happen if I had a way to let you — my fans and friends — join together, in whatever capacity you are able, to have a big impact on my life and path as an artist? What if I didn't have to “do it alone”? What if the sky is the limit?
Let's find out!
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Patreon is a platform that allows anyone to become a patron of the arts. This is a stuffy way of saying that here we have a streamlined way for you to support an artist directly. Think of it sort of as an ongoing, online tip jar; if you like an artist's work, and can't afford or don't want to necessarily buy the artwork regularly, but still want to support them in some way? This is a great way to do it. It's a nod of your head, saying, "hey, I like what you do, thanks for sharing." It's all totally optional, you can quit doing it at any time. When you pledge, you will be charged only once per month, at the end of the month, and you can cancel any time you want. Only want to tip once? That's totally okay! Read the Patron FAQ here if you have questions about how the money part works.
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Everyone that supports me, even at only $2/month, gets to see my in-process progress and patron-only blog posts.
Patrons that are able to sponsor me at higher amounts will get entered into various raffles and also receive different thank you gifts, as outlined to the right hand side of this page. These are limited because I only have so much time. :)
If you are unable to financially back me, that's okay too. I will keep sharing my work broadly as long as I can. I understand not everyone is able or willing to "send a tip" so to speak.
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What Happens with the Money
Money from Patreon supporters will help me cover my monthly living expenses, so that I can focus on creating and experimenting without guaranteed financial return. It will give me some breathing room to make art.
Money from Patreon will also allow me to more easily purchase new supplies when I need them, such acrylic sheets, 3D printing filament, circuit boards, LEDs, oil pastels, paintbrushes, pens, paint, drawing pads, canvases, fabric, and more.
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Other questions? Contact me by sending a message through Patreon.