Meet Michael Shoemaker, owner of Purple Monkey Design and New Orleans Mini Maker Faire partner. We sat down with him to find out more about what makes this maker tick.
What do you make?
Purple Monkey Design produces shirts, bags and posters. Our clients submit designs or ask us to produce designs for them. Once the design is approved, we create screens that are layered together to form full color images.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve made?
We’ve printed fabric that was huge. The fabric was sewn together and draped in a theater in Brooklyn. Very Cool project for us. We took black and white photos of Mardi Gras Indians and printed them on a scale of 3 feet by 5 feet. They were displayed at Jazz Fest, too.
We printed about 1,000 bags for the city of New Orleans. Everything looked great as far as the print was concerned but the scrape of a fingernail would cause the ink to smudge and eventually be removed from the bag. We had to replace them all.
Name someone who inspires you in your maker pursuits, and tell us why.
My Dad always inspires me. He asked me to start this business when I thought I was too cool to do so. Once I was ready, he co-signed a small loan for our business and I never wanted to let him down after that moment. It’s always great to share our successes and failures. It has definitely brought us closer together.
Do you have any advice for aspiring makers or makers who are just starting out?
When you are thinking about making something, don’t just consider the work you are doing at the moment. Consider all of the future work you could get from doing a great job. People talk and you can only benefit from providing quality work.
Purple Monkey Design is the official t-shirt sponsor of the 2017 New Orleans Mini Maker Faire, which will be held on Saturday, April 22 from 10am-5pm at Delgado Community College (916 Navarre Ave).
Tell us about IDIYA – what is it?
We are a fully stocked makerspace. Members can take advantage of on site 3-D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, CNCs, direct to garment printing, sewing machines, a woodshop, and more. Educational initiatives are offered through IDIYA Labs, focused on training teachers in preparation for the next generation of makers. Community members can also hire the IDIYA Factory, our production shop which is led by Joe Cantu, to make whatever wild and new projects they dream up.
What inspired you to start IDIYA?
New Orleans has a rich culture of artists, inventors, and entrepreneurs. It is one of the most creative cities in the world! However, we noticed that creatives struggled to find a well-equipped, collaborative workspace to make the products of their imagination. We started IDIYA to give New Orleanians access to a one-stop shop where they can bring their ideas to fruition.
What is your philosophy as a Maker Space?
The writing’s on the wall, literally, directly behind our front desk. At our foundation, IDIYA is a mission-driven venture where we calibrate every part of our business by a standard of community empowerment. Our vision is making manufacturing more accessible for everyone. We live it every day in a space that is ever-evolving to meet the needs of our members.
What’s the most interesting Maker project you’ve created?
While the IDIYA Factory is always producing the stuff of our clients’ dreams, the product we celebrate most is the maker experience. We love connecting people with a great project they can do themselves, and what better way than with a DIY build party.
We partnered with NOMA in August to conduct a chair building workshop. Attendees received a private tour of “The Essence of Things” exhibit at NOMA, and we coached them through replicating a chair that was in the exhibit. Everyone went home with a work of art that they produced in a single day.
What’s the most interesting Maker project you’ve seen?
Our makerspace has seen laser cut jewelry, parade floats, costumes, bus-detectors, and things whose purposes elude those who have not asked, and baffle those who have. One of the most interesting projects that we have seen, the “Coastal Play” board game, involved the collaborative talents of many different makers. What started as a simple board game that illustrated the delicate situation of Louisiana wetlands, wound up combining elements from virtually every facet of the maker movement. The finished product was featured in the 2015 Anba Dlo Festival at the Healing Center.
Any advice for aspiring Makers?
Have fun. Learn from your mistakes. When in doubt, be a kid. Or just be a kid.
Meet the makers of IDIYA at the 2017 New Orleans Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, April 22 at Delgado’s Student Life Center. Keep checking back with us here for updates on ticket sales as well as guest speakers and performances.
You know that expression, “The early maker gets the prize.” No? Well, we’re declaring it’s a real thing, because this year we’re offering some pretty exciting perks for makers who apply early:
Don’t wait – apply today!
We are thrilled to announce that New Orleans Mini Maker Faire is partnering with Louisiana Crafts Guild! This year, they will be curating our Artist Zone, which is sure to be bigger and better than ever before. To find out more about the Louisiana Crafts Guild and what they’ll be bringing to our Faire, we sat down and talked with Executive Director Gene Meneray.
What is Louisiana Crafts Guild?
It’s the premier visual arts organization in Louisiana. We have 220 members from across the state who are juried in by their peers. We represent the finest traditions of traditional and contemporary crafts.
What is it about Louisiana that makes it such a great place for artists and makers?
Tradition covers all sorts of communities and neighborhoods throughout the state. There is a strong tradition of woodworking in Acadiana, glassblowing here in New Orleans.
People in Louisiana like to live day-to-day with objects that are representative of their culture. We don’t buy things because they’re going to increase in value. It’s work that we want to live with every day and that we want to experience. That’s the whole idea behind crafts in general, to have beautiful handmade items that you interact with on a daily basis that represent your culture or a culture that you have an affinity for.
Do you think of artists as Makers?
Yes. I think it really is one of the keys to the equation, having the ability to have a creative mind and an eye for beauty. Master the medium and do with your hands – be able to put your vision into form effectively.
Why partner with New Orleans Mini Maker Faire?
One of the missions of Louisiana Crafts Guild is to serve as a body that provides education. By showing people the stuff that’s out there, we believe that whenever we have an opportunity to show people work they could make themselves, that’s a really important thing. Our survival depends on having new people who are interested in this from of Making from both the Maker and the patron side.
What can we expect to see in the Artist Zone at New Orleans Mini Maker Faire?
We’d like to show a broad representation of work from across the state. We’d like to have different generations represented, different cultures represented. All of our work will be in line with the mission of the New Orleans Mini Maker Faire, showing as broad a spectrum as possible.
Come see the full array of Louisiana artists in the Louisiana Craft Guild Artist Zone at the New Orleans Mini Maker Faire. Our gates open on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 10am and stay open until 5pm. See you there!
There is a place where Makers gather to make, share, learn, and discuss. You’ll find it inside Art Egg Studios, where Makers often gather to turn their visions into reality. It’s a place where imagination becomes real, and it’s called Makers of NO.
“The Makers of NO is an organization that wants to provide a common Makers’ space for people to work together and embrace the Maker spirit,” says Makers of NO Board Member and Maker Alba Huddleston. “The biggest appeal to our organization is the community.”
Makers of NO has been around since 2014, but its growth and development has seen stops and starts along the way. Their most recent incarnation is a newly built community Makers’ space, where they host an Open House every Wednesday from 7-10pm with plenty of pizza, beer, and tinkering.
Makers of NO is joining forces with New Orleans Mini Maker Faire! They will be presenting some of their Maker projects at our Call for Makers Happy Hour. Join us for Maker Happy Hour, complete with a tour of Urban South Brewery. You can learn more about Makers of NO, schmooze with fellow Makers and Faire Enthusiasts, and sign up to be a part of the 2017 New Orleans Mini Maker Faire!
What: Call for Makers Happy Hour with Brewery Tour
When: Thursday, October 6 from 6-8pm
Where: Urban South Brewery, 1645 Tchoupitoulas
Meet the Makers of NO at the 2017 New Orleans Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, April 22 at Delgado’s Student Life Center. Keep checking back with us here for updates on ticket sales as well as guest speakers and performances.
The historic warehouse reigns over Tchoupitoulas with an Urban South Brewery sign displayed near its roofline like a crown. Despite its well-established appearance, Urban South is the new kid on the block, having served its first beer on March 17, 2016 – that’s St. Patty’s Day to you and me.
Jacob Landry is the guy behind this new endeavor. He hails from the tiny southwestern Louisiana town of Hathaway, but his journey into all things hops and malt began almost 5,000 miles away. His passion for beer making was born after spending a year in southern France during his college days, where he was exposed to Belgian and German beers.
“Prior to that, I had no idea that beer could actually taste good,” says Landry.
A few years in the Pacific Northwest gave Landry further appreciation for craft beer culture, but still he didn’t heed the call of the keg. It took 8 more years of living in New Orleans and working as an educator before he finally took the plunge and opened a brewery of his own along with Brewmaster Wes Osier, and Urban South’s VP Kyle Huling.
“It took a while for me to listen to my inner passion,” Landry jokes. “Part of the impetus in starting this was, as a Cajun, culturally you go back home, and you never get away without taking something with you: homemade pickles, hot sauce. For me, it was exciting to build something. I realized I could make something for other people to enjoy.”
Beer has been Landry’s entry into the Maker Culture, so being a part of the New Orleans Mini Maker Faire is a natural fit for Urban South Brewery.
“New Orleans Mini Maker Faire represents the values we hold dear as brewery,” says Landry. “We’re always tinkering, being experimental.”
The interior of Urban South Brewery reflects that experimental spirit. It’s a late 1800’s warehouse with an industrial interior. Picnic tables are scattered across concrete floors, open space soaring up to exposed rafters. It’s a raw, blank canvas, that has endless possibilities. Which is why it’s the perfect place for New Orleans Mini Maker Faire to launch its Official Call for Makers! If you’re a Maker or Maker Faire Enthusiast, come join us for Maker Happy Hour, complete with a tour of Urban South Brewery.
What: Call for Makers Happy Hour with Brewery Tour
When: Thursday, October 6 from 6-8pm
Where: Urban South Brewery, 1645 Tchoupitoulas
Now you can show your Maker pride anytime of the year by shopping at the New Orleans Mini Maker Faire Depot! Our designs have a local flair with a fun little “Make Dat” declaration. Shop ’til you drop! You can also help us spread the word by sharing our shop with your friends.
Check here for discount codes to use at checkout!
We are thrilled to announce that the fourth annual New Orleans Mini Maker Faire, presented by Bricolage Academy of New Orleans, will be taking place on April 22, 2017, at Delgado Community College’s Student Life Center. Last year we hosted 95 Makers and welcomed more than 3,000 visitors to our event, our biggest turnout yet.
This year, our partner, Delgado, brings something new and innovative to our Faire this year with its Fab Lab.
The Fab Lab is a place where anyone can build (almost) anything! This hub for educators and Makers in New Orleans is resource of cutting edge equipment and comprehensive instruction, open to the community at large. The Fab Lab serves as a collaborative space for exploration and experimentation. In other words, it’s every Maker’s dream.
“The Fab Lab is a place to innovate and explore with building,” says Sam Provenza, Fab Lab Manager, “To have access to equipment that wouldn’t be normally attainable to most people.”
From laser cutters to a shop bot, this Lab is pretty fab! It offers an electronics suite, a robotics suite, and soldering stations. You’ll also find 3D printers with interchangeable heads, opening up a world of possibility when it comes to using various printing materials. There’s even a mini 3D router, which Provenza says is the equivalent of a reverse 3D printer—removing material to make a detailed three-dimensional object rather than adding material. Its scanner function will transfer an object to CAD software, which saves a lot of time.
“If you’re trying to do a reproduction of something, you don’t have to do it manually,” Provenza says.
“I don’t know, and that’s what’s great,” he says. “It’s whatever [a Maker’s] idea is. This is a place people can come and explore and delve into the kinds of projects they’re interested in.”
STEAM at it’s finest. Right here in New Orleans. And you can experience it in person at the fourth annual New Orleans Mini Maker Faire on April 22, 2017 at Delgado.
Makers, get ready… the time is almost here for our annual Call for Makers!
Last year, we hosted 95 Makers and welcomed 3,000 guests. New Orleans Mini Maker Faire is in its fourth year, and we aim to make this event our biggest yet. We encourage all Makers to apply because this is the place to be for Makers from all walks of life. Tinkerers, inventors, innovators, artists, chefs, Mardi Gras krewes… whatever your talent or interest, come showcase it at the 2017 New Orleans Mini Maker Faire! Be a part of the culture of art, design, and DIY that has made New Orleans one of America’s most unique cities.
Join us for our next Maker Happy Hour at Urban South Brewery on Thursday, October 7 from 6-8pm. Rub elbows with Makers and Maker Enthusiasts, plus enjoy a special tour of Urban South Brewery. The best part? This will be your first chance to sign up to be a Maker at the 2017 New Orleans Mini Maker Faire! Your FREE TICKET is your drink ticket, so be sure to register! We look forward to seeing you at this exciting kick off event. With your support, this year’s Faire is going to be bigger than ever.
Are you a Maker or someone who’s passionate about the Maker culture? We Want YOU to volunteer to join our Planning Team and help make the 2017 New Orleans Mini Maker Faire a reality. We need good people like you to help us put together the Greatest Show (And Tell) On Earth! Email us to get involved.