Katie Covington: Making fun with Open Source for Makers

Katie Covington at the 2013 South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin Texas

DIY API open source

For Makers. #futureDIY

Katie Covington quit her job and started Open Source for Makers (http://www.opensourcemakerlabs.com/ ), where makers gave designs away for free. She explained how those interested in developing the project figured out how to share their designs for physical things, while still generating revenue.

By sharing ideas for projects, she generated a demand for source materials through sharing the knowledge. She realized that makers wanted to create and, once inspired, they want good sources of raw materials for their creations.

Covington explained how the makers jumped in with suggestions on new projects and products – and then they bought materials through the website from advertisers to use in the making.

Open Source for Makers works with suppliers, such as companies in the New York fashion district, offering materials that makers can order online. Her “tribe” helped her build the Open Source for Makers brand. And she connected them with unique materials that can’t be found at more traditional suppliers, such as Hobby Lobby or Michaels.

She described the way the website “takes away the friction” of hunting for materials by offering materials online in a way that is pleasing and useful for her website makers.

Covington’s advice for how to start your own company:

  • Go where your customers are (for her, this was Instagram and Pinterest)
  • Create content for that medium
  • Keep it fresh
  • Go offline
  • Work with users and test quality of tutorials, materials, etc.

Links

More images from 2013 South by Southwest Interactive
http://www.flickr.com/photos/clairwiloh/sets/72157632980772104/

http://eventifier.co/event/sxsw13/clairwil

2013 SxSW Interactive Presentations on Soundcloud 

https://soundcloud.com/officialsxsw/sets/sxsw-interactive-2013

Find out more about the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin Texas

http://sxsw.com/interactive

DIY comics artist Jody Culkin: Making and Drawing Comics in a Makers World

Jody Culkin, artist in a variety of media, speaking at South by Southwest Interactive 2013 in Austin Texas

Lasersaurs, science geek comics, comic book how-to’s on lasers, creative uses of IPhone cameras, hacking, soldering, coloring books on electronics, rapid development of instructional manuals using photo-comics—Jody Culkin brought many (pardon the art pun) graphic examples in a slide show presentation on DIY comics to a South by Southwest Interactive Conference audience.

Jody Culkin, a teacher in the Multimedia Program at CUNY’s Manhattan Community College, is an artist in a variety of media, including comics, photography, mixed media, installations and much more. She’s shown her sculptures, photographs and new media pieces at museums and galleries throughout this country and internationally.

Culkin suggested the use of comics, with their straightforward images and text, to assist with the development of an idea from a prototype to a finished product. And why not use comics for product—hardware or software— documentation?

Making your own fun

Tools: if you have the money or access via work or school, it’s certainly possible to use professional, expensive tools like Adobe’s Illustrator and InDesign for comics, there are plenty of no- or low-cost tools that can be applied to DIY comics. Comic Life, while not open source, integrates well with photos and is wired in with IPhoto if you use it to organize images.

Gimp, an open-source tool similar to Photoshop, can be used for pixel-based, as opposed to vector-based art and it’s available for Mac, PC, and Linux. Gimp has a lively community of users. Find out more about Gimp at http://www.gimp.org/

And for open-source vector-based art creation, consider Inkscape:   http://inkscape.org/en/

Culkin listed sites where science, electronics, DIY toy creation…..

Perhaps the best way to experience what the artist brought to the audience would be to review her event slides, which she posted in SlideShare. What a great idea, eh, for a DIY comics outsider artist, to give us an easy way to take in the ideas and images? Bravo, Culkin!  http://www.slideshare.net/jodyhc/culkin-diycomicssxswi2013

Links

Links from her slides in graphic form.

More images from 2013 South by Southwest Interactive

2013 SxSW Interactive Presentations on Soundcloud 

Find out more about the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin Texas

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