December 11, 2020

Gabriel Aubry: Maker Spotlight!

by Kris Hurst

Gabriel Aubry is this month’s Maker Spotlight! He is a frequent user of the Ignite Studio at the Hamilton East Public Library in Fishers. He can be found drawing in his sketchbook, converting images into laser cut designs, and creating vinyl pieces for t-shirts and other items. He has been regularly making things at Ignite since November 2019 and is part of a collective of artists and makers that sell their work online and in Carmel.  Find he work at Indy Makers! He took some time to answer our questions about his experience.

When did you first become interested in making things?

I have been drawing since I was a child and had long considered it my favorite hobby since I was young. I continued to be greatly interested in art throughout all of my school years, exploring different mediums. And I developed an interest in making some sort of career out of art making.

Do you have any formal training or are you self-taught?

Aside from art classes from elementary to high school, I majored in studio art at Indiana University, with a heavy concentration on drawing and painting. I have taken a few classes in oil painting and am still interested in learning more skills for potential projects.

What kind of things do you currently make?

In the Ignite Studio, I illustrate designs that I use in projects that use the laser engraver and the Cricut machine. I work with another creator, Wendy Kiefel, on these projects to sell at enterprises found on Main Street in downtown Carmel, IN.

When did you decide to turn “making” into a business?

I wanted to make a career out of illustration and creating art. I originally thought about making and selling illustrations, paintings, or even comic books. My time at the Ignite Studio and my interactions with other creators introduced me to other ways to make a business out of creating that I hadn’t considered before.

What is the business/selling side of art making like?

To be honest, I would more often illustrate designs that would be used on the projects being sold (such as cards, shirts, ornaments, etc.), but it is very gratifying to help make something that others enjoy enough to purchase. At times, it can be a bit stressful to make products that look presentable for sale and to be able to make enough and on time, but the effort, when done, is satisfying.

What drew you to the Ignite Studio and how long have you been coming to Ignite?

A family friend introduced me to one of the makers, Wendy Kiefel, and we began collaborating on projects, producing holiday ornaments and other products for sale. Since then, I have been at the Ignite Studio, working on projects either with Wendy or by myself, since last year.

How has the Ignite Studio helped you further your goals in art and making?

It helped me in making illustrations for projects that involve equipment like the laser engraver and the Cricut machine and producing products for sale.

How easy or hard was it to learn the equipment in Ignite?

It is relatively easy for me to learn how to use equipment at Ignite. The hard part is making sure I can remember how to use it again, later, and it sometimes takes awhile to learn how to utilize the programs the equipment uses. I ask for assistance in relearning how to use the various equipment.

Any advice for those interesting in making things?

I have three advices:

  • Draw what you want, if not that, then what comes to mind
  • Always ask for constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve your work. If you think you can do better than you did before, work off of that.
  • And, in the words of Shia LaBeouf: Just do it.