Aaron Rowley has a lot going on — take it from his Twitter bio, where he describes himself as someone who’s “easily distracted but also tryna do all the things.” He’s the co-founder (and engineer) of Electroloom, a 3D fabric printer — how cool is that?! He is all about the intersection of art and technology — and so are we — which is why Aaron is taking the stage at Re:Make, just a week away! We caught up with Aaron to hear all about his creative inspiration, what a typical morning looks like for him and how he stays productive.
This Is How I Start My Day:
It starts at 7am, maybe earlier if I am going on a run. I’ve recently been roasting my own coffee, so I’ll make a fresh cup with my latest batch and then answer a few emails before carpooling to my office — with NPR on the radio.
Here Is a Photo That Fits the Caption #iamcreative:
I co-developed a simple computer game with my friend, Daniel Hall, and it won first place at a Bay Area hackathon. It was called Dandelion — the player had to guide a blackbird through a forest and avoid falling objects including leaves and of course, dandelions. I’m a gamer myself, but this was my first time working on one rather than playing. I handled all the design — everything from the logo, to the color scheme, to the artwork and all the corresponding assets. It was meant to be easy to play, serene and fun. It was a real treat to see how much people enjoyed playing it. We had people crowding around waiting to play it on our laptop after the hackathon was over.
What advice would you give an intern on the first day at their dream job?
Ask questions and take a deep breath. Your inclination might be to try to remember everything, but you won’t (especially on day one!), so don’t let that stress you out.
What is your secret to overcoming creative block and finding productivity?
Coffee, mostly. But I also try to plan in breaks and isolation to let me clear my mind. Running is a great way to escape and to be alone and the post-exercise buzz can often kick things into gear. Also early mornings are so silent and peaceful that it sometimes feels like hitting the reset button.
What inspires you and where do you go to find it?
My source of inspiration isn’t really static; I find it in new areas all the time. In general, it comes from people doing really daring, unique things. Humans of New York is a consistent source of fascination for me, and one of my favorite companies is Fairphone (I’m anxiously waiting for them to expand into the US). I’ve tried to limit my Instagram feed to consist almost entirely of users that post creative and inspirational content.
What apps do you use daily?
Fitbit is what I look at first thing every morning. I like to see how long I slept and what my resting heart rate was. Other than that it’s Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Mint and Chrome.
Who is your favorite maker or someone who’s up and coming and doing something really cool in your field?
Gerard Rubio of OpenKnit — he’s making a low-cost, automated knitting machine. That’s no easy task, but it stands a really good chance at becoming one of the pieces of tech that lowers the barrier to entry for getting into fashion both from a design and manufacturing perspective.
What is the last thing you made that you were really excited about?
I’m writing a novel. It’s the first thing I’ve written consistently for a while and I’m really enjoying it. I’m at around 30,000+ words at the moment and things are really coming together.
Have any questions you’d like to ask Aaron? Share them with us in the comment section below.
(Photos via @aar0nr0wley)