1. This blog is called “Kyle Makes Things”. What exactly constitutes a “thing”?

I intentionally kept this loose, because I didn’t want to confine myself to only doing paintings, or only doing drawings, or only doing cardboard sculptures. This is meant to be an exploration of the creative process as a whole, not an exploration of some particular subcategory of creativity.

As such, a “thing” could be:

  • a painting
  • an illustration
  • a sculpture
  • a mask
  • an animation
  • a video
  • a photo
  • a font
  • an object
  • or just about anything, really,

The point isn’t to put the focus on the things I make, although I hope people think they’re cool. The point is to explore the process of making those things, and making things in general.

2. Why is this blog called “Kyle Makes Things”? Why not “Kyle Makes Art” or something along those lines?

To be honest, I struggle with terms like “artist”, “designer”, “creative”, etc. Because they’re SO subjective. What one person considers art, another person considers garbage. And vice-versa.

I knew that if I said “I’m going to make a piece of art every day”, there would be days when someone would say “That’s not art. That doesn’t count.”

But it’s a lot harder for someone to say “That’s not a thing.” than it is to say “That’s not art.”

Frankly, the whole concept of “art” has a lot of baggage that comes along with it, and I’m not really interested in wading into all that.

3. How often do you make things?

I’ve committed to posting something new I’ve made every single weekday, although I rarely post something on the same day that I made it (it takes time to take pictures, do a write-up, and then post it).

To keep myself from just making stuff one day a week and then spreading out the posting, I’ve also made a rule that I have to do SOME KIND of making every day. I might not start a new thing every day, and I might not finish a new thing every day, but I will work on something every day, and I will post something every weekday.

4. How did you learn to make this stuff?

Mostly just by trial and error. Or by asking other people how they make stuff. Or by watching youtube videos or reading books or whatever.

I took one art class in high school, and I really enjoyed it, but I didn’t take any more. I took one graphic design class in college, but I had already been doing design work for a few years at that point and didn’t learn much.

Most creative work can be self-taught if you just take the time to try. Yeah, you’re going to make mistakes. Yeah, your first attempts are going to look pretty terrible. But keep trying. The trying itself is a blast, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you improve.

5. How do you come up with new ideas all the time?

The easiest way to come up with ideas is just to be observant of the world around you.

The second easiest way is to start recording things.

I’ve found that most people don’t have a problem HAVING ideas, they have a problem KEEPING TRACK OF those ideas. That’s why I carry a pen and paper with me everywhere, and I have for years. It’s why I revisit old journals and notebooks to mine ideas regularly. It’s why I have a whole system for keeping track of ideas in Evernote.

I also make a point to seek out inspiration on a daily basis. I have a whole list of sites that inspire me, but I’m also on the lookout for new inspiration – in books, magazines, on the web…. anywhere I can find it.

Also, since I’m seeking out all this inspiration already, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to share it with anyone else who’s interested. So once a week, I send out a newsletter with some of the coolest stuff I’ve come across that week. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in checking out, you can sign up for free here.