At 3DPrintWise, we are keen to promote the little people from the world of 3D printing and those just starting out with their enterprises. For example, those trying to make a living as a 3D printing artist.
We already posted an article about the 3D printing designer at Sloris who calls herself ‘M’ but she has just sent us her story from the middle of the Mediterranean sea.
Here is what ‘M’ had to say:
3D Printing On The Move
Are you a telecommuter, work in a home office or do you have a mobile office?
One of the above? None of the above? How about all of the above? I telecommute to my support staff office in New York City, work from wherever my home happens to be on any given day and move regularly all over the place. Many would say it is the nature of being an artist. At the moment, I am in Italy – Sicily to be precise and it is a real inspiration.
My boutique design startup, Sloris.com, specializes in using 3D printing to create items that push my imagination and the boundaries of normal fabrication. Ideas in my head have a chance to become real and that is what 3D printing offers people like me.
Additive Manufacturing – NYC
I routinely communicate with the NYC office of my additive manufacturing service provider (Shapeways).
Using their services has freed me from many of the usual requirements of running a small art & design business.
After an order is placed; they process the payment, 3D print the item, update the customer as to the progress of their order (if necessary) and offer an easy return and refund policy.
Producing each design individually negates the problem of over or under stocking, as well as warehousing inventory. It is a perfect solution for me as a fledgling 3D printing artist. One who is trying to make a living at what they love doing and carry on avoiding what they dislike doing.
3D Printing From The Road
Location, location, location!
In the real world having a studio and gallery in a great place is very expensive. Far beyond the means of most artists or freelance designers. However, online, your presence is what you make of it. My partner is our web site developer; he manages the design, handles our shopping software and optimizes our pages for search engines. We both market Sloris through online social networking and media coverage. It’s inexpensive, international and offers the best type of marketing called ‘word of mouth’.
I’ve been progressing steadily towards a nomadic life and way of working for some time now. I even relocated to Thailand 4 years ago with the aim of escaping the rat race. In the states, I was lucky to get two weeks of vacation per year in my old job. My first year in Thailand, I had over a month of holiday time. By last year, I was fortunate enough to have three. Now, I’m on the move for the foreseeable future. I have two bags and a laptop, that’s the sum total of my home and working tools. I don’t need or want more. Well, sometimes I do miss things but then again anybody would.
But why this lifestyle? I’m a professional painter and surely there is an easier way to make a living?
Being on the move provides an unending supply of inspiration. Each new culture is an introduction to novel art, language, food and customs. You just can’t get that sitting in a design office or in an art studio.
I started Sloris in Thailand, where I designed and produced a set of unique rings – the ‘one infinity’ jewellery line which you can find in my shop for 3D prints.
Sometime later …
Having moved onto Spain (I know it is a bit of a jump), I launched my website to offer the first 5 pieces of holeyware; a sake cup and sake pitcher, espresso cup, rocks glass and shot glass. It is where I got serious about making a living from my 3D printed art. You can see all of my items in the link given to my shop above under household goods but for starters here is my Expresso cup containing rich Italian coffee with a hole in the middle.
Well, I’m currently signing off from from Italy (yes I moved again), the home of classical art and of course the renaissance. It is a place where my newest designs are quickly evolving.
To finish …
I was lured into the world of 3D printing by the opportunity to transform my 2D canvas bound images into real 3D objects. To have the freedom to experiment and challenge myself, the materials I use and without the fear or risk of a large financial outlay.
I love my lifestyle. When I’m on the move, I am truly free to design. There are challenges; new languages, unexpected costs, ridiculous travel schedules and fatigue but none of these outweigh the advantages. This lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but it is exciting.
See more about Sloris and her travels – 3D Printing On The Move.