Name: Ashley Qian
Home: San Francisco, California
Makerspace: Double Union
Day Job: During the day, I work as a software engineer at DIY. We’re an ed tech company that works on creating and sustaining online learning communities for kids.
How did you get started making?
Once I joined DIY, I was inspired by all of the kids who created and shared the amazing things they built on our platform. As a kid, I never really had the opportunity, nor was encouraged to channel that creativity. I started out with the intention of living out the childhood that I never had, but the more I make, the more I realize that it’s a lifelong journey and an inherently human thing to do.
What type of maker would you classify yourself as?
My goal is to explore all sorts of mediums and combine them in curious ways. As of now, I would say that what I’m exploring most identifies as a fabric hacker and illustrator.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve made?
My corgi keyboard is a stuffed corgi with a Makey Makey embedded in it. All you have to do is connect it to a computer, and each paw press maps to one of the arrow keys.
My other project is a cosplay of Lapis Lazuli, from my favorite TV show, Steven Universe. This was my first time ever doing cosplay completely from scratch– starting from sewing my own outfit, to props, to makeup, to cutting and styling the wig.
What’s something you’d like to make next?
I’m really excited about my current musical magical plushie project. I’ve always wanted to explore the possibilities of sewable Arduinos, and I’m looking forward to making more Arduino animal plushies.
Any advice for people reading this?
Failing is part of every maker’s process. It’s a completely natural and expected thing, so don’t be afraid to take the first step into trying something new.
Separately, I think that there’s some misconception that making is primarily focused on hardware and software. It isn’t! Making is everything and anything that *you* can create.
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