On Monday, I wrote about why I’m excited to attend Maker Faire Bay Area this weekend. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, here’s the gist: seeing cool new stuff and interacting with like-minded people is a great way to improve your own skills and feed your creativity. While writing that article, I started to wonder about other people’s reasons for attending Maker Faire. I contacted Bob Clagett and David Picciuto (their panel discussion “Process is the Product” is Saturday at 11am with Jimmy DiResta) and asked why they were attending Maker Faire. Clagett, who runs I Like To Make Stuff, said this:
To be inspired by what everyone else is doing mainly. It’s a giant playground and you get to see everyone playing their own games. I get to meet so many new people and see so many new things each time. Maker Faire is like an adrenaline shot to any maker!
Picciuto, the creative force behind MakeSomething.TV, had similar thoughts:
Looking forward to connecting with friends and meeting followers of my channel and podcast! And of course I love seeing all the crazy unbelievable things that happen at Maker Faire!
It’s exciting to learn that two of my favorite makers are attending for the same reason I am. It’s also exciting to know that, despite how experienced these people are at what they do, they still have the passion and excitement that keeps me making things every day.
Their answers only made me more curious, though, so I opened it up to some folks on Facebook and Twitter. Peter Brown, King of Epoxy, had this to say:
Last year when I attended Maker Faire I was actually really disheartened by the lack of actual Making and the prevalence of printing or designing. It took a while for me to realize that it didn’t matter what was “made” but rather who was doing it. I met many passionate people who were dreaming up new ideas.
That is the heart of Maker Faire to me. The spark of ideas.
I heard from Star Simpson (her presentation “Designing Circuit Classics” is Sunday at 3:30), who primarily works in hardware and electronics:
@make @arielwaldman @onecarworkshop I’m looking forward to seeing new things!
— Star Simpson (@starsandrobots) May 18, 2016
Ariel Waldman also responded (“The Hacker’s Guide to the Galaxy” with Make: editor Mike Senese is Saturday at 2:30):
@onecarworkshop I’m going to @makerfaire to be enveloped by the delight of people who follow their curiosity #MakerChat
— Ariel Waldman (@arielwaldman) May 18, 2016
I heard from more than a few folks who sadly couldn’t make it to the Bay Area, but had been to other Maker Faire events and wanted to share their experience. People like Ben Brandt of B2Builds:
Making is typically such a solitary pursuit, it’s really inspiring and invigorating to be able to share and discuss with other like-minded people. The internet certainly helps in this regard, but seeing and talking to other makers, and seeing their work in person brings it to a whole new level. You leave the event with a renewed inspiration, a boost of creativity, and a stronger sense of community. Sadly I can’t justify the trip to San Francisco, but someday I hope to come out. This year’s Minneapolis mini maker faire was my first, but won’t be my last.
And Charlie Kocourek of Jack Bench Woodworking:
I went to the one in the Twin Cities last year. It was fun to walk around and see all the cool technology. The one here seems to be geared towards getting kids interested in Making, and I wholeheartedly endorse that. We need more kids who are interested in making!
Needless to say, I’m even more excited than I was two days ago. If you are on the fence about attending, I encourage you to come out to Maker Faire Bay Area, May 20-22 in San Mateo. It’s okay if you don’t know exactly why you’re going, because you’ll figure it out as soon as you get there. And if this article helped you decide to attend, come find me at the show and say so.