Makerviews exists to share the stories of and advice from a variety of talented makers, designers, and artists.
Maker interview with Billy Kheel
Having recognized the passion, drive, and pure enjoyment of making things that each Making It contestant illustrates, Makerviews is excited to have the chance to highlight, feature, and share insights from each contestant. This Making It series gives a deeper look into these makers’ lives. The format: Makerviews asks these talented individuals two questions. That’s it, two questions. Learn more about this series.
Billy Kheel is a very creative artist and his medium: felt and thread. This maker is creating felt sculptures, wall hangings, installations, and more. His work’s aesthetic ranges from retro to abstract and is often created using unique felt appliqué techniques.
Check out this interview with Billy Kheel, maker from NBC’s Making It.
Making It Interview...
with Billy Kheel
What inspires you to keep making things?
"I feel like making things is like starting a conversation with the people that are going to see it or see you making it. People are going to see what you make and they will let you know how they feel about it. I am constantly surprised by people's reactions to things I make and usually, their reactions inspire me to make more (and better) stuff. It can be a great, fun circle.
On a more day to day level, I seek inspiration from my neighborhood, riding my bike, art shows, sports, teaching kids, books, movies, traveling, fishing, my fellow makers, my upbringing, and doing projects with my family."
What one piece of advice would you give to other makers?
"Get after it!! Work on getting a great idea, look at your life, your surroundings, things that are meaningful to you, that you are passionate about and want to pursue. Once you lock into your idea, start the process of making it. Research how you might want to do your project, start making some drawings or assemble images for inspiration. Work it out on paper, think about it, break it down into steps and get going.
Even the longest journeys start with small steps, one in front of the other. Then as you go, keep yourself open to new ideas, new ways to do things. Before you know it, you will have something uniquely yours. And don't worry if it doesn't work out at first, keep after it. The process is actually the fun part."
"Even the longest journeys start with small steps, one in front of the other." — Billy Kheel
Thank you all for reading this interview - get out there and make things!
Next up on Making It series:
Making It Interview...with Robert Mahar
Robert Mahar, maker and contestant on NBC's Making It. Interview series highlighting makers who share their advice and why they make.
More about NBC's Making It:
Presented, produced, and hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman with judges Dayna Isom Johnson, Simon Doonan, and featuring other guests. Season 1 was set in a serene cabin near Malibu, Season 2 premiered during 2019's Holiday Season, and Season 3 started airing on NBC on June 24, 2021.
"In this six-episode competition, eight of the most talented makers from across the country will take on a variety of handmade projects with the hopes of impressing Poehler, Offerman, and judges. Poehler and Offerman both share a love and passion of craftsmanship, albeit from different perspectives. Poehler is a self-proclaimed crafting novice who has long harbored a secret appreciation for those who can imagine and execute incredible things by hand. Offerman is a New York Times best-selling author in the woodworking space and is well known for his love for making a variety of objects himself.
Every show will revolve around a central theme that draws inspiration from hugely popular, nationwide trends in crafting and DIY, which the whole family can enjoy.
Each episode of the competition will consist of two projects that allow the makers to demonstrate their specialized talent, while sharing skilled insights and touching personal stories. First, the "faster-craft" round will be a timed challenge that will test their ability to not only work quickly but imaginatively as well. Next, the makers will move to the "master craft collection," a one-of-a-kind themed challenge in which the competitors will need to use their expertise and get inventive in order to assemble a winning craft that fits the theme of that week.
Blending the atmosphere of a serene outdoor setting and innovative cinematography designed to showcase the beautiful craftsmanship at work, this friendly competition will focus on the character and camaraderie of the crafting community and through it all, Amy and Nick will provide heartfelt encouragement, guidance and plenty of laughs."— sourced from NBC's Making It
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