We’re proud to feature our latest maker, Kristin Osiecki, who authored this month’s featured lesson plan on Surrealist Paper Electronics. Kristin Osiecki is a Designer, Educator and Maker living and working in the Boston area. As an educator, she has focused her work on the intersection of the visual arts and technology, exploring electronics and their potential for self-expression, as well as their ability to make subjects like physics, programming and math both tangible and interactive. Read more about her story, and check out her amazing interactive works of art on her website.
1. What is your story?
I’m a graphic designer turned high school art teacher who is currently pursuing a masters degree through Harvard’s Technology, Innovation and Education program. I have always had an interest in using technology to create interactive works of art. As an art teacher, I feel I have a valuable opportunity to introduce electronics and programming to students who may not otherwise seek out these skills. It is my goal to empower visual arts students to utilize technology as confidently as they work with other more traditional fine art materials. I think there is tremendous potential at the intersection of arts and technology which all learners can benefit from.
2. What are the things you like to make?
Part of what drew me to pursuing a career in art education is the incredible variety of creative tasks I get to tackle each day as an educator and artist. During my time as an educator I have taught everything from ceramics and darkroom photography to digital media. This has caused me to up my game across the board. I can honestly say that I do not have a favorite type of work to do or preferred media to work with. In general, the projects I enjoy the most are interdisciplinary and provide opportunities for me to expand my skills.
3. What is your current project?
My most recent project with Chibitronics is a paper illustration I created as an exemplar for a lesson about Surrealism. I’ve used them in a variety of different projects, from an interactive musical collage, to a light-up floral headpiece.
4. How would you describe your creative making process?
The majority of my work is idea-driven. Wherever an idea takes me I will go. If this means learning how to solder, create circuit boards or master new software, acquiring new skills becomes a part of the creative process. Struggling to speak through unfamiliar media is where I experience the most growth.
5. What inspires your making?
Pretty much anything can serve as a spark for creativity or jumping off point for a project or piece of art. There’s really not one theme I see myself revisiting over and over again. Working with students and seeing how their other interests become inspiration for their art is always incredibly inspiring.
6. What helpful hints do you have for future makers?
Learn to love the process and let go of the idea of a final or perfect piece. It’s very rare that things turn out the way you expect them to. The work I enjoy the most is often the result of crazy tangents, or new inspiration that occurs during the creative process.
7. What is your favorite thing about Chibitronics?
I really love how intuitive and approachable Chibitronics are. I also enjoy how seamlessly they can be incorporated into works of art.
Thanks for sharing, Kristin! To learn more about Kristin’s work, please visit her website: