This week our Maker of Curtin is Rebecca Kerr, a final year, part time, undergraduate Visualisation and Interactive Media student. Rebecca also works as a Library Student Assistant for Curtin Library, including the Makerspace.
Rebecca, what do you like to make?
I like making a range of different things. I like to try new things out, give them a go. At the moment I am playing with different types of 3D modelling. For example, last semester I used TiltBrush to create a 3D painted world that people could experience on the computer or in Virtual Reality. We displayed it at the HIVE, on the Dome screen, where it looked pretty good and wowed a few people. This semester I am touching Maya for the first time. We have to pick an interior to recreate and so I’m doing Bilbo’s study from Lord of the Rings. I thought it was going to be stressful but its proving to be rather therapeutic. I’m hoping to get have a nice finished product at the end. I want to see if I can throw it into virtual reality, so people can see it all around them—that would be awesome. Its not a requirement for the class but I would love to do that.
Where do you want to head with your creative work?
I love creating worlds (perhaps that’s everyone’s dream!)—building them using 3D modelling and being able to experience them in different ways. I particularly like virtual reality because it’s the ultimate escapism. At the moment I’m trying to understand the mediums that I’ve got, and the end goal is to build things that will teach people things. I found that educational games that I played when I was younger helped me learn a lot quicker—I was having fun and didn’t realise I was learning. So I would love to make things like that.
I get a lot of enjoyment from making—having all these worlds stuck in your head and finding a way to put them out into the world!
Can you talk a bit about the making process?
I spend most of my time in research. That’s the part I enjoy the most—seeing what other people have done, and being inspired by them. I create a dream board online using Pinterest and collect all the aspects I like there so I can quickly go over it visually and pick out what I like. I then research how people went about doing those things. That makes the actual making a lot more defined and a lot quicker.
I hit walls, I have severe breakdowns—constantly! I just have to walk away sometimes. Some projects I never come back to, but some have a deadline so I have my little breakdown, recover, and get back into it. I don’t think there is a single project that I’ve done where I haven’t had a breakdown at some point, but I think that is part of the process. It shows that you are invested in it, and that you care about what’s happening with it.
There’s a lot of ups as well. The biggest up comes at the end, when you see it all come together. When something hasn’t been working for days and days and days and then it finally works—that high that you get makes it somewhat worthwhile. But at the end, when you see people actually enjoying your creation, the blood sweat and tears is kind of worth it.
I do a lot of work at home where I like to work in a certain way, but I also use the Makerspace as it allows me to collaborate with others, present problems, and find solutions. I can show people my progress, or where I’m stuck, and get some feedback. That’s what I find most useful. There is some equipment that the Makerspace has that I don’t, and I take advantage of that. But I find the collaborative side of things really works for me.
Can you tell us a bit about your work in the Makerspace as a Library Student Assistant?
I look after some of the technology, including the VR and camera equipment and help people out if they need it. I’ve recently started doing some video making/editing workshops as well. I work four hours a week in a busy period of the week (Wednesdays), so I get a chance to meet a lot of different people, see how people work, and have a chat. I learn from that, which is great.
And we learn heaps from you! Thanks Bec!
Curtin would like to pay respect to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Whadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.