After moving from Florida into California, the last reserves of my cash funds have been running low. Most of the money that was saved up before this trip has been spent driving through the center scenic route of the country running along the I-70 highway taking me into some of the most iconic cities in the US. An effort to sell fire poi sets on Etsy has started to pay off, but it has yet to make a real dent in the high cost of living in LA. The real way that I am making money at this time is coming from developing a mobile application with a Tallahasse company called LESS. It isn’t a steady income, but the Android app that is being produced will be worth the effort. If done right, it could influence thousands of people once released into the market. The only problem I have been encountering is the gradual decline in interest while working tediously during the polishing part of the production cycle. I needed a place to spark inspiration pushing me passed the last stages of this project. Big Art Labs in Los Angeles became the perfect place to visit in between coding sessions to help motivate me to finish up the work that I had started.
What makes this art collective great is the seamless integration of wide reaching creative outlets. A software hackerspace called Droplabs is what brought me here, but the friendly community is what kept me coming back. Parking can be a little tricky, making it easier to find a spot on the streets outside. Sounds of heavy duty machinery are usually interlaced between people playing music and the ever prevalent sounds of laughter once you’re inside. There is something going on here at all moments, especially around the time before Burning Man when the burners of this area are preparing to travel into the black rock desert of Nevada.
The key to getting app work done here is to utilize the widespread internet connection that streams evenly throughout the warehouse arena. The easiest way to access the world wide web is to walk into Droplabs and look at the back corner of one of the whiteboards where the password credentials are written down. If you stay for too long in the designated hackerspace it is expected to donate a little bit of money to help support the place. $5 is typical for daily use which is very cheap for the LA area. My favorite spot is over at the benches positioned outside in the middle of the warehouse complex. With the wind steady and a brightly shining sun in the sky, this location can feel like a day at the beach. If you get there at the right time you might be able to catch some big players in various industries. Skrillex was once rumored to have played a secret show here while Stefano Novelli and his team built the Skrillex Spaceship stage that was taken on tour in 2012. The individuals who started this place are heavily involved in Burning Man as well causing many types of people to float around here at any given time. Returning frequently is the best way to really get connected with everyone. Not to mention while you’re there, you can grab some vegetables from the secret community garden before leaving. There is mint, sage, and thyme to name a few. The overall abundance of art, music, software, and tools, along with a unique community makes Big Art Labs a fantastic place to get work done. I highly recommend checking it out sometime soon.
– Big Art Labs: http://www.bigartlabs.com/bigartlabs_home.html
– Droplabs: https://droplabs.net/
– Stefano Novelli Designs and Fabrication http://www.stefanonovelli.com/
– LESS: https://lessutility.com/
– Fire Wizards Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/FireWizards