The second annual NWA Maker Faire is almost here, and makers from all around are getting ready to
show off their latest creations! We recently sat down with local artist and community volunteer JB, of
J3DESIGNCO, who will be bringing back her display booth for this year’s event. In our conversation, JB
talks about what it was like to attend the very first NWA Maker Faire as both a crafter and enthusiast of
maker culture. Whether you plan to attend this year’s event as a participator or simply an observer, this
behind-the-scenes look may give you a better idea of what Maker Faire is all about.

“Last year was the first time that the concept of even being a maker came up,” JB explained. “It never
crossed my mind to share it with anyone outside of my family. I like to make things just to see if I can… or to see how crazy and freaky it will look when I’m done!”

Anyone who has met JB knows just how much she enjoys designing and creating things, though
surprisingly, she never considered putting her work on display before. The decision to apply to Maker
Faire was made only after recommendations from others, including the Fabrication Lab Coordinator for
the Center for Innovation, Shelby Fleming. At first, JB wasn’t sure how her booth would “mesh” with
other projects she had seen, especially the more engineer-oriented categories like robotics and 3D
printing. Luckily, NWA Maker Faire 2022 brought out a diverse range of makers, including DIY crafters,
tinkerers, “foodpreneurs”, and more.

When asked about her favorite part of Maker Faire, JB said it was “the look of awe” on the children’s
faces. “It’s one thing to see on TV, but it’s something else when it’s right in front of you,” JB explained,
“It’s a really good experience whether you’re having a booth or not, because you can see literally
everything. It’s a good opportunity for small business owners to sell their products and for others to
share information. It’s also different than other fairs, because it’s really about the people and what they
are creating in our area.”

It’s no surprise that JB incorporated Halloween elements into the display, given her love for making
custom holiday decorations. With everything from skeletons to preserved insects, this was certainly the
spookiest booth to stop by. It was also important to JB that there be something fun for kids to interact
with, so she made a jumbo game of Tic-Tac-Toe, or in this case, “Cauldrons vs Candy Corns.” Be sure to
stop by J3DESIGNCO at this year’s Maker Faire to see JB’s next project: a dragon embryo encased in clear resin!

For anyone on the fence about showcasing their own work for the first time, JB gives a few simple words
of advice: “Go ahead and do it. You don’t need to have the biggest booth; you don’t need to have a lot of
things. Just bring something to show and something to work on.” JB says that actively working on a
project at your table (miniature potion bottles, for example) helps with the awkwardness and can be a
great conversation starter.

So, mark your calendars for this year’s NWA Maker Faire and prepare to be amazed by the incredible
displays of creativity, artistry, and innovation. JB and many other talented individuals are waiting to share their passions and projects with you, and who knows, you might just discover your own hidden maker talents. Don’t miss this chance to see the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth!”