Member Spotlight: Meet Matilde

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Meet the delightful and talented Matilde Rasmussen, our latest international visitor. Matilde spends her work days at her graphic design studio called All the Way to Paris but recently she made the 8 hour flight from Copenhagen to NYC for just two weeks to prepare for a digital storytelling project she’ll be working on during the Sasso Residency in Switzerland.

When she leaves NYC, Matilde says she’s going to miss “the culture, and all the great inexpensive food options here,” and of course, Makeshift Society! We enjoy having visitors like Matilde who come for a few days, a couple weeks, or maybe a month or two. Welcoming these temporary members of Makeshift Society means they expose us to their excellent work (see below for a sample of Matilde’s) and we help them get tied into the creative networks of New York.

Some of All the Way to Paris’ gorgeous work below.

Georg Jensen — December tales (2013)

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KSK – Center for Kræft og Sundhed København (2012)

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If you happen to be an on out of towner, you can be a visitor too. Next time you’re traveling through New York for work or holiday, come say hi.

Andrew Linderman, The Storyteller

We’re so excited to find out Andrew Linderman’s storytelling secrets on Tuesday, July 8th when he will be teaching a class at Makeshift Society Brooklyn. Tickets available here. In anticipation of that, we caught up with Andrew to peek inside his story-filled head.

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Makeshift: Is there a specific memory you could share of when you realized you had natural storytelling ability?

Andrew: The memory that pops out is the first time I had to tell a story in front of an audience.  It was the third week of Margo Leitman’s storytelling class at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Chelsea.  At that point, my only real performance experience, apart from a Dr. Seuss play in middle school, was a stand up set I had done at a bar that had gone pretty badly.  Badly, as in, I got no laughs until the very end, when I thanked the audience for being both polite and respectful.  That got a few chuckles.

So, standing in front of the class, I was starting to have a melt down when I remembered getting fired from my first job out of college after my boss discovered that I had been applying for other jobs on company time.  I told the story in the hope that everyone would find it hilarious.  One person laughed.

As I was dragging my feet towards the door at the end of class, one of my classmates pulled me aside and said: “That was really good.  It was honest and personal and very relatable.” I didn’t know what to say, so I thanked him and went home.  The message didn’t really register until I had to tell the same story again in front of the class a few weeks later.  I got a bit flustered in the middle of the story, but powered through it.  I still didn’t get a lot of laughs, but I took my time and got a lot of positive feedback at the end.

Makeshift: What are some surefire ways to lose the attention of your audience?

Andrew: There are two big ones.  The first way to lose an audience is when you don’t deliver what you promise.  Put it this way: if you go to a rock concert and the band comes up on stage and announces that they’re going to do a post-Modern version of Hamlet, you’ll be pissed. Even if you like post-Modernism and Hamlet. It’s important to meet people’s expectations before you can exceed them.

The second big way to lose an audience is to talk over them.  An audience is there to listen to you, so take your time with your story.  I’ve seen too many people race through their stories or pitches, only for the audience to end up confused or frustrated. Be patient with yourself and your audience will be patient with you.

Makeshift: How do you think Brooklyn and the people of Brooklyn have helped to shape how you tell a story?

Andrew: Brooklyn is a place that is both self-consciously hip and innovative while remaining un-self-consciously rooted in tradition.  This set of contradictions suits me well.  My mom is from Midwood and I used to visit my grandmother in Brooklyn long before it was “cool”, so I always felt the pull of Brooklyn traditions like folding my pizza and swearing at cabs (not all cabs, just some).  People in Brooklyn tend to be honest, so if they don’t like something they’ll let you know right away.  It’s a good way to develop a healthy respect for your audience, which is something that’s helped me in all facets of life.

As an instructor and entrepreneur, Brooklyn has been very good to me.  I got my start teaching at the Brooklyn Brainery and would not be where I am without their help.  They continue to give me the time and space to experiment, which is really wonderful.  Brooklyn people also value and reward hard work, which is great for someone looking to grow a small business.  The openness of the business climate has helped me sustain my oddball enterprise.  My approach is a bit unconventional, but I’ve found that people here are really receptive to quirky things.  I mean, we invented the Cragel after all.

Overall, Brooklyn is an amazing place to live and work.  Apart from the weather, the high rent, the constant noise, the dirty subways, and the rats.  And the double wide strollers.  But you’ve heard all that before.  To me, it feels like home.

To learn more about Andrew, be sure to snag tickets to his class in July!

RMIT comes to Makeshift

This week we’ve had a group of six students from RMIT in Melbourne working with us and it’s great to have all these new faces around. The students of RMIT University are big on coworking, and we’re pumped that they came all the way from Australia and choose us to be their hosts.

We were able to catch up with a few of the students in the School of Media and Communication program this afternoon, so say hello to Tanya Wasylewski, Helen Cheung, and Numan Naveed (from left to right). We asked what they like most about working at Makeshfit Society and they responded: light, more light, and the productive, calm atmosphere.

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They’ve been exploring NYC for just over a week and have already found some favorite Williamsburg spots (besides us, of course). Helen, a graphic design student, loves meandering down Bedford Ave, Tanya, an educational technology student, just discovered one of our favorite neighborhood spots, Saltie, and Numan, also a graphic design student, spent this past weekend checking out a bookbinding fair and hopping around Brooklyn rooftops. To aid their explorations we slipped them each a copy of the Makeshift Society neighborhood map, and you can check it out too right here on Jauntful.

Meet n’ Greet: Livia Cetti

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http://www.thegreenvase.com/

Livia is an absolutely incredible paper flower artist located right here in NY. We caught up with her to find out a little more about her world before her Paper Peony Class on June 26th 7-9 PM. We’re so excited to have her teach us Makeshifters some of her secrets.

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Makeshift: Where do you feel the most compelled to create?

Livia Cetti: I feel most creative in my garden, or in   the wild surrounded by nature. Or in the city shopping and looking at the street or in windows. And strangely, when I’m under pressure to create. And when it’s raining.

Makeshift: What do you do when you’re not busy magically turning paper into flowers?

Livia Cetti: I like to cook, and garden, and collect/rearrange furniture.

Makeshift: Who are some of your favorite artists, crafters, creative people?

Livia Cetti: Just off the top of my head, Confetti Systems, Francis Bacon, Janine Janet, Cody Hoyt, Madderlake, Henry Darger, Lilith Rocket, and John Derian.   I’m also inspired by vintage textiles, ethnic textiles, vintage ribbon,  natural pigments, Japanese pastries  (really most things Japanese!) millinery flowers, Bauhaus ceramics, shells, miniatures, multiples, Bloom magazine and World of Interiors.

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Find out more about Livia and her technique at her workshop next week! We’ll also have her new book available for purchase, The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers.

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Brooklyn Launch Party was a Hit!

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It was lovely to see many new faces at our open house yesterday!

We started the day off right, with yogurt, granola, and a fresh strawberry breakfast from our friends at Good Eggs. Although it got darn warm midday, we happily sipped our Spindrift Soda and gazed at the blue blue sky outside. Lindsey from Kollabora helped us take a break from the constant emails and computer screens with a demo of embroidery stitches. Later on, the Etsy team dropped in to share some selling secrets and crafting tips. It was a perfectly balanced day of work and play, which is what we’re all about here at Makeshift.

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*To Night *

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Being the party animals that we are, we weren’t done celebrating quite yet. After the sun went down, about 100 makeshift members and lots of new friends joined us to celebrate the launch of our Brooklyn space. Big thanks to our sponsors MailChimp and Adobe Typekit for helping to make the night so fantastic. We nibbled on delectable little cake truffles provided by Momofuku Milk Bar and sipped on some delightfully refreshing beverages from P&H Soda and the Brooklyn Brewery.

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We snacked, we sipped, we chitted, we chatted, and had a most wonderful evening.

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Even parting the party was made sweeter with our goody bags! Filled with treats from Tattly, Social Print Studio, Jauntful, Mood Magazine, and Photojojo.

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Thank you to all that were able to make it. We hope you had as much fun as we did! Now, it’s time to get back to work! Stop by for a day pass and make shift happen!