Maker by Ashley Flinn

In 2010, I got a BFA in Fine Arts (Printmaking) from the University of Kansas. My art training has exposed me to many different ways to approach problems and how to find unique solutions.

I'm currently working on a MS in Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in Educational Computing, Design, and Online Learning. My end goal is to be an instructional designer or instructional technologist in post-secondary education.

The act of making is a strong part of my identity. I am a letterpress printer, I make my own kimchi, I make websites, I make logos for local businesses, and I catered my own wedding (including the cakes). In the summers, I help high school students to make their own original works of theater.

I make prints.

I've been doing letterpress since 2005 and I started my own small graphic design and letterpress business in 2012. It's definitely more than a hobby, I suppose the current term might be "side-hustle".

Printmaking has a rich, international history, and relief printing and letterpress are a crucial part of the story of the rapid spread of knowledge in many cultures including China, Korea, and all of Europe.

This is me and a local student at the 2015 Aggieville Mini Maker Faire.

I demoed printing and showed people the basics of how to pull a print on the press. Last year we made bookmarks.
Even little kids can print with a bit of help.

I make websites.

I really appreciate the challenge that designing in a digital environment and coding give me.

When I have fiddled with a piece of code for hours and it finally works how I want it to, and I finally understand what wasn't working before, that AHA moment is just glorious. These moments are my reward for not giving up.

I make instruction.

Last year I worked as an Instructional Design GRA for Hale Library within the New Literacies Alliance, a consortium of librarians and library staff who are working to create open-source online lessons based on the Association of College & Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. I was chiefly a multimedia designer, but also worked as an instructional designer alongside other instructional designers and content creators.

One of my last tasks was to review and create prototype lessons in a new open-source authoring tool called Adapt Learning; as the current tool used by K-State University Libraries was not as functional as we needed it to be.

I taught myself how to setup a virtual machine, use GitHub to download and fork code, install Gnome OS on the virtual machine, install the Adapt software, and began developing themes and plugins for Adapt Learning using LESS. It was an absolute blast, and I love being put in situations where I have to learn new things to solve a problem.

One of my other responsibilities was to completely redesign the Student Orientation and transfer the instruction from a traditional, in person orientation to a self-led online module complete with a signable electronic form upon completion.

This is an example of one of the multimedia assets I created for the NLA.

I make food.

Top to bottom, left to right: paella, a Thai meal (Gai Yang: grilled chicken, steamed eggplant, tofu noodle salad with peanut sauce, and 3 dipping sauces), stuffing for tongbaechu kimchi, (spicy napa cabbage kimchi), rice with oisobagi (Korean spicy stuffed cucumbers), baek kimchi (white kimchi, non-spicy with special stuffing), guōtiē (Chinese pan-fried dumplings), nabe (Japanese Hot Pot), blueberry hand pies, coconut macaroons, challah bread (Jewish bread with eggs and honey), dakgalbi (spicy Korean chicken with vegetables), and pai gwut (Chinese steamed pork spareribs with fermented black beans).

I HELP OTHERS MAKE.

I have worked with the Manhattan Experimental Theater Workshop (a 5-week summer workshop for high-school students) for 9 years as an assistant director.

ME, MY FELLOW DIRECTORS, AND MY STRANGE AND WONDERFUL 2016 EXPERIMENTAL THEATER STUDENTS

Assisting students in writing, memorizing, and performing original plays and teaching them avant-garde theater history and movement is something I look forward to every summer. Facilitating intellectual, social, and emotional growth in others is very fulfilling.

This year they chose to write plays deconstructing the story of Perseus and Medusa.

MAKE BETTER

Design is often concerned with improving something, whether the thing is a car, a website, or instruction. I always keep the following quote in mind when making, and it has yet to lead me wrong.

EVER TRIED. EVER FAIL. NO MATTER. TRY AGAIN. FAIL AGAIN. FAIL BETTER. –SAMUEL BECKETT
Created By
Ashley Flinn
Appreciate

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