Britt Liv Ulrike Michelsen (known as BrittLiv on Instructables) is the author of some the most original and fun projects on the site. I started following her when I realized she was cranking out amazing projects with regularity and winning contests left and right. :D She's always got a new and fantastic project up her sleeve, so I recommend you follow her too! It's inspiring to see all the new things she's creating.
When did you first discover Instructables and what inspired you to post your first project?
I remember just randomly browsing the web, when I stumbled over this awesome instructable on how to make pixel cookies by Eva Funderburgh. You can still find my very first comment there. At that time I had made my Rubiks Cube USB flash drive and I remember people not believing me when I told them that I had made it (even before Instructables I took pictures of how I made stuff mainly just to prove that they were actually self made). So I published it on instructables and went straight to bed. I couldn’t believe my eyes the next morning when I had more than a thousand views and a lot of really nice comments. Ever since then I’ve been hooked.
Britt's living room. How many instructables do you see?
Is there anyone who has been particularly influential towards your work?
Honestly not really, but my parents were always very supportive of my creativity an encouraged me to live it out. Even if the meant covering my wall in paint.
I grew up on a lumber yard and my Dad owns a hardware store, so my childhood was basically a makers paradise. My biggest motivation is people doubting me. Someone telling me, that I only knew how to make “manly stuff” and didn’t even know how to sew resulted in me making my sofa pillows and somebody else telling me, that I’m useless in the kitchen resulted in my Kryptonite Candy.
Britt's basement workspace.
I love how quirky and original your projects are - how do you come up with your ideas?
Thank you, I always have the feeling that I come up with my best ideas when I have no time at all. Especially during studying. Some of my University notes are full with random drawings and project descriptions. Browsing the web and especially Instructables helps a lot as well, or just looking at stuff and thinking, I can do better than that. The idea to make the Kenny Door Stopper came to me in my sleep after seeing StumpChunkman’s avatar the night before.
What's your favorite sort of project to work on?
I love hands-on projects - Especially when I make them for someone in mind. Work and University are very theoretical, so getting my hands dirty (literally not figuratively) is a welcome change. I love colourful stuff and making stuff out of wood, but as you can see browsing through my projects, I don’t have just one certain interest.
You've made a Bouncy Rubik's Cube, a Mayan Rubik's Treasure Box, and now a Rubik's Cube speakers. Do you like Rubik's cube as a game or as a design piece?
Actually both. I started by solving it, but got bored by just trying to solve it faster. So I started modifying them and by now it has kind of gotten out of hand. I guess the combination of it looking so harmless and colourful on the one hand and getting people really frustrated on the other hand is what intrigues me. A few years back I visited my aunt in Fuerteventura and had my Modified Rubik's Cube as well as a normal Rubik’s Cube in my backpack. My connecting flight left early the next morning so I tried to get through the airport security at around midnight to sleep in the airport. They told me, that they usually don’t let people stay overnight, but I could go through, should I be able to solve the modified Rubik’s Cube faster then one of the security guards the normal one. So I was not only allowed to stay there, but after showing them the Instructables I had written so far they organized me an awesome breakfast.
A very impressive collection of Rubik's cubes!
The two food instructables you've done are very unique, are there more food projects in the works? (I especially love the tree cookies!)
All of my “food” instructables were part of a contest and except for the Kryptonite Candy pretty spontaneous. Since I stand no chance against all the awesome cooks and bakers on this site, I have to be creative. My friends are really suspicious when I give the something to try out. I guess this is what happens when you dye their tongues or change their sensation of taste. I have a friend who loves to bake and cook, I don’t think that I would have made the Tree Cookies if she hadn’t told me that it is a good idea and made them with me. So I honestly don’t know what I will make in the future, but I’m sure that something will pop into my head.
If you could give one piece of advice to all of the other authors on Instructables, what would it be?
I have to repeat what most authors answered: take a lot of pictures. Make sure that the lighting is good and love what you are doing. The success of a lot of my projects surprised me. I honestly thought that people would tell me that the Kenny is a waste of sugru, but the opposite happened. Post what you made, don’t be afraid to get non constructive criticism, it wont happen. Instructables has such a wonderful and helpful community. You can be certain, that your work will be appreciated and who knows, you might even win some awesome prizes.