What Makes a Maker?

Meet Keith Cooper, maker, comics enthusiast, and one-half of the podcasting duo behind Blerd-ish. Keith and a friend created Blerd-ish in 2017 as a send-up of all things black and nerdy. Today they are nearly 100 episodes in and still sharing their passion for black nerd culture from their home base in Baton Rouge.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.

Hi, I am Keith Cooper, a part of the Blerd-ish podcast. I started making podcasts on the subjects of sports and entertainment in 2015. Some friends and I decided we wanted to discuss topics in a way regular media wasn’t.  That eventually led to my current podcast with a focus on independent creators of color, movie reviews, and folks who are doing something unique in their community.


What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

It simply means to create something that wasn’t.  It doesn’t have to be a physical item — it can be an opportunity, a platform, an event. That is what I make as I use my platforms to bring light to various creatives. This is done through my podcast, social media, and pop up shop. However, I am writing a comic/coloring book based on our experiences and superhero parody.


Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by fellow podcasters who tackle similar topics. I am also inspired by personalities who can discuss a variety of topics. This includes folks like Tom Joyner to modern creators who put themselves out there to express their art and purpose. I am inspired by the chance to enlighten folks to something new that they may have not been aware of.


Is making your hobby or your business? How does it relate, if at all, to your day job?

It is a business, but it is something I do for fun. I have been fortunate that it does relate closely to my job. My business promotes literacy and I work for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library. I even serve on our committee for our local comic con.


Why is making important to you?

I get to leave a mark on folks’ lives. It’s a great feeling when kids, adults, and folks who claim to not be readers buy something from my table. This may lead them to open their mind more to all types of comics, art, and black sci-fi they may have never been exposed to.


What have you made that you are most proud of?

I have been podcasting for three years as a part of the Blerd-ish podcast, helping create the library con for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, and helping creators through our pop up shop for the past year.


What would you make if you had unlimited resources?

I would make as many books, comics, stories as possible. Sadly artists, marketing, equipment aren’t free.


What up-and-coming maker trends excite you the most?

I am just glad that folks are understanding that Maker means a lot. From your candle maker to a podcast or making a platform for people. That continuing trend is what is needed for constant growth.


What advice can you give someone who wants to get involved in the Maker movement?

Find your passion and work hard towards what you love and your goals.  Learn to network, be social, and have fun.


Tell us something surprising about yourself.

Just like a comic book, I have several branches of stories that flow into one for the origin of the Blerd-ish podcast. It just depends on how much time you have for me to weave my fantastic tale of amazement like the late great Stan Lee. Or that I’m a low key anime nut and an NBA fan.



A Maker Faire Lafayette attendee looks at the Blerd-ish booth.