What Makes a Maker?

Meet Olivia Morgan, who has been an educator at Hilliard Art Museum at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette since 2016. At her job, she helps makers of all ages “experience the power of art as a tool for learning and discovery.”


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

I grew up in a family of artists. I was lucky to be surrounded by people who painted, sewed, and built things and who were willing to teach me. It was a fantastic childhood and I certainly caught the making fever early. My parents really needed to make things to be happy, so I have always associated making with that wonderful “flow” state when you are engaging your mind and body creatively.


What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

A person who is always gathering ideas and materials and turning them into something new. A maker is always looking for that next thing, whether it is a new project or refining or reinventing something that they are already doing.


Who or what inspires you?

My co-workers at the Hilliard Art Museum. We have a wonderfully creative team that is always up for making my wildest dreams come true, such as a large scale cardboard Arc de Triomphe. (Thank you, Chris Pavlik.)


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

These days, most of my making takes place at work. As the Hilliard Art Museum’s Educator, I create activities for students and visitors and then get to enjoy making things with them. Often, I get inspired by a project at work and then continue making it at home. For the museum’s Play Day, Suzanne Chaillot Breaux created a great video on how to make a cardboard loom. I have spent most of the winter weaving on my small cardboard loom. It is relaxing and easy to make something interesting in no time at all.


Why is making important to you?

I love the problem solving and creativity that making sparks. That type of brain engagement makes me feel fully human.


What have you made that you are most proud of?

One year I made flannel pajamas and robes for everyone in my family. It is fun to see people wearing things you have made.


What would you make if you had unlimited resources?

Hats. It has been years since I have done this, but I would love to have a studio with hat forms and loads of millinery ribbon.


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

Using sustainable materials, stealth public art projects like yarn bombing, and rain gardens.


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

Just start making things and learn as you go. It is also great to belong to a community of makers. Seek out friends and mentors who inspire you and can help you.

Tell us something surprising about yourself.

I love to boogie board.



woven mats created by visitors of the Hilliard Art Museum Olivia helps a young user with a project a picture of Olivia Morgan, educator at the Hilliard Art Museum in Lafayette, Louisiana