Designer Spotlight: Scott Ryan

This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on Scott Ryan, more commonly known as Will la Puerta, a prolific and designer who is also a regular contributor on the Shapeways Forum.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?

I moved to San Diego to switch careers from Physics Grad Student to Computer Graphics Artist eight years ago. Since then I’ve been a freelance modeler/animator and part time teacher at a small art school. I’ve also been designing for and selling on a variety of online print on demand stores. 

What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I’ve got a hard time trying to pin that down since I’ve got such a wide range of interests to inspire me. Everything from math and science to plants and animals to sci-fi and fantasy. So one day I’m making robots and the next I’m recreating fossils. Then there are the times when something pops into my head and I have no idea from where it came.
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?

A fellow teacher at the college where I work brought in a ring he’d made. I’d heard of the technology but it had always seemed out of my reach until that moment. Considering I started with cardboard boxes and tape, I can not begin to tell you how excited I’ve been with the technology Shapeways has granted me access to over the last few years. Making something on my computer is fun, but being able to hold it in my hands in only a couple weeks is astounding.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?
As a child I used to sit in my father’s office and watch him mess around with a couple primitive 3D programs on his computer. Later I got one of my own to use and tried to teach myself. I kept this up all the way through my failed attempt at grad school. When I changed carriers I decided to learn from people who knew what they were doing, so I moved to California and started taking classes.
How do you promote your work?
I’ve never been very good at promotion but lately I’ve been trying a little harder to get the word out with Facebook and Blogger.

Who are your favorite designers or artists?

I’ve always been fascinated by the work of M. C. Escher with his impossible geometries and intricate tessellations.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
I’d like to print in clear glass. I’ve always liked optics and the way light refracts through different shapes. I think a lot of the models I have now would benefit from this or could at least be modified to. Maybe I’d make a glass Cthulhu to hang in front of my window.

Check out Scott’s varied designs on his Shapeways Shop. Like what you see? Discover more talented Shapeways Designers on our blog, or submit one of your own by emailing natalia@shapeways.com