Shapeways Designer Spotlight: Sal Garcia

This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on Sal Garcia, an amazing jeweler and regular contributor on our forums.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located? 
My name is Sal Garcia, I’m 33yrs old, living here in Southern California. Home of the future Shapeways location I hope, hint hint… 

What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you? 

I’m a big fan of detail,  skull tattoos and Bio Mechanical tattoos specifically those that are done by Guy Aitchison. Recently I’ve been getting my inspiration from his tattoo artwork, H.R. Giger’s artwork and on top of that I add my own twist to make it my own. You can see some of that in the Sapphire ring and also in the star ring. I want my designs to be a mix between high end detail and a 360 degree treat for the eyes. I try to avoid making anything you can find in your local mall. When I begin a new design I design it with my biggest goal in mind and that is to one day see it worn by Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. One day…

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways? 
I was referred here by Oleg. He has his shop in Denver, Co. I found his website online when I was looking to have my earring plugs made in silver. He asked me to stop by his shop with my design but since I wasn’t local to Colorado he suggested I try Shapeways. If it wasn’t for Oleg, I wouldn’t be here on Shapeways, or doing custom designs for people or even have my own website. I’ve always wanted a cool looking skull ring and nothing out there caught my eye, after becoming a member here and reading an article about T.S. Wittelsbach on a different website, I realized I could just make my own skull ring.
How did you learn how to design in 3D? 
Everything I know I learned on my own. Ive been fascinated with 3D since I was 17, almost half my life I guess. What I don’t know I research online, looking for tutorials and especially YouTube videos. I don’t know what I’d do without YouYube. LOL.

How do you promote your work? 
This is the area I need to work on. Most of my work comes from being found through Shapeways but I also sell on eBay. I have a Facebook page and have gained interest that way. Also, I’m almost done with my website. Business cards and customer referrals have worked well for me. One of these days I will go crazy with it and spend a day going all over the internet putting my name out there, unfortunately, I’ve been overwhelmed with interest and custom requests lately that I don’t have any time for that right now. If anyone reading this has any suggestions, feel free to message me!
Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you? 

Without a doubt my favorite designers are Scott Kay for his elegant detail and also T.S. Wittelsbach for his love of skulls, original approach in his detail and it is because of him that I gave jewelry making a try. I’m all about originality that’s why I don’t look for any inspiration in the Shapeways community. I wouldn’t want to copy or compete against anyone or take any of their business from them. There is one designer I go to whenever I have questions though, and that would be Glenn aka Lensman. He’s a cool dude, he even helped me pick out my jewelers kit and engine stand.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing? 
Linked parts in sterling silver. I’ve been wanting to make a bracelet. I already have one in mind, the link style would be new and never before done and each link will be ornately detailed. That doesn’t mean i’m not going to try, I have a workaround in mind so stay tuned there is a linked bracelet coming soon.
Anything else you want to share? 
I never turn down anyone asking for help. I’ve been lucky enough get the same from our forum and I’m never too busy to return the favor. It’s crazy (in a good way) the type of people I’ve met through Shapeways… from police officers to outlaw bikers, professional MMA fighters and even rock stars in the US and over seas. I’m currently working on a custom piece for Joan Jett from Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. That never would have happened without Shapeways!
Wow! Congratulations Sal! Check out Sal’s Shapeways Shop or his website.  Like what you see? Discover more talented Shapeways Designers on our blog, or submit one of your own by emailing natalia@shapeways.com.
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