Matt Griffin, 36, Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Director of community and support at Adafruit Industries; writer; author of Design and Modeling for 3D Printing from Maker Media
Purpose: “To empower the community to create the things that they’re dreaming of.”

Matt loves making things: films, plays, art shows, stories, maker and DIY projects. However: “There was a magic spark when I was collaborating with other people that wasn’t there when I leaned into my own artistic passions,” he says. The result? Personal projects would get pushed aside for opportunities where he could “draw on the energy of opposing voices.”

He realized over time that “collaborating and creating a safe environment to help other artists break through their barriers” was what really fulfilled him. So he began to focus on ways he could contribute professionally to others — and this also created a breakthrough in his own work. “I discovered I needed opposition from other people. Voices to bang up against. To knock me off my prejudices and plans.”

He says: “Where it comes full circle is that I can ask for help for myself because I feel like I’m giving so earnestly to other people.” Currently, Matt — a go-to person in the desktop 3D printing world — is at work on a guide to help “makers” through technical and aesthetic challenges to bring their visions to life.