We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Minarik and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Michelle, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Before starting our own business, maintaining a work-life balance that reflected our priorities was something that we tried really hard to do, working out exactly how much we needed to work to achieve our goals and limiting ourselves to that. Since going full-time with our art, we work a lot more hours, but since this was the thing we were making time for while working jobs it doesn’t feel like it at all. Making art is what we do for fun, and the business exists mainly to facilitate that. Making it into a business has definitely changed the way we think about timetables and deadlines for finishing projects, and that has introduced a level of stress to the process, but it’s nowhere near as stressful as trying manage people and working customer service.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think my background in fine art and color theory really enable and embolden me to make interesting and unexpected choices with my dice. Resin casting has been around a long time, but resin dicemaking is a relatively new process and it’s exciting to be a part of it as it develops and new techniques are being worked out all the time. I got into resin casting as a hobbyist and dice collector, adding it to my ceramics business when COVID19 shut down my catering job, and I was shocked and grateful to find that people liked my work enough for me to support myself on it. The quarantine limited my ability to fire ceramics, since I rent a kiln, so having another medium to fall back on was a huge help. Ultimately, my biggest takeaway is to learn to make the things you want, but can’t buy. Each time I’ve done that, I’ve found there was a community of people out there just like me, wishing someone would make it.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hush Harbor bakery has the best bread, and by extension sandwiches, that I’ve had anywhere in the world. Can’t miss it. Blackwater is a fantastic witchy little shop that has plants and clothes and all sorts of fun knickknacks. Going there always gets me in a creative mood. SLO Makerspace is a creative coop that gives artists and craftspeople shared access to expensive tools and workspaces. There’s good hiking out in Montana De Oro, loads of little hidden paths that can take you to all sorts of unexpected places. Ember is a truly incredible restaurant, and it’s a crime they don’t have a Michelin star yet. They change their menu over each month, but you truly can’t go wrong with anything there. Jared Thinger is a world-class tattoo artist that is doing some incredible work with black and grey realism. Nautical Bean has life-changing coffee, and an outstanding atmosphere for just relaxing with friends (if you can find a seat).

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Makeshift Maker’s Market in SLO has been an amazing source of support in helping me get started. They were the first to give me a platform to get my work out into the world. The work Rybonator and DarkMoonDice shared to help the community of resin artists did loads to ease the process of breaking into resin casting. It would’ve been a much more difficult and frustrating process without their help.

Website: conflux-art.com
Instagram: @confluxart

Image Credits
Photos by Michelle Minarik

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