Eric Masters literally shapes time as he builds clocks out of everyday materials with IMOTIME in San Diego, CA. His focus and commitment to save these unconventional items from a landfill and turn them into clocks is just one of the reasons to love his artwork. Most people would not look at a doll, old board game or electronic can opener and see a time piece but that is exactly what Eric does; all with a little tongue in cheek.
Describe a day in your personal or professional life.
My favorite day is Saturday. I get up early (ok, I always get up early), have my coffee, and go online and check for the garage sales in the neighborhood. Then I hop on my bicycle, which has two giant baskets, and go out and meet the folks and find fun stuff to make into clocks. The interaction with the people and excitement of finding new things is great. I come home and play and play, and then there are clocks.
Who or what influences your work and why?
Well, I love looking at other people’s fun and interesting clocks on Etsy and other places, and listen to what people say about why they are interested in my clocks.
Is it your personal belief that creativity, and the ability to create art, is innate?
I was never artistic with my hands. Not until I was in my late thirties did I ever make something, and then say ‘wow, that is cool, and others might like it, as well.’ But, yes, it was there. I may not be able to draw a pretty picture, but I can make something beautiful, or crazy, with these hands, and I love it.
Explain your art- what exactly is it you do? How do you describe it?
I am a horologist. I make clocks out of everyday and odd objects I find at thrift stores, garage sales, in the alley, etc.
When did you first become interested in time as an art form?
Fun question – I can’t remember how long ago…
What was the inspiration behind using such unique items in your work?
I was once watching Martha Stewart, and she made a clock from a metal cake cover. I thought it was fun, so I tried it, and gave it to my friend, who loved it. Thus the idea of time, and making art, came to me at the same, um, moment.
It appears as though your mantra is “If it isn’t nailed down it will likely become a clock”, would you agree?
Ha! Why would a nail stop me???! Yes, anything and anything could be a clock… at least in my head.
When did you first discover your talent and artistic ability?
Please refer to Martha story above. Maybe five years ago.
Where did your first inspiration come from?
Can you tell me about your creative process?
Mostly mad drilling and smelly gluing.
Were you influenced by the Green Movement?
Not really. But I love that I am now involved in doing something that is cool AND good for momma earth. I am into it now, and proud! Was once called ‘cheap’. Now ‘chic’.
What have you incorporated into your lifestyle to facilitate going green and conserving energy?
Almost 100% of my supplies are recycled. I use mostly recycled boxes, shipping supplies, etc. Bike everywhere, or bus.
Are there any historical or contemporary artists that you specifically admire?
What is important to you about conservation and preserving our environment?
It seems like it should be easy to be proud of and work hard for the environment that gives us so much. I can’t see why people fight against it, rather than jumping in… And so much of the things we can do end up saving ourselves money. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.
What is your favorite project or work you’ve completed thus far?
Probably ‘Mountain Time’. A real head-turner.
What challenges have you had in your work?
Getting the word out. Being confident in the final product. I tend to worry very much that the customer will not be happy.
Do you feel that the Internet has a positive or negative influence on art? How does the Internet affect your work?
That first question might be for an artist with a higher pay-grade than me. The internet made my work available to the world, so I love it. It also provides me with ideas and challenges.
What is your greatest ambition as an artist?
I would love to be able to make a decent living on my art.
What are your long term career goals?
Making clocks and having fun doing it.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on about 20 clocks. Did I mention my A.D.D.? Found a fun set of rooster trivets that should look cool when finished.
What advice would you give a young artist just getting started?
Have fun, and don’t let other people’s words keep you from doing what you like.
What “Green” Product would you recommend to our readers?
What is your best “going green tip”- for example turning off lights, or eating one meatless meal a week?
Reuse things that you thought were not reusable. Use things others thought were not reusable…
How would your friends describe you?
Crazy. My nickname in college was Crazy Boy, and I love it. I hide from my friends most of the time these days, so maybe Extra Crazy.
Do you have a website or online presence where people can view your work?