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Ivan Iler (IG: @ivan_iler)

Welcome to this week's #weldershowcase - we had the opportunity to sit down with Ivan from @ivan_iler and talk a little shop.
If you would like to be featured in our weekly showcase (100% FREE) please send us an email to to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. These showcases are intended to highlight your skill, your business, and your tips and tricks.  Most of all it's to have a little fun!
Enjoy and Grind On!



Name:  Ivan Iler

Business Name:  Ivan Iler Studios

Location:  Saint Johns MI

Socials: IG: @ivan_iler   FB: Ivan Iler Studios

Websites: /

Specialties:  Kinetic Metal Sculptures, Large Scale Public Sculptures, Metal Fabrication + Welding

Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I've always loved to make and create things ever since I was a kid, and I've always been passionate about learning how things work, which is exactly how I got into metalworking. I wanted to know how to put two pieces of metal together because I wanted to make myself a motorcycle. I went to the High School and asked the metal shop teacher if I could come in after school hours and use the equipment, and he actually agreed to let me do so, and that was my introduction to the world of metalworking.
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
I just have a strong drive and need to create, and so I do. Being able to do what I love and the challenge of being able to come up with something I haven't created before, the idea of taking a dream or vision I have and bringing it to reality is it's own motivation for me.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
That's a tough one, but my favorite shop tool is probably a hammer, because I love the idea that something so simple is capable of creating something beautiful and it gives me full control over the materials I'm working with. I love working hands-on, and this is such a simple and magnificent tool that's been around for thousands of years, how could anyone not see the beauty in it?
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
My favorite piece is usually whatever piece I'm working on at the time. It's the process of creating for me more than the finished work itself. However, one that I'm very proud of is Portrait of A Dreamer located in Lansing Michigan by the state capital.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
If I could have any job, it would be a year long project with an unlimited budget to create something simply because I needed it to exist.
What BA product is your favorite and why?
I've only just started using your products and I do not yet have a favorite. If you think there's one I would really love, feel free to send it my way and I'll let you know. ;)
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
I'm really looking forward to using more BA products, but the only BA tool I've used so far is the jumbo zirconia flap disk and the quality is outstanding compared to some other flap discs I've used in the past.
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
If I could collaborate with anyone it would be Leonardo Da Vinci because when the world saw things one way he saw them another way.
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
You can't know everything, and as soon as you think you know everything you stop learning. Listen to the generations that came before you, take what you need from that, and let go of the things you don't. Never forget the most important lesson in life, which is to stay curious and always ask why.
What are your future plans for your shop?
I want to use my space to create things the world has never seen before. 
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
If you could do anything with the rest of your life, and money didn't matter - what would it be? When you have the answer to that, find a way to make it work and do it. Life is too short to do something just because you think it's what you're supposed to do. I came from nothing and had very little, but I always did what I wanted to do and what inspired me personally instead of what was expected of me. I am and always have been a dreamer that refused to give up, and I want to encourage other people to do the same. Our dreams are beautiful, don't give them up.


A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Ivan! Obviously we really dig your work and I've said it before but I'll say it again.. you and Jean Claude really need to collaborate! :)
Previous article Wil Smiley (IG: @_grumpy_gramps_

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