We had the good fortune of connecting with Patrick O’Brien and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Patrick, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had just been let go from a job I spent a lot of time, effort and money to get and I really wasn’t sure what my next move was at that point. But I had to do something quick so I didn’t lose everything and end up on the streets and homeless. Photography has been a great passion and hobby of mine since my first 35 mm class as a freshman in high school. I’ve always loved and enjoy everything about taking photos and creating beautiful photos. So thru the years of owning and collecting different cameras, I had a few antique cameras on display in my living room. One morning I had a bright idea to make a Lamps out of an Old Kodak Camera I had on display. Being an Electrician by trade and having a love for creating it all come very natural to me, so Reilluminated was developed.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a child and threw my mid-20s I was always creative and enjoyed build things out of nothing. Reilluminated was started as a necessity, but quickly turned into a passion and way of life after I saw the reactions, love and appreciation people had for my lamps. This is what changed a way to make money into a way to touch people and make them smile or even remember a simple happy time from one of the items I used to create my Lamp. One of my favorite things about creating my touch lamps is when people give them to someone they love as a gift. I’ve had quite a few memorable and emotional interactions with people that have received a Reilluminated Lamp as a gift. I have even been able to create a few memorial lamps for people to remember there loved ones. It’s still very shocking and humbling that people asked me to create something with one of their loved ones cherished items and something I’m very proud to be able to do. This whole adventure has been very demanding, stressful, and overwhelming at times. But every time somebody tells me how much they love my pieces it is all worth the hard work and effort I have put in to Reilluminated.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well unfortunately with the Covid epidemic this isn’t a very easy thing to answer! But normally I would definitely take my friend to Roosevelt Road first Friday Art walk. This was the first show I had ever attended and try to sell my lamp set. It is one of the coolest and most popular art walk I’ve ever been to. It’s a great place for new and old artist to be able to display and sell their artwork.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A shoutout to all my fans and customers first and foremost!! With out them I wouldn’t have made it thru a single day or year of creating my pieces. Also to all the other Artist that upcycle and repurpose items as I do. I look to many other artist, creators, and craftsman/women for inspiration and ideas.