We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Kyle Auga. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Kyle below.
Kyle, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Are you happy a creative professional? Do you sometimes wonder what it would be like to work for someone else?
This question is quite interesting to me and has a deep, life-changing answer.
I originally discovered balancing sculptures and started making them in 2012. However, In 2016, I owned a small business and I had a warehouse for my employees and products. During this time, I had the ability to bring my metal working tools to the warehouse and work on metal in my spare time or after normal hours. As I made more balancing sculptures, I got a lucky break on social media – one of my videos went viral and over a week I got tens of millions of views across multiple platforms. This suddenly turned a small hobby into a nearly full time business.
At the end of this same year, I closed the doors on my first business to pursue being a full time artist. From 2016 to the beginning of 2019 I did this full time from home. It was exactly what everyone always dreams about – making something you love into a business!
However, there’s a side of being creative most don’t talk about. When you have orders, and you’re essentially being TOLD what to make, it drives the fun and creativity away. It becomes a job like any other. I would grind, weld, polish and balance stainless steel for 10 hours a day. I would have unique sculpture ideas I WANTED to make and then I had orders for sculptures I NEEDED to make. So, the ideas for new things I wanted to create were left for last. At the end of each day, I was tired and drained and uninterested in creating new things. I knew this was killing the fun and creative side of this for me, I knew I needed to make a change.
In 2018 I made a very hard decision to take out an $80k loan to put myself through flight school and become an airline pilot. Why an airline pilot? Well, besides wanting to be a pilot since I was a child, I also knew this would afford me the time, freedom and schedule to still be creative when I wanted to. Relying on your artwork as a means to live, for me, was not something I could continue doing while still enjoying it – I was slowly becoming miserable.
After years of training, focusing on flying, building hours during a global pandemic and working abhorrent hours while also still making metal sculptures, I finally got my first airline job in 2021. Without the fear and worry of “sales” I can now focus on enjoying the process of metal working again. When I fly, I focus only on flying – when I’m home, I can weld and focus on being creative. I no longer have to worry about pushing out as many as possible. I can finally take my time on each one and enjoy the process.
So, to answer the question, I enjoy being creative and making sculptures so much that I changed my life completely in order to accommodate it and have creative freedom. I cannot imagine my life without metal working as my creative outlet. I pushed myself through what seemed to be hellfire trying to get to the airlines so that I could avoid a “regular” job and continue doing what I love: being creative.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I’ve had several artistic achievements over the last 10 years but the thing I am MOST proud of is being able to say that one of my sculptures made it into the movie, Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds! If you look carefully in the first few minutes of the movie where Guy is in his apartment, you will see it gently shining and swinging away! I made that thing!
How did I get it into a movie? When I started in 2012, the first thing I googled was: “how to cut metal”. From that one google searched sparked something I never would’ve imagined.
Fast forward to today, I have now made balancing sculptures from metal for 10 years and every year I’ve learned something new. I either learned something about myself, how to work with metal better, website, sales, or business details – the list could go on. I had to teach myself (via the Academy of YouTube and trial and error) everything. Along with the plethora of metal working techniques and skills, I taught myself professional photography, website design, marketing concepts, SEO (search engine optimization) and doing all this while still somehow making up designs for sculptures that don’t exist!
From all that work, all that learning, it paid off! My SEO abilities landed one of the producers of Free Guy onto my website in March of 2019. So being creative isn’t just limited to metal for me. I enjoy the photography process, I enjoy fixing, improving and adding to my website. I love making unique videos on social media showcasing my work, process or my tools or products I use and that help me make ideas I have become real.
My end goal in everything is simple: to make things that don’t exist and share it with others that might also find it cool/interesting! For me, it’s the NEXT thing that excites me. Shortly after a new design is made, I’m ready to move on to the next “new” and push myself further.
How did you build your audience on social media?
I make videos on social media because I enjoy it! I don’t make videos because I “must get followers and views” – Don’t let that be your driving force just ENJOY IT. When you do, people will notice and the likes/views will follow. Just be you and share your passion. THAT has been the key for me. Don’t post “junk” – make videos as high quality, bright, sharp as possible! Use dramatic/interesting angles and always ALWAYS ask yourself “what story am I trying to tell my audience”.
BE UNIQUE – don’t always jump on trends or bandwagons, make your own! Share the process of what you do or what you love. Get creative with sharing your work – learn different camera angles, transitions, how to edit videos – keep viewers engaged and interested with short clips tied together. Take notice of some of your favorite and top social media creators and see how they do things and notice what captures YOUR attention. Always learn, always be creative.
Do you think there is something that non-creatives might struggle to understand about your journey as a creative? Maybe you can shed some light?
So many people think that they aren’t “creative” but this isn’t true. The reality is that 99.99% of people simply haven’t found their medium, their muse, their motivation or their PASSION. They just haven’t found it yet. I’m very luckily I found my creative outlet and medium that I love early in life.
My advice is that people dig deep and simply be honest with themselves. What would you DO if money wasn’t an issue? Yes yes, we know – fast cars and big houses for most people. But go beyond that, what makes you motivated to wake up? If you can find yourself and what really makes you.. YOU, I think more people would find their creative outlet and do things they never would’ve imagined. I love asking myself this: “Who are YOU? and what do YOU want?” (a quote from one of my favorite shows – “Avatar: The Last Airbender”) really think about that.
- Website: kyleskinetics.com
- Instagram: @kyles_kinetics
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/kyleskinetics
- Other: tiktok: @Kyles_kinetics
All photos taken by myself. I have rights to the screenshot of the movie because my sculpture is in the shot.