We had the good fortune of connecting with Eddie Farr and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eddie, what do you attribute your success to?
This might be odd but saying “No” more.
“Will the financial benefits of this job be worth the mental toll it could potentially take on me? Do I vibe with this client? Am I actually capable of helping them realize their vision?” These are all questions I ask myself before agreeing to a job or working with a client. To me this is good practice because if the answer to these questions are no then it’s better to help them to find someone who could help them based on their needs.
It’s also really important, at least to me, to have a varied network of friends I can recommend to people if they come to me and I’m not able to help.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business, Freaughouse, at its core is a way of helping artists affordably integrate technology into their practice. This ranges from setting up eventbrites for non tech savvy people, consulting on the best projectors to get for visual art installations, to custom building hardware for gallery shows.
I think one thing that sets me apart is my willingness to do work trades in exchange for services. I realize that it’s not always possible to pay for equipment rental so I like to provide that option if it’s something that is requested by an artist. A recent example would be letting a friend borrow some equipment for a show in exchange for her making me a vase!
So far my favorite project has been creating a touch free interface that would start video playback for María Korol’s solo show at Swan Coach House Gallery this past year. Basically someone would wave their hand over a little box (see pic) and it would trigger software on a mac mini to start playing a video on three monitors in the room.
Pre covid I worked as an escape room technician. Basically I would talk with clients and figure out what kind of interactive props they would want in an escape room and build them. Think flipping switches in the correct order and a wall on the other side of the room would open to reveal a new room. This experience has helped me think alot about UX when designing hardware for clients as well as giving me a good background in working with embedded electronics.
I got some really great advice from a friend at the start of 2020; “Don’t be a hero, be a guide”. As someone who works with technology and with artists it’s really important to me to follow this advice. You have to be able to manage expectations but also help someone realize their ideas without over promising what is possible. I think this level of honesty with a client is important.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Some of this would be post covid but:
I think a planned out day would start by picking up pastries and coffee from Little Tart and finding a spot in Oakland Cemetery to sit for a minute while we ate then taking a walk around to look at all the interesting tombstones. The Wylie Street murals are right there so that would be the next obvious thing to check out.
After that we’d make the drive down to Doll’s Head trail and constitution lakes to check out the wildlife and art! Once we finished there we’d swing by El Progreso for some tacos then head to Grant Park to people watch while splitting some limoncello spritzers. Maybe even toss the frisbee a little. If we ran out of spritzers or got tired of people watching we’d make our way down to Eventide for a Kolsch or two.
For dinner we’d grab some Tonkatsu and Soju to go from Pijiu Belly. On the way to dinner we would stop by Sweet Cheats to pick up some cupcakes for after because yes. We’d then go to one of my favorite secret spots in the city to watch the sun set and city lights take over the sky while eating dinner.
Post dinner we’d see if there was a show at 529 or The Earl and head that way.
Honestly this sounds like a great day so I might just do this solo 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Not too exciting but anyone who has taken a chance on me.
Notable standouts are my friend CJ who tried to help me start a student organization in college that would collect usable goods from freshmen moving out of their dorms (before they tossed them) and then donate them to local charities (the name Dumpster Divers was too controversial so the school vetoed the idea but I really appreciate that she saw my vision and at least tried to help).
Also my grad professor and friend Dr. John Thompson who accepted me into the music technology program (where I developed my passion for technology and art and teaching) even though I couldn’t turn on an iMac. He also taught me that it’s only a failure if you don’t learn something from the experience.
Brock Scott Joe Moriarty