Spotlight: Artist and Teacher Gabriel Craft

MagMaker / September 29, 2014


My name is Gabriel Craft and my medium is the blogger’s dashboard. In between teaching English as a foreign language here in Japan, I create and and curate content related to design, personal growth, mindfulness, practical Zen Buddhism, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Oh, and a whole mess of tiny houses. I also enjoy the plastic arts through photography, digital art and tactile paper and fude pen.

I use Flipboard to curate original content into a format that is easy and fun for me to review and revisit. I love that I can easily create a magazine that I would like to read again and again, and it’s been a great encouragement to know that many people may benefit from my arrangements.

Over the past two years I have fallen in love with Flipboard and Tumblr. I have happily found them complementary and help me cultivate several niche interests which I am passionate about. Subject matter that would be dismissed as odd or fringe to most of my friends or family members have found significant appreciation by the Flipboard community, which empowers me to keep working toward my passions: blogging, a healthier life and a future mortgage-free home which I plan to build myself.

I also use Flipboard for arguably too many things:

Social Media Management: Flipboard allows me to feel involved, creative and productive rather than simply consuming.

Personal Growth & Volunteerism: As a form of creative therapy after surviving the tsunami that struck Japan back in 2011, I curate two mindfulness-based health and wellness magazines. I also promote and showcase content produced by non-profit organizations which I am involved with or support through blogging and social media volunteerism.

Brainstorming & Productivity: I curate art and music “to explore later” with my daughter when we have more time together on the weekends. Currently I’m brainstorming about taking a two-month “roadschooling” excursion throughout the United States with her. Curating mags for future class lessons or project ideas has greatly increased my workflow.

Silliness: my personal and yet public GIF library making silly but darn good fan magazines for The Colbert Report, The Simpsons, Seinfeld and other fun that may lift me out of a low mood and help me laugh-it-up when feeling down.

My greatest influences are Maria Popova for her work with Brain Pickings and the Curator’s Code, and Kirby Ferguson for his work with Everything Is A Remix. I’m also grateful for the Dharma Talk podcasts given by Thich Nhat Hahn, the very simple (free) awareness app offered by Cheri Huber, and Zen Pencils by Gavin Aung Than. With regard to tiny houses, I offer gratitude Andrew and Gabriella Morrison from TinyHouseBuild for mentoring me.

Living in Japan, Gabriel has found a way to make small spaces all his own. Check out his magazine devoted to big ideas in tiny places: