"People in larger cities are in a rush to be miserable and people here are moving slow to be happy."
What is your job and its responsibilities?
I am a practicing fiber artist motivated by sustainable studio practices. I have a studio in the Shops of Grand Avenue and have a dozen apprentices from Marquette, MIAD, UWM, and independent artists. My work celebrates the success of collaboration between a broad spectrum of cultural communities also spanning across multiple industries.
How long have you lived in Milwaukee and what brought you here?
I moved to Milwaukee in March of 2012 as the first out-of-state Artist-In-Residence at the Pfister Hotel.
What makes Milwaukee a good place to live?
I have often joked that people in larger cities are in a rush to be miserable and people here are moving slow to be happy. Between a delicious Friday night fish fry, Sunday brunch at your favorite bloody mary joint, or Jazz in the Park there is a celebratory rejoicing feel in the communities of Milwaukee. There aren’t a simple stream of socializing mixers, they are celebrations of self, life, and culture. Whether it’s the Riverwest 24 hour bike relay founded to retake the streets of Riverwest or Bay View Gallery Night, or the polar plunge in the middle of the winter the communities raise their flags to revel in the best parts of what they have to offer.
How would you rate Milwaukee as a place to work and do business?
Milwaukee was founded with the hearts of hardworking factory laborers and that heritage is evident in the work ethic of younger generations. But this holds no one back, people aren’t stuck in their ways. There is a metamorphic energy that inspires the community to create business relationships in innovative ways.
When I look around I often feel as though young people rule this city. Wherever you look there is a young entrepreneur who had an idea and simply through hard work and passion for their idea it blossoms into a success. There is community moral and a nurturing spirit in Milwaukee. A “You can do anything!” attitude. That is exactly what young people need.
What neighborhood do you live in and what do you like about it?
I live in downtown Milwaukee. I love how accessible it makes the rest of the city. I am arm’s length from any of the surrounding neighborhoods.
What is the one thing you’d like to change about Milwaukee?
The national attention. Milwaukee has something for EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE! There are hidden gems all over the city and there is excellent word of mouth within the city that doesn’t translate to national exposure. While at the Pfister Hotel I spoke with a handful a travel writers who all posted Milwaukee at the top of their “places to visit” list. There is incredible momentum in Milwaukee and a drive to make things happen.
Westbrook runs the Timothy Westbrook Studio in the Grand Avenue Mall, and also won notoriety for getting on the Project Runway show.