The Solar Stitch

Courtesy+of+Paul+Nosa%0A%0APaul+Nosa+exhibits+his+first+ever+solar+powered+sewing+machine+at+the+Treasure+Island+Music+Festival+2010+in+San+Francisco.

Courtesy of Paul Nosa Paul Nosa exhibits his first ever solar powered sewing machine at the Treasure Island Music Festival 2010 in San Francisco.

Brittny Mejia

Paul Nosa, a UA alumnus, is trying to make his way around the nation one patch at a time.

With a portable, solar-powered sewing machine and the imagination of others as his guide, Nosa can create a patch of anything you can imagine. All he asks for is five words and a little creativity. He handles the rest.

On a five-year plan at the UA, Nosa majored in interdisciplinary studies and credits his versatile education for getting him to where he is today.

“I wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t gotten a degree at the U of A,” he says.

He first studied French, creative writing and sculpture, which taught him the skills he now applies to his work.

Although Nosa is the only person in his family who chose art as a career path, he says he does not suffer from a lack of support, which is why he decided to pursue his career.

Nosa began drawing at a young age. As he grew older, people would not buy his drawings. This led him to expand his goals and try to put function in his art. From there, he began making candles, then shirts, and eventually patches.

“Someone suggested I make patches and I said, ‘No, why would I ever make a patch?’ Then I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll make one or two,’” Nosa says.

One or two patches have turned into hundreds, with no end in sight. The patches symbolize the individuality of each person who asks for one. If someone wants to keep the patch, all Nosa charges is what the individual feels the patch is worth.

His favorite patches, he says, are those that really exemplify creativity and imagination. One patch, “Swimming Through the Day,” has a sun on one side and a man swimming through the ocean with a moon on the other side.

However, not everyone is as creative as he would like.

“I would say people want to be creative, but for the most part, people have a hard time expressing their idea because they want their idea to be good,” he says. “Ultimately, they censor themselves so much that they don’t say anything.”

Nosa tries to push creativity through tours around the United States. Fundraising for his most recent tour will end on Jan. 24. He must reach his $7,500 goal, or he will not receive money from Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects.

If he does not reach his financial goal, Nosa says he will consider touring anyway, but the expenses will be an issue. He would have to pay entrance fees to get into festivals as well as pay his travel expenses.

In the past, Nosa has toured from California to New York, which he says allowed him to spread his message and ideas. He says his only regret was not having more time in each place.

“It’s difficult to connect with people when you’re going to be 500 miles away tomorrow,” he says. “So, I’m trying to do a tour that’s more on my own schedule so I have more time to meet with people.”

Nosa is driven to tour the country by a desire to inspire others “to think creatively and to teach them how to build alternative energy sources,” he says.

He promotes alternative energy sources through his own use of a bicycle electric generator and solar panels to help power his solar sewing rover. On his website, he shows users how to build a bicycle-powered generator.

“I found a need for the sewing machine to be on location and I was thinking I should make a portable sewing machine table,” he says. “That just led to the fact that it needed to be solar powered and I realized I should have the bicycle generator so I could sew anywhere.”

For more information on the project, please visit
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1917578351/sewing-tour-2012