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Community Highlights: Meet Alejandro Luna of Night Owl Fabrication

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alejandro Luna.

Hi Alejandro, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
I have always had a passion for art and design within all mediums. From a young age, I was exposed to artisans of many mediums who make, almost instinctually, impressive works of art. Some did it out of necessity, while others thrived out of sheer talent. Being Mexican-American allowed me to see creativity in two rich cultures, specifically when my uncle started a handmade classic western wear boot business from the ground up in the United States.

Working at my uncle’s company gave me a unique opportunity to see cobblers using traditional methods to make works of art using leathers that were humanly sourced and processed.

During undergraduate studies, I learned an appreciation for sculpture and architecture and how they continue to live on as people experience and interact with them. Studying architecture and working in various positions at architecture firms provided the foundation for my career. During that time, I learned how to collaborate with professionals in other professions who shared the same goal, not sacrificing the responsibility in design and the value it holds in our everyday lives. But something was missing; I wanted to create and do more hands-on work. The idea of taking a design sketch from paper to raw material to a finished product inspired me to have my own business.

When industry colleagues contacted me for their client projects, I knew the timing was right to strike out on my own, and that’s when my business, Night Owl Fabrication, was founded.

I established Night Owl Fabrication to pursue design details for the everyday user. Using locally sourced materials and re-purposing them has driven a large part of my passion for continuing to push quality and design details. The main goal for Night Owl Fabrication is to connect all the team members involved: the owner, the design representative, architects, engineers, builders, and all others involved with the finished commission. A large reward for me is when someone, who may or may not know the materials and complexities of construction, connects in a manner that inspires curiosity and creativity.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Let’s be honest, starting a business always has challenges and unforeseen difficulties. I started mine at the onset of a pandemic, and I have been grateful to have the projects I have had through a difficult period. Still, getting the right team of employees, and materials within budget and on time have been the most significant hurdles that continue even today.

I have always believed design constraints and challenges are a vital part of the making process. A challenge I naturally find myself in is that I run my business as a hyper-custom studio. Being hyper-custom naturally has challenges since every commission is unique to the client and not repeated for anyone else. The site condition, design process, and communication between the teams naturally develop some obstacles, but the final result stays true to the owner and quality.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
My work has taken me from Marfa, Texas, to the Netherlands and even a few hidden spots along the Texas Hill Country, and the same rules apply anywhere I work: make cool shit with cool people. I’m one of the many custom fabrication shops in San Antonio, and I know there’s space for everyone to succeed. At Night Owl Fabrication, we enjoy collaborating and honoring the craft of hyper-custom and handmade work while sourcing the best raw materials for projects.

At the end of the day, I want to make my clients happy by fabricating statement pieces with unique design details using my architectural knowledge and design experience. My goal is to walk away from a completed project knowing the client will interact and see the finished product on a regular (if not daily) basis and continue to love and enjoy it! We’ve done everything from event activations to river parade floats to architectural finish-outs. As a hyper-custom fabrication shop, we’re always up for a unique project that makes us challenge our creative limits.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
Music as a whole inspires my work and energizes me through every project, day in and day out.

A podcast I listen to is 99% Invisible because I enjoy how they talk about design all around the world and what it means to different people in how they interpret architecture and design in their everyday lives.

When I need inspiration, I enjoy checking out various studios during Second Saturday. Seeing the creative energy of so many local artists and their mediums motivates me to keep pursuing my craft. When it is not the Second Saturday, museum walks and sketching help feed my soul. Apart from that, a routine connection with nature is necessary for me. Being in the outdoors while working or outside of work keeps me rooted.

Of course, I can’t leave out coffee, the fuel to my creative tank.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Alejandro Luna and Lisa Nigro

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