We had the good fortune of connecting with Ian Vandenberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ian, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have always wanted to work for myself and work from home. Being able to do that while also getting to express myself artistically every day is really a dream come true for me. I recently retired from my Engineering day job earlier this year and am now doing my art full time. I still do some Engineering and Architectural design work from home, but I finally get to put my artwork first and that was always my goal.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I take recycled beer bottle caps and turn them into one of a kind mosaic art. My largest piece contained 22,000 bottle caps and was 12 feet wide by 8 feet tall. I also have made a pair of earrings out of bottle caps that contained only 2 caps, so I do pieces of all shapes and sizes. I take custom orders and so that means I get requests from all sides of the spectrum when it comes to both size and budget. What sets me apart from anyone else doing this is that I can literally turn anything into bottle caps, from your favorite team’s logo to your family pet. Along the way I have learned how to adapt to each client’s requests and how to become more efficient in pricing my art to reflect the many hours spent. This allows me to make good money at doing something I love to do while also giving the client a good deal for what they get.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When I want to head over to my favorite brewery, Misfit Outpost in Cypress, I make a day out of it. First stop is Rosehill Beer Garden. It’s a cool place to try dozens of beers and get a snack at one of the eight food trucks on site. It is owned by one of the coolest Food Network personalities, Eddie Jackson. If you’re lucky, you may find yourself sitting one barstool away from the man himself. Next, I head over to the Houston Premium Outlets to do a little shopping and walk off some of the beer and food that I just filled up on. I usually walk around for a couple of hours to work up an appetite for dinner at one of the best Chinese restaurants in Houston, Duck n Bao. No visit is complete without getting the hot oil wontons, Dan Dan noodles, and soup dumplings. Finally, I head back over to Misfit for after dinner drinks. There’s always live music or your favorite game playing on the TV’s. If your friend isn’t brave enough to try the spicy food you had for dinner, Misfit’s got you covered. They have burgers, tacos, hot dogs and lots more. And their beer is some of the best in Houston.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife deserves a lot of the credit. She has not only supported me wanting to do art for a living, but she helps a lot by putting glue on caps when I need her to, as well as painting the majority of the backgrounds for my artwork. She is the best, and the only reason I have been able to do all the pieces I have over the years.

Instagram: @southerncapworks

Facebook: Southern Capworks

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