This will be my first blog post of many ( Hopefully? ) As I continue to explore illustration and apparel, I want this space to be a sort of journal. I don’t think I should be giving tutorials or anything of that sort, I still have a lot to learn, but instead I think mulling over ideas here can help both me and anyone reading understand where my ideas come from - and where they should go. I will do my best to not let these run too long, or explore too many rabbit holes, but to make things easier (and more fun) I’m going to section things off with questions. Skip down to the end if you just want a summary of things, there I will recommend a new artist I’m obsessed with.
Note to self: this post will be about what I’m doing here, and what I hope to do here in the future.
You were obsessed with animation, what happened to that? Why are you into fashion all of the sudden?
I have and always will be in love with animation! I haven’t completely abandoned it for T-shirts. In fact, animation brought me to playing with t-shirts and apparel.
Over one summer I wanted to push myself to explore animation seriously (as in create a solid, full piece). I drew a bunch, watched a bunch, and generally got caught up in exploring images and narrative. Ultimately, though, things still came back a muddle. The images I had worked, but trying to tie the ideas together into a web called narrative seemed forced. I started to think of animation not as a place to begin working, but more of a place you end up after stumbling around. A film, for me, is similar to a book in that good one’s consist of ideas that have been refined and sculpted for a very long time. The studios who make good films spend the majority of their time not animating, but taking raw ideas and giving them space to grow. Though I can force narrative with basic structures and charming plots, I won’t get anything of substance without time and reflection.
So.. I started to sway from animation to start focusing on creating strong images. Creating images that were captivating and could ignite another’s imagination. Down the rabbit hole of experimentation, color, and style. I could go on and on about the ideas I juggled and jumped between within that first outbreak, but I think showing through future blog posts will be better than rambling now. Long story short: I landed on apparel. T-shirts were an interesting canvas for exploration, they had a wide versatility in terms of images to portray, and (I believe) could form a closer relationship to the wearer than a painting in a museum could to its viewers.
Ok, so what do you mean by exploration? Where did the ideas for all these weird looking shirts come from?
I started the process in a way similar to what I’m doing now - - I journaled. I tried to get down all the ideas that have been swimming around in my head from recent weird dreams to sticky childhood fantasies. I bought a big sketchbook, and scribbled ideas down in thumbnails until I had a good pool to weave from. It wasn’t random, the first collection began with the idea of isolation and loneliness, and branched from there as I explored my relationship to these ideas. Honestly, though there are a few that I love, the first shirt designs are rough and I’m not satisfied with many of them. The ideas may not be fully formed. Moving forward I’m continuing to develop stronger ideas and trying new techniques - and these explorations will be seen as future collections. Reactions from readers, and anyone interested in my work will inform me of how good or bad they are, and once I know this I can more confidently continue to explore.
As you may have noticed, my work jumps between drawing and 3-D pieces, and I hope to explore more mediums. Right now I’m working on a collection that uses collage, but I feel like once I get a handle of things I’ll be able to tie in a number of other elements as well. On the business side of things, I’m trying to get a handle on hurdles like marketing, getting closer to readers and supporters (you), and organizing things like giveaways . There’s also finding models so that I can finally update the website with photos of the new, better shirts. But anyway, I will make sure things aren’t dead here, I will continuously update the blog with my stuff, new artist I find while working, and when giveaways/deals happen. Also, if someone’s really interested in How I do things, please follow my Instagram, it’s so much easier to put my process pictures up there!
What are you working on now? Are things going to be dead until you release another collection?
All in all, I think T-shirts are beautiful way to connect art and people, and I am going to explore the realm of apparel for a while. In this blog space, I’m going to keep you all updated on everything from ideas to new artists to giveaways. My next collection is going to focus on collage, so please join my community by signing up with your email! It can be hard keeping up with blogs/sites like mine without reminders or bookmarks. Can’t wait to hear from you all!