Sample Time - Second Collection
FullSizeRender.jpg

So I have finally completed my research on DTG companies and ordered a sample collection of t-shirts of varying brands, colours and sizes to compare and contrast which fit and style is best. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Originally I was going to order sweatshirts given the seasonal changes but I want to make sure the designs are ok before investing in ordering a more expensive garment. 

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

The turn around time is supposed to be 3-5 working days so hopefully there will be no issues with the print quality.

 

 Interesting flat lay

Interesting flat lay

Then it will be time to shoot them. Again more research and thinking about studio spaces to hire without breaking the bank. Luckily there is one which seems to be competitively priced in the forever rising rental of East London, rolls eyes.  

 This hanging concept has been on my mind for a while. 

This hanging concept has been on my mind for a while. 

I am starting to get my mojo back - finally. Research is key to feeling inspired, I should tattoo this on my forehead.  

 Love this foil background, could be quite symbolic. 

Love this foil background, could be quite symbolic. 

Procrastination is a True Art Form Isn’t It?

Trying not to self flagellate is tough given that my decision making is at the core of the issue.  

Being a teacher , we relish the holidays especially the summer holidays because of the lie-ins. As a business owner it is also a great length of time to be focusing on making new decisions and mapping out the year ahead for the brand. 

IMG_4194.JPG

Whilst there was some productivity it was not to the extent I would have hoped. Talking to a friend about my business and recent events, it made me reflect and be somewhat honest with myself regarding the hurdles I am facing. 

 M.I.A for Versace 

M.I.A for Versace 

It all boils down to the second collection and having the confidence in the designs and making them a reality in terms of production. It is scary. I have to remind myself of the new way in which I want to work; drop shipping. 

This gives me the luxury of being able to design and ‘flood’ the website with any new designs, which takes the pressure off holding stock. Any that are not popular can be pulled from the website. 

However the major hurdle is the vision, the new narrative and visual content I want to create. It needs to be simple and cheap but not compromise on the overall concept; this is the sticking point. 

 Levi’s helping inspire

Levi’s helping inspire

Where should the new shoot be? How should the models be dressed? How can I keep costs to a minimum? So many decisions that are overwhelming at the moment. However the only way to change this is by dedicating my time post work more effectively. 

First to finalise the designs ready for garment printing. Hopefully by the time I blog again positive progress would have been made. 

 

 Love this shot - logistical nightmare maybe? 

Love this shot - logistical nightmare maybe? 

Print Decisions ~ DTG & Screen Printing

Reflecting, as always, on the designs I had created last week I knew I needed to make some decisions. Namely which ones I wanted to get samples of. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Also, I need to think of which designs work best for specific techniques such as screen printing or direct to garment (DTG). Both are great processes and I love them equally but of course the aesthetic is the key factor.

Screen printing needs simple art work broken down into colours for each screen, which is a perfect technique for my linear drawings. Whereas DTG is like a computer print out and can capture any detail, ideal for my colour designs that I recently created. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

To help with the decision making I wanted to have a range of designs, to broaden my collection and appeal to people’s various tastes from simple to complex and colourful. But I also wanted to have some visualisations to help me view them as garments mentally. Below is my very quick version of this - no judgement please!   

IMG_4196.JPG

As basic as this is, it really helps me consider how the design works, what needs changing and more importantly, does it work? 

Focusing on the garment choices I am thinking about whether I should print just t-shirts or sweatshirts or both given the seasonal changes that will happen? What colour? I am feeling drawn to black as I think it compliments the designs and is another colour way to add to the collection too. 

Another consideration is other printing techniques such as silver or gold vinyl. I would love that for the linear designs on black sweatshirts. Black and gold specifically is the perfect combination in my opinion. 

Right, so this week I need to make any drawing refinements and send the images off to the printers I met with recently and ask them for a quote. Order the garment samples and printing equipment so I can screen print myself - got to save costs where I can but also so I can do some printing, I really love this technique. It is good to get hands on and embrace the next creative stage. 

Then the fun starts...   

Pushing Beyond My Comfort Zone - New T-Shirt Designs

As the title suggests, I am trying to go beyond my comfort zone and push my creative boundaries. 

Not only do I want to experiment and push my visual creativity but I also want to give the customer more choice in what they can wear. Variety is the spice of life after all. 

Initially I decided I would have three categories to work within: 

- my new slogan

FullSizeRender.jpg

- single and layered linear drawings and  

IMG_4039.JPG

- single images that are either drawings or mixed media mono prints.  

IMG_3719.JPG
IMG_3979.JPG

But me being me, I was not satisfied and the ideas started to grow where I also wanted to have another category that was more playful, more spontaneous and collage like.  

IMG_4102.JPG
IMG_4101.JPG

So utilising September Vogue (British edition) I did some quick sketches of WoC and scanned them in to my computer. Here I experimented with text, colour and collage to see which ones were more visually striking. 

The trouble is my taste is specific to me so who knows what others think? So I am thinking of various strategies and ways I can market the designs on my website to gauge which designs should be sampled. 

But moreover, I really want to create a range of designs that I am very proud of and that allow for me to combine my love of art and fashion. I really want fabric to be a canvas to explore diversity and representation of various women of colour. 

More room for exploration and really pushing my boundaries more so I think - waiting for that ‘that’s it’ moment. What do you think? Any preferences?  

Plan of action is to keep pushing the sales on the old collection, still £35 down from £50 with free P&P - bargain. Seek funding options for the new samples and just keep creating...