posted by Mr. Linty @ 11:46 PM, ,
3rd "tee of the day" win on emptees this month and I'm feeling pre-ty cocky... This design is being printed right now by the guys in Florida and I can't wait to see the first photo proofs. One thing I think may need adjusting is that little top cloud. I have a feeling it's going to push the design down too much and make it a belly print, which I don't want. But we'll see. The dudes seem pretty confident that it'll look ok. Trust the dudes!
Tonight I had a pretty cool conversation with my mom. I'm to borrowing a chunk of cash from them to print new stuff since they'll give me a lower interest rate than most local banks (9%). The payment plan lasts for 36 months but should get settled a lot quicker than that if I play it right. Basically I laid out a business plan to my mom of how exactly I'm going to use the money and due dates for payment each month. It was super encouraging to hear her express her confidence in Linty Fresh, in my designs and my ideas for expansion. She had some good advice, too, on testing out the waters in baby apparel, noting that my generation is starting to have kids and are looking to outfit them as themselves. Good point! Maybe some onesies for spring, eh?
I could totally get into this sort of stuff!!!
Anyhow, it was just great to get that kind of support from my mom. Dad's a little less enthused about my projections, but that sort of thing just makes me try harder in the end. Then again, my projections are pretty big. Firstly, I want LF to be supporting me fully by '09. That means selling only 5 shirts a day, actually, so it's doable. Next, I want to get my own place. The folks are encouraging me to look into buying house nearby and I've started pricing. This year will definitely be the time to do it since the market's so bad, too. And man am I dreaming big for this place. Not that I want it to be huge, I just want it to be me. Like my room, but a whole house! Wall paintings, art trades hanging all over the place, a nice studio, and of course a shipping room for all mah tees!... Custom colors for everything, of course, and maybe some pinball machines and old arcades (Hook, anyone?). Ok, that might be a little over the top...
It's probably because I've been reading some of the other tshirt guys' blogs from Emptees. This one especially had me green with envy. Young entrepreneurs inspire me to no end.
posted by Mr. Linty @ 12:35 PM, ,
No es bueno.
I think yesterday saw me madder than I've been in ages... Allow me to explain...
It started with a couple emails I received from Threadless members. Usually I get random emails from folks about the designs, but these were particularly unusual because both of their subject lines contained the word "stolen". Not good.
It turns out that someone on Threadless posted my most recent design on the site and claimed it as their own. Upsetting to say the least, but even worse was the fact that they'd actually submitted it into the competition. In other words, they were trying to get paid for my work. Needless to say, I was furious. I contacted Threadless immediately and then jumped on the submission with a link to my original design. Fortunately some others had caught it too, and the thief, "Than They Appear", never came back. Coward.
This is the first time something like this has happened to me and I've got to say that it's one of the worst thing that can happen to someone in this line of work. That someone would not only claim another's work as their own but go so far as to make money off of it is simply beyond me. In any case, it's a done deal now and I owe huge thanks to those who informed me of the incident and those who backed me up.
On the upside, traffic was super high yesterday. ;)
posted by Mr. Linty @ 6:24 PM, ,
I think I've finally come to an important decision regarding Linty Fresh. Honestly, it's been pretty weird the last two years since I've just designed whatever came to my head in whatever style I could conjure up. Problem being, without some sort of lowest common denominator, some overriding look, it's hard to really define myself. So I've made my decision. I'm going for "stylized street art cartoons and graphics" ...I guess that still seems broad, but just visualize my last design - it had some streetsy cartoons (the little orange dudes) mixed with my more typical dead tree and leaf graphics and lots of fun and flowy, purely design stuff. My buttons, too. Cartoony, but not in a kiddie-book-illustrations way.
Anyways, that's kind of what I'm going for. Also, BOLD colors and large designs. Now that I've finally established a cheap and reliable printer, I can go way beyond 4 colors, too. And now I want to do wrap arounds, hood prints, and even bags. There's a lot of reasons that I think make this a good idea. First, I haven't seen too many other people do this (bags, that is). Second, I love bags (I use mine whenever I can!) Third, I think the style will really complement the bags well (Most likely a simple, wide, one-color print)
I guess I've sort of been going about LF wrong. Basically I was attempting to compete with the tee giants like Threadless and Design by Humans. This, of course, is ludicrous. I simply can't create that many different styles for tees. But what I can do is invert that formula - print a lot of different things with a single style. Obviously, my main thing will definitely still be the tees, but I really want to expand. This may even be the perfect platform to launch the sneakers. (if I ever figure out how to do it!)
Anyways, I'm looking for some input on the bags below. These bags are my top 3 choices for printing. They have nice, print-able flaps, are comfy looking, and practically shaped:
DW805 Desert Wash Medium Messenger Bag
"100% cotton rip-stop soft structured messenger bag with open interior and brushed nickel hardware. adjustable strap for cross-body carrying. back pocket with velcro closure."
12" w x 9" h x 2" d.
405 Anvil Messenger Bag
"600-denier polyester; laptop and pda friendly; adjustable 2 shoulder strap; lined flap with two zippers makes imprinting easy; front adjustable-clasp closure; main compartment has inside slip pocket; front panel has zippered compartment"
DEPTH 5" LENGTH 14.5" WIDTH 12"
1908 Authentic Pigment Pigment-Dyed Raw-Edge Messenger Bag
"100% cotton canvas, 14 oz; enzyme-washed; adjustable cotton webbing shoulder strap with antique brass slider and d-ring; large flap with magnetic snap; exterior and interior zippered pockets; storage side pockets"
DEPTH 4.75" LENGTH 16" WIDTH 11.5"
I'm leaning towards the first one now but open to feedback. Probably I'll print on black & khaki for the first run. Any input on this would be great!
Oh, and one last reason why the new printing company is the best ever (and I'm so excited about this it's a little insane) THEY ARE GONNA DO CUSTOM TAGS!!!
In other words, they are going to remove the American Apparel tags by hand and screenprint a 3"x4" tag design onto the back neck. And because they are so incredibly awesome, it's only going to cost another 40 cents per tee, even though each size will have a different tag! I'm super thrilled because getting my own tags was like the final step to feeling official about these tees. From now on, they are 100% LF. Just awesome. On top of that, every tee I release will have a different tag design. This is the one I did for the upcoming tee.
posted by Mr. Linty @ 12:25 AM, ,
Oh snap, Jungle Book reference!
Holy bajera this has been a sweet week! My Epic tee won Tee of the Day yesterday on Emptees and this morning in my inbox I had 3 cool emails: two were from apparel companies emailing me about some possible contract work. One's a Georgia motocross clothing line and the other is some NY-based thingy so that's cool beans! The third email (and probably the one I'm most excited about) was from Woot.com, a trendspotting/consumer reports type site that will be featuring me on their homepage tomorrow!
I asked how they found me and they responded: "We were looking." Ok then.
So '08 is starting off on a good foot I'd say! And I plan on really kicking things into high gear. I've got the next designs off to the printers as of this afternoon and once that comes in I'm going to load up my mom's van and camp out in some parking lots that get concert traffic. I always spot kids in threadless and the like, so I'm hoping they'll have it in them to support their local underdog. ;)
Anyhow, I've been getting lots of great advice from the other merchants and designers on Emptees and have even set up a trade with the guys that run Seibei and Carraway. I think that's been one of the coolest parts of running LF: networking. It's so inspiring to hear the stories of these small-time designers that found their niche, started a little following, and ended up making a living out of it.
See, I don't see myself as a fine artist by any means - I know I abandoned that path long ago by dropping out of my art major. But honestly, it wouldn't have suited me. Working for days or weeks on a single piece... ack. I'm way too impatient for that kind of long-haul discipline. But the process of being a small-time merchant/designer is so satisfying to me. The design aspect is awesome because I'm not answering to anyone but myself. No clients to make senseless comments and inconsistent decisions, no deadlines, no set standard of colors or styles. It's just whatever I feel like. And then the actual vending is super rewarding too. It's not the monetary thing at all really. Honestly, my profits this year are so low because of all my dead end LF projects, but still, it was a blast for me. Every time I get an order it's like the coolest thing - the fact that someone is willing to part with their hard earned cash for a chance to sport one of my designs is just the coolest thing to me.
Well that was quite a rant. So to contrast with all this upbeat crap, I have to announce some sad news - I totally ruined my Ponys tonight! I wasn't happy with the markers so I painted over them with acrylics. That was stupid because acrylics are basically liquid plastic, so once they dry, they only stick to things that soak them up. And my shoes didn't. So it's all peely and ugly now. My final plan is to spray paint them, but that could be even more disastrous. And this was totally a business write off, so there goes $25 in profits for '08... Lol.
I need to be more like corporate cat.
posted by Mr. Linty @ 1:06 AM, ,
Does this guy even do tshirts anymore?!
Of course I do! Just having some fun experimenting with other stuff, yanno? Here's the latest projects from the LF workshop:
Basically my day went like this:
9:00 AM - Had a whim to do some custom kicks.
12:00 PM - Ate lunch while further contemplating the kicks.
3:30 PM - Entered a Marshalls and purchased some Pony's.
8:00 PM - Fulfilled my whim. Not 100% happy with these as the colors seemed to vary depending on what surface I was using the markers on, but in the end I'm cool with it. I'll still wear em, I mean.
Anyways since uploading these shots to my flickr, I've gotten 4 requests to design custom pairs! So who knows, maybe this is the future of LF! Either way, if you're interested, hit me up and I'll see if I can't figure a way to get one to you. :D
Also, it's 2008!!! And what better way to go into the new year than doing what I love: sitting for hours in front of a computer screen tugging at pixel points. Yeah, yet another tshirt design to add to the shelf. As in, the digital shelf. I'm still waiting on the info to come through for my loan application, so until then things are at a bit of a standstill tangible-goods wise. Here it is:
This is actually for a competition over at Emptees, which I've been perusing a lot lately. It's a nice little community of other tshirt vendors and designers, which means, unlike Threadless, you can actually get some useful information out of the other members. I've already got some A+ advice on what kind of business structuring works best for the industry, plus other stuff on shirt brands and what not. Oh, and I managed to hook up with one of the printer guys on there and he'll be handling my next batch. It's super affordable and his screens are 20"x25"! (Most are 16" x 13", so they can't do full front prints like he can!) Anyhow, the theme of the contest is "In Dreams". Which is open-ended enough to afford space for some of my newly lovable toothy characters (now as bunnies). I'm happy with the design, and whatever happens with the contest, I'm planning on printing this soon. As in, '08. Ha.
posted by Mr. Linty @ 8:34 PM, ,