My friend recently discovered that his child, although not a fantastically accomplished artist actually did have a hidden talent for really cool, interesting doodles. You know when someones pen strokes are unlikely to end up in the Tate but they have a style that’s really unique. Well that’s him. Now he knows that parents always think their child’s art is better than it is but he’d drawn some monsters in the cover of his diary, in fact it appears he was starting to draw monsters everywhere! They weren’t the sort that would make you reach for the phone to call a psychologist, but the fun sort, with googly eyes and jagged teeth and 10 arms. The school don’t put his stuff on the school walls, but then they maybe aren’t as into monsters as my friend who thinks they rocks almost as much as his son does.
Anyway he wanted a way of encouraging him to pursue his love of illustration. There are tonnes of great illustrators who aren’t fantastic painters but because their style is appealing they get work from it.
I had recently had some t-shirts printed, with my own personalised design for a Christmas party so I suggested that they might get his design on a t-shirt. They decided to tell him that he should keep drawing and keep improving and then every sketch he drew that we thought was especially good, we’d get it printed for him on a t-shirt as a reward for when he’s been especially good.
The t-shirt printing site allowed them to send the sketch that they’d scanned from whichever corner of paper he’d scribbled on, and they happily created a printable design that was, what they called, a flex-print design which had just the lines of his image bonded onto the t-shirt in a very fine plastic you can barely feel and is highly durable. It also meant that the design was OK for any colour t-shirt and could be printed in any colour. Also they wasn’t any additional charge for the preparation of the print, which you would expect if you went to a screen printer.
Anyway, this shirt arrived and it looked absolutely amazing. He wore it to school and a few days later one of the dads called up asking my friend if his own son could have one printed. My friends lad is so proud and its given him a huge amount of credibility among his friends.
Christmas is coming and they’re going to print a few for his cousins as presents, so soon he could have his own, albeit very small, t-shirt brand.
As a way if encouraging a child it’s absolutely amazing idea and so much cooler than printing mugs. T-shirts are cool, t-shirts with your won brand of monsters are beyond cool.