Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… Please stand and give a round of applause for linedraw, September’s Designer of the Month! linedraw’s sketch style and creative motifs have earned him quite a following in both his Shop and on the Spreadshirt Marketplace. We took a few minutes to chat with linedraw owner, Mike Joos, and get a little insight into his life and art. Check it out after the jump!
So Mike, our secret agents and ninja spies tell us that you’re from Virginia (ok, we looked at your profile). What part of Virginia are you from and how did you come to sell your designs on Spreadshirt?
I’m living in Herndon VA. I was creating digital art to sell as prints. The illustrations seemed like they work well for t-shirts. I bought a heat press/ transfer paper and was making selling my illustrations on shirts. Time dealing with processing orders and keeping an inventory of shirts was time consuming (time that I would prefer to use making new illustrations). I decided to find a 3rd party to sell through. Spreadshirt was the one I decided on.
Your avatar is a sketch of a hand writing out your shop’s name, linedraw. We are big fans of your clever and very unique style. Were you educated in art, or are you self taught?
I’ve done quite a few elective art classes in college (2000-2004). I didn’t switch to digital art till 2009.
Your designs range from mythical creatures and dogs to historical and cultural figures on bikes and state pride images. Where do you get your inspiration for this wide range of designs?
Some of them are just my best effort to find an audience to purchase from me (like dog and state images). Mythical creatures seem to be popular with the lady customers (especially the unicorns). The bike related images I probably make the most effort into creating something cleaver and unique. I can’t think of any one particular place where I get ideas. When I do think of something I will write it down and add it to a list of potential illustrations to create.
What medium do you use to create your art? Are you an old-school pencil and paper artist or do you trend toward the new-school tools like Illustrator, Photoshop, or other digital art programs?
I use Adobe Illustrator and a Wacom tablet for everything.
We like to guess what our designers do when they’re not designing t-shirts. We polled a few people and took the three most popular guesses: a high school history teacher, a dog groomer or part owner of a bicycle shop. Were we close? How do you pay the bills if it’s not collecting huge commission payouts from Spreadshirt?
I worked in construction related fields the past few jobs. Being a dog groomer or bike shop owner sound like decent jobs though.
We particularly like your clever creations with various people and animals riding bikes with rider-appropriate tires. How do you decide “this is who/what is going on the bike, and these are going to be the tires”?
For the rider I will pick known people/ animals. For wheels I will pick anything that is round or roundish that is somehow associated with the rider.
If you could pick one of your designs that best represents you, who you are, your style, etc; which would it be and why?
The bike related illustrations are the ones I’m most passionate about. I’m a big fan of biking for enjoyment, transportation and sport. I raced as a pro mountain biker for a while, I ride almost every day and commute by bike pretty often too.
If I had to pick one illustration I guess it would be Native American with dream catcher wheels because I think it’s one of my most cleaver bike/ wheel combinations.
What kind of advice could you offer to someone who is looking to open their own Shop on Spreadshirt? Do certain product sell better for you than others? Certain designs?
For products I seem to mostly sell shirts. It’s hard to tell with the designs. Some of the images I am most proud of I have never sold and others that are more simple less/ less interesting sell better. I think in general images of topics/ things people might search for do better.
The unicorns from the movies Legend and Blade Runner looked pretty real to me.
We’d like to thank our Designer of the Month, linedraw, for taking the time to sit and chat with us. We hope that you are getting some good insight and inspiration from our designers and that you’ve been able to turn it into a little bit of cash for your pockets.