Sloganeering the everyday is what Schwuptiwup aka Christina does in her designs. She keeps rooting out new design ideas in her day-to-day life, and some 200 designs she’s published in just a few months are testimony to her quotidian creativeness.
Hello Christina! What made you offer designs at Spreadshirt?
I’ve been a Spreadshirt customer since 2011. Back then I wanted to design a funny T-shirt for a friend’s birthday. I’ve been thinking of whether I could do T-shirt designs ever since. What made me stop was that I wasn’t sure what I needed to consider, and how I could get started properly. The right trigger was found when a colleague at work casually told me that he had a Spreadshirt Shop. He assured me that it was totally easy and straightforward to sell your designs. So I opened a shop and also started offering designs on Spreadshirt’s Marketplace. In November last year I sold my first design.
What was your first T-shirt design? And what’s your connection with it?
It was the lettering “Don’t be different, be yourself”. A nice motto. Everyone wants to be different and stand out, but I think that everyone is special as such already. It’s a good thing if you’re able to accept yourself the way you are, and not lose track of what you can know about yourself.
What do you do in your day job as a packaging designer?
I work in an agency that designs the packaging design for many different customers. Depending on the customer, packaging designs are slightly reworked, new variations created, or completely new designs developed. I work with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to create concepts and designs.
How do you get new design ideas for T-shirts?
This is very different. Sometimes I plan to draw something on a particular topic, thinking it would look good. Other times I follow a trend. And sometimes I see an idea somewhere that I think I can do better or differently. Or my designs emerge from a little sketch that I like so much that I scan it and start rendering it. I exchange ideas with aforementioned colleague, and it’s fun to hear what kind of ideas he has. Sometimes we realise the same idea, knowing that the outcome will look completely different anyway. The customer may then decide which one he likes better.
How do you make a design out of your handwriting?
After drawing, I scan the sketch and almost always change it into a vector graphics file. I often come up with a design of which I can’t decide about the colours, so I adopt a version in different colours to let customers decide which one they like better.
How do you promote your Marketplace designs?
I do actually advertise my Shop most of the time. But I make sure that I also publish all my designs on the Marketplace as well. I kicked things off by creating a Facebook page, and I later discovered Instagram for my purposes.
What’s your social media channel of choice?
Instagram – I like it better than Facebook. Here something great happened just recently. There’s this German voice-over artist called Susanne Geier who lends her voice to popular American actors when dubbed into German. She recently posted an image of a T-shirt she bought, my “Heart pooping giraffe” and hashtagged me with it. That made me really happy.
Which design is particularly suitable for your customers?
My best-selling design so far is “Hurra, ach ne doch nicht!” (Engl.: “Hooray! Oh wait, not really.”) It was selected as the German T-shirt of the week at one point. Then again, my “heart pooping giraffe” and a carrot design have sold almost as well without being a shirt of the week.
What tips would you give to Marketplace sellers who are still waiting for their first sale?
I would advise them not to be too critical with themselves. Your designs don’t need to please everyone. What’s more, it isn’t easy to tell why some designs do well and others don’t. I just do what I like doing. Don’t throw in the towel straight away, because selling something takes a little time. It helps to always find the right keywords to describe your design (when you upload them), so that the design can be found by customers.
Thank you for taking the time to do the interview!