Designer Of The Month: Ina Worms

Designer Of The Month: Ina Worms

Today we’d like to introduce you to a designer who’s at home both on Spreadshirt’s Marketplace and with children’s book illustrations. Over the past three years, this young lady from Cologne, Germany, has endeared a huge following with her animal designs. In this interview, she tells us the secrets about how she cast a feral spell on Spreadshirt’s Marketplace.

Fact check

Name: Ina Worms

Age: 32

Location: Cologne, Germany

Day job: Illustrator

Joined Spreadshirt: 2014

Software: Photoshop, occasionally Illustrator

Hardware: Pencils, brushes, acrylic paint, India ink and a Mac


Your day job is a children’s book illustrator; do you take the same approach with what you offer on Spreadshirt?

Absolutely! The designs I create for Spreadshirt and for my children’s book illustrations are very similar in terms of technique and style. I really like my designs to tell a story, as they channel my desire to send messages. I’d say that my background in kids’ book illustrations has an impact on my designs.

When did you discover your artistic streak, and how did you develop it?

Drawing, daubing and tinkering about have always been things I took great pleasure in doing. When I was six, I wanted to become a painter. But I didn’t like the fact that painters only started to sell their work when they were dead. So I did an apprenticeship in graphic design and communication design to be able to devote time to drawing. Drawing has always been more important to me than making money.

How did you get into Spreadshirt, and what’s good about the Marketplace?

I wanted to try out the idea of designing textiles, and then I came across Spreadshirt online. In the beginning, I didn’t really put a lot of work into it. But when I was looking for a fun T-shirt for my boyfriend for Christmas, I designed a tee with a seagull, and got really positive feedback. This motivated me to keep going and create new designs.

It’s great that I can try out all kinds of designs at Spreadshirt, because you’re completely free to give expression to your intuition. Every design is there in its own right, and there are no thematic restrictions as it is the case with e.g. my kids’ stories. For me, it’s the perfect complement to my usual work, and is a lot of fun!

Are you in touch with your customers, and is there a little anecdote you can share with us?

Yes! I went to a family party recently, and my aunt and my cousin were standing in front of me wearing a T-shirt with one of my elephant designs. I was over the moon! My granddad was fascinated with the print quality and the way the light colors came out on the dark fabrics. That was so cute! Other than that, I really love checking out the way a design looks on a T-shirt or when I get an email from Spreadshirt.

Explain a day in the life of you as a Spreadshirt Marketplace designer – is it a lot of work?

Every day I work on my book projects in an office, but devote every free minute on my Spreadshirt designs.  There’s not a lot I need to do for the Marketplace other than creating designs, adding tags and posting something on social media every now and again. I must admit that I don’t really have a strategy other than devoting some of my time on a regular basis.

Which of your designs do you like best?

I think Mr. Moon and Ein Elefant mit Piano have worked out quite well.

I was in a pretty bad mood when I first designed the elephant. In the first draft, the girl had the elephant and the piano on her head.  Quite a burden. But when I then used acrylic paint to do a new version, I felt much more cheerful, and it was a lot of fun painting it. I started seeing the design from a different angle feeling that nobody seemed to see the design in a negative way. And piano music is something I actually like to listen to when relaxing.

Mr. Moon is usually accompanied by Frau Sonne. She’s already waiting for the finishing touches of her painting. Have you ever seen the sky on a starry night, maybe even in a desert? Well, that’s just magical!

Can you tell what sells well?

Yes, Schaukel Elefant is one of my most popular designs. Curiously, it was only the second design I uploaded for Spreadshirt. The initial idea came about when going for a walk in autumn, and I got inspired by the yellow leaves dancing around everywhere.

Any tips for new Marketplace designers?

Upload designs you’d either buy yourself or you think somebody you know would like to wear.  Get feedback from others, but don’t get carried away by likes on social media. Be true to yourself, and have fun doing it.

On a final note – a lot of your designs deal with animals; do you have any pets that posed for a design portrait?

I don’t have any pets, myself, as I don’t really feel like having any. But there’s our office cat, and my boyfriend and I sometimes fool around when talking about our fictitious pet pig named Metti. Metti is destined to become a Spreadshirt design as well.

I just love depicting animals as characters! They can portray everyone and every trait, no matter what ethnicity or gender. Animals don’t need to do a lot to be funny, and they can be nicely used in a metaphorical way.

Thanks, Ina!

You can follow Ina through Facebook and her website.

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