Ok, maybe I don’t have THE single, best job in the world, but what I do is all I have ever wanted to do and my job suits me just fine. I can set the hours I want to work if I choose to. I am my own boss. And I have fun doing my job. So what do I do for a living you ask?
I design and sell my own t-shirts.
I have always had a flare for art and a passion for design. So when the opportunity arose a few years ago for my husband and me to go into business together, I jumped at the chance to start designing t-shirts. We started out by supplying to Camden Market traders in London. Prior to starting this joint venture, I knew my husband had contacts that would get us off the ground from the start. And it wasn’t long at all after that we began selling through our own channels. This is when our business really started to take off.
I want to tell you about why I love my job and how I come up with some of my designs:
Looking Back In Time
My number 1 source of inspiration is vintage items of clothing. I have trawled old photos and pictures on the internet, and visited the large number of London shops looking for obscure t-shirts from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, to rework them into new and exciting designs. This is almost an unlimited resource for any designer, because of the sheer number of images and examples you can find and draw inspiration from. Even if you don’t find a t-shirt design in an image that you can use for inspiration, I am sure you will see something in the photo that inspires you to design something new. I have too many shirts lying around at home now, just ask my husband.
Looking Out Your Window
One thing I love to do is to stare out of windows. You see, a window naturally frames the outside and you can create some amazing t-shirt designs by copying what you see through a window. The more obscure the better is my theory, as your artistic talents will take over and make the design ever so more interesting. Look at how buildings penetrate the skyline and how natural objects are juxtaposed against the man-made. Try and picture what abstract elements would make for a good t-shirt or an embroidered logo on polo shirts.
Doodles and Jotters
Always carry a notebook – I couldn’t live without one! You never know when you might have an idea pop into your head, or a spare 10 minutes you get to have a doodle. I usually put my pen to paper first, and then let the creative juices flow naturally. Some of my best work has started off as a free-flowing doodle.
Why my job so amazing
Working on Camden Loch Market is the most exciting job I have ever had. The best part of it for me is the unending variety in the people you meet. Meet someone new every day. It is these people that keep inspiring me in a way, because without them, I wouldn’t have a reason to carry on designing.
Working from Home
I can do my design work anywhere, so if I want to take a break from the stall, I love to sit and doodle down by the river, or catch the tube out to Hyde Park. Doing the printing at home has its advantages too, as sometimes I run out of a certain size, and if a punter is in need of said size, I can have my husband run home and print one up (punters are usually around for a few hours, so it’s not usually a problem).
Soon, I want to open a permanent shop on Camden High Street, and sell other items of clothing that I design. I want to get myself a Direct to Garment (DTG) printing machine as soon as I can afford it to start offering custom clothing.
Kate makes a living designing, printing and selling t-shirts in Camden, London.