Amongst other things i’m constantly focused on, the idea of selling t-shirts (limited editions) is something i’m quite keen to move into. I did the usual scouring through google for answers on the best way to head into a venture solo like this. Read a million forum posts about selling t-shirts online and the ups and downs of it all. In the end i really just came away with – well – not a lot of help at all. A fair amount of the information is too broad or off topic and i can only conclude that my most helpful tips were about printing t-shirts. Where / How etc etc After all that i couldn’t find a better way to print than Teespring.com I won’t go in detail about them – if you’re interested follow the link and have a read.
So now i have printing and distribution sorted (Teespring). My next challenge was to sort out t-shirt models for me to mock the designs onto. Now you can easily head to your favourite browser and search for t-shirt model mockups and you’ll find plenty. All perfect to use, easy, tasteful and… Yes! the same as everyone else uses! So if you’re anything like me you’ll choose a harder road and find your own models to use. I started with friends – a few problems i found with using friends: You need to find ones that are keen to have their photo displayed for the world to see, for one! Plus you’ll still need to buy plain t-shirts for them to model. It’ll also be very handy if you’re good with a camera (+ have a decent digital camera) Other wise you’re in for another challenge of finding/hiring a camera or photographer. It didn’t take me long to abandon the friend route and embark on another solution. I then came up with an idea that would save me the time and hassle of finding and shooting a model; Flickr!
Flickr has an infinite amount of photos to hunt through. There are quite a few different ways to go about using flickr images. Too many for me to go on about. I went about it this way. Searched Flickr for people modelling t-shirts and keep a tab of the ones i liked the look of or that i thought would be easy to photoshop (you’ll need some photoshopping skills). Then once i had about 15-20 images chosen, i wrote an email in which i asked the photographers for use of the images and gave them details of what i wanted them for and what i was intending to do with them. Of that say 20 emails i sent out i only got a few ‘yes’ replies. But that’s all i needed to get myself some unique and pretty much custom t-shirt models.
Now i have t-shirt printing and distribution sorted. I’ve got models photographed and photos mocked up with artwork. How do i get like minded and interested people to purchase them. To tell you the truth, this is a tough one to answer simply cos there isn’t one true way. I’m still very much trialling it all. One solid answer is that you need a good true fan base. I’m not talking about your Facebook page made up of your friends – because just like your musician friends – you’re going to find it hard constantly ramming buy this down friends throats. The perils of being an artist hey! Oh yeah that’s another topic i’ll go on about in another blog; “How much posting ‘buy this!’ is too much”. Cos i certainly know and you’ll know if you follow me on anything, i’m pretty good at the spruiking. Speaking of spruiking – click on either image to purchase the velodrome city limited edition t-shirt! Only a week or so to go, so get on board!
Here are a couple of flickr models i’ve used for my current t-shirt artworks over at Teespring. Current 2 pieces: Velodrome City // Jason Molina.
Female photo credit & Male photo credit