As some of you who are friends of mine on Facebook might remember, I at one time owned a clothing company called Bear Apparel. I owned a URL, made a website, had business cards, and had quite a few shirt designs made up. Long story short, a lot of people said they would buy shirts from me, but when it came time for me to get the first batch of shirts printed nobody wanted to buy a shirt. It turned out that the printing costs were significantly higher than I was initially told. The company crashed and burned and I ended up losing a couple hundred dollars in the process.
Graphic design has always been something I enjoyed ever since I first discovered it back in my Sophomore year of high school. I have been self taught and kind of take pride in that, everything I can do and make is all me. Yes I did take graphic design classes in high school, but we were never really had lessons, it was more or less a class where you decided what to work on. By my senior year I was actually teaching different techniques and effects to my classmates. After high school was when I really grew as a graphic designer because I had a lot of free time and could do large projects at my own pace.
As I mentioned in my last entry on here, I recently moved to Florida with my boyfriend. We don’t have a car yet, so we are both kind of stranded at home all day long. I haven’t messed around in Photoshop since around late May, and I have been getting the urge to just open up Photoshop and see what happens. The other day I finally got around to doing that, and I mostly just messed around for a few hours and made this space scene-
Just doing a small project like that got me hooked again and as a result, I started making some shirt designs. At first they were all just random and I was just trying new stuff out. The first shirt I designed was a grunge style one and you can see I wasn’t really trying-
I knew I wanted some text in the design and I couldn’t think of anything to write, so I just took the words from this picture with a really nice quote that I try to think of and remind myself of.
After doing that first shirt design I wanted to challenge myself more, and do more clean designs and I figured I would do a second “line”. I didn’t go with Bear Apparel because that was another time in my life and it’s honestly not good memories for me. I knew I wanted to do designs geared towards the bear community since the majority of my friends on Facebook are bears and also because the vision I had of clean designs I have never really seen in that market. Most of the bear geared designs I have seen in bear shops are explicit, and honestly I find them kind of annoying. I would love to have a good bear themed shirt that I could wear around that isn’t in your face when it comes to sex. Hell on a sort of related note, I had a hat that I bought from a bear shop that I really liked the colors and the design, I seriously wore this hat everywhere I went for a year and a half and I knew that the brand was called Nasty Pig. I figured it was just a brand name and didn’t really mean much. I mean I knew the brand makes a bunch of underwear and jockstraps and stuff, and I thought it was just a reference to being slightly kinky. It wasn’t until a friend of mine made a reference to what “pigs” are in the bear community that I found out what the name was referring to and I honestly bought a new hat within a week of finding that out and I haven’t wore that hat since. I guess I am just too reserved and shy when it comes to the image that I want to project to others that, I am honestly embarrassed and slightly afraid to wear any of the bear stuff I have seen to date. My fake line is meant for people like me, that want to show off that they are bears, but in a more reserved way and not be all in your face about it.
Here are the designs I have made so far for the line-
I really like my designs so far. I would honestly wear anyone of them if I saw them for sale in a bear shop. I like looking at them because it shows a tremendous amount of design growth for me since the Bear Apparel days. I am doing a way better job of finding good fonts and pairing them well with others. Also I am doing a good job of doing simplistic/minimalistic designs, without over doing them.
Last night I was bored while watching the football game and I did a random search for the Grizzly Apparel (which is what I was using on the shirts as a brand name, I have since changed all of the stuff over to Grizzly Threads) and it turned out that Grizzly Apparel is already being used by a company and from what I could tell by their website, they are geared towards rednecks (they sell confederate flags). I wasn’t at all thinking of my stuff as actual shirt designs that will be printed, but finding out that the brand name I was using was already taken kind of upset me. I mean I didn’t even feel comfortable having the designs posted any longer because I didn’t want anyone to mistakenly think that I was at all affiliated with that company. So I began thinking of another name to use and a friend actually messaged me on Facebook and suggested Grizzly Threads and it kind of stuck with me. So this morning my little project was to change all of the designs over to Grizzly Threads. In the process of doing that my mind started racing a bit and it kind of felt like I felt back when Bear Apparel was first starting up. Like I said I would be proud to wear any of these designs, and I think that’s a huge difference between Grizzly Threads and Bear Apparel. With Bear Apparel I was just making designs and calling them shirt designs. I probably would have only wore 2 or 3 of those designs that I had made back then. Over the last couple days people have been commenting, liking, and sharing my new designs and it started to make me think that maybe people would want to where them too.
I was both excited and apprehensive. I would love to one day be able to see someone that I don’t know wearing something I created, I think that would be one of the greatest feelings ever. I don’t want to make the same mistake that I made with Bear Apparel and kind of count my chickens before they hatch, or in that case it was sales. So this afternoon I decided to just go for it. I made a Cafepress site and posted all of my designs on there. I am not expecting sales or anything, I am just putting the designs there to see what happens. I mean who knows maybe someone on there will stumble across one of my designs and like it enough to want to buy it. Once I get some extra money saved up I think I might actually buy a few of my designs. I would actually buy one of each, but that would be too much money. I am just going to let it be what it is, if I get sales, then that’s great, if I don’t then I at least gave it a shot and won’t be left wondering what could have been. In the mean time I still have the fun of using Photoshop and keeping busy with new projects.
If you are interested in buying one of my designs, you can go here to check out the prices- Grizzly Threads