The struggling artist always undergoes dark periods. As I’m coming out of one of many, it was thrilling to take up a creative project that was just as fun to make as it was to give away.
My partner’s birthday just passed and I put this all together for him as a surprise. He loves Virgil Abloh’s fashion line Off-White™ and has been wanting to screen print his flannel shirt in this style for as long as I’ve known him; specifically with the phrase “Black Lives Matter”.
I figured it would be cool to not only get it screen printed, but to also re-package the shirt as a true Off-White™ product. So I told a little lie to get a hold of his Ralph Lauren flannel and started brainstorming from there.
Virgil is very minimal with his branding but he’s extremely consistent, and this made it easier to put together a package that was both recognizable and coherent.
I divided the project into 3 sets: the gift box, the birthday card, and the shirt.
The gift box was really fun to decorate. I did this mostly by creating sharp lines with duck tape and Japanese Washi tape, as well as adding stencilled lettering for titles.
For the birthday card, I attempted to do a paper transfer but it didn’t work quite well, perhaps because of the printer or blending marker I used. Either way, I had to fill in most of the template by hand.
The flannel shirt was printed at this spot in Sauga called We Print What You Want. They did an awesome job at helping me find the perfect font and placing the text via vinyl transfer.
I printed and cut out garment tags for the shirt using paper and acetate. The packaging was finished off with a clear plastic bag.
Basically, I need to do this more often. I get so caught up in creating for the institution that I forget to create for myself. Please, always remember why you became an artist… Does it still make you happy?