Welcome to Geek Shirts HQ Designer Unlocked, where we showcase the very best graphic designers and a few of their well designed tees as well!!
This week we have a designer, who when not burying her nose into a book is designing cool tees like her famous Sugar Skull tee.
It was Twitter when I first came across Jade, I actually came across the Sugar Skull design a lot earlier but did not make the connection to Jade until I met her on Twitter. I like Jades designs, they are an electic mix of influences from Mexican Sugar Skulls to geek fandom
Geek Shirts HQ welcomes Jade Boylan, the latest designer to get unlocked.
Where you are from? What is your background? How did you get into design?
Hello! My name is Jade, I'm 21 and I am a freelance illustrator, graphic designer and professional daydreamer.
I'm a Manx artist, from the Isle of Man (it's a little island in the middle of the Irish Sea in between England and Ireland) and i've been an illustrator for a few years now, since I left high-school and enrolled at Art college. 5 years later i've got an NDAD, a HND and now i'm studying for the last year of my BA in Fine Art. After that… who knows?!
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
I spend a lot of my time reading books or watching movies so popular culture is a big influence on my work.
I'm a huge animation fan so a lot of the colours I use are pulled straight from my favourite animated films and TV shows.
I'm particularly inspired by stuff from Studio Ghibli, Disney, Dreamworks, Laika etc + shows like Adventure Time, Family Guy and Futurama.
My favourite movies are probably Ghostbusters and The Blues Brothers. I'm not always entirely sure why, but I absolutely l-o-v-e them.
When you create a new t shirt design, what is sort of process do you follow?
Everything I design starts out as a pen and pencil line drawing on a sheet of A4 before being scanned into my macbook and coloured digitally in Photoshop and Gimp.
Then it's only a matter of time until the piece is finished, although how long I spend working on a design varies from day to day. It could take a me a few hours to clean up the linework and start adding colour but then I might leave the design alone for a week and work on something else.
I have dozens of half-finished files scattered across my desktop, maybe one day i'll actually finish some of them.
Looking at your own portfolio what is your favourite design and why?
I'll probably have to say the Sugar Skull! Only because it's been my most popular design to date. It started out as a test piece for college. I didn't even think much of it, but now it sells pretty much every single day on tees, stickers, postcards or iPhone cases.
But if we're talking full on geek tee designs, then my 'Ghostbusting Time' Adventure Time/Ghostbusters mash-up design is my only real one so far.
I wanted to create a geektastic design that combined one of my favourite films and one of my favourite animated shows, this was the result.
What current projects are you working on now? And can we get an exclusive peek?
I'm currently working on some creepy but girly stuff for college, here's a current WIP. But geekery wise i'm whipping up another Adventure Time crossover, I won't give the full design away just yet but here's a sneaky peek…
What im currently working on
Who are your favourite designers?
My favourite illustrators and artists are Nick Sharratt, Jon Burgerman, Oliver Jeffers, Ray Caesar, Camille Rose Garcia, Junko Mizuno and Tara McPherson.
Geeky T-shirt wise I LOVE Bamboota's tees + designs by the likes of Powerpig, BootsBoots, Teo Virinis, Purple Cactus, Deanlord, Bleee and Terry Fan
Do you try to convey any message in your designs?
I don't think I try to convey a particular message in my work, sometimes for college my work HAS to have a deeper meaning in which case I have to think hard to create a certain theme, but most of the time I draw or design something just for fun, so it doesn't really have a meaningful message.
Star Wars Or Star Trek? Which Do you prefer
Tricky! Impossible in fact… I couldn't ever possibly pick between the two! I'd LOVE to be a Jedi (or maybe a Sith…) but then i'd also LOVE to be a Starfleet cadet, maybe a science officer for the blue uniform.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Ideally, in 10 years time i'd like to have written and illustrated at least once published children's picture book!
I'd love to see my designs selling in shops all over the world or maybe even see my paintings on the walls of galleries.
Despite having already sold a lot of my stuff online i've yet to spot someone walking down the street wearing one of my tees, so that would be cool I guess.
I'm not really sure where I see myself, so long as i'm happy and still doing what I love and creating stuff, then I don't really mind.
What other interests and hobbies do you have when you’re notdesigning?
I'm a huge bookaholic! I LOVE books. About half of what I earn probably goes on books! I spend most of my spare time reading books or watching movies. I also like to buy old books, the older the better.
I love books with a past, so that when you pick them up you can't help but wonder where they've been over the years or who else has read them.
Do you have any advice for budding designers?
It's cliché but I guess the best advice I can offer is not give up at the first hurdle.
If you've chosen art and design as a career then you're going to hit set backs time and time again but you mustn't give up, even when it all goes wrong (which it almost definitely will at some point!).
If you know this is what you want to do for a living then go for it, don't worry about what your friends and family think, if it's what you want to do, just do it.
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
Yeah sure! My pal Tim who, amongst many other awesome things, designs epic typographical tees and illustrations featuring Pop Culture quotes and characters and one of my fanboy friends MattO, who is also an illustrator/graphic designer and budding tee designer –
Where is the best place to find your designs and buy some of your shirts? And of course get in contact with you
One last question, when are you going to design a Firefly shirt as I am a massive fan? 🙂
oh gosh! I'm a HUGE Firefly fan as well. I will definitely have to try and come up with a Firefly design soon, probably another movie/TV show crossover, how does that sound?