Welcome To The Latest Geek Shirts HQ Designer Unlocked Interview Series
………Where GSHQ has looked high and low, side to side and diagonally but not circumferences as GSHQ doesn’t do circumferences to bring you the very best t shirt designers.
This week we have a designer from the North of England, a designer who only recently got into t shirt design.
I came across Simon from one of the daily tee sites, and loved his ‘take’ on popular subjects so I was thrilled when he agreed to an interview here at Geek Shirts HQ.
Not only is he a regular on the daily tee sites but you can find his own t shirt store over at Redbubble.
Geek Shirts HQ Welcomes Simon Butler…….The latest designer to get unlocked.
Can you start by giving some background about yourself? Where you are from? What is your background? How did you get into design?
My name is Simon Butler, I’m 37 and I’m from North Yorkshire, UK.
I was lucky enough to get a job in video game design straight out of college back in 2005 and after being made redundant a few years later I set up on my own and I now work as a freelance games artist and illustrator.
I only discovered t-shirt design about 6 months ago but so far it’s going great.
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
TV, films, video games, comedy and music are all massive inspirations but I only really design for myself. It makes things a lot easier if you’ve only got yourself to please!
I don’t bother trying to predict what’s going to be popular or jump on the band wagon of what’s selling well a particular week, if it interests me and it’s something I’d like to wear then I’ll have a bash at it. If it turns out to be successful then that’s an added bonus!
How would you describe your design style?
I like to think I have a varied and adaptable style. I like to try new things with every design I work on.
Sometimes an illustrative piece will fit in with what’s cooking up inside my head, and other times I’ll go with a more traditional graphical approach. It’s good to push yourself and I’m always trying to improve and learn new methods so t-shirt design is great for that.
When you create a new t shirt design, what is sort of process do you follow?
When I first started designing shirts, I’d spend a few days working on the designs at print ready resolution but that’s not really practical especially as there’s a good chance your design (especially your first ones) won’t go to print.
I now spend 1 – 2 hours tops on any new designs I create at a lower resolution then I’ll work on a high res version if I’m lucky enough to have that particular design go to print. This method saves A LOT of time.
Looking at your own portfolio what is your favourite design and why?
I like my Studio Ghibli designs just because I’m such a big fan of the movies, but if I’m honest I think the recent Bioshock inspired design I’ve just done has to be my favourite.
I’ve wanted to do a cereal box design for quite a while now so I was pretty excited when this idea popped into my head .
What current projects are you working on now? And can we get an exclusive peek?
Away from the t-shirt side of things I’m busy finalising a graphic novel project which has been in the works for a long time. it’s called Enter The Hero and it’s going to be published by Arcana Comics hopefully around autumn time.
Who are your favourite designers?
When marketing your designs how much focus and importance do you place on social media sites?
Facebook and Twitter are essential not only for getting people to vote on your designs at the beginning but also for when you come to sell.
I’ve had a couple of fan pages on Facebook help me promote my designs when they’ve been on sale and I’d say they contribute massively to your total sales traffic.
A lot of designers use sites like Redbubble and café press to market and sell their designs. Have you thought about setting up your own store?
I actually use Redbubble. It always comes in handy when people have missed a sale through one of the daily shirt sites.
Do you try to convey any message in your designs?
Not really. If it looks good then I’m happy with that
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’d be quite happy doing what I’m doing now, just in a bigger house with a lot more money .
What do you prefer designing for, something wearable or a print?
Something wearable. It’s nice to think that someone might be walking around showing off your design.
What other interests and hobbies do you have when you’re not designing?
I have a young family so I spend all my spare time with them. I try to watch a movie on an evening or catch up with a TV show like The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad.
Do you have any advice for budding designers?
Persevere but more importantly design with yourself in mind rather than other people.
If you think what you are doing is cool then that’s all that matters! Also, contact as many social network sites as possible and tell them about what you are doing.
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
Where is the best place to find your designs and buy some of your shirts? And of course get in contact with you
Any websites that have featured your design
I have a few designs up for voting at the moment so if you could give links to those that would be great.