Welcome to the Geek Shirts HQ Designer Unlocked Interview Series where we put the best independent designers under the spotlight. This week’s special guest is Timothy Lim better known as Ninjaink.
Timothy Lim AKA Ninjaink has been published in PSM, Dreamwave and Image Comics. His lists of accolades are just awesome. He was voted Comics2films Best Illustrator 2005 and 2006. Tim was selected to do illustrations for the Transformers newsletter. Most recently he was the Artist Guest of Honour at Vision Con 20 in 2012.
Tim has been featured all over the place online! Including RIPT Apparel, Topless Robot, Fashionably Geek, MTV's Splash Blog, TeeFury and of course Geek Shirts HQ
Tim is, I feel one of the most talented designers both in print and in anything wearable. If you check out some of the cool designs Tim has produced, I am sure you will agree.
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When not designing he thinks he is a Transformer, a Ninja and likes to hang out with Optimus Prime. I don't think he realises that Transformers are not real But when I am not writing for Geek Shirts HQ I like hunt and kill vampires so what would I know!
Tim gets his inspiration for his designs while dreaming of being a Transformer while dressed as a ninja; this seems to unleash an artistic side to him that aids him in creating his awesome designs. 
Tim put down Optimus Prime's gun it is not a toy even if it does say made by Hasbro on it! We have an interview to finish
Can you start by giving some background about yourself? Where you are from? What is your background? How did you get into design?
I'm from Little Rock, Arkansas. My background is actually in psychology, 2nd language acquisition, and audiology. I received my doctorate from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences 2 years ago. As far as design goes: I was designing shirts in high school, and didn't really pick it up again until last year when a friend told me about how lucrative the $10-a-day shirt sites were.
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Where did you get the name NinjaInk?
"Ninja Art" and "Ninja Pen" and all the art-related names were already taken. We tend to use the word "ninja" as a term to refer to friends who are Asian… because, you know, we're all ninjas… and I thought that "ink" was a good tag for the name. It's stuck ever since.
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
Stuff that I grew up with. I'm really not up-to-date with recent pop culture, so I rely heavily on what has come before.
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When you create a new t shirt design, what is sort of process do you follow?
A bit of that is a trade secret, but it involves lots of Cracker Barrel (it's a restaurant here in the States) and sleepless nights. 🙂
Looking at your own portfolio what is your favourite design and why?
I personally like "Witwicky Auto." It's a fun design that has a "meta" quality to it: it's subtle, as most shirt designs at the $10 sites should be, and thus it's also "in disguise" as a Transformer ought to be. I think the vintage/ retro look is really neat as well.

Available at Redbubble

What current projects are you working on now? And can we get  a exclusive peek?
None that I can talk about. 🙂
Who are your favourite designers?
The Mondo group does incredible work. I also love Brenda Snell's stuff — be sure to check out her RedBubble store and Etsy page.
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Do you try to convey any message in your designs?
Nope, no hidden messages. I try to make my art accessible to everyone, with no agenda behind any of it.
Do you prefer designing for wearable art or printed art? Is there a difference in the way you design for either medium?
Personally, I love prints. But wearable art is a thrilling challenge, so there are a lot of times that I try to hit two birds with one stone.
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Ninjas or Kim Kardashian, Which do you prefer?
Ninjas all the way!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully… keeping up what I'm doing and making enough to sail comfortably. 🙂
What other interests and hobbies do you have when you’re not designing?
I love to travel. I'm a pretty big hobbyist: I like graphic novels, non-fiction, books on the paranormal, museums, and eating out. 
Any advice to budding designers out there?
My consistent advice is "persistence over practice." Practice is a given: you can't get better at anything unless you put that effort it.
Persistence is completely different: if you're impatient and quit, you're never going to improve or succeed. That willingness to look at the climb ahead of you and make each work count, never looking back, THAT is the one thing that puts a lot of budding artists into the ground.
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
I have a lot of friends in the art community, so I'd like to say hi and thanks to: Jerry Bennett, Ameda Nowlin, the Pinoy Ninjas (Arion Accurantes, Ian, Winter), Teeg Ketchen, Dora Lerf, Heather Hezaa, the people at WeLoveFine, Paul Friemel, Matt Ingleby, and TJ Mapes.
 Get an 10% exclusive discount on this shirt using the following promo code: GEEKSHIRTHQ10
Who do you think will win in a fight Iron Man or Batman?
It'd be a tie. They'd bond over their mutual love of ridiculous amounts of money and toys.
Is there anything else you want to add that has not been covered.
WeLoveFine.com for all your cool licensed t-shirts!
Where is the best place to find your designs and buy some of your shirts? And of course get in contact with you
Thanks Tim for a great interview! I personally love all of his Noveau designs. I have featured a couple of these designs in the interview, but you can check out the rest of his Noveau designs at Welovefine. There is a special 10% discount exclusively for readers of Geek Shirts HQ using the following promo code at welovefine. GEEKSHIRTSHQ10
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