Welcome To The Latest Geek Shirts HQ Designer Unlocked Interview
……….Where we cover the best independent t shirt designers for you to get know and check out their awesome designs.
This week we have a designer with a dubious name but is designs are far from dubious.
I am talking about CharmerPantsOff.
I first came across his designs through a friend who has his Mirkwood Walking Tours design, I loved it and checked out the rest of his designs.
A very talented designer, who designs are quirky, imaginative and expertly created.
Apparently he got into design after his career as a Gigolo was over, he attempted to become a Ninja but failed terribly due to lack of hand to eye co-ordination, that is why he got into design and for the fame and glory!
Dan, the other name is he known by, may well try his luck as a Ninja again but while he is enjoying his success as a t shirt designer, and I think he will ride that particular wave for a while.
I just heard his is currently training to be a Grand Prix racing car driver and is currently training for that using Mario Kart!
Geek Shirts HQ Welcomes CharmerPantsOff……….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 Dan. I’m from the middle of Illinois in the USA.
My most promising subject was kung-Fu treachery, but unfortunately they dropped the program so art class became my strong suit growing up.
I doodle all the time- on the phone, in classes, in meetings, during car rides, and especially when waiting for food.
How I got in to design: I honestly got into making t-shirt designs because of the butterfly effect or, in more awesome terms, chaos theory.
I was working on some massive artwork in Photoshop, my puppy decided it was about time to chew on the cable for my power supply- destroying it and not making him feel too good in the process.
I buy a cheap replacement because I have little cash, it bricks my laptop because it doesn't charge it properly. I have to switch to an older laptop. I end up doing t-shirt designs because the older laptop doesn’t have the same processing power to do my original work.
Eventually I get a new laptop, and make better designs and I still haven't gotten back to that original project. Chaos theory or work avoidance? You make the call!
I think CharmerPantsOff is a really cool name! Is it your real name?
It’s my gamer tag on Xbox Live. I thought it was hilarious. My wife wasn't as enthusiastic.
In the end I thought it was catchy and puerile enough to use as my design name. It also echoes a sentiment of making friends which is at the core of my designs.
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
I find inspiration mostly from subjects slapped together for comedic value. I watch bad movies a lot and I memorize bad jokes. I.E. "What did the green grape say to the purple grape? Breathe! Idiot!"
How would you describe your design style?
Mostly I’d say it’s laughable. An artist’s worst critic is themselves, so I tend to see my work as feeble. However, if I were put in a corner and threatened with being forced to eat a salad I’d admit that most often
I gravitate toward cartoonish/chibi-like designs. Similar to my doodles… but done over and over with better lines.
I'm not much of a verbal snob when it comes to describing what my artistic style is.
When you create a new t shirt design, what is sort of process do you follow?
I write down concepts, funny phrases, and random thoughts. I pass them along to my wife, and friends, and which ever ones work best I sketch up. I’ll do 2 or 3 sketches, then we sort out which perspectives work best.
The most difficult one within recent history was the 'Heart Attack' design. I redid it about 2 dozen times because the balance in the picture was either too sinister or too difficult to 'get'.
Looking at your own portfolio what is your favourite design and why?
My favourite is Capture the Flag. Its fun and playful, and everything awesome.
If there was one shirt I made that I would hope would start a conversation with a new friend it would be that one. You'd basically have to be a puppy-kicker kind of person if you don't like it. You wouldn't want that kind of label would you?
What current projects are you working on now? And can we get an exclusive peek?
I’m working on my movie night shirt design.
My friends and I are prone to watching horrible movies like Birdemic, Hellgate, The Wraith, Night of the Comet, Treasure of the Four Crowns- (etc.) and this design was inspired by countless awkward, unlikely, heroes. It's called Concession Commandos.
Who are your favourite designers?
When marketing your designs how much focus and importance do you place on social media sites?
Not much. I tend to share out information about what I’m up to on my Facebook page, but not to a point that I’m being harassing.
I have deviant art, tumblr, and Google+ accounts but they aren't updated much. I must apologize for me. I am lazy and spend too much time talking to myself and not enough talking about myself.
A lot of designers use sites like Redbubble and café press to market and sell their designs, why did you choose to set up your own store on Redbubble?
I chose Redbubble because of the site features.
I did a lot of research and ultimately Redbubble was what worked best for what I wanted to do. It's low stress for me.
Do you try to convey any message in your designs?
Yep. I try to say “Let’s be friends” with all of them. It’s kind of the shtick when you’re actively trying to charm-(their)-pants-off.
What printing process do you use when printing your t shirts? And what brand of tees do you use?
I don’t print my own shirts, I have Redbubble do it for me.
They use gnomes trained in the way of the shadow warrior and blessed by the gods of science and progress to get the job done.
I hear they use American Apparel. I'm not at liberty to say more as I might catch a severe case of death.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
As a father, board game designer, ninja master and merciless destroyer of pastries. Ideally those titles will all have happened before I hit it big with the t-shirts… but maybe I've set the bar too high.
What do you prefer designing for, something wearable or a print?
Hmm. I’m honestly neutral, so long as I’m making something fun. Like I mentioned before I got in to doing the shirts because of wacky circumstances.
What other interests and hobbies do you have when you’re not designing?
Boardgames, and watching Rifftrax, Cinematic Titanic, or MST3K movies with my friends. I also rule at Mario Kart for the Wii.
Do you have any advice for budding designers?
Absolutely. As you continue to make new things stop and evaluate what you have done periodically.
Do not let sentiment cloud your judgement and let go of designs that no longer work or appear inferior to what you do.
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
I'd love to give a shout out to some very cool people.
My amazing wife Rachael, who's always been loving a supportive.
My friends CJ Coffman, Brent Miller, Josh Michaels, and Mark Jensen, who put up with my endless weirdness- and ever more endless witiness (and occasional witlessness) on my part.