Experimentation

One of the exciting things about designing and painting these shirts that I do is the uncertainty of how it will turn out. Each application is different, and I’m still getting a feel for perfecting my technique. Take this fermata design, for example…

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One of the things I love about designing and painting these shirts is the uncertainty and excitement that comes with each one;  how will it turn out??

Maybe, one day, I’ll get so comfortable with the process that perfectly arranging of all the variables will become second nature to me, however, today is not that day; each application is different, and I’m still getting a feel for perfecting the technique.

Take this fermata design, for example:


Ok, I can’t really take credit for thinking this one up, but I did pick the font and the color scheme. It was one of the first designs I decided to use. (musical humor is my favorite.  Yep.. I’m a total nerd.)  Still… Perfect for baby clothes and undeniably cute, yes? And, at first glance, very simple. However, it took three attempts to get it to look like I wanted it to.

Here’s my first attempt:

Meh.. sure, it’s alright.. but the lettering is free-hand and kind of sloppy looking and  the fermata is uneven. All in all, it bugged me. So I redrew it.

Here’s my second attempt:

Better….. but I, being the perfectionist that I am, was unsatisfied with this one too. Basically, I over-applied the paint.  Working with fabric is slightly more challenging than paper; fabric has a little bit of a grain or ribbing and encourages the paint to spread a little:

Also, I used a brush and that applies quite a lot of paint. And, if you’re not careful, the moisture from the paint will cause the stencil to curl a little which often will cause the lines to become less crisp, or spread. So, I decided to try yet again.

This time I used a sponge for the paint instead of a brush. Turns out, the sponge is a better application when working with text; it’s easier to get crisper edges. And, for this font – with the stark contrast of black against the white, crisp edges are what is wanted. So, the second time around, the sponge it was and I was much more satisfied with the results:

Then, as a final finisher (and because it’s funny) I put an artsy bass clef on the bottom:

Satisfaction at last!

Author: momo211

I've been active in the arts pretty much my entire life. Growing up, my home was filled with creativity; my dad's an accomplished painter and my mom has always harbored a great love for music and art and they passed it on down to their kids. When I was a little, my parents saw my avid interest (and inclination to draw on any available space - including school tests and myself) and they gave me a sketch book for my birthday and things have just blossomed from there. Officially, my main focus of study has been music, but my true love has always been art. I've been commissioned as an illustrator for kids books, a portrait painter, creator of center pieces for private parties and, most recently, a designer of kids clothes. My aim is for the designs to express a whimsical and playful feel to reflect the essence of childhood. However, I also strive to branch out from the generic "pink princess" and "sports fan" designs that are so prevalent out there. Every kid has their own personality, why not express it?

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