Starting a T-shirt line

Most times I struggle to find clothing that matches my idea of how I want to look and portray myself, and I know there are people out there who are going through the same struggle as me, who also want what I have in mind. It has become a norm for creatives to sort of venture into clothing lines and mostly T-shirt designs to try and set themselves apart. But to be honest, The T-shirt market is pretty saturated. It is so much harder to stand out among the rest, because so many people (who are not even designers or illustrators) are doing the exact same thing.

This is why starting out is so hard and expensive, more especially if you take note of things such as overhead costs, distribution channels, production routes, type of clothing and promotional methods. Having to compete with much bigger and established names on price and quality until one grows bigger and can do much higher print runs, because that’s what I’M AIMING FOR, (offering a unique and professional product).

Yes I have a Line, and this here blog (ambitions of a willionaire) got inspired by it.

With great planning… oh wait! I was once told “a great logo, quality material, business plan and a trend setter equals the success of a clothing line”. To some extent, I agree, and I feel like a lot of people are jumping on a “catchy phrase” bandwagon and most aren’t consistent, as they are following trends. I see people buying really. So if you going to ride along, you might as well do it right!

I’m starting out very simply, by using the aoaw logo right through, creating a balance that is, a T-shirt line at a level I can afford, and building it up over each time. I’m starting with T-shirts because they are casual and very economical.

Below are Samples of the T-shirts printed only the Logo with variations of colour:Image


AOAW Hoodie




The “Design Brief”

I’m thinking, I just signed up for a subscription, so I should probably check my inbox for those ‘welcome and thank you for registering with such and such’ to try and put a stamp on my loyalty. Soon as I hit refresh, there it was, my major advance, could this be it though?

It’s 930 am and I’m deeply embedded in them sheets, I cannot say I’m resting because I have been staring at this little screen since 745, juggling from app to app, updating stuff. I have no early appointments so why not. It’s a Thursday and my long weekend is underway, but I’m a creative, #NoDaysOff, if I’m not sketching I’m tweeting, if I’m not on CS5 (creative suite 5) I’m eating. My life.

I have never felt such joy, my pulse increased at the sight of an email, apt to make me break into a sweat with excitement, my vision… blurred.

I jumped out of bed headed straight to the bathroom, while in there, little voices in my head kept saying “reply them back, you didn’t think they would get back to you”, “this is bigger than you, you won’t be able to pull it off”. They say follow your instincts, but this… I’m unable to can, I can’t, stupid inner voices! I’m doing this with or without you! (that’s me talking to my voices, weird).

Finally I opened the email and me being such a time, I thought I would be required to submit in a weeks time maybe, but it turns out I have two months of squeezing out my creative juices. (Yes that’s the first thing I checked) the “deadline”. I love work, I sit on my workstation and stop. So I decide I should get right on with it, I can’t waste time plus it will help me a great deal doing it now since I’m in the right mood, a little bit flow of inspiration kicks in. I can almost see the final product in my head, how it will look, how it will impact the viewer and most importantly how it will get me to that seat, I have a thing for chairs.(ambition).

After doing some research, well the interweb can be such a waste sometimes, this needs my brain. So I grab a pen and start doodling, my sketches never look close to what I have in mind, so unconvincing. Four scamps and going strong I can see the light, heading to my desktop I will need a little bit of twitching. A few more mouse clicks and a thousand ctrl+Zs (undos), I’m not getting anywhere. I start to crumble. Thinking, tomorrow is another day. Fresh ideas. A whole new me.

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Can a persons life be changed by technology?

Life is a precious gift from God, there wouldn’t be technology without existence. It all stems out from the human species. They way we think and see things; how we process our thoughts and the willingness to create.

Technology is man made, therefore, in order for it to change a person’s life, someone has to keep creative, inventive and innovative, making it simpler and accessible to the masses. It doesn’t matter how you look at, but technology affects our everyday lives, we live by it, it is everywhere, in every shape and form.
Technology changes, it evolves, but WE do not change. We adapt.

As an aspiring designer, I look at it as an opportunity to contribute a great deal in what technology is and what it could be in years to come.

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MOVIE NIGHT: 25 Great Movies For Designer And Artists

Great list this here, out of all these movies I’ve seen 2 so I still have a long way to go, but bring them over I’ll watch them all in a day, well maybe two or three days. I’m a sucker for informative entertainment, more especially if its in my line of work, so I hope to stumble my way across every single one here.Now the search begins.

1. DOCUMENTARY: Helvetica:Love it or hate it the Helvetica typeface is everywhere. In this brilliant and interesting documentary you will learn about the font’s origin, designers views and opinions and popular uses. It will change the way you view the typography around you and you will start seeing Helvetica everywhere.

2. DOCUMENTARY: Art and Copy:A great look into the world of advertising. People in the business will find this interesting but some of the interviews are a bit boring.

3. DOCUMENTARY: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold: This is a great documentary for anyone who is interesting in branding. It shows how an entire movie can be paid for by product placement and the power of a brand. It also has a great sense of humor and as documentaries go is fun to watch.

4. DOCUMENTARY: To Infinity and Beyond (The Pixar Story):This documentary gives you an in-depth look at how Pixar came about. It has great interviews and lots of interesting facts about the films. Great for animators, artists,computer nerds and Pixar fans.

5. BIO PIC: American Splendor:This movie tells the story of American Splendor comic book writer Harvey Pekar. The acting is great and how they infuse it with his comic book stories is visually interesting to look at. The other cool thing about this movie is how they mix the actors with the actual people they depict.

6. BIO PIC: Miss Potter: One of my favorite stories growing up were written by Beatrix Potter. A pretty interesting story about how these stories came about.Also animated versions of her greatest characters make an appearance.

7. BIO PIC: Frida: Biography of Frida Kahlo. Gives you great insight into her life and the art she created.

8. BIO PIC: Pollock: Biography about Jackson Pollock: Very interesting especially if you were intrigued and a fan of his famous paint splatters.

9. DOCUMENTARY: Annie Leibovitz (Life through a Lens): I really like this documentary because it really lets the photographs speak for themselves. It’s great to see her body of work and how her photography has evolved over the years.

10. DOCUMENTARY: Bill Cunningham New York: From the very glamorous life of Annie Leibovitz comes and really interesting documentary about New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham Bill Cunningham works surrounded by high fashion but can’t bring himself to buy a new jacket. This is worth the watch because he is so eccentric but endearing at the same.

11. DOCUMENTARY: Herb and Dorothy: This documentary takes a look into the world of modern art collecting by following an adorable and eccentric couple. At times the couple is more interesting than the art but it’s a really fun and interesting watch.

12. COMEDY: Save the Date: Not really a movie about art but the main character is an artist and as the story plays out in cartoon drawings. It’s really fun to see how an artist would interpret their life and shows how no matter what happens in her life she needs to sketch it out the minute it happens. CHICK FLICK WARNING.

13. DRAMA: Kramer and Kramer:Not really a movie about art but Dustin Hoffman’s character is in advertising. I chose this because it shows how demanding the profession can be and how it affects his home life.

14. COMEDY: Chasing Amy: Again not really an art movie but it explores the world of comic book artists and has some great art jokes in there (“I’m an inker”, “oh, so you trace”). Plus the rest of the movie is funny and surprisingly good.

15. COMEDY: Who Framed Rodger Rabbit?: Who didn’t love this movie growing up? For the time mixing cartoons with live action was astounding and let’s face it still pretty cool. Plus it’s fun to see how many of your favorite cartoons make a guest appearance.

16. SHORT: Logorama: This short won an Oscar and it’s easy to see why. The story is hilarious but you could just as easily watch it with the sound off. It’s one of those films that no matter how many times I see it, I still find something new. The whole movie, including the scenery is created by logos. How many can you identify?

17. TV SERIES: Mad Men: If you haven’t heard of Mad Men I don’t know where you have been hiding. A great show especially for advertising nerds. You can really get a sense of how advertising has changed over the years. It’s also interesting to see ads back then that would be unheard of to do today. We were so inspired by it that we drew our agency in the style of Mad Men. Check it out here:

18. TV SERIES: The Office: Season 4 and 5 of this show had Pam pursuing her artistic dreams and attending a graphic design program. My favorite part is that she doesn’t get her certificate because of QuarkXPress (which any design student can relate to).

19. OPENING SEQUENCE: Catch Me If You Can: This is one of my favorite opening sequences. It feels more like from a movie from the 60′s and 70′s than today. I’m a typography nerd so I love how the letters create the scenes. Be sure to check it out.

20. OPENING SEQUENCE: 101 Dalmatians: I love this opening because you have to remember someone was hand-drawing all those spots. It’s also neat how the typography matches the music and how the integrate the movie into the opening.

21. OPENING SEQUENCE: Gattaca: I’m not going to tell you why the opening scene is great from a typography standpoint.It’s funner to see if you can figure out how the opening credits relate to the film.

22. OPENING SEQUENCE: Sleepy Hollow: These opening credits are interesting because the type takes on the characteristics of the background (when they are over trees the letters fall like leaves). Just a nice touch.

23. COMING SOON: Design and Thinking: This documentary confronts all sorts of professionals and asks them what is design thinking and how can it be applied to you. It technically has been released but it is hard to find to rent so that’s why it’s under coming soon.

24. COMING SOON: Jobs: If you are a designer you know you are looking forward to this movie. I never thought I would be looking forward to an Ashton Kutcher movie but stranger things have happened. Plus the wait is almost over. The movie comes out August 16th.

25. COMING SOON: The Good Dinosaur: This one you’re going to have to wait to next year. Why did I put this one the list? I think Pixar fans (myself included) have been waiting for Pixar to release a movie that feels Pixar again. Too many sequels and prequels were making the brand feel stale.Hopefully this movie can bring back some of that Pixar magic (but not until May 30, 2014)

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Drawing the line


A month ago if you were to ask me if I could be able to handle a variety of work, my answer would have been: I ought to be able to. I have had six jobs in two weeks… I’m a freelancer.

I guess business was good. It’s almost as if clients have a satellite connected to your desktop, tracking your workday and decide to shower you with loads, in a very short space of time. Can you design this for me and have it ready tomorrow morning, I have a presentation at nine? You don’t need a brief I trust you! I want this logo to have a little boy on a swing holding a grenade…(my mind, waiting to explode) *Sigh*. But sometimes you have to work your way to create from briefs that, on the surface, don’t really appear to be that creative themselves.

In most cases, time allowed to complete the work given becomes inversely proportional to the time taken by client to work out what to complain about. That’s when you realize, a client who knows exactly what they want is worse than one that has no idea. As an artist, drawing the line and knowing that everything has to be done immediately, deadlines are incredibly important unless a client has to provide materials, extra information or approve work. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, I love the rush, it excites me as much as it is distressing.

Everything is fine until  they all cease to exist when you need them most.

My most recent client, my former boss, whom I do all his work, trusts me with all his might. Simply because I carry the loyalty of a hufflepuff. I struggle to say no to him
(Weakness). Well it takes me back to 2009, when I first started working with him. He needed someone to operate an 8000s designJet, which I knew nothing about. Him on the other hand had no experience whatsoever about the work he was doing, yet he was unbelievably blessed with the right resources that could have taken him where he wanted to be. Sadly not (Well, let me leave it at that).

During that time I frequented his office, during and after my classes to learn and master this piece, or rather large machinery. A few weeks later, working as the designer and the assistant machine operator for his company. I would like to believe I can handle any kind of machine with less effort, finding my way very easily.

Which is something I’m not doing very well as to finding clients, and not just clients but the ‘right’ clients. It goes to show that putting a portfolio out there won’t make its magic alone and client referrals won’t do any justice either. Note to self… GET ON YOUR BEHIND AND GO Make yourself noticed – in a good way.

Now that’s ambitions of a willionaire.

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Lessons from the man who invented the iPhone


Dear Lebohang

I am a great fan of Apple products. I have an iPhone, and iPad and even an Apple AirBook computer! And I am a great admirer of Steve Jobs who started the Apple Company.
He once said that he had three Rules for living a good life…
Connecting the dots – follow your heart and believe. Search till you find what you love to do. Keep looking, don’t settle for less. Live each day as if it is your last day.

Connecting the dots – follow your heart and believe, Steve said that when you plan your life, you cannot see how things will link together.
You can’t “connect the dots”: when you live your life forward. Only when you look back will you see how things are linked together. Steve took a class in calligraphy when he was at College.

It was something that he loved doing. And when he started designing the Apple computers, the training he got in calligraphy had a huge impact on the design of the Apple software.
When he took the class in calligraphy, he was doing something that interested him, and something he was passionate about. He could never predict how it would help him design the software for Apple computers. You cannot plan your life step by step. You can only follow your heart and believe that things will work out for the best. Search till you find something you love to do – don’t settle for less.

Going to College, dropping out of College, attending classes in things that interested him… these were things he did in his search to find something he loved to do. He had to live with friends, sleep on the floor, even get his meals from a local church because he could not afford to buy food… all of this while he was looking to find the thing he loved to do. And when he found that he really loved developing computers and software, nothing could stop him! He changed the computer industry and radically changed the music industry with the iPod.

If you are not sure what you want to do with your life. Then take the time to try out different things. First decide what you really love to do. If you just grab the first job or the first career that you find, then you are settling for less than you can be. If you work on a career that your parents or friends want you to follow, then you are settling for their dreams. You deserve to do a job you love. Don’t settle for less. Find your own dream. Live each day as if it is your last.

When you know that you are dying, then you realise how short your life is. Life is too short to live your life for someone else. Too short to do a job that your family thinks will make
them look good. Too short to do a job you hate. When Steve was told he was dying, he could look at his life without regrets.

He knew that he did what he loved doing. That makes the failures less painful and the successes even sweeter.

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A striking typographic portrait of Nelson (Madiba, Tata, Rolihlahla) Mandela I created almost a year ago, as a wall banner, featuring some of his famous quotes.

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