Tee Hunter is always excited to feature up and coming designers and show all your Tee Hunters out there the latest and greatest talent! Therefore it seemed only right that we speak with Alex Solis, a multiple Threadless winner! He is a great designer with an eye for detail and works happily across a variety of media. The following interview says it all!
TH: What is your background and how did you get into designing shirts?
Alex: My background i would say is in illustration, ever since I could a pencil Ive been drawing. I found Threadless and decided to submit some of my artwork, at first it didn’t do so good, but then I started working more and more on better ideas and executions that would fit the shirt templates more, then after a while the hard work paid off :) I still do a ton of other stuff not only shirts, pretty much everything you can think of.
TH: What inspires your work?
Alex: I’m really inspired by my daughter, and usually come up with ideas from watching movies with her, or cartoons etc. Also inspired by a ton of artists way too many to mention. I’m most inspired by Low Brow style type artwork.
TH: What are your ‘tools of the trade’ when designing?
Alex: I tried to use mostly traditional tools like paper, pencil and eraser, but coloring digitally is essential when it comes to shirt designs, to be able to get all the color separations, and artwork in print ready format. I recently won a wacom drawing tablet which also works wonders when fixing some of my mistakes, that would be really hard to fix without it.
TH: What brands, designers etc inspire you?
Alex: Like I mention before most LOW BROW artists and a lot of designers I blog with on Threadless which are always coming up with great designs. Everyday I see a great piece of work that inspires me to work harder and try to make my next design better than the last.
TH: What is your advice for budding shirt designers out there?
Alex: Practice makes perfect , I feel my techniques have grown a ton and hopefully will continue to do with with each design create, don’t settle with one technique try everything, you never know how something will help you, and don’t be afraid to ask other fellow designers as well.
In December I set a goal for myself to create 20 designs in one month it was a ton of work, but I feel it helped me grow a bit as far as ideas go and some techniques and styles as well.
TH: What is the key, in your opinion to winning a Threadless or similar shirt competition?
Alex: Idea, Execution, Presentation, Originality – Don’t rush your work, try your best in the end even if you don’t win if you’re happy and learn something from the design, you probably won something even better, and ideas start coming to you easier.
TH: Is designing your career and if not, what is?
Alex: I work as a graphic Designer / Online Editor at Time Warner Cable and I do stuff from billboards, to web design, to graphics for TV spots etc etc. Artwork and Designs for shirts is something I do on the side more as a hobby, hoping to one day make it a professional and start my own business. But I’ll be working twice as hard on every design I make, so expect to see a lot from me in the future.
Massive thanks to Alex for his time and good luck to him for all future tshirt designs, I know they will be blinding!