Lately I've been thinking about my next t-shirt design. Originally, I wanted to do a design similar to this but with three heads instead of two, each one a different color. Today I drew it out with only two heads to see what it would look like and I really like. It doesn't look much different than the three headed variety and it would be easier and less expensive to print. I would tweak this image a bit and draw it digitally before going into production but this might be shirt number 4.
I started vectorizing an old sketch that I'm considering turning into a shirt, and like everything else I've been working on lately, I'm not gonna share much more till later.
My cousin Reyna sent me this picture earlier today. It's Arely and I standing in front our booth at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest last year. The sales weren't great that weekend but it was still a lot of fun being there and meeting new vendors. I really miss working events. The plan was to do more events this year before the 'Vid fucked that all away.
But I made a little bit of progress on the store. FYI: the website I'm working on is not FRANKIEMCFLY.COM. It's a dummy site that I'm learning to use before moving my domain name over.
Friday started off great. I met up with my buddy, Jon, at Lake Cunningham and we went on a (socially-distant) walk around the park. After one lap Jon split and I stayed to do one more then ran into another friend, Adam, who was getting off work at the park. He drove up to show me he was rocking my San Jose shirt. That made my day! I didn't realize I was wearing my San Jose shirt till afterwards. On the way out of the park I snapped a picture of this awesome hand-drawn found-dog flyer posted near the entrance. When I got home I showered, ate lunch, did some crossword puzzles, and started drawing. It was an awesome day up until that point. Soon after, I heard about protesters downtown and on the 101 holding up traffic. They were protesting in response to the murder of George Floyd by Minnesota police. Soon I was seeing friends videos on Instagram of people smashing car windows, police firing tear gas & rubber bullets, crowds throwing objects at the police, a trash bin on fire in the middle of the street, a car running over people, people looting a Starbucks, a cop getting knocked out. This shit is crazy and there are protests/demonstrations/riots happening in multiple cities across the US. I wonder if this is going to continue through the weekend and what will happen in its wake.
No one's buying t-shirts anymore so I've introduced two new items to my online store:
Frankie Mcfly's Reusable Face Mask & Frankie Mcfly's Reusable Toilet Paper Roll. For cooties & poops during this Covid-19 pandemic.
Both items are available now (find them under t-shirts) *Remember to wash before you wear or wipe!
I figured it was only a matter of time until weddings started getting canceled due to Covid-19/Coronavirus concerns. Tonight I found out the wedding I was supposed to DJ in two weeks got postponed. Last Friday the fundraiser I was working got canceled that very same morning. DJ events at this time of year are already slow to begin with. So are the festivals where I sell my shirts. Two events that I was going vend at next month also got canceled this week. I know I shouldn't complain and I will try and remain optimistic, but damn, most of my income comes from working events. I'm going to try and file an unemployment insurance claim next week. I'll also need to contact my bank regarding my car loan and my credit card provider to see what my options are for late payments. Money is gonna tight the next few weeks, or months. Aside from that I'm doing my best to stay healthy and positive during this weird & uncertain time. I hope you and your loved ones are too. Let's hope we get out from under this soon.
I received them tonight. I'll be adding them to the online store soon. They'll be for sale but you can also get one free with any t-shirt purchase. They are laminated vinyl and they're kiss-cut so you can just peel off my name, but if you're like me you'll also want to slap that extra piece somewhere too.
Today I and counted all my shirts after the Local Color Daytime Market on Sunday and updated my inventory online. This is the part of the job that sucks the most so I'm always trying streamline and improve the process to make it faster and easier to do. Everything from the way the shirts are folded, stacked, stored & logged has had some thought put into it. I recently made changes to how I log the info so I can see how many total shirts I have in stock per design/style and made it so I can quickly figure out how many of each size & style has gone out. Making those little tweaks are fun and the data it provides is valuable.
I didn't just tweak the artwork on my EMN design but I also made a minor change to the size labels too. My original label (bottom pic) had a tiny logo under my name so I made it a little bigger and moved my name up a bit to give it more room.
Side note: This will be my first time printing 3X size EMN shirts. Last time I only made Small thru 2X. I'm a big guy, and I used to wear 3X, and it used to be tough to find cool shirts in my size so I want to make sure I have my plus-sized peeps covered.
I had so much fun at Local Colors Daytime Market today. I hung out with my artist/vendor buddies, saw friends who came to visit, made new friends, got a surprise visit from my cousin Rick and his wife Sabrina, drank some delicious coffee from Tono Coffee Project followed by some IPAs, brought home a new t-shirt, sketchbook & button, sold a few of my t-shirts & stickers, and ended the day with a big ol burrito before heading home. In the next day or two I need to count & fold my shirts, update my inventory and make sure my gear is prepped for the next gig which is San Jose Day on April 11th.
I posted about this a week ago but the event is tomorrow so here it is again... come to Local Color - Keystone at 491 West San Carlos Street (formally Keystone Restaurant Supply) in San Jose from 11am to 3pm for the local artisan daytime market. I'll have my San Jose t-shirts for sale and a bunch of other artist friends will have their wares available too. There's also a food truck and coffee service by Tono Coffee Project so come thru and "buy somethin' will ya!"
I was supposed to DJ an event tonight but I got text this morning saying it was canceled due to Coronavirus concerns. Bummer, because I really needed the cash. This time of year is already pretty slow for DJing. I did wake up to some good news though, an online t-shirt order came in. Before I got notified about the event being canceled I was planning on just bagging the shirt and sending it off. After getting word that I wasn't gonna be working I started drawing a Thank You card for the t-shirt order. I drew my head first then the tentacles & letters with pencil. Then I inked it with a couple Micron pens and fixed a few mistakes with Pro-White. When I was done I threw it in the bag with the t-shirt and a couple SJ stickers and delivered it. The customer lived 15 minutes from home so I figured I'd save him a couple days of waiting for it to arrive by mail.
Today I ordered blanks to print more EMN t-shirts with the updated "Redux" artwork. I updated portions of the original graphic where the details were too small and came out blurry on the actual t-shirt. I plan on reprinting more of the classic purple on black, like before, but I also want to print a new color. Below are the colors I'm considering:
Redux on the left. Original artwork on the right.
When I printed the EMN shirts with the original artwork, a lot of the smaller details were washed out or blurry. Now that I'm going to print more I decided to redo the parts of the image that weren't so sharp. I printed the original artwork in black & white on paper then highlighted the parts that came out blurry on the t-shirt. I then digitally made some of those lines thicker and redrew others completely. This should result in a better looking print on the next batch of shirts. I feel like I did what George Lucas did to Star Wars when he released the Special Edition versions of his original trilogy.
I've never been a fan of year-end wrap ups, best-of lists, top-9 pics... none of that. But I do want to shout-out everyone whose rocked a Frankie Mcfly t-shirt. Every time I saw a picture online of someone wearing one a took a screenshot. I made these collages today and uploaded them to Instagram. It makes me happy to see all their smiling faces. Some in beautiful places, some rocking out and some just doing their thing. Thank you so much to everyone that's been supportive of me and my lil endeavor.
Cheers and Happy New Year,
Now that I'm happy with my last draft I've started laying down the pencils on the actual piece. The final piece will be slightly different than the last draft and much bigger. The original plan was to just make prints but I'll probably make a t-shirt out of this which will require me to redraw it again and make some more tweaks. I can't wait to be done with this so I can start working on more pieces like this.
For the past few weeks I've been in contact with a gentleman who stopped at my booth in October during the First Friday Street Mrkt. He was with his son who talked with me for a little while about my San Jose shirts. They didn't buy anything but I gave them a flyer before they left. A couple weeks later the dad emails me because he wants to buy a couple shirts, and my online store showed I was sold out. He asked when I would have more available again because he wanted to buy a couple for his son and his son's girlfriend as Christmas gifts. I let him know that I was in the process of printing more and I contacted him as soon I as they were available. Today I delivered the shirts after his son left home because they're going to be a surprise. Just thinking about the excitement of unwrapping Christmas presents, and those presents being my t-shirts, totally made my day :)
Today I packaged and sent out some online orders. I've listed the process below.
There's plenty of room to simplify the process but the truth is currently don't have a lot of online sales going out the door. I'm hoping to change that!
They're heeeeeere... almost. More EMNSJ shirts have been reprinted and are ready for pick up. I can't wait to get my fat little hands on them :)
Check out the Downtown Screen Printers on Insta
There was a bunch of Halloween candy & mini comics leftover from last night. The comics are pretty rad, they come in 25 packs to give away to trick-or-treaters or use as party favors. Today I thought it would be cool to slip a comic and some candy into the bags of anyone who orders a shirt online. I also made shipping & handling free.
On Saturday I'm working a wedding in Soquel and Sunday morning I'm DJing a memorial in San Jose. This is a first. I've never worked a memorial before. All I was given was a loose timeline and bunch of music. Normally I'd be a lil nervous going into a situation like this but I'm working with a professional event planner, that I've worked with before, and after our phone call today I'm feeling alright. We'll see how it goes.
On Sunday night I'll be picking up my San Jose shirts from the printers. Then I gotta count, fold & sort them all and update my online store's inventory. There are a few people waiting on those shirts and I can't wait to get them out.
I spent a lot of time today, and previous days, trying to figure out how many shirts I should reprint. I used to try and guess which sizes & styles would sell more. Now that I have more data I can see what sells faster versus what stays in inventory longer. And because I'm on a budget for the rest of the year (I'm setting money aside for income & sales taxes) I've decided to reprint in smaller batches, starting with my most popular design. I intended to reprint all EMNSJ styles but my supplier was all out of heather gray blanks so I just bought black shirts for now. That's ok since my two most popular styles are the Black/Blue and Black/Pink EMNSJ (San Jose) t-shirts. If I ordered the right amount, and sales continue the way they have been, I shouldn't run out of one style/size too quickly or have others sit for too long. They blanks should arrive soon then they're off to the printers. Hopefully it won't take more than a couple weeks to have the finished shirts in hand.