Monday, January 10, 2011

Conquer Fear

I thought it was high time I feature one of the single most popular designs that I've ever created.

The 'Conquer Fear' design that I came up with a few years ago has sold really well for me in the past on my Cafepress shops and continues to be a popular choice for my buyers. Here is the story behind it.When I was a teenager I found a T-shirt at Rue 21 that I absolutely LOVED! It was so soft and comfortable to wear but also fit well and looked good. It was sort of a dark steel blue sort of navy-ish color and it featured a sweet Asian design with an intricate dragon curling vertically down one side and Chinese(?) symbols running vertically opposite from the dragon. The design against the dark blue included softer blues, gray and lavender. I simply adored this shirt!

Fast forward to a year or so later, I brought it on a lake trip with a bunch of friends and somehow lost it. I was devastated! Let me tell you! I had worn it over my suit and then left it in the car while out swimming. You would think it would be safe there right? Wrong. It was so gone. I searched and searched and honestly, as silly as it seems now, at the time I was pretty positive that one of the other girls stole it. Lol! Ah, me . . . The drama of teenagedom.

Fast forward about 10 years or so. I am a newly graduated designer trying out Cafepress.com to see what I can come up with in the world of T-shirt Design. I try a few ideas and some old art with little to no success . . .
One day I am mulling over what I should come up with for new designs and I say to myself, "Julie, you should design something that YOU would want to wear! Something YOU really like. That way, at least if no one else likes it, you can be happy with it and maybe just buy one for yourself."

I've always had a thing for Asian art and decor but at that point had never really tried using that style in my art. I had, however, decorated my front room with an Asian theme, so maybe that had a hand in it. All I know is I suddenly remembered my favorite T-shirt and decided to try and see if I could come up with something like it.
Honestly, what I came up with, to me, still cannot compare to the tee I lost, but I am still happy with it. As are others it appears.

I knew nothing about Chinese as a language when I started out to design this. (Heh, still don't.)
So I had to do some research of the different symbols and their meanings. I had in my mind the essence of what I wanted the shirt to say. Something inspiring or empowering. I finally came up with "Conquer and Fear" as my choice of Symbols and the idea of conquering fear seemed just the sort of meaning I wanted my design to contain. Then I had to come up with the dragon.
Hmm, You know, I think this was the first time I experimented with wet media brushes in Photoshop.

Overall it was a great learning experience. I broke out of what I normally do to try something new and had some success, so I think it's fair to say I conquered some fears that day. I plan to continue conquering fears and hope to inspire others to do the same.

Cafepress has added a lot of awesome new products recently. I just added this design to a bunch of them. It works out really well on workout clothes and products. I love the idea that every time someone looks at their Yoga Mat or their Sigg Water Bottle that they will feel empowered to overcome the dragons that are holding them back in their lives.

I'm also excited about how good this design looks on the new Ipad and Iphone cases.

I also think the design is actually quite appropriate for baby/toddler clothing because small children are so fearless and conquer new challenges every day!
What better mascot could I have to spread the message of taking baby steps and getting past your obstacles? Plus I am absolutely LOVING this Kiwi green color that the new baby clothes have. Especially loving how my design looks in Kiwi green. It's fresh and warm and just makes me happy!