“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up”
– Pablo Picasso
A few weeks ago I was at a Vertical Alignment meeting. As is per usual at many a Webb City staff meeting, we began with a meet-and-greet activity. Walking around the group sporting my super stylish Pompeii headband (thank you Mary Sears) I walk up to the third person. I extend my hand and say, “Hello I’m Laura.” My new partner tells me her name and says, “you’re the t-shirt lady, right?”
This gave me a good chuckle. I have to admit, if I have to go by any moniker, I’m more than cool with that one. And, it’s true. I design a lot of t-shirts. Enough that the company I fulfill most my orders with has assigned me a personal contact.
I once tried to count how many I’ve made in the seven years that I’ve worked at Webb. I don’t think I ever got an accurate count. I can tell you it’s at least 12 separate designs. It gets a little hectic in the money gathering and getting out individual orders.
No matter the parts that are less thrilling, I do really enjoy the functionally creative aspect of t-shirt design. I love opportunities to satisfy curiosity and creativity in different outlets (writing, painting, etc.). Most of those outlets are very personal and even private. T-shirt design lets me stretch my comfort zones and push out of my introversion (you know because it’s a healthy thing to do…) in a somewhat comfortable (for me) space. Maybe that sounds silly but it’s what works for me, even at 13 when I was the new girl in town.
I didn’t start designing t-shirts just for Webb City. The first t-shirt I ever designed was for middle school band. Our instructor decided we needed a group shirt. He allowed the students to submit designs. I don’t remember how many kids came up with something. The whole band voted on which they liked best.
I remember I voted on a someones design that had claw slashes, or something like it. It was very cool.My design was a little haphazard. I designed it on a cool program, that was only a couple years old, Word. I remember I included just about every picture related to instruments I could find on the ClipArt addition.
I am a well known pack rat, especially when something has sentimental value. (I still have a mini tea set, still in the package. My Great Grandma Earp got it for me well past the appropriate age. I kept it because she was well into her 90’s and despite deteriorating health had physically gone to the store to buy it for me.) Being so thorough of a keep-saker I was disappointed to find that I hadn’t kept the shirt (though I did find my 5th grade graduation t-shirt).
Band lasted for six years (4th-9th), but the “t-shirt’n” is hanging on strong.
P.S.- I’m super excited for everyone to enjoy design number 13… the Slice of Life shirt for 2018!