Sunday, 7 October 2012

26 - My past*

All the T-Shirts and sweaters I used to print are hidden in a cupboard now. The sight of them makes me cringe.

I have great memories though. There was one drop I did, where I had a count down on my site, and I sold over a grand's worth of product in a day. I think I clocked up about £1200. It felt amazing as it was me making something and selling it directly. I suddenly saw I could make a living off my own back, I didn't need anyone else. An escape from 9 to 6 slavery where success could be as huge as my imagination.

But I didn't keep it up. I'd work really hard on each drop. So I'd be working in these cycles. Towards the end of each cycle I'd stop going out and talking to people and just work on it obsessively for about three weeks. Then I'd release the latest designs and it was this huge emotional release where I felt I could relax and have fun again. So I'd go out and feel good. But then a month would go by and I wouldn't have done anything for the next drop and I'd start feeling anxious.

It got harder and harder, those gaps, to pull it all back in and get back to work.

I was also fighting this feeling of it not really mattering. Like, the T-Shirts didn't mean anything. My brand didn't stand for anything. All good clothing brands come from a scene... a skate scene, a music scene etc. Mine weren't from anywhere except my head. I felt it lacked something important that I couldn't put my finger on and so eventually the passion for it died leaving this aching chasm, a need to create something, a product that people love and want to own and use.

That feeling's been with me ever since. It was always there, but actually seeing a glimpse of what that could feel like... it was incredible.

*I'll get Paul to write one of these too. For now, I remember, back in art college, I didn't know him too well then, and we were all presenting these big six-week art projects. I can't remember what anyone else did but we all had these big things we'd done with sketchbooks full of 'research' and all that. When it got to Paul, he just threw down this little pyramid, about three inches squared, made from paper. The outside was covered in abstract drawings and words,  you could fold open one triangle of the pyramid, which I think was clear acetate, and there was stuff written and drawn on the inside. The tutor was like, "Is that it? That's all you got?" Paul was like "Yeah." I remember laughing so hard. It was so underwhelming, this little thing, but the more I looked at it the more I realised it probably had more meaning, more reason, than any other drop-out art kid in that room.