But Everybody is Printing Now!?
Yep, its true… everybody and their Grandma is screen printing these days, so why should you bother at all?
In todays industry, screen printing is most definitely an “impacted” market now and you can pretty much drop a pin on any block in your map app to land directly on another guy who is printing t-shirts just like you.
So does this mean you should throw in the towel??… The answer to that question is ultimately up to you and what your personal goals are as a screen printer, however even in this overly-saturated business today I don’t see why another printer down the block is really going to cramp your style to be honest. Sure, it increases competition but I don’t view that as a bad thing. The real print shops out there that are putting in the effort to be original, do what it takes to please their customers, and make the best products they can will be here regardless of how many other guys are doing the same thing.
For me, printing is much more than just a “job” where I get to put ink on something for money. Instead, I look at screen printing as another fantastic “hands-on” medium where I get to express myself artistically.
There is definitely a craft to the work. Its not just putting an image onto the substrate. It takes calculated planning in order to get to the end result, and I really like that about screen printing. I appreciate the challenge of it just like I did when I first taught myself to tear apart a website and build it back up from scratch, or when I learned how to track and engineer audio. There is just something immensely rewarding when you get to see the final piece after its gone through its long process from a freshly coated screen – to a perfectly cured, smooth ink layer that sits on top of the garments fabric.
I ironically never began screen printing to print for others believe it or not. My sole reason for starting a print shop in my garage has always been to create my own clothing brand that I would manage from the design process – all the way down to the choice of the packaging for the final product when it ships out to the customer. That still, to this day, is my #1 focus. However, as I documented my progress of learning to print over the years I began to accrue a large number of inquires to print tee shirts for local bands, brands, and businesses. I was reluctant at first and stayed the course of “brand only” for a long time, but eventually I warmed up to the idea of being both.
I’ve been an artist since I was a little kid. I used to do nothing but draw when I was little… Then once I was a teenager skateboarding took over my life and I was really stoked on the awesome t-shirts and art direction that these little brands were able to go in. It was total artistic freedom and kids were rocking these clothes everywhere to represent the culture – I thought that was the coolest thing! Ever since then I wanted to make my own shirts. The very first shirt I made was in high school. I hand drew a “Rage Against The Machine” tee that our teacher allowed me to print on a simple white tee in black ink. After that I was hooked on the idea of making my own shirts but I never had the financial luxury of moving forward on becoming a screen printer so it remained an “idea” of something Id always wanted to do…
Fast forward to today. Im a family man, stay at home Dad, Professional Freelance Graphic Designer, Audio Engineer, and now a “Garage Printer” that is slowly building up his shop to finally follow his dream of creating badass t-shirts that encapsulate my artistic vision. Definitely enjoying the ride!
“As always, thank you guys for your continued support & for stopping by to see whats good! –Shaun