2020 was quite a year for everyone!
In hindsight, I suppose I should have known it was not going to go well. On January 6, I got hit from behind by a bicycle while I was walking in the morning. Fortunately, I didn’t break any bones (barely), but it definitely was not the way to start off the year; and to finish off the year with a bang, I had COVID. Two weeks in bed at the end of December and into the new year. My test came back positive on January 7, which is kind of *funny* because that is almost to the day from my bicycle accident ;O
When the pandemic became a reality and then “lockdown” happened March 13, I found myself with all the extra hours in the day that nobody can find. I use Illustrator for my other work, but I could never get into the depth of the program. Hence, with all the extra hours, it was time to dig in deep.
I am a visual person. Everywhere I go, I see shapes, images, letters, design, and colors. That is what inspires me creatively in my everyday life. I try to find a unique perspective to an ordinary visual. I imagine that is what my philosophy about life is as well.
Black is my favorite color. Everyone that knows me will see me in something black 99% of the time – including the summer. Therefore, the inspiration for my designs was simple: black and white. There is something about the combination of the two colors that is a “wow” factor for me: bold, impactful, classic, sharp, clean, crisp – eye-catching and timeless.
And so…. I started drawing random illustrations, phrases, and ideas in black and white. I love this whole creative process. Seriously, all the extra hours in the day were like a dream come true for a creative person. The time flew by and it was like I still didn’t have enough time.
I just kept drawing and adding to my library. At first, I started with illustrations that I can use in my PowerPoint presentations. Then, I began to expand and draw anything that came into my mind.
Quarantine was about 7 weeks (here in Barcelona), so I had plenty of time. At one point I thought, ok, so what do I do with these now? I did not want to open an Instagram account and stick them on there, so I thought about t-shirt design and tote bag designs with on-demand, Direct-to-Garment printing (DTG).
I spent about 4 months doing research for t-shirts, printers, samples, etc. and then started on my website in August. That took me about an additional 2 months. I finally launched my online store mid-October, 9odesigns.com, 9 is my favorite number, o is for my son and designs.
People love t-shirts and are always looking for different t-shirt designs. I came up with the Express yourself because I truly believe that is how you can do it, to show off your style and your personality. A graphic t-shirt or tote with an original bold design can make a statement and have your personality shine through.
This has been an unbelievable creative outlet and journey for me this past year. As much as 2020 was *meh* for all of us in a lot of different ways, it was also the most rewarding for me personally and so I will walk away from it with the positive.
I hope you enjoy wearing your t-shirt or carrying around your totes as much as I do creating them.