Monday, March 29, 2010
"Powerslaves" was a show that went down this last weekend at Super7 in San Francisco and featured the creeptastic artwork of Skinner and Martin Ontiveros. Above is just a little sample of the works at the show, as well as a new figure by Skinner he is calling "Lurker" that is going to be released at Wondercon this weekend! Hit up Toybot Studios for more pictures and info! Thanks for the heads up Kirkland!
Thursday, April 1st: 7-10pm — Gen Art Collectors Circle Private
Friday, April 2nd: 7-10pm — Artist Reception and Opening
Saturday, April 3rd: 7-10pm — MYX TV Hosted Reception
The Exhibition will be open to the public Thursday to Sunday, 12-6pm daily.
LeBasse Projects SF
1746 Post St. 3rd Fl.
San Francisco, CA 94115
(New People Bldg. in Japantown)
Matt: Can you tell us where the idea came from and what led you to making this a reality?
Blair: Hey, my pleasure being here, thank YOU! I'll tell you, I've been selling t-shirts online and offline since about 2001, back when there weren't all these awesome resources available for people to sell shirts so easily. Back then it was tough for me because I was doing it all myself. I'd design the shirts, the website, do the marketing, work with the local screen printer to buy inventories of shirts, fulfill orders, etc. etc. I mean, I had like seven or eight different shirt designs, all of which I wanted to make available in at least three colors. Then of course you want to have everybody's size available, so you order using the 1-2-2-1 size distribution, and by the end of it, I had boxes and boxes full of shirts, mostly just sitting in my closet!
I'll tell you, managing the inventory and fulfilling the online orders was a pain in the butt. So much so that I just didn't even want to deal with it anymore - it's enough to make anyone want to quit! It seemed like every other weekend I was doing a whole inventory recount, just so I could keep my website up to date so nobody ordered a shirt I didn't have in stock - heaven forbid! I mean, if someone ordered a shirt that was out of stock, I'd either have to disappoint the customer or go print a dozen more shirts just to get the one he wanted.
Then a site called CafePress came along. At first I thought it was a great idea. But I quickly realized that this service was not for professional t-shirt companies. This was for people who thought they had a cute idea for a shirt and wanted to sell it to their friends. Back then you could only print on white (or light heather) shirts with them, which was the first thing that turned me off from them. Plus, I ordered a test shirt to see what their digital printing looked like, and my first impression was that it was maybe one (small) step up from a heat transfer like you get in tourist traps or the county fair.
So the digital on demand printing just wasn't for me. But it gave me an idea - what if I could automate my t-shirt business like this and do away with the entire traditional inventory business model? Thinking about it now, back then that was crazy talk! Perhaps even now, some people will say it can't be done if you want professionally screen printed shirts. But here's the secret that I keep trying to explain to people: I've been doing it for several years now.
It took me a while to work out the kinks in the system - how to hook my website up to the order fulfillment system we had, making sure shirts got printed and shipped within a reasonable timeframe, handling customer service, etc. But once I had it all figured out, it was pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread. Orders would come in through my website, get sent straight to my screen printer, the shirts would get printed and shipped directly to the customer, and everybody was happy - because I removed myself from the process! If you've read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, you'll know what I'm talking about!
Once I had my own t-shirt business running on auto-pilot like this, it occurred to me that perhaps other people were in my same situation and were looking for the same business model. Thus began this project of making this automated t-shirt business "virtual architecture" available to everyone. Which brings us to present day with OnDemandScreenPrinting.com.
Blair: The biggest difference in our service is the quality of printing. Screen printing is the industry standard for a reason - digital printing just doesn't compare when you want a professional look and feel to your shirts. Digital printing is more closely related to the old school heat transfers.
Matt: So a lot of us that are artists and small brands, like to do everything and smoothly as possible, If I wanted to get up and running with On Demand Screen Printing what do I need to do?
Matt: Thanks Blair! For some tips on how to save some cash creating a t-shirt shop check out: How To Sell T-Shirts Online for Less than $5/month.
Blamo Toys is participating in this years Wonder-Con with new pieces not only from themselves, but many custom pieces as well! They have also put together a cool video showcasing one of our show exclusives they are calling "Major Mars"! They have some amazing stuff planned so be on the lookout on this site and make sure to visit them at their booth #335 this coming weekend!