My Own Work

(Part 5/Words and pictures/My own work)

Exercise  –  My own work

One the next page I have included a small gallery of work I have done previously. It is mostly finished pieces from other Parts. These are all images I like and images which gave me some satisfaction in production.

There are 2 favourites here, both of which were good learning exercises and which gave me a great sense of satisfaction when I had done them. One is the collage of my dog and the other is the black and white block image of our house. I am wondering how to showcase them.

Children’s publishing

I could use the dog picture to inspire a story for children and begin a new children’s book I think it would be very time-consuming to follow it through to a conclusion though. However, I think he would make a good little character.

I don’t think the black and white block buildings would be so appealing to children.

Decorative Illustration

The picture of the building would look good on a greetings card but as it is very particular to my house it may not have widespread appeal.

It could be used on a book cover though, given the right title or maybe in an architectural journal.

It would be a nice simple design for screen printing although I am not sure what artefact it could be used on.

The dog image could be used on quirky objets d’art like ceramics, children’s curtains/duvets/cushions, other fabrics.

The dog could also be featured on greetings cards.

Fanzines and artist’ books

Both images could be used at will in this area.


I don’t really see a use for either image here although the building could be part of a heading in an article dealing with architectural/domestic construction matters.

Artists’ prints and artworks

The black and white picture is quite well balanced and has pleasing shapes in its composition. It should have a place in interior decor. It is a very minimalist image with clean lines and has good space/mass proportions. It is a good representation of rural life and could grace the wall of an urban luxury loft apartment.

The dog picture stands up well for itself on a white background, but with added scenery or bright interior creating a storyline, it should have appeal for children’s rooms.

Fashion and accessories

The idea of limited edition tee-shirts appeals to me even though I don’t really like wearing them, especially if they have writing on them. However, I think the idea is sound for both of my favourite images.
The dog (like Mickey Mouse ) could be printed on almost any accessory. This would also give me the opportunity to extend my printing skills following the previous assignment when I printed a cushion.
That was quite different as I printed directly on to the fabric with the computer printer. I devised a way of temporarily attaching the fabric to a sheet of paper. For this I would use a printing kit.


I guess the house image would be a very exclusive tee-shirt indeed as only I would want one.
However, it is the principle of doing it that matters so I will be the client and I will commission myself to print the house on a tee-shirt. It won’t cost much as I have a new, white, cotton shirt in my drawer. I will use this as an experimental exercise and then do it again when I have found a client for the dog T shirt which I will price up properly.

I have bought some transfers for printing on T shirts. They are only A4 size so the picture will not be massive.

Even though I do not like T shirts with writing on, I am going to try some writing on this one to see how it looks.

I prefer a discrete label on the work which becomes part of the work. I thought the idea of replacing the perimeter line with some text as in the bottom left example would be effective but it is not. Example 1 is ok with the continuous outline and a very simple horizontal text, but not really inspired. Example 2 top centre is more imaginative with most of the outline removed It follows the lone of the perspective. In example 3 the text is too dominant and detracts from the image. Example 4 I have discussed it doesn’t quite work. I think the last one is the preferred option if there is to be text. The simple Ariel style is the same but the line it takes is a little different. It is also neater and much better balanced with the image.

I did look at a lot of other fonts including stoneage but did not feel anything rounded or curvy was suitable. I also considered a solid 3D version of the word but it wasn’t going to match and did not complement the 2D image in any way.

I have left out the left side outline so that the design will ‘flow’ into the white T shirt. Leaving out the bottom line as well is not so effective and makes it look lopsided at a distance.

Something else I have not considered is fading the sky towards the edges so it ‘drifts into the white fabric. That might be worth a quick investigation.

Tried the idea , it looks surprisingly ok (see above). I’m not sure which I prefer. I will print out an A4 copy of each and pin it to the T shirt.

Right is the T shirt with a paper image pinned to it to see how it looks – printed the wrong way round as my printer has a T shirt setting and turned it round again!

The words are just a bit too subtle so I have redone them (below) in Arial bold.

The next stage is to print the shirt.

Above is the finished T shirt. I have learned some new skills here and produced a wearable garment with the house, which I designed, on it. The instructions for applying the image said to cut around the design, however, as it is virtually rectangular I didn’t feel the need to do that. However, when I do the Dog one for my client, I will trim the edges before applying it. The T shirt was £9 from the M&S outlet store and the transfer sheet was £9.58/5= £1.91 (as I made a mistake it was double so £3.82. Materials therefore cost £12.82. As the design is an exclusive, one-off special edition, T shirt and took me four hours at least to design, prepare and produce, I would need to charge £190 but would, in reality, accept £85.

I now have a client for the main T shirt which is to have on it the collage image of my dog. The client is a Dog Groomer who is very familiar with Dylan, my dog. She loves the image and wants it on a sun-top for her daughter.

I bought a plain white cotton vest-style top from Sainsbury’s for £10. Marks and Spencer only sold them in packs of 3 as vests in the boys department.  Primark had something similar but the quality was very poor. It is quite hard to find ladies sun-tops at this time of the year, even on-line where they can be bought for £2-£15 but there is no quality guarantee. The Sainsbury’s one is fine for the 100% cotton girl’s suntop with exclusive pink dog design, £80 job. I already have the transfers as the packet had 5 sheets in it. So like the previous one, unless I make a mistake, the price will be £1.91 for the transfer. If I were doing this professionally, I would remove the Sainsbury label and add my own.

I had to do a little digital ‘tidying up’ of the image having taken another hi-res photo of the collage.

Above is the new version.

Once the template is printed I will trim around the dog before applying it to the sun top. I learned whilst doing the earlier one that it takes quite a bit longer to iron it on than the instruction suggests. I will be ready for that.

I really like this image it has movement and the rhetoric really shows the happy personality of the little dog. He is looking straight out of the picture with his signature ‘chrysanthemum nose’ to the fore. The nose is the Dog Groomer’s favourite part of his appearance. In addition, her daughter is of the pink-and-fluffy variety so even the colour is very apt.

100% cotton girl’s suntop with exclusive pink dog design, £80

It took me a lot less time to create this garment because I had done the practice run beforehand with the house image on my own T shirt. This will reduce the price.

The materials were not costly and mass-produced as a run of a thousand, the shirts could be sold for £14, However, this is a one-off, totally unique garment created as a commission. I think it is worth around £80 as a Designer garment.

Vistaprint will currently do the same job for £5.99 as a one off basic short-sleeveT shirt. (Obviously that does not include intellectual/artistic value).

Both of my designs would look ok on a tote bag, currently selling at £7.19, or on a mouse mat (£5.99), or on a beaker (only £4.98). For £44.96 I could have my prints on a fleece blanket! Maybe I will take advantage of some of these offers at some point but on this occasion, I wanted to print them image myself for the experience.

Finally, I came across which is a US website that shows several ways of earning money from T shirt design online.

On Spreadshop you can design and make your T shirt and open a shop to sell them.

Teespring is another site for designing and selling your wares.

Sell my Tees requires you to put up 10 designs but they also allow you to do contract work for monthly payments.

Threadless is a ‘competition site’ where you get you design made and marketed if it is a winner.

Bonfire is another personal shop where you actually get to keep 100% of your takings.

TeePublic has another selling program but they do charge commission.

On Zazzle you can desing and sell a whole range of artefacts including T shirts. They allow you to set your own Royalty rates here.

Cafe Press is similar to Zazzle. You can open your own shop and sell all your wares they will handle all the marketing and you get your royalties.