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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Interview with Amy of Ming Tees

Amy is a great lady I met very early on in this crazy biz of tee designing. She has always been very supportive and outspoken. I find when I'm having a mental block that I can go check out her designs and find inspiration.

What inspired you to start designing tee shirts?
Well, i couldn't afford the shirts and clothing i loved by DaNang, Great China Wall, Lucky Brand, Johnny Was, and others. So i figured it couldn't hurt to try to design my own.

How long have you been in the industry?
Probably around 2 years.

What advice would you give someine just starting out?
To learn from my own continual mistakes? Well, don't spend too much money to start off, especially on things like advertising. Take the time to figure out a a good coherent them for your collection, and work on getting a collection together of at least 12 good designs or so. Then do some research into the POD printing companies, look at design requirements and printing, product assortment, interface, and marketplace. And figure out which one is the best fit with your type of designs, market, and interface. Then take the time to get a good website together, you NEED a good website of your own. The for marketing use the free stuff until you start making a good bit of money. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Stumble upon and other social networks,t shirt sites and blogs, and the marketplaces of the POD that you use.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
Well, i have a few websites but all are some sort of Asian theme and based on the art and art history of the Asian countries. Ming Tees is based on Chinese and Japanese art and design, but is a tough one to market. I have also a Buddhist themed site as well as a yoga site based on Indian art and design. These have more coherent markets and get searched a lot more.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?
I don't know! All i know is that in 5 years i want to be painting. Whether t shirts have anything to do with that i don't know yet. I still want to have the time to deal with my photography too. But in the not too distant future i do want to more to more specialty products - embroidery, fabric design, silk screen, stuff like that.

What is your favorite design?
Of my own? Well, i actually prefer the more elaborate types, but the people who comment and vote with their wallets prefer the simpler ones. Images and links below. That bamboo design is probably my simplest, and it sells probably 4 times more at RedBubble than my next best selling design.

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?
Art and art history, definitely. And flowers, I'm a botanical photographer, andi do too many flower designs.

I absolutely love Asian style designs and art. Amy nails that style like no other can. I am also proud to call her a great friend.

What is your favorite design by another artist?
I can't even pick one, way too many.

3 of my best designs.
Bamboo Kamon
Friends of Winter Kimono Shirt
Auspicious Chinese 5 Bats and Peaches

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