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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Interview with Markus Rippka of "Black is Beauty"

I absolutely love Markus's skull designs, they have a fun fresh rock-a-billy feel to them. Personally I like them best in the gold and silver metallic.

What inspired you to start designing tee shirts?
I started as a painter about ten years ago ( oil on canvas ).
To make my designs known to a bigger audience, I decided to work with computers and
began to design images for T-shirts.
This is a very interesting way of developing art, because the images look totally different on cotton than on canvas.
And – I think it will boost sales, of course.

How long have you been in the industry?
About a year ago I recognized Spreadshirt, a German T-shirt printing company, where I can sell my designs and run my own T-Shirt shop.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
This is a difficult. There is no easy answer to that question.
The output of High Quality designs is not the main problem, if you`re skilled.
The right marketing of your stuff is very important to achieve enough sales.
And it helps having good friends, like Jay from VAN TRIBE FASHION, giving you
support and advice. He promotes me and my shop. You know, it`s a tough business.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
Definitely my skull-designs. There are many different ways to design skulls, there`s always a new idea for another skull design, they are my “classics”.
And, people will always love skulls.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?
I hope I made my work popular by then to make many people in America and Europe wear my Shirts, to be able to make a living out of it.

What is your favourite design?
My favourite design is Skull Circle 8 ( from the Skull Circle series ).
But I love them all, so its hard to choose.

Who has bee your biggest influence in your designs?
The biggest influence? My friend Dirk, he is a Tattoo artist who did some tattoos for me and my wife Tanja. Inspired by his work I started transforming my tribal and skulldesigns for tees.

What is your favourite designs by another artist?
A question I cannot answer easily. I love the style of my friends Jay and be-him of VAN TRIBE. They have many motifs I like very mutch, such as:
The new VAN TRIBE logo, blood kiss, the witch, the hula skull, the skull punk, tiki three, breeding demon, the bad ass gun, devilish, and many more.
And one of your designs Thundergod is also my fav.
3 of my favorite designs: