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The story of my first time screen printing at the last minute
I was supposed to design these shirts all semester (Fall 2017), but as you may know through reading my posts, I was living a life full of mess and shame. Every design I tried, I felt was inadequate. I was actually a little obsessed with pleasing everyone and was so self-deprecating in the process. I wanted to “wow” everyone, and felt like I hadn’t been a very good member of staff that year… so I put so much pressure on myself.
Initially I designed this. The gnome was gonna go on the pocket and the bear on the back. That woulda been FINE!
I think there was something wrong with the printing and I couldn’t do both designs and I was like fuck this, I need to do something even better.
Why? I don’t know. It was a mental cycle that took me months to break.
So winter break came and I still hadn’t finished the shirts. Finally I did this design and was super proud of it!
It took me basically two days to do the drawing in pencil and then freakin forever to make it graphic because I was dumb and was STILL DRAWING WITH MY FINGER ON MY LAPTOP … AND I was (am) still a damn perfectionist.
By the time I was done with the design, it was the holidays and there was no chance that I would be able to have the shirts in time by our Big Trip if I ordered them. F***!!!!
(this is a very frustrating story and I don’t like telling it)
But since the shirts weren’t gonna be in on time cause I was a lil dummy, I thought I had to learn to screen print and do them myself.
So… I did.
Many youtube videos and trips to the store later, I had all the supplies.
I first tried out the method where you paint the white spots with paint repellant and then wash it and try to screen print that way. But that didn’t even come close to working cause whatever I bought from Michaels was fucked.
Then I tried to do the actual screen burning technique, but I rushed to the store and bought a type of transparent paper that wouldn’t work with my printer.
So I had to go to my dad’s work to print the design there from a Xerox printer.
THEN I WAS SO NERVOUS TO GET THE SCREEN BURNING DONE THAT I RUSHED LIKE CRAY AND AFTER ALL THAT, I FREAKIN MIXED THE PHOTO EMULSION WITH THE EMULSION REMOVER.
I literally mixed the thing that would make the screen burn with the thing that removes it. It was the middle of the night and I was gonna have 2 more days before the trip. I had to run around the fucking mountain the next day to find ANOTHER screen printing kit which took three stores to find, and then I had to burn the damn screen and THEN have one night and one day to get them done.
The screen actually did burn and it was amazing. I was soo happy. When I tried printing my first shirt, it pretty much turned out like shit. I was so distraught cause after all this I was so flustered and hopeless.
Let me say again, all this was silly AF.
But over time I did get the hang of it and actually the shirts looked good. Some had a few mistakes but everyone on staff knew they were handmade so it was okay haha. I still cried about them for a long time. It was stupid.
At least the staff underwear came in time with no stress haha!!
The morals of this story are:
- do things on time
- you don’t have to try so hard, people’s expectations aren’t that high
- if you’re gonna learn something, take your time.
Jesus Christ I never want to read this story again.
Love and peace,
And of course, I moved on and everyone loved them.