Philipp Rietz is the designer of the month, and he’s been ever-present for almost a decade. He’s been quite the active contributor under the name of BadBugs for 8 years already while aspiring to become one of Spreadshirt’s most successful designers. Having already featured him in 2013, we’re now about to find out what makes him such a distinguished individual besides his creativity.
Name: Philipp Rietz
Education: Electronics technician for automation technology / Web development studies
Residence: Saalfeld, Thuringia
Joined Spreadshirt: 2010
Software: Photoshop, Illustrator, Trigraphy, Assembly, etc.
Howdy Philipp! Do let us know – when and how has design actually become your main profession?
Actually it’s thanks to Spreadshirt that it came all about. I always wanted to work as a web developer as it has been my hobby since I was 12. Then I published my first designs on Spreadshirt, and I enjoyed it a lot. Luckily it has been a growing success until today. I also enjoy doing commissioned work such as record cover design or graphics for clothing brands, among other things.
In your shop you sell “magical illustrations” and create “design experiments”. Sounds exciting – but what does it mean?
I like things that challenge the mind. I also like to think out of the box, so the term “design experiments” is a term describing this approach. When I try out new things, I endeavour to create a new style with Photoshop and the like. Super colorful and abstract patterns never cease to impress me. Take my graphics ”Spectrum Bomb” (see picture) as an example, which was created in a collaboration with my friend Chuck Pavoni from the USA. The whole thing is an experimental, artistic processing of the Photoshop Color Picker.
You’ve been with Spreadshirt for almost 10 years, during which you’ve certainly experienced a lot. Is there a Spreadshirt anecdote you want to share with us?
Oh, yes, there are certainly quite a few of them! One of my stellar moments was when I saw a design of mine, “Painting the Universe”, in a Spreadshirt ad on TV. It was during a commercial break of one of Germany’s most successful TV shows. I remember how seeing it for just 2 seconds made me literally feel paralyzed from shock in my armchair. It was one of the shortest but also best moments I’ve ever experienced in my life.
Occasionally I receive kind emails expressing appreciation, and I’ve already had the pleasure of meeting some of my customers on the street wearing my designs on Spreadshirt clothing. There is hardly any better motivation to keep going!
As a true Spreadshirt veteran you must have a few tips for other designers in store, right?
It certainly doesn’t do any harm to keep an eye out for current trends and to keep honing your skills. Always, always concentrate on the essentials and stick to familiar principles, like find your niche! You should also be aware of how you want to market yourself – that’s half the battle.
What do you do to win fans and followers and keep them happy?
I regularly share my own content and sometimes cool stuff from artists I’m friends with. In the past I also donated a few items of clothing to very active followers, which I’m going to do again soon. Try doing many different things until you see what works best for you. I sometimes give away free downloads or stickers.
How do you reach your buyers – with design promos?
Social media and portfolio maintenance are essential for good marketing. I also create small graphics ads that look good in every portfolio or in other places online.
I’ve offered free wallpapers of my designs right from the start to promote the designs. First on my own blog, later also with larger providers. In recent years, the whole thing has become quite big, and I’ve now managed to place three official wallpapers in the Google “Backgrounds” App, meaning I can currently see my work on any new Android phone worldwide. #bigsmile
@Spreadshirt @spreadshirt_de #spreadshirt >>> SHOP LINK: http://bit.ly/2u5J7wb #Gruselwald #Illustration #Kunst/Dreieck…
What’s the leitmotif connecting all your channels and designs?
With big words like leitmotif I always have a bit of a problem. My designs should put people in a good mood and spread a friendly atmosphere. Or just be nice to look at. Today I specialise in colorful patterns and shapes. One of my principles is HOLD YOUR COLOR, which I also like to convey in my graphics. I always got a lot of positive feedback from the LGBT scene, which I really liked. I’m committed to a colorful and diverse world!
I would even say that badbugs_art is a digital full-time nerd and internet child of the first hour!
What’s this BadBugs thing all about?
A stage name doesn’t really need to be all that meaningful. First I thought of something like “Evil Little Beasts” since I just created cute monsters in the beginning, but that was not so crisp and catchy. Hence the name BadBugs. BadBugs seemed quite promising for marketing purposes, and it was inspired by classic comic names like:
Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, …
We thank BadBugs for this exceptionally colorful, entertaining and insightful interview. You can find out more about him and his designs here on Spreadshirt or on his many websites: