Bond, Jane Bond. Our latest Designer of the Month creates designs for every occasion. Learn more about their Spreadshirt and designing experience.
Name: Yasemin Stahl
Live in: Hamburg
Occupation: Makeup artist/photo designer
Hardware: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV/Wacom Tablet
Joined Spreadshirt in: 2011
Your designs are incredibly varied. You have letterings and funny sayings, but also very graphic designs and photo art in your assortment. What’s the source of this well-rounded mastery?
It comes down to my job portfolio. I started out as a makeup artist for film, television and photography. Then my focus shifted towards photography; advertising, beauty and portrait are my favorites. I’ve been able to work with many different people and departments . I learned a lot from people around me, including from those using the equipment on the set. They have a particularly good eye for structures and patterns. I tried to snag some creative input wherever I looked.
After a while, I took an interest in camera and lighting technology. I wanted to understand what it was that made makeup look better in photography. That’s why I looked into questions like, “How do camera, lighting and image editing work?” And when I started working with Photoshop, I pretty much knew what I wanted and how I would get there. I was also able to understand the needs of photographers better.
At some point, I felt that I had gathered enough knowledge and experience to start taking pictures myself. I got a lot of input from photo assistants before I got started, and the design aspect was added later. In short, maybe the sum of all these things is what makes me a bit different.
How did you come across Spreadshirt?
I heard about Spreadshirt from a friend of mine who’s an artist. He has a Spreadshop tied in with his website, offering smaller works of art on T-shirts. I gave it a go, and now I’ve been around for quite a few years.
Some of your designs show overlapping images. How do you come up with these ideas?
I’ve always loved the double-exposure effect. I either use this or a drawing as a basis for a design. I’m still in the process of perfecting the double-exposure effects, and that’s the beauty of it: learning never stops.
Posters are relatively new at Spreadshirt. You seem to have embraced the medium right away, and we think your positive messages are also particularly suitable for posters. Do you have a lot of motivation posters at home?
We have a mixture of motivational posters, illustrations and photographs on the walls at home. I find posters with quotations or sayings to be very beautiful in everyday life. They work well as positive mantras, and they spread a good mood.
At my desk to the right of the monitor, I have a picture with the quote: “The head is round so that thinking can change direction”. Whenever I feel stuck, my gaze wanders off to the right. This saying keeps hanging there and pushing me into another direction of looking and thinking.
Another very minimalist typographic design of mine says: “DO NOTHING FOR 15 SECONDS”. I hung it up and put it to the test before uploading it. It works! Everyone seeing it would actually stop and pause for an extended moment. I think it’s a good incentive to slow down, for example, when you come home after a long day.
And then there are days when I get up and feel like “HURRAH.” Then I want to pass on that positive feeling to the world, and I spread the word by means of a poster.
How many designs do you come up with in the course of a week? And how many of your designs end up on Spreadshirt?
That’s very different and depends on how much I have to do with my photography. If I manage to upload a few designs a week, that’s good. But I would like to do more.
Sometimes it only takes an hour or two to create a design, and other times it takes forever to work an idea into shape. For example, the photo of the ink I took underwater was very hard to produce. I had to fill the aquarium, light it up the right way, mix the colors, and change the water over and over again. Photography was the smallest part. Only three designs were yielded from three weeks of intensive work. But it has to be said that those designs make me really happy, as I feel like they are a crucial part of my portfolio!
You have an American, an EU-wide and a German Showroom at Spreadshirt. Are there differences in market-specific preferences?
My designs tend to do better in Europe, especially in Germany. I still haven’t got the right feeling for the American market. Americans seem to like different things than Europeans.
I have German speakers in mind when designing. When an old friend of mine (who now lives in Houston) visited me in Hamburg last summer, we were looking for souvenirs that are “typically German”. It wasn’t easy to find anything, as much of the writing on tourist merch like T-shirts and mugs is in English. This has reinforced my sentiment that it’s important to create things specific to the market.
Do you use Instagram or other social-media channels to improve the popularity of your Showroom? What have your experiences been like?
I use social media less than I probably should. I do want to get more involved as I think it’s important. There’s a Post-it on my PC that says, “Go INSTA!”
I like Instagram and Pinterest, but they also hold great potential as a time-waster. Before you know it, two hours are gone. So I often end up ignoring it.
How do you price your designs?
I make it very easy for myself. I mostly stick to the prices recommended by Spreadshirt.
What three tips would you give fresh designers on Spreadshirt?
First of all, don’t give up too quickly, and keep trying! A marathon victory tastes sweeter than winning a sprint. Then, you should try and channel your spiritual outpourings. Have courage! And last (but not least), just because something doesn’t sell doesn’t mean it isn’t good.
Last question: Your moniker Jane Bond – how much of 007 is there inside of you, and how does it show?
The night before I started selling my designs on the Spreadshirt Marketplace, I watched a James Bond flick. It was still totally present the next day, so I came up with the name Jane Bond. To me, it’s just a fun name and adds a bit of color to my everyday heroes.