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Designer of the Month: Rusty Doodle

In this month’s edition of Designer of the Month, we sit and have a chat with RustyDoodle, Spreadshirt’s very own Peter Pan. A child in an adult’s body, RustyDoodle’s designs bring a whimsy and playfulness to Spreadshirt that is enjoyed by all. His animated, cartoony style is fun and clean, creative and carefree. Have a gander at the article after the jump to learn what food he can’t live without, what programs he uses to create his designs, what he wanted to be when he grew up, and other fun facts about August’s Designer of the Month. Congrats, RustyDoodle!

So Rusty, we’ve noticed that you hail from Singapore. How exactly did you find out about Spreadshirt?

Back in 2013, I started designing and was searching online for businesses who will print and sell my designs. Spreadshirt came up in the search results and I was intrigued with the easy to use and unique vector design interface. My designs involve vectors so I’ve got to try!

Your avatar is a sketch of a young man in an apron with rust-colored hair… is this RustyDoodle personified? If not, where did you come up with such a unique name and what does it mean?

Haha, sorry to disappoint you but I don’t have rust-colored hair. I’m Asian with black hair. My avatar is an expression of my imaginary world where anything is possible. Hence, the hair color. It is also a visualization of how I like myself to be – young, carefree and curious like a child in exploring various interests.

As to the name, I have always liked the name Rusty because if you scrap past all the rust, a precious metal is beneath it. Doodle relates to the manner that I draw, something cute and fun.

It seems like cartoony animals, kids and food are your inspirations. What draws you (excuse the pun) to these themes? Do you have little ones in your life who inspire your designs?

I kid you not (excuse the pun) but I’ve always like children! I wish I have little ones of my own. So I choose the themes based on what I think kids will like or look cute in. Other times, I choose themes with a positive message or those that will make someone smile. It is awesome if I can spread some positive vibes into the world!

What medium do you use to create your art? Are you an old-school pencil and paper artist or do you trend toward the new-school tools like Illustrator, Photoshop, or other digital art programs?

I’ve not been through a formal art education. I create my art mainly using Illustrator and occasionally Photoshop, both which I learned from free online resources. But I do sketch out my ideas using good old pencil and paper.

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When you’re not designing t-shirts, what do you do for a living? Some of us guessed teacher, while others thought nutritionist. Were we right?

Good guesses! Both Teaching and Nutrition are fields that I have strongly considered and who knows I may just join them one day. Currently, I want to develop my passion in art and design a little further so it is freelance designer for now.

We particularly like your food pairing designs like the Cute Coffee and Donut in Love and Kawaii Milk and Cookies. Are these personal guilty pleasures or are you secretly a connoisseur of food?

You got me! They are my guilty pleasures! I love sweet treats especially anything with chocolate. I suppose drawing them out makes me hunger for them a little less, or does it?

What types of art and design influence you? And, maybe a better question… Do you still watch cartoons?

I am beginning to think you are psychic! I read a number of Japanese manga (comic books). So the Japanese kawaii art culture (cute drawing style) and chibi style (child character propositions) definitely has a strong influence over my designs.

What kind of advice could you offer to someone who is looking to open their own Shop on Spreadshirt? Do certain product sell better for you than others? Certain designs?

Unless you have existing followers, I would say you need perseverance and patience for your shop to grow and gain traffic. I got my first sale months after I set up shop.

While designs that appear to a wide audience may seemingly have more opportunities, the competition is tough. I think it is easier if you design with a specific target audience in mind. For example, designs targeting people who are into fitness and exercise like weightlifting and running.

Out of all of your creative and wonderful designs, which one would you say represents you the best and why?

There is still plenty of room for me to grow as an artist. If I got to pick, I will say Cute Christmas with Santa and Reindeer because I feel the joy of Christmas each day working on my passion, art and design. It also feels kind of magical like Christmas, turning my ideas into graphics and having them on products!

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