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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings everyone. I would like to introduce myself since I am not only new to this forum but also the t-shirt industry as a whole. My name is Alex and I like to consider myself a cartoonist; I have been drawing cartoon character’s since I was a kid but I was sidetracked by my day job for years and I feel like it had a huge detrimental impact on my drawing abilities. So, when most people were making New Years’ Resolutions, I decided that 2014 would be the year that I really stepped up my game and in the process work on creating my own brand of graphic tees.
The main reason I wanted to jump into the already saturated T-shirt business is because I noticed a trend of laziness amongst many t-shirt brands. It seemed to me that my personal style of drawing was unique enough and would really stand out from some other “brands” that just make pretty typefaces and derivative designs (e.g. Keep Calm and…). If you are at all interested in seeing some of the designs I am currently working on; check out my online portfolio at Behance (https://www.behance.net/drngd).
As you will see, I am trying for a very niche market. I was asked the other day to describe my brand and I came up with two phrases that I think sum it up pretty much: “Classic Cartooning style meets modern horror culture” or my favorite “Chuck Jones meets Dexter.” Since I know most of the members of this forum have been in the industry for years; I would love to hear from some of you and see what I can do to make my brand successful or to find out that I really should stay with my day job.

I look forward to hearing from you all.
Alex R. Ruiz
 

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Looks to me like you have plenty of talent Alex. Not only in cartooning, but your other digital art renderings as well.
Starting up a brand is no easy task, but you have come to the right place to learn what to do.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the complement Bill. Most people who see my work say that I have raw talent; but sadly, we are our own worst critics. Sad to say,but my 16 year old son is definitely the more talented one in the family - i often joke that he makes me look like I draw with crayons. But I love drawing and cartooning, and after working for the past 20 years in Engineering - a field known for not being friendly towards creatives - I need to do this. I do not expect to be sucessful but I yearn for a creative outlet and I want to do what I love. The business side of things are easy for me - thanks to my day job - but I love the challenge of designing shirts that others will love. And maybe one day, I could lose the title of "Big Geek" and earn the title of "talented and respected cartoonist." If I fail at building a brand, I will learn from my own mistakes and do it all over again...and again....and again; all the while I hope to become an active member here and learn from all of you.

Sorry wordy...I love to write and after a few cups of coffee and my A.D.D. medication; I tend to push too many keys on my keyboard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As requested, I created an album with some of my ideas I am working on. Since I am new here, I am not sure how link my album...if it is even possible. I wish I could show more, but most of my designs that I really love are still in my sketch books and I haven't had a chance to even come close being ready to share them. On the ones I do have in my album, most will probably not make it into my first brand collection and many still need a lot of work. But at least ya'll can see my drawing style.
 
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