ahmed husein is a really awesome friend of mine who i met at george brown's school of design who has always been cranking out some of the most impressive illustrations and digital designs i have seen. his work at school always made me want to punch his teeth out with envy, but he inspired me to actually try harder. and that says a lot.
since graduating he's actually been doing something with his design skills, unlike someone i know, and has started his own line of graphic t-shirts. and i want one, two, maybe five or six.
Being an artist/designer the inspiration list is huge cause there is always something to take from everything. I mean, Aubrey Beardsley was and still is amazing to the more recent Barnaby Ward (Somefield). Jeffrey Bowman is a more recent huge inspiration whose style I am trying to emulate and adapt. Fashion is a huge inspiration - I mean I wouldn't be making shirt designs if I didn't like it. I am loving this retro look that got going in 2009. Clark Kent glasses, the skinny tie, blazers for everything... it never ends. And wild haired girls in plaid and tights. Now all I can wish for is 80's style bikinis at the beach; I shall be compete. Oh and Silver print on tees. Silver print in general. Oh, and love. I cannot give enough credit to how inspirational the concept of Love is to me. In every aspect it drives and fuels me. I believe in love completely. And lastly, comic books... the reason I got into illustration and it's still the heaviest influence to my work. Cary Nord, Oliver Coipel, Jeff Jones, R. Kikuo Johnson, Tomer Hanuka, Paul Pope etc.
When did you get into making shirts?
I got into making shirts around February 2009. It was purely accidental, ha. Actually, hold on... if I were really talking about making shirts, I used to buy the cheap china-town tees and used a permanent marker on them. I think I still have one left. It said "Spare some Sugar", ha.
Where and how can we get these shirts?
There still isn't a full fledged working brand right now. I guess if you saw something you liked, drop me a line and I'll work out a way to get you a shirt. I am mostly focused on building a solid design bank so there is substance to sell.
What programs and materials do you use?
Still stuck on Photoshop. It's the best method I have found for my method of work. I might start getting into Illustrator for the solid lines that I am going to need. It comes down to technique. I draw in pencil, overlay with ink, scan and clean up and colors in Photoshop. This would be my method of choice. Sometimes though I work directly into Photoshop with the Wacom. Depends on what the look is I am going for, though I am trying not to limit myself with the materials I use.
Would you wear your own shirts?
I honestly make these shirts for myself! The fact that other people want to wear them is fucking amazing.
What are the pros and cons to running your own shirt line?
Well I can tell you right off the bat that the cons of making shirts, especially when starting out, is funding. It costs a lot and you need to know your numbers before you can print, there is no room for left overs, one-offs are too expensive and there is rarely an opportunity to have a good deal on 10 prints for instance. This is just my limited knowledge. I am still learning the game. Doing it yourself is definitely an option but it is also very limiting with regards to size and multi-colour layouts but it is an invaluable skill to learn. The pro is you can do whatever the hell you want. I mean, what could be better; it is one of the best ways of self expression which is the heart of the whole thing. That pro alone, that single pro is worth every con that can be thought up. I hope thats not a lot .. I kinda ramble. I'm watching Forest Gump right now and I think its making me ramble
you can check out ahmed's official blog at http://sheikhusein.blogspot.com/. he's currently left canada and is spending time in the emirates, then plans on going to india, kenya, south africa then possibly australia. he's also fucking awesome.