On a long commute home one hot summer day, I was listening, again, to De La Soul's Three Feet High and Rising, and musing idly over a particular line of lyrics: "I love daisies read her shirt." I, of course, love daisies and coveted a shirt like that of my own, though I wasn't sure the lyrics were meant to be taken so literally. I wondered what that shirt could actually look like, and if there would be words emblazened on it at all. How else would it read, 'I love daisies'? The question stuck in my head, and I often found myself doodling flowers echoing the design of the album art.
I set out to make the shirt by creating silk screens for printing to fabric. These screens I crafted myself by building wood frames and stretching silk mesh across them in the same fashion my mom taught me to stretch canvas for painting. Instead of the usual emulsion and UV burning process to put the design on the screen, I used drawing fluid and screen filler to hand draw my flower designs based on some of my doodles.
Once the screens were dry and ready for printing, I picked a limited color palette reminiscent of the album art and started printing on paper in different colors, first to test the alignment of prints and second to test the combination of colors.
Once I found the color combos I liked best, I printed a first run of 20 on soft cream t-shirts to sell at the maker's fair of Charlottesville Design Week. A few shirts were printed with a single, centered flower in various color combos, but the best seller was the Flower Boob design, where I printed 2 flowers side by side on the chest.
These bright, happy flowers warmed me so much, I started using them to print on more than just paper and shirts. My next project with them was creating a pair of wall tapestries to hang over my bed, printed first with the flowers, then cut and sewn into giant pendants complete with homemade tassels. Another quick project was a tablecloth (the first image on this page) with some split fountain flower blocks.
This is my favorite shirt, and not just because I made it myself. It brings a smile to my face seeing it and reminds me of a hot summer day cruising down the highway, windows open and music blaring. This is a design I'll be reprinting for as long as my homemade screens will hold up.
Pictured here are some of my very first customers (and myself), reveling in their shirts that read I Love Daisies. If you'd like to join the #FlowerBoob shirt squad, check out the available sizes in the LCD Store.
More paper prints are coming soon! I wanted to show off the simplicity of the design while retaining the bright, fun colors, and so I started these black and white prints on colored paper. This full rainbow set will be available along with other color prints on homemade paper in the near future.