CC/15 - DIY Screenprinting

Jon Wheeler

Bottles of Ink and a Sponge

The beauty of being a small label is the ability to be as intimately involved throughout the production process as you want. The journey of putting an idea onto paper and eventually transforming it into a garment that somebody chooses to wear is a very rewarding experience. The ultimate goal with Clouds & Cups is to create as independently, authentically, and lovingly as possible. That’s why I decided to learn how to screenprint.

I happened across a screenprinting video on Instagram one morning and it set off a little light bulb in my head. “Why don't I try that?!” I thought to myself. After a little reading, I spent half a day driving around town gathering all the materials. I've been trying to reduce my procrastination as much as possible. I'm learning to quicken my decision making process because I’ve realised that my mindset of chasing perfection is a huge stumbling block. This fear of making mistakes results in indecisiveness which leads only to stagnation. I could have put off it off another week and settled for some feeble, bullshit excuse. “I’ll wait until I read a few more articles. I’ll wait until I have an entire day off to do it. I’ll wait until I create some new designs.” We all know those excuses well because they’re the ones you find when you’re trying to talk yourself out of a challenge. This time, I didn’t wait. What would be the point? What was I really waiting for? Absolutely nothing. So I just did it.

Think about that one thing you've considered doing for a while. Learning a skill? Trying something new? Perhaps breaking or forming a habit? The truth is, almost none of the excuses we make are actually prohibitive factors. We put things off because we’re waiting for the ‘ideal circumstances’ from which to start. It's a fear of risk-taking. That ideal moment you’re looking for will never come because everything around you is constantly changing. Let go of chasing perfection and focus all your energy on taking that first tiny step. Accept that you're not going to get things right the first time. Create little increments of forward movement and see what happens. No one is stopping you from doing anything because it's all in your head. We all procrastinate. It’s natural to hold off from doing things that pose challenges, but if you don't face it, you're not going anywhere. Don’t just be someone with an idea - be someone who is making a decision for themselves. No one can do it for you but yourself.

We're lucky in this day and age to be surrounded by such an abundance of free learning material. Everything I've learned so far was found on the Internet. It's actually mind boggling how much you can learn for free nowadays. Because I had built up screenprinting to be an extremely challenging and scary process in my head, I was actually surprised by it’s relatively straightforward nature. With a little prep and research, it's not terribly difficult to pull some decent prints right off the bat. They're not perfect by any means but that's the beauty of it. The prospect of improvement is the most exciting part. The first step has been taken and what lays ahead now is a long path of trial and error, practice, and research. I’m constantly refining my ghetto, DIY setup and working hard towards pulling my first proper prints for Clouds & Cups. I'll be sharing more details about the process in the weeks to come. Now go forth, and stop procrastinating!


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