Silly T-Shirt Design

My love for fashion and silly design

There are no guilty pleasures. If you like something you like it. For example, I like fashion. Ever since that one day in 1997. I was in a dentist waiting room and didn’t pick up Micky Mouse but Brigitte, a women’s magazine. I glared at an article about Versace. The dresses! The colors! The models! I was an elementary school kid and suddenly realized there is a world outside rural Celle. A fancier world. Beyond functional kids clothing, Zwiebellook und „wear whatever your older siblings didn’t wear out“. Thus today, I made a silly t-shirt design.

Ever since 1997, I was a fashion designer. I drew everyday, new patterns, styles, prints. Just for myself. I loved going to the dentist because I knew there would be those magazines. Even today. I go to the dentist because of the yellow press. But I never much cared for looking styled myself. I like fashion, passively. People sometimes tell me I’m fancy because I always wear dresses. I do that out of laziness. With a dress you look dressed – without having to match two separate pieces! Who has time for that? I’d wear onesies if they had pee holes. And also since 1997, I have that same hair style. Anna Wintour picked it up from me.

On Saturday, I went “shopping”. Which means I didn’t buy anything. Got enough dresses. I’m a bad customer. Instead, my hands wander through fabrics, inspect new color combinations, examine latest forms. The endless clothes rail of exuberance makes me happy because it stimulates my senses. And at one store, they had advertised a t-shirt design contest. I love winning. I love designing. I love deadlines. (And deadline was that same day).

Whenever I see a design contest, I participate

Whenever I see a design contest, I participate. No matter if it’s t-shirt design or ugly door design (see below). Best part about contests: It’s playful. No one can tell you what to do when you don’t take money for it. It’s just for myself. An exercise. And if anyone likes it, even better. But so far, I was never lucky:

– I drew a theatre poster for the play Der Räuberhotzenplotz (my finely detailed drawing lost against someone’s bulky blots)
– I designed a metro card for the Stockholm underground (a monkey with bananas. I lost)
– I made a logo for a local dog training school (second place and a certificate of participation!)
– At my home town’s gas station, I won second place for designing “the gas station of the future” (I was 10. It included huge bears and a roof top slide. I won a sweet disc man.)
– On vacation, I participated in a drawing contest of the navy sail training ship Gorch Fock (which ten years later, was the ship the navy trained me on. And, later that same day of the contest, rammed the harbor wall and lost its figurehead. My drawing still hangs on my parents’ wall.)
– I came up with an idea to beautify the ugly entrances of my Alma Mater Ruhr Uni Bochum (3rd place and a flower bouquet! When you google my name [yeah I do that] you can still see photos of the prize-giving)
– (…) You get the idea. I don’t make a lot of money.

Design from one amateur to many amateurs

For this week’s t-shirt design contest, there are no rules: Just “something on a white shirt”. I wanted to create a design that is playful, simple and unisex. From one amateur to many amateurs. In my head, the image of a superhero mask popped up – a last minute costume for „real emergencies“. A print with cut out lines. Example: You’re at a party and don’t know what to talk about when suddenly someone talks to you because of your outfit:

„Hey what a sweet t-shirt!“

– „YES, thank you. Look! It’s a superhero mask. You just cut it out, cut out a string from the end of the shirt and tie it around your head!“.

„Cool! Save the world. Don’t forgot to cut the eyes out! Wait no, don’t cut them out on your eyes. Is there a doctor here??? Help!“.

Here’s the design process:

 

 

t-shirt design
Nothing good happens on a screen. Before I use a computer, everything is drawn by hand with pen and paper.

 

 

t-shirt design
I digitalize the drawing in Adobe Illustrator and play around with it.

 

 

t-shirt design
The final design.

 

 

t-shirt design
More color suggestions.

 

 

Post Scriptum: I didn’t win! So I gotta print my t-shirt design myself. But hey, I got a thank you email from that company.

Stand-up for the Ladies

There are 72.246.655 hashtags with the word #blessed on instagram. Enough reasons to not use that word myself. But this week I was blessed. On Monday, my first comedy and cartoon gig went great (pics coming soon). And on Tuesday, I hosted my show “Stand-up for the Ladies” at Haus73 Hamburg. We were seven female and two male comedians. Take that, mainstream comedy shows booking only one woman, if at all! And three of them had their first gig ever that night on my stage. First performances are always historic! It was a great show. So great, that afterwards I didn’t even mind taking the 4 hour night bus from Hamburg to Berlin. I expected the bus driver to announce the stop Berlin – he did not! I didn’t set an alarm. Thankfully, I woke up by myself. If not, I would have woken up at final destination Prague! Auch schön.

And thanks to Sergey Sanin, I got nice photo proof from the show.

PS: On Thursday, I commuted again to Hamburg. I hosted a comedyshow at a hair salon. (yeah, big theaters, my time will come eventually). At the end, eight police officers showed up. “Neighbors alarmed us. They suspected a burglary because they heard a strange noise”. What, laughter? A burglary disguised as a comedyshow! Only in Germany. And yes, after the show I again took the night bus back to Berlin – and set an alarm. 

 

Host und Holzfäller

 

 

Me and my improv Buddy Regina performing GRUNZ & REMPEL (A German improv version of Antique Roadshow)

 

 

Our “company logo”

 

 

I had to make sure I had the right crowd in the room because in the room next door there was a political panel discussion – and a few guests actually confused the rooms and came a few minutes late to my show

 

 

The show title could also be “Nice people performing good comedy” <3 thankful and…. #blessed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Comedian at Rednergilde

Tomorrow, I’m guest speaker and guest comedian at Rednergilde Hamburg. The networking event’s  topic is „future“. I’ll talk about future (in German: Zukunft) from my personal, comedic point of view. Since I found out I’m going to have a big screen with me on stage I thought I might as well use it: I prepared fun slides, hand written and illustrated. They look unique and stylish. But I gotta be careful, there is no auto correct for hand writing. Don’t wanna stand there, do stand-up, and have my name accidentally spelled wrong behind me. I did my best. And here is a little sneak preview for you:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improv Comedy Workshop with Molly Thomas (UCB)

My Instagram down, my hacked website back on. Maybe all those hackers are actually nice people, trying to tell me to detox from the internet. Engage more with real life. And so I will. It’s time for improv comedy!

June 8. – 14. 2017, there will be an improv comedy workshop in Hamburg. The teacher is Molly Thomas from Upright Citizen Brigade Theatre in New York City. There are two spots left. So if you’re interested, go ahead, be quick and sign up at hhimprovworkshop @ gmail.com!

 

Improv Comedy

 

Wait. What is improv Comedy?

„Improvisational comedy is a form of theater in which everything is made up on the spot. The characters, plot, setting, and all other aspects of the story are being created in that very moment, never to be repeated again. Most performers make it look easy, but improv actually takes years of practice, diligence, and stage time. And while the curriculum being taught in classes and rehearsals is specific to improv, the lessons can all be applied to everyday life – and, if practiced, can lead you to an existence that is more engaging, more fulfilling, and all around happier.“ Kim Quindlen

I took my first improv comedy classes during my comedy apprenticeship in California. It took place in the building of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. In a windowless room at the end of the greyest hallway maze of offices. Creativity does not need a ball pool. Every Tuesday, the entrance hall welcomed me with a royal blue vault with golden, fluttering letters. Like a fancy alphabet soup. Centerpiece was a shared kitchen: In the fridge, the food was labeled „please eat“. This must be heaven. Before every improv class, I ate  journalists‘ leftovers. Adding more alphabet soup to my brain. And during class, I would spit it out. Metaphorically.

 

Improv Comedy
My San Francisco Improv Class: Me starring as a rejected date at a fun fair.

 

 

I learned so much from Improv Comedy

And I keep learning and using it. To most people, improv is a place to be crazy. To me, improv is finally a place to be normal. It has taught me so many things. That my humor is even darker than I thought it was. And that it’s okay. That it doesn’t hurt to listen to other people. Wait what did you say? That everyone has something to offer. Not just food. Everyone is interesting if you ask the right questions. What’s your favorite office tool? And that everyone can contribute: Improv is like a playground without bullies.

Let’s play?

 

 

Improv Comedy
Fancy alphabet soup vault