Like every Tuesday, here we are again with the latest episode of our most popular series, #TshirtTuesday! Where we feature up-and-coming personalised T-shirt brands and interview the designers behind them.
This time around we bring you Olive and her line Gnar. A young designer that during the day designs socks (we wished our day job were as much fun!) and on her spare time works on her streetwear brand which is famous for its golden eye and no, it is not inspired by the Nintendo 64 game.
I hope you enjoy our newest #TshirtTuesday!
Tell us about you, what’s your name? Where are you from? What do you do?
My name is Olivia Kowalczyk, but I go by Olive. It suits me more and has been my nickname since high school. I’m originally from Vernon, NJ but currently reside in Los Angeles, CA. I am a Senior Graphic Designer at a really great company called Feat Socks. I make designs for socks as well as help with new product development.
What about your brand? What’s its name? What makes it unique?
My brand’s name is Gnar. It’s shortened from the word gnarly. It’s a word that stuck to me since I was kid growing up skating and snowboarding. It became a part of my language and the perfect fit for my brand. I think of gnarly not being a negative word but totally positive. Like something is so rad and out there that’s it’s gnarly.
Describe your brand in three words:
Minimal. Abstract. Unique.
Did you have an “Aha!” moment when you realised that designing T-shirts was something you could do for a living?
Yes, I did! I was always obsessed with logos as a kid. Especially in skateboarding. Those shirts stuck out to me in stores the most with their fun and unique designs. So growing up I got into design really young and started making fake shirt designs for actual companies and finding unique ways to incorporate their logos. My brand is fairly young, but I have so many years of experience to back it up and get it to grow and form its look.
Have you had any mentors along the way?
So many! My high school teachers were my main mentors and were the ones to really got me into design. I took graphic design classes my junior and senior year in high school and became obsessed.
What does your design process entail?
My design process is pretty simple. I’m constantly thinking of designs through out the day. So once I get the chance I’ll sit at my computer and let them all pour out. I usually go straight into Illustrator and and start pen tooling. But lots of times I have to sketch things out and plan my work.
Come into the shirt world confident, branded and ready to spread the word.
Do you have any memorable designs you’ve done?
Yes so many but as of recently for my brand it would have to be the Eye logo. I always had a thing for eyes and studying them so it was a no brained for it to be the symbol of my brand.
If you could design a T-shirt for anyone, who would it be?
It would be for Volcom. That brand was most inspirational to me growing up and it still is. I love everything they come out with and their logo is so slick and bold.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting out?
Don’t feel overwhelmed with all the other T-shirt brands out there. Don’t let that intimidate you. If this is your passion then go all out. Start out strong. Come into the shirt world confident, branded and ready to spread the word.
What’s next for you?
Making more designs for my hand printed shirts.
What have you been listening to lately?
‘Hits’ by Totemo has been a recent favorite song of mine.
What have you been watching lately?
Abstract, it’s an amazing documentary series on Netflix. They focus on different artists. I highly recommend. It’s beautifully shot.
What have you been reading lately?
To be honest I don’t read books that much anymore. I usually find interesting articles online to read and the current news.
What food(s) have you been enjoying lately?
I love a good vegan Caesar kale salad or truffle fries.
What have you been wearing lately?
Mostly all black
Featured garments by Gnar:
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