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Steve O'Neil is da Milkbomb

My name is Steve O’Neil, and Milkbomb is a kids’ clothing line featuring my kid-and-baby centric silkscreen designs. I’ve always made limited editions of adult shirts, but after our son Sam was born my focus changed and I started kicking out the onsies and kiddy t-shirts. I’ve worked for a while in the technology space so it was pretty straight forward to build an e-commerce site and start selling online.

How did you first get involved with crafting? My parents were always working on arty projects outside of their main line of work, so it always seemed natural to be tinkering with something. I suppose that it felt like the best way to relax was to hang out and make something.

What are your favorite materials to work with? Do you have a favorite color palette? I’ve always enjoyed printing and painting on fabric. Filling in blank fabric is fun! As far as colors go, I seem to gravitate toward bright, contrasting colors that pop. In the last few years, I’ve found that I also really enjoy creating designs directly in my Mac (as opposed to scanning in drawings) because of how much it’s sped up my overall workflow.

What are your inspirations in your art and in life? For the Milkbomb lineup, I get a lot of inspiration from my son, Sam. I try and take a look at life through his eyes and the designs flow naturally. In general, though, I always get recharged by checking out local art galleries and seeing what my friends are up to. I also like to try and take time to scope what’s going on in the big museums. On a wall near my desk I have a postcard from the the Matthew Barney Cremaster show I saw a few years ago at the Guggenheim in NY. It depicts Matthew Barney with his face done up like a pig,  wearing an immaculate white suit and two-tone white and brown wingtips. He’s dancing in front of a blue and yellow backdrop and he’s got this impish smile on his face. That show totally blew me away and that postcard always inspires me.

What is your favorite song or album to listen to while working? I have this 1940’s portable vacuum tube record player and I like to play an assortment of random and wacky vinyl records, mostly from the 1950’s and 1960’s that I’ve picked up at garage sales. Lots of sing-along albums, polkas, cocktail jazz kinda stuff as well as loads of albums dedicated to certain dances such as the Waltz, the Fox Trot, Rumba, etc. Since I didn’t grow up with that kind of music, it serves as kind of a blank slate and therefore a nice backdrop to work to.

Who are some of your favorite indie artist/crafters and why do you love them? I totally dig the “I Heart Guts” plush toys created by Wendy Bryan because they are so unexpected and totally fun. I’m also a big fan of the Turk + Taylor t-shirts because their silkscreen designs are so consistently simple, elegant and powerful.

Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your business? In addition to creating more designs for the Milkbomb lineup, I’m currently working on a series of small and medium sized silkscreened canvases to hang on the wall. In the digital realm, I’m in the process of creating an online greeting card site. So many projects, so little time!

You can check out the latest Milkbomb creations at

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