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Tattoos and Scars, t-shirts that tell a story

download-2My name is Jen and I make t-shirts. I made my first screen on my kitchen table with a sad face and x’s for eyes with the words no fun. I made t-shirts for all my friends then I decided to try and make them for other people friends. Then for strangers friends. Tattoos and Scars makes t-shirts for people who like to wear t-shirts.

What inspired you to go into the craft business, download-1do you still have a day job? I was inspired by animals and heartbreak at first. I figured other people felt the same way. So I put them on t-shirts. My day job is teaching 4th grade in East Oakland. My students especially like my BUDDY t’s because I call most of them buddy, too.

What do you like best, coming up with ideas or executing them? Executing them. I feel very accomplish when I can transform and idea into something I can see and hold in my hands. And when it comes out exactly as I pictured it or designed it, that’s even better.

downloadWhat’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst? The best thing is teaching people and kids how to screen print and showing them how easy it can be. The worst part is how time consuming the whole process is when you’re working by yourself. I get lonely in the garage and it’s cold in there.

What’s the best advice you have been given about your business or craft practices? Best advice I’ve been given, you should try and sell your t-shirts. The first person to ever by a t-shirt from me was given a hug. She is a very nice lady.

How do you stay inspired? Hmmm, good question. I think what I try to do is pay attention to what’s going on in my head. Especially if I get fixated on something like, bikes or koalas. I have to figure out why I can’t stop thinking about them. How are they connected? How do other people feel about this/that? Can I put it on a t-shirt? Will it make someone smile?

Anything else you would like to tell us about your business? Tattoos and Scars wants you to like them. But understands if you don’t wear a t-shirt all the time. We wear them a lot. The name came from a line in a book, Tattoos and scars, you have to know someone fairly well before you ask about these.

What are your creative influences? Even Hecox, Jeremy Fish, talking animals, bikes, boobs, different types of lines and usually the neighborhood I’m living in. I just moved to Oakland from San Francisco, so my ideas are shifting to what I see around here. Today I saw about 900 strollers and 2 prostitutes. There has to be a t-shirt idea in there somewhere.

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