The time when I forgot a box full of t-shirts in a van before sending it to scrap and other DIY stories.
After the first few months spent with ‘Menagramo‘, Walter and I decided to produce our first t-shirts. I made the logo, with huge help from our friend Mob, who laughed at me when I showed him my pixel-made draft. Proud of ourselves, we went with our box full of plain black t-shirts to serigraphy located inside the ‘FOA Boccaccio’ in Monza, where our only job was to dry everything with the hairdryer they gave us. Manu, the guy assigned to the print, was also my boxing trainer and he explained to me a couple of things about serigraphy, about which I knew nothing.
After three weeks, and a good live concert, my beloved van left me forever. I sent it to scrap earning 200 Euros (cash, a single banknote, absolutely impossible to spend it in any Italian shop) and I forgot the box with our freshly painted t-shirts in the back of the van. I’ll never see them again. I tell my self that to make up for my own foolishness I’ll have to do something epic. It won’t be enough to pay again for a new set of t-shirts: I’ll print them on my own. I start to watch an endless series of videos about people printing t-shirts in their own living room, I ask myself a thousand questions like “should I push or pull the squeegee?” and I end up spending the 200 euros earned from scraping the van into a serigraphy kit for beginners.
Leaving aside the first moments in which I curse my own thoughtlessness, I started to enjoy it before starting to get the hang of it. I traded a Mercedes Vito with broken injectors for a serigraphy kit and I like it. And I don’t care if the first t-shirts are not alike, if the print is not wash-proof, if I’m technically doing everything wrong. I’m doing something that’s mine, and I’m doing it from scratch. Some friends of mine started to ask me to make their t-shirts too, I ask them to join me in doing the work. I want to share this experience. From time to time I see some of my first work around, maybe they are a bit faded, but they are still there.
Over time and help of some more experienced friends, who I’ll never stop thanking, I started to get the hand of it, and I started to produce my first graphics too. Way too far from everything you could call decent, but I don’t care. I’m still involving my friends into this, and I like it, I enjoy it, it’s a different way to spend an afternoon and drink something together.
And looking back this is exactly how I spent these years between rehearsal room, live concerts and festivals. Hard work and humility, you get your hands dirty, you never stop learning and cooperate with friends or people who will become your friends eventually. The final result can be good, bad or so-so. But it’s yours and it’s honest. And people will appreciate it.
It’s something to be proud of, no matter what.