Like the chill crisp of Autumn, Gettin’ The Skinny is back with another great interview! For this GTS installment, I picked the brain of Threadless Artist Relations Guru™, Luis Romero (@lxromero).
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GTS: Thanks for chatting with Gettin’ The Skinny, Luis! Can you put on your Threadless trunks and do a deep dive into your day-to-day activities as an Artist Relations Guru™?
Luis: Sure! It usually varies a bit day-by-day but the average day involves going through some emails answering questions from artists and reaching out to winners and newly released designs, submission reviews, content creation for our FAQs as well as general Artist Shop support – which you may see in our chat system in your dashboard. On top of that, I also help with design selection.
GTS: Since you have insider access, care to share any spoilers about upcoming designs?
Luis: Let’s just say you guys should expect noods.
GTS: You heard it here first, folks. Who are some other designers (Threadless or otherwise) that inspire you?
Luis: Man, that list is too long to go through, to be honest. I really love Sean Mort’s stuff as well as Christopher Lee. Most of the work that goes through Threadless is a huge inspiration as well, so it’s hard to whittle it down. I try to pull from everyone around me as much as I can. It’s like a revolving door of inspiration.
GTS: Looking through your submissions and Artist Shop designs, it’s fair to say you’re a pretty great designer yourself. What drew you to designing apparel graphics?
Luis: When I first moved to Chicago about 8 years ago my brother took me down to the Threadless store. I had browsed the catalog before once or twice but never paid too much attention to it. After visiting the old store on Broadway, I was smitten and decided to try my hand at it after I found out how the site worked.
My design did not get printed or score very well, so I promptly quit for a few years. After I honed my skills a bit more, I decided to approach it differently and looked around more and sorta fell in love with how different it was to design for apparel than it was for other mediums. It’s something I’m obviously still working on and every day I learn a bit more, but it’s fun to try and make something more iconic than you would on, say, wall art.
The variety of products on Artist Shops also helps because I’ve been thinking of designing for specific products and taking advantage of canvases that were not previously available.
GTS: So does your brother get a cut of all your Threadless sales? 😉
Luis: He gets the satisfaction of knowing he made me a better artist, which I like hanging over his head constantly. I also believe I took him to lunch once.
GTS: I’m not the only one with burning questions, Luis. I’ve asked fellow Threadheads to submit some questions for you. Ready?
Luis: I don’t think I could ever be ready for this…
Rossmat 8 asked: If you could either have your future self from 10 years from now give you advice or your current self go back 10 years and give yourself advice, which would you choose?
Luis: I wanna say I’d love to go back and tell my 20-year-old self to worry less about things and be more open with the people he loved. Hard times are coming, but everything works out well in the end and it helps to know that there’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Also, start running or something. Keeping this weight away at 30 is not easy.
Little G Design wants to know: If you could turn one person you work with into a puppy and one person you work with into a kitten for one day, who would you do it too and why?
Luis: I would turn Carly into a dog. A Shiba Inu to be specific because I know how much she loves them. I’m that good of a friend.
Csweiler demands an answer: If you could only have one topping on your pizza for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Luis: Not pineapple. Sausage, all the way. Wait – this is assuming the cheese is already a topping, right? Then yes, pineapple. No, sausage. Dammit! Sausage is the answer.
Chilyn555 asked: What’s your favorite pun of ALL time ever? (Because I KNOW they’re your favorite thing, especially the ones I make.) Please make up a pun right now that makes you cringe.
Luis: This clip is pretty Jura-sick:
GTS: It’s time to play PICK ONE. I’ll give you two things to choose from and you pick one. Prepare thyself.
GTS: Vivid or Muted?
GTS: Ghouls or Goblins?
GTS: Ham or Turkey?
GTS: Xylophone or Telephone?
Luis: Xylophone. I hate talking on the phone.
GTS: Mike Ditka or Michael or Jordan?
Luis: SPORTS! Jordan.
GTS: Mario or Sonic?
Luis: Mario – beating the snot out of Sonic.
GTS: Checkers or chess?
Luis: I can’t really play either but chess.
GTS: Oreos or Chips Ahoy?
Luis: Oreo used to make a thing called “cakesters” – they were essentially soft oreos. Those.
GTS: Long sleeves or Raglan?
GTS: Roller skates or rollerblades?
Luis: I’m a child of the 90s. Rollerblades.
GTS: Luis – thank you for taking the time to chat today. Before we jump off this tandem bicycle, are there any words of wisdom you’d like to share with the Threadless community?
Luis: Never let Jeff trick you into doing shots.