Funny Acronym Ideas (FAI)

by Michael Essek   ·   Updated: March 28, 2023

One of my most-frequented websites when working on new ideas is

It’s basically a big ol’ dictionary that displays related words, phrases containing certain words, and a whole lot more.

One of the things it can do is ‘expand’ words – so you can put in a word – and get back phrases that spell out that word…

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One (Easy) way to come up with better pun ideas

by Michael Essek   ·   Updated: March 28, 2023

Today – I have a website to share that can help you come up with better ideas. 

So – if you’re just getting started creating designs for products –  and have no idea what to design around – read on for a neat exercise to help you prime your idea muscles.

You know the whole ‘sharpen your axe first’ thing? That’s good advice.

Far too many designers get caught in the weeds early on – obsessing over ‘research’ and ‘keywords’ and ‘niches’ – and missing the more fundamental principles of what makes for a great design:

Humour, a strong concept, and the right design approach.

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Why T-Shirt Designers Should Put Faces on Things

by Michael Essek   ·   Updated: March 28, 2023

People love faces.

We’re naturally attracted to things with faces.

(take for example the ‘faces in things’ instagram account).

It’s why mascots and characters are so popular, and why they show up in so many brand and company logos.

(which reminds me of another fun twitter account I follow – the weird and wonderful mascots of Japan).

Given the innate appeal of mascots and characters – it’s surprising that so many T-Shirt designers ignore this – and instead rely on illustrations and graphics that are ‘faceless’.

I see a lot of designs that feature bland, generic graphics – silhouettes or lifeless objects of some kind.

That’s fine in certain situations – but if you want to really connect with your audience – you should consider ‘characterising’ your illustrations.

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4 Hard Things To Do (For Designers Who Want To Grow Fast)

by Michael Essek   ·   Updated: March 28, 2023

Have you noticed that we all gravitate towards things that are easy?

Short cuts, tactics, tricks, hacks. 

Everybody is looking for the easiest way to achieve anything. 

So here’s a crazy idea for you: don’t do that. 

Instead, look for the hard things. 

For example – what is the hardest thing you could be doing right now? 

What are those things that you don’t want to do, that are challenging and painful – but that you know would have a big impact on your business if you did them, or got better at them? 

You may not know what those are for you right now – but if you’re trying to make a living from your art – I have a few suggestions for ‘hard things’ you might want to consider…

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T-Shirt Idea Methods

6 Free T-Shirt Idea Methods For Any Niche, Topic or Trend (A Step-By-Step Guide)

by Michael Essek   ·   Updated: April 26, 2021

Generating original design ideas is a skill every T-Shirt designer should develop.

If you can come up with unique, funny and witty ideas on-demand – then you can hop on the latest trend with ease, create loads of winning designs to build your brand, and flood your Print on Demand accounts with high numbers of buyer-friendly products.

In this Step-by-step guide I’ll share 6 Idea generation techniques that will work for ANY niche, topic, trend or market – simply follow the steps below and you’ll be generating your own unique ideas in no time at all.

Note: If you find this guide useful, then you’ll love my Ideas Workshop course – a comprehensive class teaching everything I know about creating original design ideas that sell. Find out more here.

Ok – let’s get into the guide, and start generating some original ideas!

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Creating A T-Shirt Design In Procreate

How To Make T-Shirt Designs With Procreate

by Michael Essek   ·   Updated: March 25, 2021

Is it possible to create a great looking T-Shirt design just using Procreate on the iPad?

The answer is yes – but there’s a few things you should bear in mind.

In this video, I walk you through my T-Shirt design process inside Procreate on the iPad – covering everything from illustration, to adding custom text, to finishing off with textures and a vintage effect.

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Obinsun Interview: Cute Skulls, Cats, Rainbows – Oh My!

by Michael Essek   ·   Updated: July 20, 2020

Joel Robinson (aka. Obinsun) is an artist I’ve admired for a while.

You’ll regularly see his work being promoted and featured on the homepages of Redbubble, Teepublic or Threadless – and his simple but attractive style is highly recognisable.

Joel was kind enough to answer some questions from me about how he got started, what his creative process looks like, and what advice he would give to up and coming T-Shirt artists.

Let’s get into it!

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Merch by Amazon Phone Cases: 6 Tips To Boost Sales

by Michael Essek   ·   Updated: January 5, 2023

Phone Cases have landed at Merch by Amazon – allowing artists to create designs for iPhone and Samsung cell phone cases, across various models.

In this article I’ll cover the basics of the phone cases, show you how to setup your artwork for optimum results, and share 6 tips and tricks to help you identify target markets for your designs.

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How To Sell On Teepublic: The Definitive Guide [With 8 Top Selling Tips]

by Michael Essek   ·   Updated: January 5, 2023

Welcome to How To Sell On Teepublic – my comprehensive guide to selling your art on Teepublic.

Whether you’re just getting started with Teepublic – or if you’re a succesful Teepublic designer already – this guide has something useful for you.

I’ll explain how Teepublic works, why it’s a great place to sell your artwork, and give you 8 practical Teepublic selling tips that will help grow your sales.

So let’s dive in!

Sell On Teepublic

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Printify Sample Order

How To Place Your First Printify Order

by Michael Essek   ·   Updated: March 23, 2020

Are you thinking of trying out Printify as a potential Print on Demand Fulfilment Partner – but not sure where to start?

If so – I got you. In this article I’ll show you how you can place a sample order with Printify, without having to integrate with any marketplace or storefront. 

In other words, you can test the quality of various Printify providers, without the effort of setting up a full integration. 

I’ll show you:

So let’s dive in!

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