• Art and design

    Carving: How learning a new medium helped me grow as an artist

    For the past 4 months I’ve been trying my hand at lino carving. You take some carving tools and carve out a print on a linoleum block. You then reproduce however many times as you want and then you destroy the block. My first experience with Lino carving was at an art workshop. I was hoping to get some one on one time with the instructor who was well known for black ink illustration and watercolour, my two mediums at that time.   After 3 hours of carving out patterns on erasers I was hooked. My wrist was aching from holding the knife at the wrong angle, my back was…

  • Blog posts,  Rough Rat

    Print-on-demand: why we went with third party printing

    Our store operates through spreadshirt and all our designs are sold print-on-demand. While other brands go the whole hog we opted to instead operate this way and have a purely online presence and sell through a third party printer and shipper. With this in mind, it’s the ideal set up for us. Print-on-demand offers us freedoms that we wouldn’t have if we we involved in every aspect of the store. Below are just a few reasons why print on demand works for us.   We don’t have to invest heavily in manufacturing, storage or delivery   If we were in charge of everything then we would be responsible for printing,…

  • Rats read books
    Art and design,  Blog posts

    Books on art worth reading

    Like so many other self taught artists drawing enthusiasts I got my start by learning from books. I’ve read a few and have some thoughts on them. Here they are.   Fun with a pencil – Andrew Loomis   Andrew Loomis is possibly the godfather of art and illustration in the modern age. His methods are still widely used today by numerous artists and if you don’t think he’s worth looking up then you’ll never get beyond the fundamentals of art.   Fun with a pencil is just one of many books Loomis published to teach art and drawing. Out of all of them it’s not necessarily the best but…

  • A visual summary of how we handled our brand
    Rough Rat

    What we’re doing differently with the brand

    I’ve already touched on the failures of our brand in a previous post. We haven’t given up on our brand. There are a lot of fuck ups. After writing that initial post I gave myself some time to think about how I wanted to go forward with the brand and decided that tackling each thing on the list was probably a good start. I haven’t gotten through the whole list yet but I have made some decent enough progress that I think it’s worth sharing.   So what are we doing differently now?     1) Actually having a backlog of content (kinda)     One of the biggest problems…

  • A visual summary of how we handled our brand
    Rough Rat

    The 10 major mistakes we made with our brand

    This time last year I started a side hustle with my brother designing t shirts and selling them online. To date we haven’t sold more than a handful of shirts. We dropped the ball. With the benefit of hindsight I can say that we did a lot of things a wrong. We built the brand on very rickety foundations. So what did we do wrong?   1: Lack of any real market research   In the beginning, my idea of market research was trailing on insta and seeing what other people were doing. I should have been getting stuck in and asking people directly and networking. Instead I lurked on…