Hateball

Hateball 2061 Capsule Collection


Seven Styles. I made Seven Different Styles this time. I don’t…know what possessed me to do it, but I feel good. Sure: I’m a couple days into the preorder period (that I had to establish so that I could afford to make these things) and there really haven’t been many orders, but, well: I’m glad I did it. I want to wear these shirts.

I suppose this is the third proper year that I’ve made a ‘batch’ of tees. Initially there wasn’t very much unity between the styles…I was literally just printing some t-shirts that would fit me. I was huge. Last year had similar motivations: I had lost a bunch of weight and needed to re-center my wardrobe around some staples…and I figured why not design them? Those shirts (2051 capsule) were increasingly strange and laden with messaging, and, well, I didn’t really make them easy to get.

This year was maybe an opportunity to lean-in on concept and not be so bound to the practicalities of everything. After all: I’m not chasing clothes that fit…I have those. And I’m not stumbling into a capsule concept…this time I had my eyes open the whole time. But man…why wasn’t I able to edit down my ideas? Why so many different designs?

There’s no answer, really. I just wanted to. And I figured out a slightly better mechanism than last year for protecting me from sitting on droves of unsold t-shirts at the end of it.

What’s more, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to define the Hateball aesthetic. The rules, as it were. My interest in this topic is broader than these t-shirts, but, while I was putting together the designs, I noticed some patterns and trends that are worth noting here, since, well, I think these phenomena would proof out in the larger setting of the brand at large. The formula as I see it:

////

The bottom-bottomest line, I think, is still the same: I wanted some new t-shirts. I wanted to make t-shirts that make me feel as proud (yet stealth, frankly) as the ones I made last year do, but I’m feeling more confident about it (I guess) in some ill-defined way. It’s…an interesting feeling for sure.

The investment that comes with a project like this is not insubstantial…and in a certain light, attaching triple-zero number to the desire to have a couple new t-shirts is…indulgent. But! The hope is that at least a few of the folks who are familiar with my brand, or maybe they’re familiar with and passionate about the pop-culture hook that I’ve chosen for a style (etc.) will hop in and grab a shirt or two. Not for gain or profit…but purely for subsidization.

I’ve recently received criticism from known/loved/trusted sources that says I’m hedging against keeping this brand too personal. Too hobby. I’m really making it impossible for myself—and everybody else—to really become invested in this thing as a business. This particular advice was given to me in the context of the toys but, well, I see it ringing true for these shirts as well. For all of it. Not sure what I think.

I know that there have been a few instances where I’ve tried to make my work more accessible…to be something a bit more (in my mind, at least) likely to ‘blow up’ or open the aperture on what types of people would take interest. And I’ve been wrong. Like, really wrong. I think I’m even sort of happy about it. Relieved maybe. I’m glad that I don’t know how to make a hit. It seems I don’t even really know how to properly sell out.

And so I’ll keep making stuff that makes sense to me. I’ll keep doing stupid shit like baking dates into the designs and selling things at random. I’ll keep making stuff to lose money on because really, this is just my personal art hobby. And anybody choosing to pay attention, make a purchase, or follow along is incredibly appreciated as a fan moreso than a customer.

###

Note: I went on to decode each style to a more or less semi-complete degree but am unsure about whether or not that was for me, for you, or for both of us. Undecided.

< Back to Essays