It’s a T-shirt life. An interview with Reece Ward
It’s my great pleasure to introduce one of my favourite t-shirt designers.
He’s responsible for a great many designs you may have seen or bought.
A self-confessed geek who loves t-shirts a little too much.
In a rare interview, from a bunker in darkest Lancashire – I bring you Reece Ward.
So tell us a mysterious or impressive fact that we don’t know about you:
That sounds like a leading question, is it? [we’ll see]
Have you ground your poor little index fingers to the bone searching the Ethernet, Wikipedia, Facebum, and the likes, trying to find and discover a juicy snippet of information that, not only is Reece Ward the famous t-shirt designer, who famously designs t-shirts, but he is also the third generation, fourth cousin twice removed son of a distant relative to His Royal Idiotness The Third Duke of Wessex, who was sentenced to death by buggery for famously eating his own leg with a spoon…? [well that ticks both boxes…]
Unfortunately none of that is true. To be honest I don’t believe anything is known of me. I have only ever done one interview before, and that was for a local magazine (given away free in the local Tesco supermarket) about my paintings. [I’m sure Waitrose (posher than Tesco) will be in contact after this]
I can pretty much guarantee that once this in depth interview is over, you will know even less than you did before, well anything worth knowing.
I can tell you that I’m a graphic designer, living and working near Manchester England.
I live with my lovely wife Kerry and my cat Brian who has fleas. That’s Brian not the wife [points awarded for calling the cat Brian]. I can give you one piece of interesting information…
I taught Brian (cat) to jump through a hoop on command. That’s the truth and I think quite mysterious and impressive. Well not really, but I’m pretty sure we would win Britain’s Got Talent judging by the rest of dismal drivel they put on. If only we weren’t so lazy.
I can see it now ‘Ladies and gentlemen, for your viewing pleasure, and for one night only please give it up for Reece and Brian the cat’. The cheers of the crowd, the flashes of the lights, the smell of the face paint, and the kitty litter.
Humour’s a big part of a lot of your designs. What did you laugh at when you were growing up?
Considering what a miserable old git I’ve become, it’s hard to believe what a happy kid I was. Everything made me laugh when I was a child.
I remember doubling up in absolute agony from the fits of belly laughter and the giggles I would get 4 or 5 times a day. They would probably cause me a myocardial infarction today, but I still miss that feeling.
I guess my t-shirts are humorous because of my poor upbringing.
Growing up in a large poor family in the dank, grey, industrial, impoverished Lancashire, you had to have a sense of humour, That’s all some people had. It’s true that when I was young, growing up, the people where rich in everything but money.
So what inspires you these days?
What inspires me! I think you are asking me “Where do I get all my wonderful ideas and can I give you all my secrets?”
You want me to divulge everything I know, so you too can become rich and famous like me (not). You will make so much money from your t-shirt designs that you don’t know what to do with all that money. You get so much money that you and only one other disgustingly rich person hold the key, the gold key to the special bathroom with the gold effect taps (gasp!), hot and cold running water (wow!) and mirrors that you can see your reflection in (what?). [yes…]
Well yes! Yes you can!
Sorry I mean no, No I can’t! [aaw]
I can tell you that my ideas don’t come that easily, some come from nowhere, when I least expect it and when I’m thinking of nothing in particular. All the ideas for my most popular t-shirts came that way. Others I just had to put down on paper, because they where acting like a handbreak.
If I don’t put them down on paper, I get stuck and I’m not able to get on and think of my next. But I probably think of 4 or 5 t-shirts a day.
I’m my own worst critic, so many don’t get past my drawing pad and some get as far as been published before I change my mind.
What happens in the average Reece Ward day – apart from washing Superman’s underwear?
I’m sure it’s pretty much the same as you. I get up, surf, catch some rays, have a bar bee. kick a dingo. Go walkabout, go the waterhole. go bed.. ripper… [ah yes – Australia. Beautiful one day – perfect the next]
I can’t even face telling you the story of my daily grind. Lets just say for the most part it’s bad, really bad. I’m the graphic design equivalent to ‘Hobson’s Choice’ [shurely not!].
Redbubble is the only thing that keeps me going. I pretend to myself that the people commenting on my work mean what they are saying, and it gives me a nice warm feeling inside my belly [I’m fairly confident the positive reaction is genuine!].
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
One day I will be discovered. Maybe someone will read this interview, see what nice person I am and take me from this miserable life. Someone will say “Hey Reece, you are quite talented. Leave that crappy, poorly paid job where no one respects you. Here have loads of lovely money, and come and work for us, designing silly t-shirts all day, every day for the rest of your bloody stupid life”. Amen!
Amen indeed [Reece retreats to advanced hoop training with Brian]
Reece Ward’s t-shirts and art can be found and bought online at redbubble.com.
Matt Simner is a T-Shirt designer and software guy who grew up in dank, grey, industrial, impoverished West Midlands, but escaped to Australia – and recognises who should win Britain’s got talent.