1AEON, who consists of Gabe Molnar & Leola Olivarez, has been a contributor to our group since the begging. The New York based company started printing shirts in 2004 and became very popular with the one-of-a-kind, multi layered hand silkscreened, colorful tees, not to mention they are mostly glow in the dark. You can find 1AEON items (t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, scarfs) in several stores from NY to Tokyo. 1AEON’s style is inspired by mythological and futuristic imagery (from the site).
Their original designs and DIY feel have drawn us to find out more about their history and inner workings which have proved to be as interesting as the designs themselves. Finding out more about them has been informative and inspirational and hopefully future (and present) designers and fans of their work will agree; as it becomes harder to be original, words of inspiration tell us to just be ourselves and not work towards popular demand, good words. Here’s more!
SF: What got you into designing?
Gabe: Just to get it out of my chest. i would like to think, that im a creative person, always driven to creative art or music and so it was crucial to make something, because at the time i cloth every other social outlets..
Leola: I do the paperwork. Gabe does the designing. I add my input on the designs before they get printed.
SF: Did you go to school for design or find it unnecessary?
Gabe: I wish i did but i believe that you’ve either got an eye for design or you dont. Schools are great to practice and learn different techniques, but i don’t think that schools can give you talent. it most definitely could help to push yourself, or help you meet others interested in the same things as you in the same age group.
Leola: i am finishing school now and have found that as far as art is concerned, school is just for good practicing your talents.
SF: Did you work with another company as an apprentice first ? Have friends with a silkscreen, self taught, was that difficult or rewarding) etc?
Gabe: I learned the basics of silk-screening while working for my friends company (DEATH BY AUDIO) we built hand made guitar effect pedals then painted and silk-screened them. Since I’m terrible at building circuit boards so eventually my job was just making tons of silkscreens . Later, i tried to put some of my own ideas on tee shirts, but I failed a few times before i really understood what’s it was all about. Im a DIY guy and learned that the self taught methods work for me (playing guitar, computer skills, language).
SF:Who is your favorite designer or artist?
Gabe/Leola: right now without any order: Ben Tour,Jacob Bannon, Munk one, Kris Kuksi, Paul Laffoley, Florian Bertmer, Thomas Hooper, Dwid Hellion, Aaron Turner, Seldon Hunt, Josh Graham, Ryan Mcginness, El Greco, Caravaggio..etc
SF:Tell me about your newest ine, What was the inspiration or motivation for the designs?
Gabe: Unfortunately we don’t have any lines, we just spit out ideas randomly, the timing is really accidental. we pretty much just make something and put it out there.
SF: How many of each shirt do you usually make, do you like to keep the collections limited? Will you reprint a shirt if it sells out? why or why not.
Gabe: We like to keep it limited, and on a scale when it’s reasonable for us to do 100% of the production. We re use our screens after a while, so the designs are constantly changing and mixing. most of our shirts are real OOAK(one-of-a-kind).
SF: Any recommendations for others who want to start their own company (design/tshirts)?
Shirts: you’ll need a lot of these qualities: patience, time, finance, business skills, letting things go.
Design: Trust yourself/ be yourself, don’t make them to sell- if you looking for what’s in or what would people like, you’ll end up making (probably poor version ) the same thing that big companies make for cents, and even if you ‘ll end up selling them, people will like you for something you have nothing to do with and it’s sad. Dare to make something that is truly you. If it’ s original, you ‘ll get fans and followers in no time.
Leola: get an accountant and have a business plan. if you don’t you will be screwed with taxes and no direction to take your company. have a clear goal!