Ryan Jones

Poursuite | Designer

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Poursuite | Quality Goods

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Class is in session.

It's that time again and I couldn't be more excited about it! Jeff's always dropping gems and I'm forever appreciative for his time and his willingness to share information with us. 

Welcome! To those students who are new to Jeff's classes and welcome back to those who have been around. For all of us are taking a calculated step in the right direction. 

I'll be updating this page a few times a week to take you along my journey of creating an amazing t-shirt design. I also started a discussion welcoming everyone to the class. It's also a precursor to my writing style and how I approach things.

Check it out here to get the gist of things.

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I'll start off with an introduction. My name is Ryan and I hail from the Caribbean Island's northernmost city...New Orleans, LA. The name of my brand is "Poursuite" which when translated means "in pursuit of" or "of continuation" in French. Our slogan is "Carry On" which is inclusive in it's thinking. Basically, meaning we both know what we are supposed to be doing so no time for BS...let's get to it.

For those that aren't familiar with me or my brand and how Jeff's classes catapulted me into the fashion industry please continue reading. You see, I took and participated heavily in Jeff's first class titled "How To Start Your Creative Product Company." We were to create a brand name, brand logo, brand slogan, product designs, the inspirations behind them and lookbook visuals showcasing our designs. 

After the deadline, Jeff and his team chose the Top 50 emerging brands out of nearly 1000 designers from across the globe (now the class has nearly 10,000 enrolled students). Once chosen, those 50 designers gain free entry into the industry's premier tradeshow...the Agenda Tradeshow and the newly added Agenda Emerge speaking series. Well, by the grace of a higher power Jeff and his team chose my brand as part of the Top 50.

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I attended all three tradeshows was living literally a block away from the Long Beach show so I walked there. Flew to NY during a terrible snow storm that made me and a bunch of other people miss the first day of the show. Then later drove alone to Vegas to attend that show. 

It's nothing short of my willingness to go above and beyond in seeing my ideas materialize from ideation to finished product that got me here. And I don't plan on stopping no time soon. It was there at those tradeshows that I became heavily involved in the business of fashion. It is there where I met the partner of a recently moved showroom from NY to LA that was looking for a team of sales reps to handle sales & distribution for a range of streewear brands. It is there where I learned the ins and outs of the fashion industry and how it works on the corporate level of things. 

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Wow - that seems like so long ago. Crazy how time flies. I've learned so much since and I couldn't be more grateful.

To get a bit more backstory on my brand and how Jeff literally changed my life for $10 checkout my project pages in Jeff's first and second classes here and here

I look forward to connecting with everyone and seeing your designs!

Until next time.

Peace.

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Update - Sun 2:16AM

Module 1: Power Of The "Tee"

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Beautiful isn't it?

It's a Mardi Gras Indian "second lining" down the street with a tribe of supporters. If you haven't been to New Orleans before than chances are you've either heard about these breathtaking costumes by someone who's visited before or have seen them on TV shows/documentaries. | VIEW HERE: HBO Show - Treme

For those that don't know anything about them let me give you a brief history (watch video above too).

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During the late 1740s and 1750s, many African slaves fled to the bayous of Louisiana where they encountered Native Americans who assisted them on their journey for freedom. As an act of tribute to the Native Americans who helped them it has been tradition to hand sew these extravagant costumes and chant a mixture of Native American and African hymns. 

The procession begins with “spyboys,” dressed in light “running suits” that allow them the freedom to move quickly in case of emergency. Next comes the “flag boy,” an ornately dressed Indian carrying a token tribe flag. Closest to the “Big Chief” is the “Wildman” who usually carries a symbolic weapon. Finally, there is the “Big Chief.” The “Big Chief," usually the most decorative of them all, decides where to go, which path to take, and which tribes to meet (or ignore) for settling whatever problems needed addressing.

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Hmm, what issues could I address in my t-shirt design? Something that not only looks good aesthetically but something that could evoke emotion with its message. I have a few ideas but I need some help getting my ideas into design form. I know a few people who may be able to help me but any of my classmates willing to lend a helping hand? 

Update coming soon.

Peace.

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Update - Sat 2:17AM

Module 2-3: Production Processes & Types of Shirts

Can I Kick It? (waits for response)

Yes, you can! Is the response for those that don't know haha.

Can I Kick It? (waits for response)

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Aight y'all I feel like its been too long since I've updated my page. What's been good? I see that we have bookoo students enrolled in the class since it first started -- bookoo is New Orleans slang for "a lot" or "plenty of" or whatever else means more than a few haha. It's actually a French deritive of the word beaucoup.

Anyway!

After searching for someone to illustrate my ideas into design form I found a dope designer using one of today's most valuable social connecting tools...Instagram!!

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What do you think? I'm curious to hear your feedback.

I think it's a great first draft of what I envisioned!

I love this process because this is where you get a chance to "bake in" your brand's creative attitude and vision. It's funny that Jeff mentioned that in the "Types of Shirts" video at the 5:16 mark.

In one of Jeff's previous classes I mentioned a book by Alex Bogusky called "Baked In: Creating Products & Businesses That Market Themselves." It's a great read that will broaden your perspective on how you approach your creative endeavors..with focus on products of physical form. View here.

Speaking of perspective....take a look at the pic below.

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In which way did you read it? From left to right on the left panel only and worked your way down ending at "You're worthless." Or did you read across the two panels from left to right working your way down the page ending on the right panel at "You can change the world?"

Persepctive is everything!

When you read only the lefthand panel by itself its more of the "naysayers" mindset. Shutting others ideas down saying and I quote "you're worthless." Those types of individuals should not be anywhere close to a creative person's circle of friends. It would be toxic.

Take a step back and read both panels starting on the left and moving right with the first sentence being "Art is pointless without passion."

At first I only read the left panel by itself. When I read them both together I was blown away!!

Goes to show you that you should look at the entire picture instead of seeing only what's in front of you. The two sides are even aesthically different whereas the left side is dark and shady where the right side is the opposite. Making it a perfect representation of a yin-yang type of relationship.

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After carefully studying my initial design I wrote down all feedback, suggestions, etc. and shared them with my designer. After going back and forth for a while about the suggestions I had that would take this design over the top I think my designer and I are on the same page. After seeing the first draft, the idea that popped in my head was like "POOOOOFFF." Kinda how Jeff is mimicking in the pic above haha.

I hope that both of us are on the same page because time is ticking and I have to get it to my manufacturer.

Speaking of my manufacturer...I haven't been this excited about something in a while! Idk how I found them but, me being me, I did and I think that they are perfect for what I'm doing right now. I can almost guarantee that no one is doing anything like this right now. I'm excited to be introducing it to the world via this platform.

I think that the final design will impress the masses and will blow all of you away. There goes my speaking things into existence again lol. I kid but I mean it though. I was speechless when I saw how game changing and super cool their process was.

Ever had a moment where you knew you couldn't explain what happened and was immediately impressed by it because you knew that you actually could explain it?

Back to that later. Remember that I mentioned them later on!

Til next time.

Peace.

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Update - Monday 11:38PM

Module 4: T-Shirt Manufacturing

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Yikes!

If it isn't one thing it's another!

The above is an email from my manufacturer in response to them making my t-shirt designs. Not only should I change the color of the design but they also cannot make my order in time. However, they did tell me that they could sell me the ink and have it made locally at a T-shirt shop.

Hmmm...that got me thinking about what else could I do to make this happen!

What's the old saying?

When one door closes, open another one!

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With funds being tight for the holidays I started to think to myself how could I make this happen. My friends are very supportive in my creative endeavors and always rock the hat that I made after Jeff's first class and are always asking me when am I dropping new product.

After explaining to them what's going on a few of them opted in as they thought that it was a dope design and idea. Several more of my homies opted in to make this possible which is making this thing even more of a reality for me.

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Speaking of reality...I usually watch inspirational videos before I update my Skillshare page just to get the creative juices flowing. I watched a few videos by Jeff within his 1-2-1 series. This time I rewatched the segment with Rastaclat founder Daniel Kasidi and something that stuck out to me was when Daniel briefly descirbed how Rastaclat was founded upon his "creative instincts." It made me realize that I should follow my guts in making my dream become a reality. And you know what? I won't stop!

It also made me realize that everything happens for a reason...I'm a firm believer in that!

Case in point is the random encounters that I've had with Jeff since placing Top 50 in his first course. I remember one time when I was leaving my apartment in downtown Long Beach to walk to the record shop to do some crate digging. I walk outside of my apartment and I see a bald Asian guy standing in front of a group of people talking on the patio of the bar next door. And I'm like...naaah it couldn't be!

Sure enough it was Jeff. So I grab a seat on the patio doing I don't know what but I did know for sure that I would wait until Jeff is done talking to chat with him briefly. We talked for a few minutes and I remember asking him "When's your next Skillshare class?" His response was "Not sure yet. I'm still working on the topic but it'll be a good one."

And now here I am!

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I also rewatched the 1-2-1 video featuring rapper Common. He said something profound that stuck out like a sore thumb to me. Referring to his debut track "Take It EZ" Common said that it was like holding his dream in the palm of his hands. That's the same feeling I had when I received the first t-shirt design from my printer. Euphoria is a great way to describe it.

Oh and I forgot to mention...Jeff designed the cover of Common's debut single.

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I was so appreciative of Jeff's first class and the knowledge that he dropped on us that I gave him the only shirt that I had printed. Some may not agree but I felt that it was a must that I return the favor. After all this shirt only exist because Jeff put the fuel underneath me to create and I'm forever appreciative of that.

I wonder if he ever wore it.

Until next time.

Peace.

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Update: Tuesday, December 15th 1:42PM

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Heavy sigh!!!!!!!

I just want to scream!!! 

This was the message from my printer about the ink that I wanted to purchase from them last week in order to have it here this week. 

I've been going through it lately and been running all aroudn the place like a chicken with my head cut off haha. Yesterday, I went to add money to my paypal account via a Paypal Cash card that you can pick up from any CVS, Walgreens or Walmart. 

Okay cool - I visited 5 different locations and all of them were sold out at each location! Since I couldn't load money onto my account by 1PM PST I missed the shipping window for yesterday. Meaning that now, today, I have to pay an extra $60 to have the ink overnight shipped to me. It sucks but I have to do it!!

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After I spoke with the homie of mine that just opened a screenprint shop in my old neighborhood said that he couldn't make it happen for me I was stuck! I visited a few local screenprinters but all of them had to go through a middle man to make it happen meaning that it'll take some time to get the product back. 

Time isn't something that I have too much of right now. So, I'm back to square one again. My roommate mentioned to me that there's a local screenprinter down the street from us that I should check out. 

As soon as I walked up to this place...I knew that this was it! I walked in and talked to John and asked about custom design orders. Any order minmums? "Yes, 24 is our minimum" was his response. 

Uhh okay. I told him about this class and that I at least need 1 shirt by Friday and asked "What can we do to make at least 1 shirt happen by Friday?" His face lit up with interest as he didn't know of Jeff but thought that it was really cool that I was participating in it. 

"Tell you what...send us the artwork and we'll make it happen for you by Friday." 

"Dude you're a fuckin lifesaver" was my response!!! 

He suggested that I provide them with the shirt to press so that we can save some time. No problem!!

"Do you drink bro? I can buy you a beer or something" is what I told him...joking but dead serious!

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I've made progress - ink paid for and shipping out today, design finalized after going back and forth for a while (over 60 emails within our thread) and artwork sent to screenprinter. 

Whew! All in a day's work of making your dream a reality!

The old saying is "The difficult I do immediately, impossible takes a little while longer."

It's crunch time everyone! I wish you all the best. 

Update coming soon.

Until then...carry on!

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Update - Wednesday, December 16th 2:30PM

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Aight. Yo, I gotta make something happen. Its do or die now and I refuse for this to not happen!

I once applied and interviewed for a job with the title of "Idea Engineer."

Seemed like the perfect job for me as my work experiences prepared me well for something like this. I also felt good about the relationship I built with my interviewer following my initial phone interview.

I'm saying all of this to say - FUCK IT! THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN!

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It just started raining as I type these words. Haha mother nature sure has a way of trying to you to stop from what you're doing.

What she should know is that she also prepared me for this over the years. The harsh, snowy winters in DC, the extremely hot/rainy New Orleans, the windy chills of Chicago and the cool summer breeze of southern California.

I'm seasoned when it comes to weathering the storm!

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After a delay in transit my ink has arrived. Aight cool, now I have my ammo to load the gun (shirt) with. I now at least have some sort leverage when it comes to talking with these screenprinters. I told em that I'll even buy the shirts to cut down the production time. 

Off to make things happen!

Update coming soon.

Until then...Carry On.

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Upate: Friday, December 18th 2:55PM

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Good news!

The universe lined the stars up for me yesterday and I got someone to handle my rush order! This is a quick update and I'm leaving the house now to go and pick up the shirts. 

I need the universe to work some magic for me again as I need the sun to stay up as long as possible.

(You'll see why later on tonight)

I need to get product shots and a video shot before the sun goes down!

Charged camera (check)

Location (check)

Memory Card (check)

Off to make things happen!

Until then...Making Things Happen!

Peace.

Update: Friday, December 18th, 10:40PM CST

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Whew!

Today has been a long day!

My printer called me to let me know that they just finished making the screen for my shirt! I had the chance to make it in time to view the entire process. Sadly, the sun had already set before they got a chance to work on my shirts as they were slammed with rush orders like mine...probably much bigger orders.

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So...this "special ink" that I've been mentioning is REALLY DOPE! I was blown away by it and what it does.

To better explain what it is that I'm talking about..watch the video below:

Super cool, right?!

But I have one problem! As mentioned up top, I have no natural sunlight to show its features. So I hit up the owner of the company to see what I could do.

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I ran to Walmart to pick up some black lights as she suggested and got a homie to stop by the crib to model for me real quick.

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Let me turn this in before I run out of time.

Above are the before and after pics. Wait til tomorrow when I get some sunlight and you'll see how strong the image is. This backlight didn't work as much as I'd liked it to.

100% Cotton shirts
Plastisol Ink
Screenprinted graphic

Check back tomorrow for the real images.

Jeff please look at upcoming pics to showcase the detail and how strong the colors are.

Shit! I made it with one minute to spare!

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E X T R A  C R E D I T

Update - December 21st, 1:13PM

The sun has been hating on me the past few days as it's been very gloomy lately. 

However, I managed to get better shots of the shirt before and after it's exposed to sunlight.

Check it out below. 

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Outdoors when exposed to minimal sunlight the graphic showcased on the shirt is as subtle as a plain white t-shirt.

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When exposed to direct sunlight the graphic instantly changes colors in front of your face. So you can literally have a jacket covering the shirt but as soon as you unzip or unbutton your jacket and expose it to sunlight the graphic will change within a matter of seconds. 

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I created a Brandboom page for my brand so that it can be easily shared with buyers and different retailers worldwide. I've grown very comfortable using this platform as I've used it daily over the past few years with me working as a Sales Rep.Consider it online shopping for retailers but at wholesale rates.

Here is where you showcase product shots, inventory count, your product's size range, wholesale rates, shipping date, payment terms, etc. Once an order is placed you are able to complete the order with the buyer by agreeing on terms of payment. From there you can input all necessary customer/payment info, then when processed and shipped out the system notifies them that it's in route. It's a great platform with lots of cool features that can increase your productivity level as a brand owner.

I suggest that you do the same if you want to be taken seriously. 

VIEW POURSUITE GOODS "BIG CHIEF" QUICKSTRIKE COLLECTION HERE

I'll try to catch the sun tomorrow. Hopefully it isn't gloomy anymore so that I can shoot a vid and share it with the class.

You're going to flip out when you see how fast it changes in front of your eyes! 

I still am haha.

Until next time...Carry On.

Peace.

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UPDATE: IT WORKS!!

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Update: Thursday, January 14th 1:44pm

One of my main goals when posting my updates here is to inspire others! What I've learned is that you cannot ispire others to put in work if they don't see you doing the same. What seems like me updating my page often and spilling my guts onto my project page is a well calculated post that usually takes me about an hour to write up and post. 

Of course the main reason is to showcase my designs but at the very core of it is me showing you that you are able to channel your thoughts and ideas into something cool...making a physical product that you can touch and feel. The intangible part is all of the work that you see me putting into making this dream a reality. 

The above video is a video submission to something that K-Swiss was doing appointing 100 individuals from across the globe to be of a resurgence of the K-Swiss brand. Jeff was a part of it as well which initially sparked my interest as I always jump at an opportunity to learn from the man himself. I chopped up some footage that I had, added some great music (The Albume Leaf) and laced the video with some good commentary from Futura.

I say all of this to say...CARRY ON and make moves toward your dreams. The only person that's holding you back is you! If my project pages can put a flame underneath you to keep it going and not take no for an answer then my job is done. 

As time ticks and we will find out soon which designs will be carried in Reed Space I applaud everyone who posted their designs a job well done! I consider everyone here fam and if you need anything do not hesitate to reach out to me. 

*fingers crossed*

All the best.

Peace.

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