To order a custom Brian Morris t-shirt, visit www.bamindfuldesigns.com.
Potomac Whole Foods Market in Rockville showcased a collection of Potomac resident Bryan Morris’ t-shirt designs on Sunday, Jan. 19. While Morris has sold his t-shirts to friends, family and people he has met through his family’s business, this was the local artist’s first appearance as a vendor in a commercial setting.
“The event was on Sunday and it went pretty well,” Morris said. “We were set up near the whole body products. We sold eight shirts and got some really good feedback. It was really exciting.”
Morris is not a trained artist, but said he has been drawing for years. The designs that are now featured on high quality fabric tee shirts began as doodles on paper.
“It was probably about 10 years ago that I started making complex doodles,” Morris said. “I never studied any artists and I never took any art classes. I don’t emulate or seek out other artists’ accomplishments or their work. I just started doodling and the doodles got really complicated, crazy and complex.”
In November of last year, Morris incorporated his t-shirt design company, BAMindful Designs, as a limited liability corporation.
The event on Sunday was just the beginning of Morris’ t-shirt sales in local stores. In a week, they will be on sale at the Rockville Whole Foods, and he has discussed selling his t-shirts with other local Whole Foods stores as well as Dawson’s Market in Rockville.
“The goal was to get exposure,” Morris said. “You want to sell shirts, but this was more like a launch party, mainly to get exposure and to have people see what I am doing.”
He is currently planning an appearance with his designs at the Kentlands Whole Foods location. The designs he will be promoting on Kentlands will be timely for Valentine’s Day.
“My goal is to slowly but surely get several locations set up to sell my shirts, and keep growing,” he said. “I’m working with Dawson’s to get set up. They are on board. I am just getting an order finalized. That would be a great addition to have their market carrying them as well.”
Morris said he originally approached Whole Foods and Dawson’s because of his own pleasant shopping experiences at those stores.
“I shop at Whole Foods and Dawson’s regularly, and I just kept thinking, ‘this is such a great cross section of people that shop here, and since it is upscale, I figured it was a match,” Morris said. “I wanted it to be special. The team leader I talked with loved the idea, and then that got the ball rolling.”
The designs will land beyond local markets, as well. Morris said Husqvarna Viking, the computerized sewing machine company, is drawing up a contract with BAMindful Desigs.
“I'll just be licensing them 10-20 designs for an embroidery collection,” Morris said. “They will be digitizing the designs … to be inserted into their embroidery machines. This way, individuals can buy a digitized collection of my art, insert it in their embroidery machine, and sew out my art onto clothes.”
Morris said his artistic process begins with a good song, a pen and paper. It ends with placing an order with a local silk strainer to put the designs on high quality t-shirts.
“I like to listen to music while I’m drawing, and I typically don’t start with any pre-thought or concept,” Morris said. “I just begin in the center of the page and let it slowly unfold the way it wants to. There really isn’t a plan. You can compare it to a live television show, no tapes — it happens as it happens. If I think it’s one that will look good on a shirt, if so, then I explore shirt options.”
He said he uses a local silk strainer out of love and respect for his designs.
“I use quality because I care very much about the art,” Morris said. “I don’t want something I love being on a poor quality thing.”
Moving forward, he said he would like to design more than t-shirts. He imagines his name being on clothing lines and having his own clothing store.
“I really want to get more into design,” Morris said. “I want to get more into the designing of clothes and have a more customized lining of clothes that are edgy and funky. I am getting into embroidery and repurposing clothes with equipment at my shop.”
Morris said he is enjoying the best time of his life, but instead of being complacent, he yearns for even greater success.
“This is a fun beginning, having the public exposed to what I am doing, and I want to take it way beyond this and have this blow up and be gigantic,” Morris said.