Spotlight on Irish Design: Execute Exist

Tell us about yourself and your brand
I am a screen and graphic designer based in Limerick. My brand is called Execute Exist. The name comes from executing creative ideas you have, allowing them to exist rather than bottling them up or being afraid to create due to external factors like other people’s opinions. I make screen printed clothing and accessories, drawing inspiration from Irish culture, history, design and music.

This brand is quite a personal project, so rather than being very focused on one style or idea, it can sometimes be all over the place! I like it though. It’s more honest than trying to always stick to a consistent style. Fluidity is the consistent style. We sell our products online and at a weekly market stall in Limerick City.

The brand has been active since I started screen printing in September 2020. I still feel like I’m just starting to find my style and improve my craft, so that’s exciting for me.

What is your mission?
A hands-on DIY approach to executing creative ideas and bringing them to life, but also encouraging this in others who see and wear the garments.

My personal mission is to continue learning about printmaking and design and to create a sense of community with other artists I work with along the way. The community aspect you get from doing art in Ireland is great. Everyone is healthy and helpful to each other.

What type of items do you specialize in?
We manufacture all kinds of garments with hand-screened designs. Mainly tote bags, t-shirts, hoodies, crewnecks, sweatpants – all made from organic cotton or recycled polyester and GOTS approved.

I’ve always been inspired by everyday design, like street signs and storefronts. The Execute design style is primarily graphic-based and most designs relate to Irish culture or language – from Celtic design 3000 years ago to country nightclub signage of the 1980s.

We also make Irish rapeseed wax candles.

Did you always know you wanted to be a designer?
No way. I loved to draw but I was always more drawn to music than design growing up. I think being in music is what first exposed me to design – graphic design in particular – and led me to start creating my own. It also introduced me to music production software and I feel like it really helped, or at least encouraged, me to learn design programs soon after.

Was money/funding a concern in the beginning?
My instinct was to take a very DIY approach when starting the brand. The first printing press I used was homemade from hinges and scrap wood and I even stretched my own wooden screens. I was lucky that some of the first products I was able to make with this basic setup started selling online and that funded the next steps, rather than having to invest a lot in the beginning to buy some hardware and start.

Printing myself also allowed me to do small batches instead of having to bulk purchase a larger quantity of each model if I outsourced. Since then, it has simply grown naturally and been self-sufficient. It’s a bit slower and more tedious approach to starting a business, but I would recommend it to anyone who is in the early stages of learning their craft like me.

The best business advice you’ve ever received

This question makes me realize that I haven’t received much trading advice! I need a lot more. I learned a lot about not being afraid to take risks and supporting myself with my former employers Ben and Robbie. They would never be afraid to try something even if it was new to them or required spending time and money on it.

I try to take the same approach when developing new products or when new opportunities arise – don’t let fear stop you from seizing them.

Favorite fashion/design accounts you follow
Emmett Walsh @Diabhal666 – he does surreal modernized drawings of ancient Irish goddesses, druids, historical sites. The Celts but with airmax.

@Spicebag.exe – if you’re not following Spicebag, what are you?!

Mona Thomas – her designs look like real life versions of 2000s cartoon character outfits, I love what she does.

Aoife Cawley @aoifecawleyart – Bimbo Celtic Core.

Other brands I like are Story mfg. and Benefits and Mini.

Other Irish brands you love
I love what Robyn Lynch does, she’s my favorite Irish designer. Late 2n is sick, I’ve been following them for a few years and I love their style.

Best Fashion Buy
Nike Total 90 astros in 2005. Otherwise probably a Robyn Lynch teletext scarf more recently.

Most useful learning since starting a business
Finding all the best providers for everything you need takes time, so I’m glad I figured out a lot of that now. On a larger scale, I think being aware of the motivation behind your decisions and actions. Make sure what you do comes from a place that’s authentic to you and don’t let short-term things like sales or trends or outside opinions shape what you do too much (still learning this one while time).

Proudest moment so far
I’m quite proud of the DIY approach I took to learning design and screen printing at first. Everything I learned was self-taught and through my own experimentation. I don’t want to say it’s the best way to learn engraving, but it was just the only way I thought of doing it at first, so I’m still pretty proud of what I learned to do alone for many hours. trial and error and practice.

I also made 50 t-shirts with the Ukrainian flag which sold out in 24 hours, raising €1,000 for the Red Cross. I’m proud of the group effort between me and everyone who bought a t-shirt on this one, it was awesome to see the support from people.

I want my brand to be remembered for…
Create a community of designers and printers working together.

If I could ask anyone to wear my designs, it would be…
This is something I haven’t thought about much and wish it happened naturally/organically…but Rejjie Snow, maybe Hector Bellerin. I would love to work with the FAI and design the 3rd Irish kit. In fact, Lil Mequila or another AI/virtual person would be sick.

What do you have planned for your All Together Now workshops this year?
I want to make print workshops a collaborative experience for everyone there, so I’m planning on doing some quick tutorials and tips on how screen printing works and how to make a print. Then, everyone can come and try their hand at making their own printed t-shirt or tote bag. This will be a hands-on DIY approach to festival memorabilia, which is quite fun.

I’m buzzing for it, live screen printing is so much fun and I can’t wait to meet people and have them try their hand at making their own take-out pieces!

Jameson will open the doors to his brand new stage this year at All Together Now (July 29-31) called The Circle. As well as a selection of top Irish artists and performers, The Circle area will host a host of immersive workshops – including one by Execute Exist – which are open to the public and available by booking through the Jameson Connects platform. .

About Justin Howze

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