Tell us about you and your brand
I am a screen printer and graphic designer based in Limerick. My brand is called Execute Exist. The name comes from executing the ideas you have, allowing them to exist instead of bottling them or being afraid to create because of external factors like other people’s opinions. I make screen printed clothing and accessories, drawing on Irish culture, history, design and music.
This branding is a very personal project, so instead of being very focused on one style or idea, it can sometimes be a little bit ubiquitous! But I like it that way. It feels more honest than always sticking to one cohesive style. Fluidity is the style of cohesion. We sell our products online and at our weekly market stalls in the city of Limerick.
The brand has been active since I started screen printing in September 2020. I still feel like I’m only just beginning to find my style and improve my craft, which is what excites me.
What is your mission?
A hands-on DIY approach to executing ideas and bringing them to life, while encouraging others who see and wear these garments to do the same.
My personal mission is to continue studying printmaking and design and to build a sense of community with the other artists I work with. The community aspect you get in making art in Ireland is fantastic. Everyone is sound and helps each other.
What kind of projects are you good at?
We make all kinds of garments with hand screen printing designs. Mainly totes, t-shirts, hoodies, crew necks, sweatpants – all made from organic cotton or recycled polyester and GOTS certified.
I always draw inspiration from everyday designs like road signs and store fronts. Execute’s design style is largely graphic-based, with most designs related to Irish culture or language – from Celtic designs from 3000 years ago to country nightclub signs in the 1980s.
We also made some Irish Canola candles.
Did you always know you wanted to be a designer?
Not at all. I love drawing, but growing up I always preferred playing music to design. I think getting into music was my first exposure to design – especially graphic design – and it led me to start making my own work. It also got me into music production software, which I felt actually helped me, or at least encouraged me, to learn design programs soon after.
Is the money/funding worth watching when starting out?
My gut feeling is to take a very DIY approach when starting a brand. The first press I used was home made with some hinges and scrap wood, and I even stretched my own wood screen. I was fortunate that the first products I was able to make with this basic setup started selling online, which provided the funds for the next phase, rather than investing a lot of money at the beginning to buy equipment and get started.
Printing myself also allows me to make small batches, rather than having to buy every design in bulk if I’m outsourcing. Since then, it has grown naturally and is self-sufficient. It’s a slower and tedious way to start a business, but I would recommend it to anyone like me who is in the early stages of learning the craft.
The best business advice you’ve ever gotten
This question made me realize that I’m not getting much business advice! I need more. I learned a lot from my previous employers Ben and Robbie about not being afraid to take risks and supporting yourself. Even if something is new to them or requires an investment of money and time, they are never afraid to try it.
I try to take the same approach when developing new products or when new opportunities arise – don’t let fear stop you from finding them.
Favorite fashion/design accounts you follow
Emmett Walsh @Diabhal666 – He makes unreal, modern drawings of ancient Irish goddesses, druids and historical sites. Celtic, but with airmax.
@Spicebag.exe – if you’re not following spicebag, what are you doing? !
Mona Thomas – Her designs look like real-life versions of 2000s cartoon character outfits, and I love what she does.
Aoife Cawley @aoifecawleyart – Celtics Bimbo core.
Another brand I like is Story mfg. and perks and mini.
other Irish brands you like
I love what Robyn Lynch does, she’s my favourite Irish designer. 2n late sick, I’ve been following them for a few years and love their style.
Best Fashion Buys
Nike Total 90 astros in 2005. Otherwise it could be the recent Robyn Lynch graphic scarf.
The most useful learning since starting a business
It takes some time to find all the best suppliers for everything you need, so I’m glad I’ve figured out a lot now. On a larger scale, I think it’s important to be aware of the motivation behind your decisions and actions. Make sure what you’re doing comes from a place that’s true to you and don’t let short-term factors like sales or trends or outside opinions influence what you’re doing too much (still learning this all the time).
proudest moment so far
I am very proud of the DIY approach I took when I started learning design and screen printing. Everything I’ve learned is self-taught and through my own experiments. I’m not saying it’s the best way to learn printmaking, but it’s the only way I’ve thought about it in the first place, so I’m still very proud of what I’ve learned to do on my own in a few hours of trial and error and practice.
I also made 50 Ukrainian flag t-shirts, which were sold within 24 hours, raising 1000 euros for the Red Cross. I’m proud of the collective effort between me and everyone who bought a t-shirt on that t-shirt and it’s great to see the support from people.
I want my brand to be remembered…
Create a community of designers and printers working together.
If I could get anyone to wear my designs it would be…
It’s something I didn’t think about too much and just wanted to happen naturally/organically…but Rejjie Snow, maybe Hector Bellerin. I would like to work with FAI and design the Irish third kit. Actually Lil Mequila or any other AI/virtual human, that would be disgusting.
What are your plans for the All Together Now workshop this year?
I want to make the printing workshop a collaborative experience for everyone present, so I plan to do some quick tutorials and advice on how screen printing works and how to do it. Then everyone can come and make their own printed t-shirt or tote bag. This would be a very fun DIY approach to holiday keepsakes.
I’m intrigued by this, live screen printing is so much fun, and I can’t wait to meet people and have them DIY something to take away!
Jameson will open the doors to its new stage at this year’s All Together Now (July 29-31) called a circle. In addition to Ireland’s leading line-up of artists and performers, The Circle area will host a series of immersive workshops – including those presented by Execute Exist – open to the public and bookable through the Jameson Connects platform.