24-7-365: An Interview With Justin Young From Year Of The T-Shirt

The web, as everyone knows, is (largely) a social space filled with experiments, some clever, others trite, that are documented on a monthly, weekly and daily basis. One such example of the latter trend is Year Of The T-Shirt, which is organized around a simple, but effective conceit: wear a tee, photo said tee, blog said tee, repeat 365 times.

By chance, our Green Goonies design made a recent appearance on YOTTS’ feed, which in turn prompted an interview with the site’s current editor and curator, Justin Young. Read the exchange below…

IG211: If you could be so kind, would you introduce yourself for our readers?

YOTTS: By way of introduction, my name is Justin Young and I am 25 years old. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but had the pleasure of living in PA and FL for a while. I always had a passion for fashion, especially tee shirts. When I was a kid, I used iron ons to make my own designs and as I got older I started using airbrushing. Hence my involvement in Year of the Tshirt 2011. When I am not wearing Tshirts, or I should say not promoting tshirts… I am just a pretty laid back dude. I [like to] hang out with my better half, family and my pupper.

Our interviewee, as surrounded by his spoils.

IG211: What’s the goal of this project and how did you become involved with it?

YOTTS: The goal of the this project is to give designers & companies a cool, unique outlet to illustrate their designs. It’s also gives t-shirt enthusiasts a variety of styles that they might have not seen or thought of. I got involved in it because the creator and found, Brian Shevlin is a kick-ass dude and he just pretty much handed it to me. Brian runs a art studio called Con Artist and he wanted to focus most of his time [on that].

IG211: What’s been the response to the site thus far?

YOTTS: The response to the site been great! We are getting more unique visitors everyday. Our Twitter followers are increasing! I guess people want to see what I have to say along with what I am wearing, ha-ha.

IG211: I like that you alternate between graphical and text-rich, slogan tees. I also like the diversity of selections; some of your tees come from well established brands with household recognition, but others are much smaller. Do you have an official criteria for inclusion or is it improvised as you go?

YOTTS: I don’t have a criteria at all. I am open to all kinds of designs, styles, and brands. I want to give the viewers something they can relate to. Everyone owns a t-shirt in their closet, whether it is a concert tshirt, boyfriend tshirt, school t-shirt… It means something to them.

IG211: Walk us, if you would, through an average post. How much time do you need for each entry?

YOTTS: The time it takes for the average post isn’t too long. It takes me longer to figure out what tee I want to wear, ha-ha. The hardest part is actually taking the picture. I normally have my girlfriend, whom I absolutely love (Editor’s note: get a room, you two!), take my pictures. But when she travels, it is hard to capture the tee not in a MYSPACE photo. Once I get the picture, I have to upload it to the site, email the brand/designer that it is going up. I do a little one-liner about the tee or the place I am at or what the tshirt means to me. And last, but not least, [we] Facebook and Twitter about it! It’s real simple, but it works. Nothing to glamorous, except the tee.

IG211: This is slightly off-topic, but there’s something of a philosophical, either-or choice at play when you picture, display and sell tee shirts online. Some sites make an effort to incorporate the human component (that is, the model in the tee), but others, like ours, cut the design at the neck (so as to emphasize the actual product). Your photos lean towards the former, but I like the effort you make to strike humorous poses and facial expressions. Are you comfortable as a “model” or is this something that you developed over time?

YOTTS: Model… me? I don’t think so. I am too tiny of a man to be a model. When I take the picture, I am just being myself and living in the moment. If I feel like a goofy face I go for it!!!

Exactly like such...

IG211: Thanks again to Justin for taking the time to answer our questions. See more of his work at Year of the T-Shirt!

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Why Waltz When You Can Rock & Roll: travis [at] founditemclothing.com