Shillington is the Original Graphic Design Bootcamp. Study Online or On Campus! Graphic Design Bootcamp. Study Online or On Campus!

On Our Own by Shillington Brisbane Teacher James Bourbon

Attention t-shirt lovers! Shillington Brisbane teacher James Bourbon is launching a brand new clothing brand—On Our Own. Online shop will open 1 September 2017, so mark your calendars. Or if you want to get the sneak peek this month, stop by the Brisbane Pop Up Shop on 26—27 August, including an exhibition of photographs by Sean Pyke.

Today, we ask James a bit more about his inspiration for On Our Own’s brand and t-shirts. Read on to hear about why “designing clothing is a great way for your voice to be heard as an artist or designer”, the left-of-centre influences for each t-shirt design and a manifesto from James to “do what you want, even if people can’t say it can be done” a.k.a be brave to tackle your own side hustle just like this.

Why did you launch clothing brand On Our Own? What was the inspiration?

One of the original reasons I wanted to get into graphic design was so that I could design clothing and t-shirts. I think clothing is an accessible way for people to purchase and enjoy art or design. Designing clothing is a great way for your voice to be heard as an artist or designer, because people are essentially wearing your art instead of hanging it on a wall. I feel like it also gives people a much more personal way to connect with your work.

For me the On Our Own brand is a tribute to outsider culture.

The brand manifesto itself is a tribute to outsider culture, praising the underdogs, the minorities, the dreamers, and rule breakers. 

Tell us more about the brand identity. What was your approach?

I think at times, everyone feels like they are on their own. The concept for the brand was about giving people a place to belong even if they are an outsider. I tried to incoporate these feelings into the designs by referencing things like zines, bgrade movies, punk movement, which all play a part in outsider culture. The challenge with that was then working out how to combine all of these elements into a cohesive brand.

What’s the inspiration behind the t-shirt designs?

The designs themselves reference everything from b grade movies, to hard-core punk, classic hip hop, and old cult ads. Just anything that I really got into growing up that was a bit obscure or left of centre.


Do you have a favourite t-shirt in the collection? Why?

I feel a certain connection to all of them but if I had to choose it’s probably bite the hand t-shirt. It’s got an illustration of a barking dog and it reminds me of what it was like being a teenager and just rebelling against everything. I think it really captures that outsider spirit, plus the way that blue ink pops off the grey just worked really well visually.

Anything else you’d like to share?

If you’re in Brisbane or nearby, come hang out at our Pop Up Shop on the 26th & 27th of August. Above Laced 35 Adelaide Street, Brisbane City. 10am-5pm both days.

Also, follow your dreams, work hard, be a good person, do what you want, even if people can’t say it can be done.

Don’t give up and don’t let other people’s expectations of what you should and shouldn’t do control your life. 

Keep up to date with On Our Own via Instagram and bookmark the online shop—launching by 1 September 2017!

All Shillington teachers are practising designers and many have fascinating side projects like James! Meet all our Shillington graphic design teachers.

Learn more about studying design 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time at Shillington in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, New York, London or Manchester –> 

Want to win some amazing prizes and stay in the loop with all things Shillington? Sign up to our newsletter to automatically go in the draw.