Co-founder of ethical.market, Raquel is on a mission to live a more sustainable lifestyle

Monday, 1 December 2014

Meet the designer: Hero & Cape

What does Automotive Design, Will Smith, screen printing and 'Scribble Monsters' have in common?  They've made it into this week's blog post!
If you've not yet been fully introduced then allow me to shine a spotlight on Hero&Cape, a tshirt brand with a 90's heart and an illustrated soul.   We first crossed paths with Nick (the brains & talent behind the brand) last year, two months after launching our marketplace.  It is Nick's focus on hand drawn illustrations, his quirky inspiration and bold statement tees that ticked all our boxes and we knew instantly he'd be a perfect fit for us.  Hand screen printing every single item to order Hero&Cape offer so much more than the high street, so take some time out to have a little read about the man behind the brand.
>>Keep reading to take advantage of our exclusive 15% off all Hero&Cape this month only<<

Tell us a bit about yourself….
My name is Nick, I am the founder of Hero&Cape.  I illustrate and print everything, I'm from the North East and incredibly proud of that, its exciting to see the North East art scene thriving.
When I was a kid I wanted to be…
A car designer, my dad, uncle and granddad were all into cars, so my obsession for cars grew.  I was always either drawing or playing with toy cars, I had a large collection of them by the time I was 5 years old.  As an adult, I spent a period of time chasing the dream of becoming a car designer, I actually went on graduate from the Automotive Design degree at Northumbria University in Newcastle Upon Tyne!
I started my company because…
I became disillusioned with the car industry.  I found myself working 12-hour days for less than the minimum wage in London, and I decided enough was enough.  My love for cars was slipping, I stopped enjoying the job.  All the creativity I had at university was muted by the corporate mentality of the job.
I wanted to do something that is liberating and fresh enough to allow me to express my creativity and passion for design.  During my time as a student, e-commerce was just beginning to boom and I had a good friend who had started a very successful online retail business.  I learned a lot and it just felt like the right time to start something new before I got too sucked into something I wasn't enjoying.
My inspiration for my designs comes from…
A combination of things, I am literally inspired by anything and everything I see.  I don’t put a restriction on where my inspiration comes from, I see the designs as a realization of my passion for illustration and graphic design.  So, I guess the inspiration is everything that excites me; everything from pop culture of my teenage years in the 90’s to the work of artists and designers who I admire like Mike Perry and Paul Smith.  I love street art as well and the spontaneity of it, the idea of being able to create something at any moment the inspiration strikes is very exciting.

Watch the screen printing process behind the 'Boo! Scribble Monster' Tshirt

In five years time I hope to be…
This is a tough one!  Personally, I would love just continue what I am doing, the freedom of creating what I want and seeing it through from idea, to sketch and then to the finished product is really cool.  For Hero&Cape, I hope it continues to grow!  Since I started the company, I always had this idea of a store/studio, where the customers can have the opportunity to see how our clothing is created and printed, I think that would be a really cool way for the customers to experience and it would be nice for the customers to feel invested and connected to the clothing they wear.  It would be very cool for it not “just be another clothing shop”, but for it to be an experience and a destination in the town or city.  I’ll save this Q&A and check it in 5 years!
If I could design a tshirt for anyone it would be…
Will Smith!  But Will Smith in the 90s during his Fresh Prince era, he was just super cool and he perfectly sums up the exciting MTV generation, when being individual and different started becoming cool!
My perfect Sunday would be…
The Sunday markets, I just love them, especially food markets!  Trying different types of food is just so exciting, you end up buying and eating things at a food market that you’d never eat normally. It’s the spontaneity thing again.  I find it exciting not knowing what’s going to be available at the markets.  When you walk down a high street, you know exactly what to expect from every store.  At a market, you actually stop and look at every stall instead of glancing at the sign and deciding you don’t need anything from that particular shop.  It obviously means that it’s so hard not to spend money at a market, but it’s supporting independent traders so it’s cool!
My favourite piece from The Lost Lanes is…
I really can’t narrow it down to just one piece!  I love the 'Zombie Drive Thru Wayfarers' by Inkheart and the 'I Eat My Cake In My Pants' plate by Jimbobart!
I am crazy impressed with the intricacy and detail of Inkheart’s work, and I love the way Jimbobart has fun with his illustrations.  I actually discovered Jimbobart’s stuff after he placed an order with us through The Lost Lanes, and I found it so fresh and original. I really appreciate a brand that has fun and doesn't take itself too seriously.  I’ll definitely be doing some Christmas shopping at The Lost Lanes!

>>>To view more Hero&Capes please visit Nick's shop here.  Remember this month only we are offering you an exclusive 15% off all Hero&Cape items. Use code 'MYHERO' at checkout.<<<
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