A little background January 25 2014
On my first trip to India in 2002 I took a journal along with me to record my experiences. I never ended up writing very much, but I did fill the pages with collages made from everything from God posters to matchbook covers. Making collages became my main form of artistic expression for the next few years.
In 2007 I moved to Tokyo and started a Mysore style Ashtanga Yoga program. I also began teaching myself photoshop so I could print and resize images to use in collages. After a while photoshop took over and slowly but surely I went from paper to digital art. Then I started experimenting with silkscreens. Whenever I would travel to India I would have some tote bags or t-shirts printed with some of my designs and bring them back as gifts for the students.
They seemed to appreciate them, and in 2009 my teaching assistant Eriko suggested I start selling my designs online. I spoke a little Japanese, but could not read or write (still can’t after living there 6 ½ years). So getting the netshop and production up and running was no small task for this foreigner. I printed 4 or 5 designs, put a post on facebook and sent out an email. Sold a few shirts and I was happy.
In September 2010 I took a small booth at a yoga festival in Yokohama, just outside Tokyo. It was a huge expense at the time considering what a small project it was, but I ended up selling enough shirts to make back the money. Better than that, being there amongst the other larger brands gave GBSK some much needed credibility and exposure. After that things started to take off a bit. At the time I liked to both brag and complain about the fact that I did everything from design the images, choose the shirts styles and colors, oversee the printing, fold and store the shirts in my apartment, print the invoices, put them in envelopes and take them to the post office.
It is now January 2014 and I write this from South India after saying sayonara to Japan and heading back to my hometown of New York City. Finally having a nice chunk of free time I have been able to get the “GBSK Global” shop going for sales outside Japan. I still do all the design and production, but a friend’s company in Japan is taking care of all the shipping, customer service and order fulfillment services.
I never went to art school or had any desire to be in the fashion or yogawear industry. And I don't consider GBSK a yogawear brand. More of a vehicle to show my artwork and allow people who have similar interests to express themselves by wearing them.
So after you read this, please check the shop :)
The first design I made
ॐ GBSK's first shirt being printed ॐ