BY ELLIE DETWEILER
Drake Innovation Studio clothed in success with another event
Vinyl Sticker Day, Podcast Party and a 3-D Printing Workshop were March and April’s opportunities available for students through the newly formed Innovation Studio. The most recent event happened Thursday where Ashleigh Brady, co-owner of The Side Garage and former Drake student, was invited to inform students on t-shirt screen printing.
The event was held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. outside of Meredith Hall, attracting students from various schools and majors. With over 100 students and faculty in attendance, the 100 shirts, brought by The Side Garage, sold out by 12:30 a.m.
While the line to make a shirt was long, the t-shirt screen printing only takes about one minute, with half of the time spent as the shirt is going through the conveyor belt. Brady instructed each individual on the process and answered any questions they had about her job or screen printing. Before the conveyer belt, students were taught how to push and pull the squeegee on the screen to apply the ink. The next conveyer belt stage heats to 365 degrees as it cures, or dries, the ink.
Brady arrived about 45 minutes early to unload and set up the two machines, one to apply the ink to the shirt and the other to dry. Most of her work is done before arriving to a location where the screen is made. Similar to photography, the screening process must be done in a darkroom.
The designs for the past t-shirt screen printing were submissions by students and picked by professor Chris Snider, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and the only criteria for a submission was that it would be able to print in black and white and incorporated the words, “Drake Innovation.” This semester, two Drake Innovation designs were chosen, created by Johndavid Ottenbacher and Isabel Trujillo.
Trujillo is a student pursuing her doctorate in physical therapy and Ottenbacher is a sophomore digital media production major and graphic design minor. Ottenbacher learned about the opportunity through Snider, and his design idea came from incorporating something interesting amidst each letter.
“It really helps me get professional experience in creating logos for companies,” said Ottenbacher, also a designer on the Drake Magazine.
Snider, organized the event and invited a collaboration with The Side Garage after finding them on social media. Snider reached out last March and they held their first event together in May.
Brady and her wife began The Side Garage in the fall of 2016 as a side-job to their full-time jobs. Now, The Side Garage has over 1,500 Instagram followers and supports a blog and an online shop through their website.
“I love screen printing and I wanted to figure out a way to merge something that I liked with the fact that I like bringing people into the process,” Brady said. “Making things for people is cool, but allowing them to be a part of it is so much better … because they can value and appreciate it more.”
You can follow the Innovation Studio on Instagram at @drakeinnovation and The Side Garage at @thesidegarage.