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My Story

I began my creative journey as a graphic designer and vector illustrator. 

At the age of 13 I discovered a blog online displaying artwork, or fan art, of some of my favorite musicians. After discovering the owners of the blogs I started picking their brains on how they created these fun pictures. I learned that these were called graphics and a program like Photoshop or those similar were used to create them.

I then met my first online friend, Leonor.

The most patient and lovely human. Leonor taught me how to use these programs to create my own graphics to share. This is what started it all.

After messing around with collage type graphics, I started expanding my creations. I learned how to create designs for web and printing purposes between the ages of 14 and 15. This fueled my direction into creating printed apparel designs and and online banners.

The first run of t-shirt designs were awful, I'm not going to lie to you. I didn't have a name to sell under, skills for designing for screen printing or a store to put them on. Forgive me screen printers. I was just so happy to be able to have my own creations on apparel for others to wear. A little teenager ego boost if you will. 

I got ripped off a lot. I wasn't educated on pricing or anything like that. Many shops took advantage of the young quiet kid I was. As the next few years continued I entered high school and met my first visual design teacher and artist, Rene Gagnon. This is when I started learning a bit more about vector art and illustration.

Rene was a great influence on my work. I was able to combine the graphic skills along with fun colors, illustrations and textures that were influenced by his street art work. This is when I created my first clothing line called Electrikk Clothing. He taught me pricing on apparel, who was best to go through, how to properly design for apparel and how to use Adobe Illustrator for creating vector graphics. This was a turning point for me.

I had always been stubborn. Especially when it came to software for design. I was a hardcore fan of Adobe Photoshop over Illustrator. Breaking this and allowing myself to expand to illustrator changed the whole game. I began creating characters that I called monsters and fun little sayings that I placed on shirts and sold online. This fueled some freelance work for apparel and posters as well.

From here I continued to study graphic design throughout college. I used my skills of design and illustration throughout my projects and began to expand my knowledge and new found love for typography.

Once I left school, I got the job I told myself I would never get. A full-time graphic design job in an office. At first I enjoyed it, but deep down I knew it wasn't what I wanted. I think my boss knew too. I would eat at my desk or on my quick paid breaks so I could use my lunch to create or finish any freelance work I had. After a few years I just got bored. I had to quit or I was going to lose it.

After years of tackling these paths, I came to the conclusion that being on the screen so much was unhealthy for me. I'd spend hours on a screen creating. When I wasn't, time was spent on social media which increased my screen time even more. I knew I needed some sort of change.

As my style began to develop and change, so did my mediums. Rather than strictly creating online, I used my design and illustration skills to create with paper and ink. I found some hand-lettering online that seemed to fill me with that old joy of creating again. This drove a new path of creativity.

Everywhere I went, I had a sketchbook on me. I found every excuse to practice drawing letters. Coffee shops, travels, lunch breaks, feeling tired, emotions, and anything else I saw or felt became a hand drawn lettered sketch.

This created where I am today.

My current focus includes hand drawn lettering for prints, apparel and small signage.

You'll also find a lot of hand made collages and paintings amongst the mix as I find new ways everyday as creative outlets.

If you've made it this far, I just want to thank you for your interest and time. I understand how valuable it is and I'm honored that you used some of that here.

If you're looking to reach me, my email is: Chelsea@ChelseaArruda.com

Photo by Dana Tarr.


FAQ

Who prints your shirts?
Just Your Way Screen Printing in Westport, MA

How long do products take to ship?
Please allow 1-2 weeks if in the USA and about 1 month if international.

What happened to Electrikk Clothing?
I decided to merge the clothing line with my own website in 2020. Everything can be found here on one place.

Can you create a design for me?
Shoot me an email to discuss your ideas: Chelsea@ChelseaArruda.com

Can you print the design you just made on a shirt just for me?
When screen printing shirts, a lot of time goes into the process of printing the physical shirt. Because of this, minimum orders are usually 24pcs. It's impossible to just get one while still holding the good high quality look of a screen printed shirt. So, unfortunately, no to just one.