Interview Series | 808 shirts

This week we get to hear an awesome interview by the husband and wife duo of 808 Shirts.They are out of the Tampa area in Florida and some of my favorite people! They have great heart & soul and are my number one screen printers whenever I have a large job. 808 has printed all of my Khenri shirts and tanks, so obviously they’re quality!

1. What up, my favorite t-shirt guys! Give us a little background on you and what you do?

808Shirts consists of the master printer Jonathan Figueroa and the lovely wife Lina Figueroa.

Jonathan – I handle the majority of the designs and all the printing.
My design style is Monographic. I love making the most out of as little as possible. I love it.
I also use shapes and pieces from everyday objects in my designs.
My love for t-shirts began in 1987 when I could never find my favorite artists’ shirts. So I just decided to make my own shirts.
I make shirts out of my PASSION for music and art. I love the independent grind.
I love crapping on the corporate world. =-)

Lina – I handle all the finances and the BLING! projects. I come from a family that always had their own businesses and I wanted to have a business of my own.
When I saw that I had an opportunity to have a business with my husband doing something that he loved, ART, I was excited to get things started.
I also try, mostly unsuccessfully, to provide comic relief around here.

2. How long have you been printing shirts?

Jonathan – Unprofessionally since 1987. I began making shirts using OIL paints.  I have been printing professionally now for 3 years.
Lina – Shirts, really, is that what we do?  I thought that we went to concerts.

3. What is the craziest design you’ve ever done?

I have done many crazy designs. However, one that sticks out right now is a custom shirt I did for a FAN in the United Kingdom.
He is what we call a SNEAKER HEAD. ( A person that loves his sneakers.)  He wanted a shirt designed around a certain JORDAN sneaker.
I took all kinds of pictures of the shoe and then I ended using only shape elements from the shoe itself to make a design.
I watched a lot of sneaker videos to try to get into a sneaker fans mind. The end result was a very very happy customer.

4. You do work for some awesome clients. Who is one of the clients that has stood out the most?

Jonathan –  We have to go with one of our first clients which is JESSICA ESTEVEZ.
Jessica has a great attitude, a big smile, and a PASSION for great music like we do.
We have printed 2 designs for her. She was a big support for us when we visited Atlanta, GA as a vendor for a music festival.
The whole family loves her. She always has our support.

Also, recently, I was asked to make a design showing how McDonalds is making the world an unfit place.
I put together what I had always envisioned every time I saw the GOLDEN ARCHES.
The design was a heart beat sensor using the arches as the pulse,…….. then it flatlines.
They loved it. My kids loved it, too. Ha!

5. When you go to the grocery store, what are your go-to items?

Jonathan – Beer, beef jerky, and olives. Mmmmmmmm OLIVES!! YUM!

Lina – Candy candy candy, …………..and Coke. Why eat food when you can eat dessert?

6. You are also a huge proprietor for underground music.. who are some of your favorite artists?

Jonathan – YesUNDERGROUND music has always had a HUGE influence on me. I love the type of music that you have to find and search for.
I don’t like stations and DJ’s trying to me whats hot. I like to choose for myself.
I am a supporter of artists like KRS-One, Craig G, Jedi Minds Tricks, Public Enemy, and De La Soul.
Those artists still put out plenty of great music and they still tour the world independently with tons of support from the loyal fans.
I love that! No middle man. Just the artist and his fans.

Lina – I do now, and have always, loved female artists. Although it is tough to find the time to search for artist myself, Jonathan will once in a while come across an artist that I’ll come back and look for.
My favorites are Eternia and The Reminders.  I really enjoy being able to go to the concerts in a small venue and getting to meet the artists in person.
And shhh don’t tell anyone… I always wanted to be a singer for my career, but wasn’t quite talented or outgoing enough to do anything.

7. Hey, I think you own some Khenri! Care to share what you own?

Jonathan – YES WE DO!! I love love love my custom Chuck Taylors with a cassette tape design on them.
The reel from the cassette is wrapped all around the shoes.
They are a conversational piece whenever I wear them.
I’m an analog type of guy. =-)

Lina – Who in their right mind doesn’t own some Khenri? I own two pairs of shoes, both somehow have the word Lina in them.  I believe one is The Lina and the other is The Linaa.  (And I have to say I’m feeling the adrianna and the scintillation also) .  I also own a couple of Khenri shirts that I wear proudly.
One of our daughters also owns a pair of Khenri shoes too with 808 all over them!!!  🙂
Oh man I pulled up your site and the whole family is feeling The Scintillation!

 
8. How can someone order your shirts or place an order?

To order our shirts they can go to www.808shirtshop.com
To place an order for screen printing they can go to www.808shirts.com

 
9. Can you talk to us a little bit about the new sheep shirt you just did? What inspired you?

Jonathan – Nothing is worse in this world then seeing a bunch of people being subconsciously controlled by something.
***celebrities- cough cough.***  I hop on Twitter a lot and the media stunts that people fall for are just ridiculous.
So I decided to make a shirt that is Anti-SHEEP. or  ANTI-SHEEPLE.
This is a shirt for people that make their own path in life by deciding for themselves what steps they are going to take next.
It was my first time drawing a sheep. A cartoon sheep at that!  But the shirt has been selling steady. So I’m happy for it.

Lina – Did he put up the bling sheep yet?!?

10. What is your motivation to keep printing?

Jonathan – I love it. Its my oxygen. Its what I was put on earth to do. I can never see myself stopping. There are too many stories to be told. Too many systems to fight. Too many people to support.
A lot of people want to retire and relax in the Caribbean one day. I want to be selling shirts to those people in the Caribbean one day. Shirts are just wonderful ways to express yourself.
The world needs them!

Lina – My husband and his distracted artsiness. He’s always been an artist and I can’t think of a better way for him to put that creativity to work.  This is more than a business it is a passion and an outlet.  Why would we ever want to stop?

11.  What advice do you have for youngsters going after their dreams?

Jonathan – You have to PAY YOUR DUES. After that, the WORK will come to YOU!
Save that ART SCHOOL money and start getting your hands dirty using the world around you.
And get some Khenri shoes in your LIFE!!

Lina – Patience, perseverance and passion.

If you are interested in reading past interviews, check them out here:

Sara Fakhraie – artist, South Dakota
Wesley Cook (donate to his kickstarter project) – musician, Atlanta, Georgia
Brolester Records, Jeremiah Tuhn, record label – Des Moines, Iowa
Atom St. George – artist, Riverside, California
John Eric Booth – vocalist, West Virginia
Brent Houzenga – artist, New Orleans
Adrienne Gross of justADG – photographer, Des Moines, Iowa
Harley May – writer and comic, The South

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