Glenn Jones: How Taking a Risk Led to Global Illustration Success

by Julia Sagar June 22, 2017

Glenn Jones: How Taking a Risk Led to Global Illustration Success

“Leaving to work for myself was the best move I ever made.”

Ten years ago, Glenn Jones quit a successful career as a creative director to start his own T-shirt brand, Glennz Tees. Already a star on T-shirt competition site Threadless, he knew his tees were popular. The challenge lay in launching his own line as a solo venture.

Step up printer Despair.com and order fulfillment firm Amplifier, two Texas-based companies who offered Glenn the opportunity to launch his brand in partnership with the pair.  

Glennz TeesImages: Glennz Tees – Clown Fish, Stunt Snail, Less Formal

“Quitting my career was a huge risk for me. I was a graphic designer for almost 15 years and worked hard to get to a role as a creative director,” recalls Glenn.

“But I didn’t want to be left wondering, so I just put everything into it to make it a success. Leaving to work for myself was the best move I ever made.”

Big bang theory

Today, Glennz Tees sells hundreds of T-shirts online and wholesale all around the world. The illustrator’s fun vector designs have been worn by both big-name celebrities – his Melting tee even made it onto Big Bang Theory – and the brand’s hundreds of thousands of fans globally.

Glennz Tees: Melting
Image: Glennz Tees – Melting

More recently, Glenn’s also been selling prints through Glenn Jones Art, which he runs with his partner Julia.

It’s a family business: Glenn provides the artwork, while qualified engineer and project manager Julia runs the company. The pair have small children and wanted to start a business they could work on from home.

Glenn Jones Art: Glenn and Julia
Image: Glenn and Julia

“We work on the business when the kids are at school and daycare, meaning our time is limited, so as we grow we’re offloading fulfillment and the product manufacturing to other partners,” explains Glenn. “We’re always learning and trying to tweak the business to run smoother.” 

Lessons learned

What’s the biggest lesson they’ve learned since launching Glenn Jones Art? “Don’t try to do it all yourself. Concentrate on what you’re good at,” says Glenn.

 

Glenn Jones Art: prints
Images: Glenn Jones Arts – Caffeination Affirmation; Retro Relaxer prints

At the heart of it all, Glenn loves drawing. “I always have,” he says. He uses Adobe Illustrator with a MacBook Pro, Wacom tablet and cinema screen.

“I’ve always enjoyed using Illustrator to find new ways to create my ideas and bring them to life,” he adds. “It’s great that I can monetise the creations, but above all that, I just love creating the images.”

Creative Giants: In this new series we’re looking at inspirational creatives with a thirst for learning and pushing the boundaries. They aren’t afraid to take risks. They face each new challenge with optimism, grit and passion. And they’re changing the world around them, one step at a time.

Glenn Jones Art: printsImages: Glenn Jones Art – Beehives; Beach Store prints

Glenn Jones Art: printsImages: Glenn Jones Art – Road Trip; Be Brave prints







Julia Sagar
Julia Sagar

Author

Julia is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously a commissioning editor for Computer Arts, Creative Bloq, net, 3D World and Imagine FX magazines, she’s been writing about design for 10 years. Tweet her: @JuliaSagar


Leave a comment


Also in RetroSupply Blog

How We Created a 1950s Inspired Jingle for the Woodland Wonderland Brush & Tutorial Pack
How We Created a 1950s Inspired Jingle for the Woodland Wonderland Brush & Tutorial Pack

by Dustin Lee July 25, 2020 4 Comments

This jingle just goes to show what kind of neat stuff you can do with the brushes, tutorials and a little help from your friends! Here's how we did it...

View full article →

60 Free Retro and Vintage Fonts
60 Best Free Retro and Vintage Fonts

by Dustin Lee July 01, 2020 41 Comments

Quickly find the perfect typeface for your designs with our epic collection of high-quality, free retro and vintage fonts. There’s something for every project...

View full article →

10 Must-Read Retro Graphic Design and Illustration Books
10 Must-Read Retro Graphic Design and Illustration Books

by Dustin Lee June 17, 2020 4 Comments

In this article, we've included the best retro books on graphic design and illustration. Whether you're looking to brush up on your typography skills or create more authentic retro illustrations.

View full article →