For 11 years, I taught English inside a high school in south central Indiana with very few windows. The cinder blocks were painted a white shade of white and for laminated posters to really adhere to the walls, glue gun glue worked best. Most teachers used lots of tape and all that tape did was take that white shade of white right off the walls, where underneath there was a beige shade of beige. I'm not sure what color was better, but what I am sure of is the walls needed some dressing, so I dressed my walls. I dressed them well, ready-for-church/private school well.
Perhaps the most beloved dressing in my room hung to the right of my clock. It was an image of a cow that had a glazed look on its face. Beneath it's neck were the words FOCUS. It was simple advice for those Indiana juniors and seniors who loved looking at that clock. It was a simple reminder for them to think about their existence and stop wasting their time looking at the time. It's a word I would regularly use as I paced back and forth in my room as kids started to fade. And that image was so good there by the clock because that is not a look anyone wants on his/her face - glazed eyes, looking nowhere, alive but not alive.
So I had an idea four or five years ago to get that cow on a shirt for myself and some friends. I had dabbled in some pretty super DIY screen printing in my early 20s under the guidance of the great Matte Cathcart. I knew the steps, but I didn’t have the gear.
I spent some time on Craigslist and quickly found a decent press and some screens and some squeegees for $80. I treated myself with my hard-earned teaching salary and started getting back into the process late into the evenings when all of the papers were graded.
Pretty quickly, I figured it out. Pretty quickly, I started treating myself to more gear (always on Craigslist. There is always somebody out there getting out of screen printing, kids! never pay full price!) pretty quickly, I thought, I should open up an Etsy store. Pretty quickly people started buying some shirts. And then people started requesting custom gear, which forced me to teach myself how to print things I had never printed.
So here we are now. I resigned my teaching position in 2019, a very difficult thing to do because I loved my time in that classroom, and I'm giving this badknees thing a full-time go. Be sure to follow along on the social media if you're not already because we are constantly becoming more famous than we already are.
Badknees is located in Bloomington, Indiana.
If you're interested in a quote, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 812-287-9899
And if you need some background music while you surf chew on some JFBRONTOSAURUS. It is another badknees venture. It is badknees. It’s just called JFBRONTOSAURUS. You’ll find out why if you listen to every song ever recorded and memorize the lyrics and then sing the lyrics along with this songs. There are a lot of songs, though, so it might take you some years. If you prefer hard copies of JFBRONTOSAURUS, head on over to LAUREN RECORDS. you can find JFBRONTOSAURUS on the cassettes.