Not that long ago I discovered this cool and relatively new apparel brand called Pirate Piška. As it is in my nature, I quickly arranged the interview with the girl who stands behind it: the awesome Tjaša. It doesn't take much for her super talent and the punk vibe of her handmade products to win your heart over. Her assortment of products ranges from the oh-so-dope T-shirts, tote bags, and backpacks to alluring prints, stickers, and badges. I instantly fell in love with her fox prints and I'm sure I'll spend the whole friggin' summer in one of her fox(ie) T-shirts. Wanna get to know the Pirate Tjaša better? I've got you covered, so just keep on scrollin'.
Yo, I just finished a super cool project called Little Dudes; it's a collaboration project based in Berlin and I could really use a break now since I'm a bit tired from all the things I'm involved in at the moment. My problem in general is that I don't know how to actually stop, I'm always on the run. A cup of coffee, sugar, and I'm ready to roll!
Well, about the brand: I started almost two years ago and since then I managed to do everything myself, from the early sketch to the final product. Partly coz I'm a control freak, partly coz I absolutely enjoy every phase of the process, and partly coz I can't imagine doing anything else but this. It became my lifestyle and there's nothing else I would rather do. Pirate Piška über alles!
What inspired you to start your own little apparel business? What is Pirate Piška all about?
I wanted to make things by myself since I can remember. The thrill of doing things with your own hands is what keeps me going and gives me the pleasure of being. When I discovered screen printing, WOW that was for sure one of the best moments for me. The combination of fine drawing and getting your hands dirty with printing (well, this is actually a pretty clean job, but you know what I mean) - it's rad. So basically to start my own little apparel business was just the next smart thing to do, it's just the right combination of things I love: drawing, designing, sewing, screen printing, and to capture all of this into a cool photo, well that's just my type of heaven. I remember the moment when I said to my friend that I'm going to start making my own T-shirts and bags, and all I got was a funny look. But hey, that didn't stop me from trying. So, if you want something, you just go and make it happen. Pirate Piška is all about hand printed T-shirts, tote bags, backpacks, stickers, and badges.
Much of your work features very cool little foxes. What do you enjoy the most when illustrating them? Do they represent something special to you?
Well, my fox doesn't have such a strong message like the ones from Lars Von Trier's, but she sure became my close friend over time. I'm not quite sure where and when she came into my life, but we had some rad times together, that's fo sho.
Where do you seek your inspiration and how does that inspiration turn into reality?
It's easy for me to find inspiration. It's practically everywhere, but mostly it comes from music, movies, photography, and of course from life in general. Sometimes it can be a simple line in a drawing I like or a quote from a movie that later manifests in my brain. I'm not quite sure what happens upstairs and how that really translates into reality, but the most fulfilling moment for me is when things just fall into place, when a simple idea passes into a whole story. Then I make a sketch. Or I don't, it depends.
It's only natural that style changes over time. How has your work evolved from your early creations?
I sure did grew up since I started. I got a lot more confident in what I do and learned so much over the years. I'm not afraid to make mistakes or try out new techniques along the way and of course I learn from them.
Are there any aspects of your life that you try to capture in your work?
I really want to capture the DIY approach in everything I do and I'd love to see more people appreciate that. I strongly believe in the punk attitude of doing things yourself and I have a very strong opinion of how different aspects of my business should be done. I always follow my guts in terms of what is right for my work.
What obstacles did you face in trying to become a designer with a new brand? What is the one thing that you absolutely hate doing?
Pink Floyd once said: "Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today." It's true. It's bad if you have it too much and you become one sick maniac, and it's especially bad if this is an obstacle to achieve your dreams. I think punk saved me and convinced me that I can do what I want no matter what. My brain is still quite brilliant, coming up with different ideas of how to make things happen, although that usually means that I spend five times more on doing everything by hand and get three times less money for that.
Above all I hate (self) promotion the most. I still think that good work will speak for itself, but sadly I see that's not usually the case.
Who do you think are the ideal Pirate Piška peeps?
Girls and boys who like to wear white printed T-shirts and black skinny jeans, and are always searching for something unique and handmade. But generally everybody who supports local designers and don't give a f*$k about fancy brands.
How do you handle criticism?
Hmm, criticism coming from people with knowledge can't be taken as a bad thing, so I try to take that under consideration and learn from it. If the criticism comes from people who don't know shit, well, that's just ... Huh, it's bullshit. If it comes from a negative mind then you just have to smile and wave, you know just smile and wave.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Huh, ten years? I truly hope I'll still be able to do what I love doing. Right now I'm so focused on doing things month after month, you know just grabbing the opportunities whenever I can, so I actually don't think so far away in the future.
My biggest goal right now is to finish the renovation of my grandpa's old workplace that me and my boy started last summer and it turned out to be our dream workspace. You can check the progress on my blog that's made especially for this project. Look for me and check my work on the blog in the future too!
Where can my readers find your creations?
Thanks so much + keep on rockin'!
Hey foxy lady, thank you for the opportunity to speak up my mind!
You can also follow Pirate Piška over on her blog, Instagram, and Facebook. Warning: keep your eyes peeled for some more Pirate Piška goodies here on my blog - there might be a little giveaway happening pretty soon *insert excited high pitched voice here*!