Suffer for Your Art

Behold my The Shining-inspired Overlook Hotel ceramic mug. It’s probably the most popular thing I have ever offered in my shop. Orders of it have even exceeded direct orders of the Darrow Pack.

I absolutely hate this mug.

Don’t get me wrong, I will continue to offer the Overlook Hotel mug as long as people want it. Hell, this mug was such a joy and inspiration to design that I’m rather embarrassed at how much I hate producing it. Every time a sheet finishes on my cutter, I get a sort of Jack Torrance-styled mania knowing that I have to weed the damn things and then attempt to apply it (mostly) straight onto a flanged and curvy three-inch surface. Yes, I am totally bitching about something I could make go away with a single click… but I won’t.

One of the big things I learned when transitioning this design from on-screen in Illustrator to a live piece in my hands is that lettering is a total bear to deal with in vinyl. Tiny lettering and ultra-thin lettering, such as are on this particular mug, make me grind my teeth and mutter under my breath the entire time I’m dealing with them. I’d say it’s a labor of love, but that love died many many mugs ago.

So keep ordering the damn things and I’ll keep making them. I’ll keep getting side-eye glances from the Mrs. every time I bring home a giant box of blank mugs to take up space in our craft room. And I’ll keep staring at the growing pile of failed application attempts that I just can’t muster the energy to completely clean. Have I mentioned that I hate this mug?

Justin Bowers

Justin is a purveyor of fine code, a collector of many many things, and a sympathetic reader. Aside from here, you can find his inane rantings on Twitter at @aquaphase or on Goodreads.

Justin can be reached here.