I am a professional graphic designer and illustrator. I began making Star Wars-inspired t-shirts for myself as a hobby only because I didn't like the designs that were available at the time. I wanted to show my love of Star Wars but also wanted to wear something that reflected a bit of my own personality and design sense.
I was a kid of the 70s and 80s. I was 8 years old in 1977 when the first film was released, so I have very fond memories of the films that are also tied up with nostalgia for the pop aesthetic of that era. And as a professional graphic designer, I love clean, pared-down design that gets to the point without frills, fuss - that design for design's sake. When friends saw the designs that I came up with, they encouraged me to begin selling online.
There are now hundreds of online outlets offering hundreds of Star Wars-based designs, most of which are terrible and/or direct ripoffs of others. (My original Tatooine design has been ripped off countless times and sold on sites like Alibaba, teechip, and other shady sites that don't monitor content or offer recourse for stolen designs.) But my philosophy is still the same: I will not sell a shirt that I wouldn't want to wear myself. One of the ways I show my love for Star Wars is to put my own design spin on familiar visual elements from the films. It's how designers and illustrators do when they love something. I hope that others out there will enjoy my designs and wear them as a way to express their fandom.