You’ve probably heard it said that the best time to try something new is to try it live on camera. Haven’t heard that? Well for Maher Hachem (or Munch for short), trying new things during a live stream is the perfect time. So when the YouTube community suggested that he print a fountain print on a tote bag, Munch was up for the challenge.
“I get hype,” he said throughout the live stream.
Munch is the owner of Love Yourself Clothing. As a creative individual, he loves to try new things, all while jamming to original music written by himself and friends. Missed all the fun? Here are three highlights from the stream.
PRINTING LOVE YOURSELF CLOTHING TEES
Munch (a nickname leftover from a rap duo) printed t-shirts for his clothing brand, Love Yourself Clothing. The design was the original logo for the brand, printed in blue ink on gray t-shirts. The logo design, along with the clothing brand, is close to Munch’s heart. And yes, it’s backward on purpose.
Following his dream, Munch wanted to be a music artist but questioned whether he wanted to pursue his passion or stick to the status quo. It took a toll on his mental health. Munch found that small, everyday interactions helped to lighten his spirits.
“When I was having those down days, it was the little things that picked me up,” Munch said. “Smiling with a stranger, a friend checking in on me, or FaceTiming with someone that I hadn’t talked to in a while.”
One day, Munch was looking in the mirror and wished that there was some sort of message somewhere that would give him a little pick-me-up whenever he looked in the mirror. Then, he had an idea.
Munch heat pressed his first “Love Yourself” design in reverse on a shirt for himself, so he could read it forward whenever he looked in the mirror and give himself a mental lift.
“I realized how we are all connected around the subject of mental health,” Munch said.
Munch had experience using heat transfer vinyl on garments from selling his merch at gigs. One day, he was hanging out with some friends at their studio. His friends were screen printing. Munch was inspired by the process and wanted to try it out. The more he tried it, the more he liked screen printing.
When Munch’s friends moved to LA, they gave him their press. It wasn’t much, just a cheap press off Amazon, but it gave him the opportunity to further his experience in screen printing.
In March 2020, Munch launched the website for Love Yourself Clothing, after nearly three years of selling shirts on Instagram, out of the trunk of his car, or at music shows. The impact of the garments has been bigger than he could have imagined.
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Back to the present. Munch has finished a handful of t-shirts and moves on to the next item: tote bags.
Some of Love Yourself Clothing's latest drops, including a screen printed tote bag. Photo by Maher Hachem.
PRINTING FOUNTAIN PRINTS ON TOTE BAGS
Who doesn’t love a tote bag? Especially a custom-printed tote bag. With grocery stores charging for plastic bags — and plastic bags being bad for the environment — why not print a few tote bags with a design featuring the Earth?
Printing tote bags are a little different than printing t-shirts. The main difference is that the design needs to be burned upside down on the screen. Since tote bags are loaded facing forward, the design would be upside down on the final product if you burned it normally.
Munch couldn’t decide what color he wanted to print, so he turned to the community. A suggestion came from the comments to try a fountain print. While Munch hadn’t done a fountain print before, he was down to try something new.
Good thing the crew behind the cameras had some experience with fountain prints. With a little bit of help from the videographer who filmed a fountain prints video last year, Munch was all setup and ready to go.
The trick is to bring the colors against each other, but not blend them. After a few prints, Munch was getting the hang of fountain prints. It was time to get creative.
CREATIVE FOUNTAIN PRINTS
The colors Munch used in the fountain print were Kelly Green and Navy Blue because the design features the Earth. But simply placing ink at the top of the screen and pulling it across the entire design wasn’t enough. Remember the videographer? He had another idea.
By placing the green ink over the continents on the Earth and blue ink where the oceans lie, Munch could screen print an artistic representation of the actual globe. The only trouble with this method is that you can’t really flood the screen, or you’ll blur the colors. But after a few prints, Munch was invested in creative fountain prints.
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GETTING EVERYONE INVOLVED
Generally, the crew behind the camera stays behind the camera. But Munch’s energy was contagious, and everyone came out from behind the scenes to screen print a tote bag.
Getting people involved is one of Munch’s favorite ways to make connections and grow his brand. He answered a couple of questions about how to find clients and other artists for collaborations.
His best advice? Just get out there. You never know what people are about until you get out there and meet them. Like his brand, Munch believes in positivity and always having something to learn, no matter the situation. Sharing knowledge — even about the best pizza spots in his hometown of Detroit — can lead to something great. Munch has plenty of connections through his passion for music.
CONNECTIONS WITH MUSIC
Many screen printers start their journey through the music industry, one way or another, whether it’s printing for local bands or printing your own merch. In fact, music is how Munch started down this journey.
During his senior year at the University of Michigan, Munch lived in a house with six of his friends. Many of his friends were getting jobs in LA and New York, while he was striving to become a full-time musician.
“Everyone around me is like, ‘Man, you’ve got to go get a salary job. You just spend all this money on your education. You can’t just go be an artist,” Munch said.
But that’s what he wanted, to be an artist. He worked hard to make it happen. He started heat pressing the merchandise to support his music career. The connection to music and artists has led to some awesome collaborations for Love Yourself Clothing.
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Even Maher’s nickname “Munch” comes from music. He and a buddy of his used to be in a rap duo. They were trying to think of a name for the duo that flowed well. They were in the supermarket one day and saw a box that read “Crunch and Munch.” That’s all the inspiration they needed. Maher became “Munch” and his buddy was “Crunch.”
Crunch dropped out of the duo shortly after, but Munch’s nickname stuck. He still raps and has made many connections through that world.
Munch runs a small music label called Rare Sounds World, which supports many small artists who are always dropping new music. He also runs a music event production company called Big Pink Media. The company creates monthly events and offers many services to creatives and artists.
And if that’s not enough, he recently opened an event venue called Big Pink Loves You. He’s started DJing there and loves the scene. The venue has a bright (pink) future. With everything going on in Munch’s life, he’s still looking forward to growing his screen printed brand.
Maher’s energy is clearly contagious, and everyone at the Vancouver studio had a ton of fun printing with him. Check out the full live stream to watch more, and hear more about Munch’s story. Want some Love Yourself Clothing merch? Head to their website to pick up your own pick-me-up, backward text shirt.