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Alumnus Turns Talent Into Worldwide T-shirt Sales

Kevin Sherry '04 Turns Wearable Designs Into a Global Brand

Posted 11.01.10 by mica communications

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"There are a lot of Squidfire shirts out there," said Kevin Sherry, a MICA graduate who turned his love for illustration into a successful clothing line.

When Sherry graduated from MICA in 2004, his interest in sequential art led him to screen print comic strips onto Hanes undershirts and take them to an alternative comics convention. "It's a hard thing to sell comics to people, but I would sell out of T-shirts every time," Sherry recalled. Recognizing a good thing when he saw it, Sherry and his best friend, Jean-Baptiste Regnard, teamed up in 2005 to launch Squidfire, a retail channel that would give Sherry's art a global audience for his original cartoon creations that he described as "uncomplicated" and "fun."

Squidfire OtterWith more than 150 designs, Squidfire T-shirts have been sold in more than 100 stores across the world, including such faraway places as germany and South Korea. In 2008, Sherry and Regnard opened their own store in Baltimore.

When asked what it is like to see his designs turned into wearable art, Sherry said: "It's pretty cool. I always yell at people, 'hey nice shirt' and they don't know that it's me who designed it."

Inspired by children's books and the lessons he learned while getting his illustration degree, Sherry keeps a sketchbook nearby to come up with new designs. With the holiday shopping season approaching, Sherry is particularly interested in getting new designs out that can be offered as gifts.

At 28, Sherry is involved in other ventures, such as illustrating children's books, but the Squidfire designs give him a unique sense of creative satisfaction because he gets to knew his customers and how they like to express themselves.

"In a weird way I think I have to collaborate with customers to create a certain look and a certain feel to create shirts that would be a good product," he said.