March 21, 2008
We interview Kelly Scott Orr, CEO of indie clothing label “Burn This Forever”.
TM:First off, alot of people might be wondering about the name. So what’s the idea behind it?
KSO:This is kind of confusing but bare with me please. When i was 15 I downloaded a song online by the band ALKALINE TRIO (my favorite band in the whole world) and the song title that someone gave it was BURNTHIS.FRVR.mp3 (that is not an actual ALKALINE TRIO song). But i liked the sound of it so I went with it. Hope that makes sense. Haha.
TM:Most of your shirts have a distinct hand drawn look to them. Are these all drawn by you or is there a Burn This Forever design team?
KSO:Nope, just little old me. I do it all myself. I’ve thought about hiring a staff and stuff but when it comes down to it, I really don’t trust anyone with my designs. If I fail I want to fail on my own and not have people to let down, but if I make it huge and take over the world than I dont have anyone to
thank for it but myself and maybe my bunny rabbit ‘Hamburger’. Hes so rad. He sits on my desk with me while I design.
TM: Which of your shirts is your favorite?
KSO:My favorite shirt from my clothing line would have to be either my RANDOM MESS shirt or my SHOOT HOOPS NOT DRUGS shirt. My favorite shirts that ive designed for a client would have to be my PARAMORE Hot Topic Exclusive or my HELLOGOODBYE Hot Topic Exclusive, you know the one with all the wieners on it. Hahahaa its so funny to see little 12 year old girls running around with wieners on their shirt.
TM:How long have you been in the t-shirt biz and what have you learned?
KSO:I have only been designing for about 3 years now. I graduated from the Art Institute of Orange County. After I graduated I went to work for Drive-Thru records as the in-house graphic designer and ive been there for 3 years now. I’ve learned so much in the last couple of years but the lessons i live my life by are… 1. TRUST NO ONE
2. NO ONE IS REALLY YOUR FRIEND
3. DESIGN WHAT YOU LOVE and F*!K WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK.
TM:Where do you get your inspiration from when it comes to designing t-shirts?
KSO:Anyone that knows me would agree that I am one of the weirdest people they have ever met and that I have my own way of thinking that no one could possibly understand. All of my ideas come from my head. Some are cute, some are morbid, and some just dont make sense, but I think thats why people like my stuff. Its interesting to look at and it doesnt make sense. What more
could you ask for in a t-shirt. Haha.
TM:It seems you work with a bunch of other indie labels and design tees for some bands. What’s it like being involved in all these projects?
KSO:Working with some of the biggest bands in the industry is awesome. I’ve met a ton of amazing people but I have to be honest, there are alot of amazing people in this industry but there are also ALOT of sketchy people as well. I have been very fortunate to have worked with mostly awesome people. All my clients are super easy to work with. its always cool to be at a show and actually meet the bands and tell them that I designed pretty much every shirt they have hanging up behind their merch booth. It’s a good feeling to see people wearing your designs. It lets me know that im doing a rad job at what I do.
TM:What’s the coolest project you’ve ever worked on?
KSO:Well, i have had a few really rad projects, one being METALLICA!!!!!! When they came to me I seriously thought it was a joke but they were serious indeed. One of my newest projects is for ALKALINE TRIO. Long story short, ALKALINE has used the same graphic designer for 10 years straight and no one else, but recently I was asked to design a couple shirts for them that you will see very soon in your local Hot Topic store, so go buy them!!! DUH!!!!
TM:What tips could you give to others trying to get into the t-shirt biz?
KSO:Its really hard work so just stick to it. Dont get discouraged if your stuff doesnt catch on at first and dont start > designing just because you think its a good way to meet Hayley from Paramore. Haha do it for yourself.
FOR MORE ON KELLY SCOTT ORR AND BURN THIS FOREVER, VISIT THE WEBSITE: