The Formative Years - Part I (2012-2014)

Part I (2012-2014)
2012 art-uwl

I am sure a lot of current homies have pondered the question, “why Collapsing Sun?” and “where did it start?” Well I am going to answer some of these questions and take you on a little bit of a stroll down memory lane - if you will. 

I first started the process of printmaking in college at University of Wisconsin – La Crosse where I studied more “fine art” printing processes such as intaglio, woodblock & lithography. I fell in love with the process of printing and only knew a few people who were interested in screenprinting at that time. 

What started my path towards screenprinting was really Oktoberfest in La Crosse WI. Everyone got custom shirts made with stupid shit like “Drunk 1” & “Drunk 2,” a weirdo play on “Thing 1 & 2” from Dr. Seuss? So me being the DIY, poor type that I was, I decided to make my own by creating a stencil and spray painting the shirts. Of course, these designs had literally nothing to do with Oktoberfest and/or drinking. 

My first shirt was a random guy on it with the words “Don’t make me go pop the trunk on you” because at that time my brother and I were overplaying that 0-60 album by Yelawolf. The second shirt I made was sort of a play-off of that one movie with Will Ferrell where he’s shouting at his Ma about Meatloaf. 

At this point I knew I wanted to start doing more stuff on shirts, so I experimented more with stencil and spray paint, eventually I needed to learn more… so in 2013 I got a job working for a screenprinting place right outside of La Crosse in Holmen, WI. 

I was like, “sick I’m gonna ask eventually if I can just start printing my own stuff on the side,” well that definitely didn’t turn out as planned because the owner actually ended up being a huge prick so I quit after 6 months and got a job at a recycling plant instead.


After the screenprinting job failed, I was still itching to get back into a shop to print but I didn’t wanna deal with an asshole boss so I started researching more about the process and how I could get my hands on a press. Towards the end of 2013 I ended up stumbling upon a website called and found this company called “Ryonet” who made presses catered towards “hobbyists” and beginners, so the first press I bought was the “DIY starter pack” for like $250. 

At first I had no fucking clue what I was doing, due to the fact that at the printing job I had I only printed. I never got to learn the other processes or how to do anything else. So I dove head first into trying to learn everything I could about printing on my own. 

I ended up some how graduating in 2013 from college but still had no fucking clue what I was doing so I signed back up for more school (yay me :( ), in late 2013 I started going to school at Western Technical College in La Crosse for Graphic Design with a cert. in Web design. School was a breeze but I definitely learned a hell of a lot more in tech school then I did at Uni.

In 2014 for one of our final capstone projects, we had to create a fictional brand and create mockups, website, brand guides etc for this brand and all the classes were kind of centered around this fictional brand of your choice. I was pretty into streetwear but from a distance, because again I was poor as shit. 

I always was into the likes of The Hundreds, Supreme, Crooks & Castles and artists like Shepard Fairey (Obey Giant) & Banksy. That whole skate/streetwear brand combo was always at the forefront of my mind but I also had no friends who were into that shit, honestly I really had no friends for most of childhood, but we can touch on that another day. 

So anyway I had thought for a minute about what I was gonna do and I was just strolling through the mall one day window shopping and I realized that I could create a brand. I was like “yo I could do this shit. I can create a brand.” So in the deepest recess of the Valley View Mall my first ideas and concepts for Collapsing Sun were born.

Thus ends Part 1.

The Formative Years - Part 2 "The Formation of Collapsing Sun Threads (2014-2016)" coming soon.

Stay Gnarly

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