Welcome to the I Heart Tulsa blog, where I post the photos I take here in Tulsa, Oklahoma!
Here is a photo I shot of the fabulous Nikki Jenkins, a petite model and photographer. Follow Nikki on Instagram!
We took the photo at Inner Circle Vodka Bar in downtown Tulsa’s Brady Arts District on Sunday, July 23, 2017. Big thanks to Inner Circle Vodka Bar for hosting the photo shoot. Inner Circle Vodka Bar is a locally-owned Tulsa business that I encourage everyone to support. They have a full bar, including beer, wine, mimosas, and of course, vodka based libations. They even make some of their own, original vodka drinks! Give them a try next time you are in the Brady Arts District in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma.
For this photo of Nikki wearing my I Heart Tulsa T-shirt, I used a Nikon D3300, along with two, limited edition Alien Bee lights with silver reflective umbrellas and a white cotton backdrop.
I print each of my shirts by hand in my Tulsa art studio. I print on T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, baby onesies, kids T-shirts, women’s T-shirts, V-Neck T-shirts, crew neck T-shirts, scoop neck T-shirts, sweaters, and more! I print them with several different slogans I have created, including (but not limited to) I Heart Tulsa, Don’t Hate the 918, Mimosa Mafia, I Speak Okie, Unbreakable, and more!
I print each T-shirt using eco-friendly inks that are good for the environment. The inks are water-based and non-toxic, unlike inks used on my shirts. They are still very strong and pigmented inks that last for years and years. Some people have my shirts that they bought 13 years ago and have washed hundreds of times and the shirts are still holding up and looking good.
Another key thing about my shirts that make them different than most is that I print in an art studio using the same kind of screen printing methods used by fine artists like Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg. Most T-shirts are printed using industrial equipment like flash dryers and multi-armed presses. I hand-print each and individual shirt just like I would hand-print my fine art prints.
I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Printmaking from the University of Tulsa. I also have an Associates in Art Degree from Tulsa Community College. I have exhibited my paintings and prints in over 100 galleries and exhibitions since 2001. I have also taught art at Tulsa Community College, Youth Services of Tulsa, Philbrook Museum, and Gilcrease Museum.
I have been printing T-shirts for 13 years and counting. I started printing T-shirts when I was an art student at the University of Tulsa (TU), 2003-2005. I was a printmaking major and screen printing was a major focus of mine. I began printing shirts for my friends. The first I Heart Tulsa shirt was one I made for a friend as a going-away present. She was graduating TU and moving to India to become a Yoga instructor. I made her an I Heart Tulsa shirt to commemorate her time spent in Tulsa.
After I gave her the I Heart Tulsa shirt, my friends starting ordering more of them from me. A business was born! After I graduated TU in 2005, I printed shirts full-time and sold them in locally-owned Tulsa boutiques. Soon after I started making I Heart Tulsa T-shirts, I followed it up with other fun, original phrases like Don’t Hate the 918 and I Speak Okie. These became unofficial slogans for Oklahomans and Oklahoma-lovers. I trademarked each phrase and spun them off into several creative projects, including clothing lines, greeting cards, drinkware, magnets, postcards, buttons, fine art, photography, and more!
In recent years, I have continued making my Oklahoma themed T-shirts, while branching out into making new shirts with international appeal, like my new Mimosa Mafia shirt and my Unbreakable diamond shirt.
My shirts have appeared in People Magazine twice, Southern Living Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and more! Several celebrities have worn my shirts, including Taylor Hanson, Isaac Hanson, Zac Hanson, Kristin Chenoweth, Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, John McCrea of Cake, Rufus Wainwright, and more!
You can buy my shirts on my web site, ispeakokie.com. You can also buy them by messaging me on Facebook or on Instagram. I will ask for your email address and I will email you a PayPal invoice. Once you pay the invoice, I will custom make your shirt and mail it to you! Shirts are $25 – $28 each.
I also have various Pop Up Shops all over the Tulsa area, where you can buy my shirts. Follow me on Instagram to get updates as to where I will be and when I will be doing future Pop Up Shops!
You can also buy my shirts anytime at Ida Red Boutique (two locations: one in the Brady Arts District and one on Brookside) and Decopolis (in the Deco District of downtown Tulsa).
I also work full time as a jewelry designer for Spexton Fine Jewelry, located at 1609 E 15th Street, Tulsa, OK 74120. That is right in the heart of Cherry Street, on 15th and just a few blocks west of Utica. At Spexton, I design custom engagement rings and wedding bands.
I also do photography on the side. Message me if you would like to be photographed. I shoot indoor portraits of men, women, and children. You can see more of my photography on cluckcreative.wordpress.com and donthatethe918.com.
Come back to this site, cluckcreative.wordpress.com, to see my latest photographs, T-shirts, and art projects!
Thank you for supporting local, Oklahoma artists!
Tulsa Artist and Designer