An entrepreneurial pupil from Ashville College in Harrogate is hoping to make a name for himself in the world of fashion and commerce by selling clothes featuring his own ethical artwork.
As a Christmas present, 13-year-old Will Johnson’s parents had a number of his artistic creations printed onto T-shirts; but not only that, they set him up in business!
Whilst Will’s designs are currently only available on T-shirts, his ‘Willful Productions’ enterprise is looking to expand the range of products in the coming months.
Will’s creative streak began to shine through at the age of just three with him making glittery Christmas cards with his mum at the kitchen table.
Fast forward ten years, and his creative digital projects have evolved and grown into a collection of thought-provoking T-shirts!
One design, the Greta Lisa (pictured), takes inspiration from the wisdom of Da Vinci and the activism of Greta Thunberg. It creates a statement about the climate emergency and if you look closely you’ll see Leonardo too.
And to back up Will’s own ethical and environmental convictions, the product is constructed from 100 per cent organic cotton and printed in the UK in a renewable energy-powered factory.
“My mum and dad thought it would be a shame for all my hard work to just gather dust, so they took my designs and created the store.
“The rest is up to me with their support, of course, as I can’t legally own the business at 13!
“I’ve set up the social media accounts, and, of course, the designs are my own. I have done some commissions as well, and I will be adding more designs and products like hoodies and bags in the next couple of months.”
Ashville College art teacher Tom Drew said:
“Will certainly has a very creative streak. He has taken very well to digital art and his designs lend themselves beautifully to adorning the front of T-shirts.
“Will has shown great entrepreneurial skill, organisation and hard work in getting his message out. He’s certainly not short of ideas, and, as the weather gets warmer, I’m sure we will see a number of T-shirts being worn by pupils and teachers alike.”