I had a chance to sit down with Preston Mitchell, Nashville native and creator behind Tatpack, a brand that is stepping the game up for how we view and appreciate art. Check out this artpreneur’s story, get inspired and add this to your social stories to share this week.
How did you get started as an artist: My sophmore year at Hunters Lane high school I got cut from the basketball team, so I needed to find a new hobby. I had an art teacher named Mr. Donelly ( I will never forget) and he would always tell me I could really draw. One day he gave me some paint and a canvas, and I ended up making a painting that one a contest in my class, so I basically just went from there.
So, what is Tatpack: Tatpack is a new innovative way of capturing creativity and artistic expression. For the millions of people who wear backpacks and love to be unique Tatpack is for them. Every piece is original and HAND-PAINTED by me. I have had the opportunity to paint custom backpacks for the kid heading back to school, the skater to NBA professionals, including Steph Curry, Micheal Bibby and Aaron Gordon.
NO BACKPACK IS THE SAME!
Why did you start Tatpack: I was in my college dorm freshman year, and I spilled some white paint on a friend’s backpack. So, he was like now you got this paint on my bag, put your “magic” to it in order to fix it back up. So, I basically created some artwork on his bag and everyone on campus started wanting me to make a bag for them and it just popped from there.
So, you have over 54k Instagram followers, tell us how you did that: Basically, promote, promote, promote. Now, that we are in the age of free promotion, IG is a great place to put yourself out there and connect with other people and businesses that share the same core audience. I was also consistent with my artwork and the content I put out there.
Why are you a different kind of artists: The canvas I chose to use and the passion + creativity I put into each backpack I design.
Why backpacks: I originally wanted to do shoes but there are a million people doing shoes, so I thought why not put my art on backpacks. My backpack designs allow people to not only wear a piece of art, but experience history in the making. No backpack is the same.
Quote/scripture you live by: do what you love, love what you do. This is pretty much the quote I go by everyday. You will always waking up loving what you do.
What would you suggest for other people looking to take their art side hustle to the next level: Branch out into magazines, flyers, local event promotions and get connected to your local art scene. This will allow you to get out there, start getting projects and other opportunities to showcase your work.
What’s next for Tatpack: My goal is to make over 10,000 custom backpacks!! In the meantime, for the 2016 school year I should be in a LA or NY doing my first ever back to school backpack art preview.