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Meet Tessa Battistin, Founder of Asset Designs

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McGill chapter.



Meet Tessa Battistin, a first-year McGill student and founder of Asset Designs, her screen-printing hobby-turned-small business. Asset Designs is relatively young: most of its publicity has happened through friends of friends looking for hand-drawn, original designs printed onto a variety of merchandise for customers. Tessa would be “ecstatic” if it turned into a career one day, but right now it’s just a creative outlet she uses to relieve stress during her busy life as an undergrad. Her Campus sat down with Tessa to learn about her young business and gain insight into how to turn a passion into a profitable opportunity. 

HC: Where did you get the inspiration to start Asset Designs?

Tessa Battistin (TB): In high school, one of my teachers taught me how to screen print. I would stay late after school to learn the art, and began to print my own hand-drawn designs. My designs take inspiration from a variety of sources. One of my most popular designs is the “2 Golden Fish,” based on a Tibetan Buddhist symbol of a koi that represents happiness and joy. After my first print with the help of my mentor, I began to conceive a business idea. Friends were interested in getting one of my prints onto clothing, and soon their friends gained interest too. 

HC: What inspires the prints on the t-shirts you sell, and have they been popular with the McGill community now that Asset Designs has extended beyond your hometown and grown in popularity on campus?

TB: Most of my prints are animals, which come from doodles I’ve done. They’ve been really well-received since the beginning so I’ve kept the concept, plus they’re aesthetically pleasing on clothing. Friends of friends at McGill have shown interest in Asset Designs; I think students like the idea of having an original print, so the homemade aspect is definitely appealing. There’s something much more special about the type of clothing Asset Designs produces. It’s not just something bought at a chain store like H&M, plus it’s unisex. My work particularly appeals to the artsy, hipster crowd of McGill.

HC: Does your interest in art extend beyond just screen-printing?

TB: Absolutely. Besides screen-printing, I use pen and ink as a medium and I enjoy sketching and illustration. I’m particularly focused on what would look good on a T-shirt, as that’s the basis for Asset Designs. 

HC: Right now, Asset Designs just has a Facebook page but clearly its gaining popularity. Do you have plans to expand Asset Designs in the future?

TB: Right now, it’s just a hobby and a creative outlet. But I’d be thrilled to turn it into something larger than that one day. 

HC: Do you have any advice for other students interested in starting something similar? Is Asset Designs ever hard to balance with school? 

TB: Definitely. The first step is to show your work to somebody. Friends and family members are great for this because they’ll provide the necessary encouragement. Branching out beyond that circle and starting a Facebook page to gain “likes” helps with publicity. There’s no harm in this kind of self-promotion when it comes to art: your posts will be much more interesting in friends’ newsfeeds than just another party pic and the work doesn’t have to be perfect. Also, give yourself some credit for making it as far as you have in your work! You never know how it will take off but the point is that you’re doing something valuable. Since Asset Designs doesn’t really seem like work to me because it’s something I love to do, it’s a great way to cope with the stress of school. Art is wonderful in this way. 

If you’re interested in checking out Tessa’s work, check out Asset Designs’ Facebook page. By messaging the page or emailing tessa.battistin@mail.mcgill.ca you can place an order for an original design printed onto an item of your choice. You can give Asset Designs a piece of clothing or for an additional fee they’ll provide you with one. All pricing and pictures are on the Facebook page.

Images Retrieved From: https://www.facebook.com/AssetDesigns