Andy Reilly: Engineer Major with an Eye for Art

Western’s Her Campus would like to make Andy Reilly this week’s campus celebrity because he’s not afraid to go after his passions. Graduating this spring as an electric engineer major for technology, Reilly has always loved being hands-on and working with technology. However, his real passion in life isn’t found on the computer screen, but in a paint brush. Reilly has been making his own t-shirt designs for years and just recently started moving his masterpieces onto a new type of canvas-shoes!

“Art is more of an expression of myself,” Reilly said. He’s never been too focused on the profit, but has enjoyed seeing his art skills grow. As Reilly’s designing skills grown so are his ideas to showcase his work to more audiences. He currently has three brand names each with their own unique style; StashWorks, Trunk Junk and Techno Friday.

                        (Reilly wearing his StashWorks t-shirt design and sitting on his couch with the fabric he designed as well)

Reilly has been making all sorts of designs for these brands, mostly t-shirts, but also fabric designs for couches, poster designs and hand-painted designs for Vans shoes. Using the website domain, Reilly said he wants to create a whole clothing line that can expand to polos, button-ups and bowties. “When I go shopping it’s hard to find things I really like, so this is way to express what I enjoy the most,” Reilly said.

He started making t-shirt designs with friends in high school just for fun. In fact, the StashWorks name comes from a group project Reilly said he did in high school.


                                 (Here you can see the detail and time Reilly took to make his first painted shoe)

The motivation to start painting shoes partially came from various Instagram users taking custom orders to paint shoes. Reilly was going to order himself some, but then decided there was no reason he couldn’t try to make his very own. A large part of Reilly’s motivation comes from things in his own life he’s passionate about, like the Seahawks, which inspired him to paint his first pair of shoes. Reilly said he painted these to get ready to go to the Seahawk’s Super Bowl game in 2014 and didn’t finish the second shoe, with the Lombardi trophy until after the Hawk’s victorious win. Since then, Reilly has painted three other pairs of shoes, each with Reilly’s keen attention to detail and fun creativity.

    (Reilly's first finished pair, after starting the Seahawks pair. These shoes were a gift for Reilly's brother, whose favorite actor is Jason Statham)

After graduation, Reilly hopes to get an electrical engineering job that will allow him to be hands-on, but at the same time hope to dive into his dreams of creating his own clothing line. The hardest part about creating these brands is making his toughest critic happy-himself!

Creating his own website to sell his designs, has been especially difficult, he said. “I’m a perfectionist. I like to make everything from scratch. And it’d be so much easier to use a template but I rather make something completely my own. I want to be able to say I made this all on my own,” Reilly said.

“It’s one of the things about being an artist. Nothing’s ever perfect and you want it to always be perfect,” he said. Reilly explains how being a perfectionist can sometimes hold him back, but pushing himself to try new challenges helps him to remember it’s helpful to just let go sometimes.

Here's a screenshot of Reilly's site. Feel free to contact him through the site to order any of his designs and ask for custom-designed shoes.


All photo credit goes to Andy Reilly.