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Meet The Team: 21 Questions with Emily Gage in the Art Dept

Imri Merritt

March 22, 2019

Our employees are what truly make Printfly a diverse and unique place to work. We have an extremely talented team of creative individuals who have a passion for what they do and we are proud to showcase them. Emily is currently an Artist and has been with Printfly since October of 2017.

Photo by Lydia Billings

1. Where are you from?

I’m from Rochester, NY. I moved here in November of 2016 with my fiancée Eliza. She wanted to be closer to her family in NJ and I wanted a change. I live in South Philly now, there’s definitely more to do here.

2. How did you find out about Rush Order Tees?

Honestly, it was a billboard on I-95.

3. Did you have any experience with T-shirts or screen printing before working here?

Yeah, I worked in Rochester at a shop called Tiny Fish Printing. I got my start there being the screening person, meaning I developed and washed out screens. I would sometimes float over to counting shirts in or catching at the end of the belt. We started growing and getting more volume in, so my boss asked me if I wanted to work in the art department with Geoff, the only art guy at the time. I had experience in Photoshop and Illustrator so I agreed.

By the way, this was about a week before Geoff was going on his honeymoon for a week. That was my week from hell (laughs). I learned pretty quick what to do and what not to do. It was a great experience working there because we had the time to take down high color halftone jobs if they needed refining, which they often did. If you check out Fright Rags, that’s the kind of art I got started on separating colors for.

4. You’re one of the top designers in the Art Dept. What’s your favorite type of job to work on?

My favorite type of job will always be one with cool artwork, and usually with halftones. I really enjoy recreating art from something low quality and making it look better as well.

© Emily Gage

5. What do you like about working in the Art Dept?

The best part about the Art Dept is how streamlined the process is and continues to become, as well as the volume of halftone orders we get in. I learned so many things much faster simply through the quantity coming through our department.

6. What kind of artwork or projects do you do outside of work?

I recently got an iPad and an Apple Pencil and that thing has me drawing all the time. I love how quick the process is. If I can do something fast and efficiently, that’s the way I want to do it. That goes for almost anything. I’m currently in the sketching process for doing a mural at The Skateboard Academy in Philly as well. That has been fun and so much faster drawing digitally.

Another hobby of mine is making wood fingerboards. A lot of people are into skating them, its a fun subculture. I also happen to screen print my own designs on them.

Fingerboards by Emily Gage. Photo by Dan Leer.
Fingerboards by Emily Gage. Photo by Dan Leer.


Video shot & edited by Dan Leer.

7. How did you first get into skateboarding?

Well, along with many others of my age, during the late 90’s – early 2000’s. I think I was 7 when I got my first skateboard. It was from Walmart and had dinosaurs on it. The one after that was a World Industries deck and after that a Zero deck that I still have! I stopped skating for a very long time because I thought I was just really bad at it and it was supposed to be easier. No one tells you it’s really hard!

I also had no skate friends so that made it a little lonely. I got back into it when I moved to Philly completely unaware that there are so many amazing parks and DIY spots here. I’ve even found a community of girl skaters which is really inspiring and fun. I’ve learned a lot about myself skating. It’s become less about tricks and more about perseverance and personal expression.

© Emily Gage

8. What are some goals you have for the next 5 years?

Ollie over something and continue to progress. This summer I want to master dropping in. Do more freelance work and enough that my website looks fresh. I want to be making more art and doing some more designing. I also want to skateboard more and try to get a lot better. Save up money for wedding bands. I don’t know if this is a goal, but I’m getting married next March.

9. Congratulations! Must be exciting. Do you have everything planned or just getting started?

We’ve got the basics planned for now; venue, church (which will be at First Unitarian, a legend spot for the punk and hardcore scene in Philly), and we’re doing a tasting pretty soon with the caterer we chose. All vegetarian wedding. Not sorry.

Photo by Lydia Billings

10. What’s the best part about working for Rush Order Tees?

The stability, the people in my department, the attitude. If there is something you want to contribute to, the company is open to it.

11. Ok, serious question. What movie can you watch over and over without getting tired of it?

The name keeps popping in my head, so I’ll say Hot Fuzz. It’s hilarious and there’s kinda two movies in one by taking a weird turn towards the end.

12. If you could only keep 3 possessions, what would they be?

Skateboard. Guitar. Pencil. Put me on an island with that stuff. I’ll find a coconut or something for food.

13. What was one of your most defining moments in life? Besides being born.

Probably when I got a guitar for my 11th birthday. I wanted it really bad because I know I wanted to play. I was really good for a kid my age and I was kinda invisible in Middle School, but people started to see me when I won my school’s talent show. It included these high school kids too. (laughs) Take that!

14. If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be?

When Tony Hawk landed the first 900. It was the first one really recorded ever, and so many people were there watching. It was such a celebration. He really set a precedent for the future, which is something skaters continue to do today. It just keeps getting better and better.

© Emily Gage

15. What does a perfect day look like to you?

My perfect day would be getting up and having breakfast with my fiancée, Eliza…Eggs Benedict! Then going with her to skateboard with my friends. After that, we would probably also go out to the pier. I think we’d end the day by going out dancing somewhere with friends. Or getting ice cream.

16. Pick two public figures or celebrities to be your parents.

I think my mom would be Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She’s a Supreme Court Judge…she’s ancient and awesome! (laughs) My other mom would be Elissa Steamer. She was the first woman to become a pro skateboarder.

17. What’s your go-to artist/band when you can’t decide on something to listen to?

Listen, I like a lot of music mainly heavy alt-rock or hardcore as of now. But if I can’t decide on something or I’m in a bad mood, or even in a great mood, it Carly Rae Jepsen! Hands down. She’s Canada’s sweetheart and really a pop icon. All of her songs I could really listen to on repeat and never get tired of them.

18. When do you feel most confident?

This may sound weird: I feel most confident when my head is clear of all the things I tell myself and I can remember the humanity in everyone. We can get so bogged down by the things we think that it keeps us from experiencing life. When I take responsibility for myself and how I react, I feel like I can take on anything. We’re all human, and more the same than not.

19. What living or dead person, other than family members, do you most admire?

I think Lacey Baker. She’s also a pro skateboarder. She’s unapologetically herself and has a really unique style. Also my parents. They taught me so much growing up and continue to.

Photo by M

20. What advice would you give someone just starting out in the T-shirt design business?

Listen, and ask questions relentlessly.

21. Where can people connect with you or see more of your artwork?

My Instagram is @emilygage_ and my website is egageillustration.com

Thanks, Emily. Nice talking to you.

Thanks M!





Imri Merritt

About the Author

A graduate of the Multimedia program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Imri Merritt is an industry veteran with over 10 years of graphic design and color separations experience in the screen printing industry.