Cut The Music Prints shows the love of Greensboro on T-shirts
It all started with a T-shirt and a dorky design. The shirt was designed to be an element from the periodic table with the letters “GSO” with an atomic number of “336.”
Cut The Music Prints owner and screen-printer Peter Daye said he got the idea of screen printing T-shirts with hometown designs by Kit Rodenbough of Design Archives.
“I had no experience in design, so I basically had to teach myself,” Daye said. “I was going to run with it and see what happens. When people caught onto it there was an explosion of support.”
Daye said since Cut The Music Prints began in December 2016, it has evolved into a two-ply small business. Daye still makes Greensboro-themed designs but now he is also focusing on helping other artists, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations get the word out with a T-shirt design. “When I started learning how to print, one of the things I noticed was a lot of my friends who were artists or musicians, they couldn’t afford screen printing,” Daye said. “When I started printing, my first thing was to look out for those people. Nonprofit organizations sort of fell into that, where they weren’t working with a lot of money either. Those were the places I started helping out, not to compete or undercut other businesses, but I just felt like there was no need to gouge people because they don’t the same financial backing or budget of bigger businesses.”
Mostly, Daye said he works with local restaurants, bars and artists. Some of those include Living On The Veg, The Bboy Ballet, Grey’s Tavern, New Garden Friends Meeting, Jerusalem Market, Joymongers and even YES! Weekly for last year’s Triad Margarita Wars. Some of the artists and nonprofits he has worked with has been Anne-Claire, Paint Fumes, Harrison Ford Mustang, Basement Life and Siembra NC.
He said he also did some designs for the #Red4Ed protest as well as “I stand with Cafe Europa” T-shirts when that business was unsure of what its future held at the beginning of this year.
“That was something I actually did on my own,” he said of the Cafe Europa T-shirts. “I ended up making the design and selling the shirts basically at-cost. I was just charging $5 for them to break even. I think I ended up making 200 shirts. I think what people were hoping for was to gather up and show solidarity with all the shirts on, show support and before that could even happen, Europa was able to keep their spot.”
When Daye started screen printing on his own, he knew he wanted to do something for the town that he has lived at the longest. He said he has lived in Chapel Hill and even Paris, France, but Greensboro felt the most like home.
“This became my home,” he said. “While I was talking to different people as I lived here, you’ll find out that a lot of people that live in Greensboro are from Greensboro. They grew up here, go to college at UNCG or A&T and they decided to stay here, start a business or a family. Something I always noticed, there was no apparel expressing love for Greensboro.”
As for people’s favorite design, Daye said his flagship “GSO” element shirt is still the one people love to wear out of his other 15 designs.
“Whenever I make those, they fly off the rack,” he said. “ I think a lot of people just sort of got it. ”
Before Daye became known as a screen-printer, he was a DJ by the name of “L” In Japanese, which started in Greenville, North Carolina, and developed in Chapel Hill. He said he started making beats and producing music in 1999 and has been a DJ for 15 years now.
He said he has been trying to separate himself as a DJ and focus more on screen printing because it is more of a consistent source of income.
“I still DJ every once in a while,” he said. “Really, it is like a choice thing, rather than getting booked at a lot of the places I do are kind of like as a favor or I like the space and people.”
Daye said he will be doing some live screen printing in both Greensboro and Winston-Salem this weekend. On July 20, he will be at Vintage To Vogue in Greensboro (530 S. Elm St.) from 3 p.m. until closing. On July 21, from 8 a.m. to noon, he will be at the Corner Market on Elam and that afternoon he will be at Design Archives in Winston-Salem from 3 p.m. to close.
If you are looking for Daye’s shirts around town, you can find them at both Greensboro and Winston-Salem locations of Design Archives, at Vintage To Vogue and Common Grounds in Greensboro. To purchase Cut The Music Prints designs or to view them online check out its Etsy site at www.etsy.com/shop/cutthemusic. To keep up with where Daye will be live screen-printing, follow Cut The Music Prints on Facebook and Instagram(@cutthemusicprints).
Katie Murawski is the editor of YES! Weekly. She is from Mooresville, North Carolina and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in film studies from Appalachian State University in 2017.