Ill-Sen is more than a brand, it's a way of life.
Born and raised in Pilsen, the hub of latino driven art in the Chicago, I became fascinated by the bright colors and subject matter depicted by muralists and graffiti artists in the neighborhood alike. This later evolved into assisting my uncle Rufus Linus Jr., a well known muralist, pinstriper, and hand painted signe maker during summer breaks from high school. With his guidance I began experimenting with designs and colors and with the advent of computer assisted design back in the early 90's I had transitioned from paint to Photoshop and web design.
Hip hop culture also plays a role in the creative process, from the terminology used to come up with the name, to the aesthetics that drive the designs, the brand has hip hop in its soul. It draws from my roots as part of the hip hop production team known as Beetle Studios, a Pilsen based and latino run music studio and production company, which helped fuel the creative nature in me. The album cover art kept me designing while I was raising two boys with my wife and pursing my degree in cinematography.
The creative juices always flowing I embarked on designing and printing tshirts for friends. The designs started to draw attention and it wasn’t long before people started inquiring about purchasing shirts for themselves, that’s when Ill-sen designs was born. Although the name came later, a play on the name of the neighborhood I love mixed with a little bit of lingo from the music I grew up on, the business was launched in the most organic way possible.
The dream took years to realize, the road to get here was long and winding, but all that just adds to the flavor of the designs. I hope the love that goes into each shirt reflects the appreciation I have for all the experiences that made you curious enough to seek out this site. The shirts are meant to represent a place that holds a special place in my heart and also help people you may contact see your love for it too.
Thank you for visiting and I hope to see you on the streets repping the city we love!