Alumni and Friends | University Community

From engineer to artist: Ohio University Southern graduate transforms passion into print

What started as a venture into rebuilding a faulty machine has blossomed into a diverse enterprise encompassing everything from t-shirts to 3D prototypes. Sean Daniel, an Ohio University Southern graduate, has turned his creativity into a thriving business through his custom print shop, Oops! I Shirt Myself, which is in Ironton.

A former regional engineer for a plastics plant, Daniel found himself yearning for a change after years of extensive travel across the United States. His epiphany came during a visit to his hometown when he encountered a friend who worked in the Electronic Media Program at Ohio University Southern. The allure of a career crafting TV shows and avoiding the physical toll of industrial work led him to enroll the next day.

Transitioning from a teaching role at local technical and vocational schools, Daniel became a full-time student at Ohio University Southern. His journey continued as he embraced the role of a special projects producer for the University, ultimately leading him to eight years of recording video for clients such as Harley-Davidson, covering various locations nationwide.

"You almost feel a little guilty because when you do go in, it's like, 'Oh, this is for me,'" Sean Daniel said about his decision to return to college after working full-time for several years.

Upon his return to Ironton, Daniel faced a pivotal moment, purchasing a malfunctioning machine that sparked the inception of Oops! I Shirt Myself. From humble beginnings, he has expanded his capabilities, now boasting a large printer and a new direct-to-film (DTF) print machine, allowing for a range of services, including direct-to-garment, vinyl wraps, and more.

“I’m always looking to expand. I’m pushing the seams in this space, and am currently looking for an installer,” said Daniel, who currently does all installation himself, in addition to design and printing.

For Daniel, the decision to return to school as an adult proved transformative. He encourages others to do the same, emphasizing the unique focus and energy that come with adult education.

"You almost feel a little guilty because when you do go in, it's like, 'Oh, this is for me,'" he said. The camaraderie and shared enthusiasm with fellow alumni like Brad Bear, who shares a co-working space with Daniel in their current location, have been a source of inspiration and support.

Since establishing his business in 2018, Daniel has continually diversified his offerings, recently acquiring 3D printing capabilities and expressing a perpetual desire for growth. His creative endeavors include ongoing film projects, singing device prototypes, and mural installations, like one he installed in Hoops Family Children's Hospital.

“There are about a million butterflies, dragonflies,” he said of the mural, which transforms the space as it extends across a wall, over a window, and up to the ceiling.

Daniel emphasizes the importance of art in his life and business.

"Art. We need more of it here. I want more people to realize that you can make a living out of it," he said. Breaking away from the conventional expectation of a career in a plant, Daniel emphasized the new possibilities afforded by the internet, enabling him to reach a broader market through online sales.

For those interested in collaborating on a project or seeking Daniel's artistic expertise, he welcomes inquiries through Facebook, phone calls, or visits to his store, located at 101 North 4th Street in Ironton.

January 17, 2024
Staff reports