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Buy 2 or more tees and get up to 34% off the clearance price - see Discount Codes.

Info + FAQ



I am Katie Russell, New Zealand artist, animator and designer - and founder of KilowattKatie.

I am also an avid chocolate-eater, sci-fi movie watcher, bird appreciator, belly dancer, animation lover, web comic peruser, and board game player.

But don't let that fool you, I'm really a big nerd.


I grew up in the sunny Far North of New Zealand, and left for the bright lights of Auckland in 2003 to find my future.

I completed my degree and honours in English and Art History at Auckland University. With the artistic juices still flowing from creative writing, I decided to explore my artsy-fartsy side at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design. I enjoyed it so much that I went on to Freelance Animation School and studied classical hand-drawn animation.

I started up the KilowattKatie brand in 2007 to provide a cosy home for all my art and design.

Not long after, the KilowattKatie hand painted t-shirt was born! Each t-shirt is a unique piece of original art, drawing inspiration from here, there and everywhere - and my own warped mind. Read more about my t-shirts here.

I am a Wellingtonian now, and I continue to work on new designs, commissions, drawings, paintings, cartoons, and other artwork.

I now have printed t-shirts and art prints in my product range - all taken from my original hand painted designs, and all printed right here in New Zealand.


KilowattKatie painting her t-shirts

My t-shirts: I use top quality clothing brand AS Colour. All their clothing is completely safe, fair, legal and humane, and several stores are based right here in New Zealand.

My materials: I use non-toxic, solvent-free, professional screen printing ink and fabric pens.

My printing: I use a local t-shirt printer in Paraparaumu for my t-shirt printing, with top of the line direct-to-garment printing technology (the only one of its kind in New Zealand). And I go to a top qualilty award-winning Wellington printer for all my art prints.

Hand Painted T-Shirts

First I come up with a concept or idea that you wouldn't find in any old t-shirt shop. Then I sketch like mad - using pencils, pens, digital painting, and anything else within reach. I then finalise the design, ending up with a mix of something quirky, cute, creepy and geeky. After that I cut out stencils (by hand) for each colour layer or shape.

Using brushes and screen printing ink, I apply the designs by hand on to high quality sweatshop-free clothing. Any fiddly bits or painterly parts are applied afterwards with brushes and special fabric pens. Once all the ink is dry, I heat-set my designs using a professional heat press. This ensures they are completely machine washable, and enables them to last for years!

The end result: A unique, washable, wearable piece of art!

Printed T-Shirts & Small Prints

I take high quality scans of my hand painted designs (straight off the t-shirts themselves) and get artsy with a bit of drawing and design work to make them look extra pretty. I then send the finalised designs to my printers - and they do the rest! :-)

Only 2 of my t-shirts are not from hand painted designs - but they are still completely designed and hand drawn by me. Wooh!


Escape The Office by KilowattKatie


  • What are your estimated shipping/delivery times?
    4 to 7 working days within New Zealand, and 5 to 12 working days worldwide.
    Please allow an additional 10 working days for Made-To-Order printed tees and an additional 20 working days for Made-To-Order hand painted tees.

  • What are your postage & packing prices for T-SHIRTS?
  • -- New Zealand: starts at $5.70 (Tracked Parcel Post)
    -- Australia: starts at $9.50 (Air Mail)
    -- United States & Canada: starts at $17.00 (Air Mail)
    -- United Kingdom & Ireland: starts at $17.00 (Air Mail)
    -- Everywhere else: starts at $17.80 (Air Mail)

    • What are your postage & packing prices for LOST FOR WORDS PRINTS BY CECILIA RUSSELL?
    • -- New Zealand: starts at $8.50 (Tracked Parcel Post)
      -- Australia: starts at $8.50 (Air Mail)
      -- United States & Canada: starts at $16.00 (Air Mail)
      -- United Kingdom: starts at $13.50 (Air Mail)
      -- Ireland, France & Germany: starts at $16.00 (Air Mail)
      -- China, Hong Kong & Japan: starts at $15.00(Air Mail)
      -- Everywhere else: Starts at $17.00 (Air Mail)
    Note: paper prints posted in sturdy mailing tube, stretched canvas prints posted in protective packaging.)

Other shipping prices can be arranged for Europe, Asia and the Pacific. International tracking can also be added to your parcel. Contact me for more info. :-)

  • What are your postage & packing prices for PRINT SETS?
  • Starts at $5.00 worldwide (Standard Post, FastPost, or Air Mail)


  • Can I pay by credit card or debit card (eg Visa Debit)? Do I need a PayPal account?
    Yes, you can pay by credit card or debit card. No, you do not need a PayPal account. Just click the 'Pay with PayPal' button at the checkout, and then look for the credit card option.

  • What is the sizing/fit of your t-shirts?
    All the t-shirt sizing info is here.

  • What happens if you don't have my size in stock?
    You can make a Special Order here and let me know what you need. Or if you want something more customised, use the T-Shirt Order Query Form on my Contact page.

  • What happens if my t-shirt arrives and it turns out to be too big/small for me?
    I am more than happy to do a swap for the right size (in original new condition with tags, postage costs may apply), or offer you a store credit. While I'm happy to swap, there are no refunds for an incorrect size or change of mind.

  • I would like a different neckline or longer sleeves or a hoodie or something - can you do that for me?
    Yes! Please use the T-Shirt Order Query Form on my Contact page, and I will be in touch. Please note that prices will vary for specialty items.

  • Go here to view the full catalogue of available clothing styles.


  • What are your discount codes?
    These are the codes you enter at the checkout to get bulk discounts. Look for the box marked 'Discount code' when you fill in your details at the checkout. Only one code can be entered per purchase.


    • CLEARANCE DISCOUNTS - available for a limited time:
    • TWOFOR: extra 12% off the clearance price when you buy 2 Tees/Sweatshirts
      --Enter code TWOFOR at the checkout to get 2x $8 Tees or 2x $11.50 Sweatshirts (or 1 of each - 2 items total)
    • THREEFOR: extra 23% off the clearance price when you buy 3 Tees/Sweatshirts
      --Enter code THREEFOR at the checkout to get 3x $7 Tees or 3x $10 Sweatshirts (or some of each - 3 items total)
    • FIVEFOR: extra 34% off the clearance price when you buy 5 Tees/Sweatshirts
      --Enter code FIVEFOR at the checkout to get 5x $6 Tees or 5x $8.50 Sweatshirts (or some of each - 5 items total)


    • Are your hand painted t-shirts machine washable?
      Yes! For my made-to-order hand painted t-shirts I use professional non-toxic solvent-free screen printing ink (applied with brushes & pens) which is then professionally heat set. This ensures they are 100% machine washable (cold machine wash and line dry is best - try to avoid hot/warm washes and tumble dryers if possible). My printed t-shirts are printed using top of the line direct-to-garment printing technology (the only one of its kind in New Zealand) - and are also completely machine washable and long lasting.

    • Are all the designs your own?
      Yes - these designs are 100% my own! Like any artist, I get my ideas and inspiration from all around me (as well as my own warped mind). In future I hope to have many guest artists - so watch this space...

    • Do you really hand paint all the t-shirts yourself?
      Yes! I really do. I hand paint all the made-to-order t-shirts, and the printed tees are taken directly from my original hand painted t-shirts. Go here to find out more about how I make my t-shirts.

    • How long have you been doing this?
      A long time! KilowattKatie started up in 2007, and I started making hand painted t-shirts in 2010.

    • What paints/inks do you use to paint your hand painted t-shirts?
      Non-toxic solvent-free screen printing inks - applied with brushes and pens.

    • Can you make me a custom t-shirt? How much will it cost?
      Yes - most likely! I would first have to check over what sort of design you wanted first and also whether I have the time available. As for cost... how long is a piece of string? Cost depends on design work, concept art, size of design, complexity of design, number of t-shirts, and many more factors. Just send me a message on my Contact page and we can discuss it further. :-)

    • I have a design I would like put on a t-shirt - can you do that for me?
      Yes! See answer above.


    • Where do you get your blank t-shirt stock?
      AS Colour. I shopped around, and these guys are the best for fit and quality - and most importantly, they're safe, fair, legal and humane.

    • Where do you get your printing done?
      Locally - from renowned high quality printers in Wellington and Paraparaumu.

    • Where is your blank t-shirt stock manufactured?
      AS Colour has warehouses and shops based in New Zealand and Australia. The tees are manufactured in Bangladesh - but under strict sweatshop-free conditions. Their production facilities all have safe, fair, legal and humane working conditions. Go here for more info.

    • Who are your stockists?
      So far you can only buy my t-shirts direct from me online or at my market/expo stalls - but watch this space! Stockists coming soon...


    I find your lack of plot relevance disturbing

    • NZ Post holds responsibility for items lost or damaged in the post.
    • Please follow the washing instructions carefully - cold machine wash & line dry - easy peasy. No hot/warm machine wash or tumble dry.
    • Hand painted t-shirts are individually hand created - so there may be very slight differences from the item photographed.
    • Printed t-shirts are scanned directly from the hand painted original tee, but there may be slight variations in colour due to the printing process.

    • Returns & exchanges:
      • Normal/Sale stock: I'm more than happy to do a swap or give you a store credit for an incorrect size (postage costs might apply). I must be contacted within 2 weeks of purchase for this to be valid. While I'm happy to swap, there are NO refunds for an incorrect size or a change of mind. Otherwise I will follow all guidelines of the Consumer Guarantees Act.
      • Clearance stock: There are NO returns, swaps or exchanges on any clearance stock. If the item is faulty I will follow all guidelines of the Consumer Guarantees Act.