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The Afflicted: Michael Giulioni, 34, a screen-printer, city planner, and recent transplant to the District.

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Diagnosis: Transfer tax. When Giulioni abandoned his Toronto screen-printing studio and retail shop, Article 8, to take a city planning job in D.C., he left behind $10,000 worth of equipment—and a creative outlet for his apparel design brand, Semiotic Seed. “I’ve still been creating designs, but I can’t realize them,” says Giulioni, whose work is influenced by street style and linguistic theory. “I’m in a limbo. I get these ideas and want to go forward, but I can’t.”

Symptoms: Slim fit. Giulioni came to the United States to design spaces in the public realm, but the shift has forced him to sacrifice some space of his own. Since his March move, Giulioni has found that his 400-square-foot Mount Pleasant bachelor pad isn’t big enough for both man and machine. “The studio workspace is an essential thing for experimenting,” says Giulioni, whose entire screen-printing system, including a pinwheel screen press, requires at least 500 square feet of space. Without a printing room, Giuliani has been forced to work inside the box to find creative outlets. “I had to get some furniture for my apartment, and it had gotten to the point where it was even exciting for me to build the Ikea furniture,” says Giulioni.

Treatment: Dye away home. When pressed, Giulioni transported his equipment to his brother’s studio in Montreal—and took his design process digital. Now Giulioni creates computer designs in D.C. and sends his images to Montreal for printing as the brothers wait to start up a new shop. In the meantime, Giulioni is focusing on more conceptual art based on his semiotic studies, which he hopes to sell as prints. Because let’s face it, “T-shirts aren’t necessarily that highbrow,” he says.

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