blogarama - the blog directory Dmegs Web Directory - The internets fastest growing blog directory Blog Directory
Blog Directory Search engine Photobucket
Custom Search

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Interview with Frank of Drama Patrol

I really love Franks designs and what they mean. He gives you a way to tell everyone around you that you don't want or need any "DRAMA" in fun and imaginative ways.

What inspired you to start designing tee shirts?
I've always loved t-shirts and its been a dream of mine to have my own t-shirt shop since i was in high school

How long have you been in the industry?
3 years

What advice would you give someine just starting out?
it takes time,money and patience and if your lucky you might get some sales!!!

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
definitely the art form of vectorization and anything stenciled or pop art.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?
I would like to see my company be at the point to sponsor a few bands and obviously keep making people laugh

What is your favorite design?
my rockstar tee by far

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?
Anything by Tom Ledin I would love to be as good as him someday!!

What is your favorite design by another artist?
el paquete imenso

3 of my best designs, and provide
Wax On
Weapons of math instruction
That was zen

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Interview with artist Tamara Guion

I first saw Tamara's work by accident. I was working on the Allen of koalapop interview and he had a link to her site on his site. I immediately fell for her surreal style.

When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
I've literally been drawing since I could pick up a crayon. All throughout my childhood I was constantly drawing in class, or making my own holiday decorations. I would mostly try to draw other people that I knew, or people that I saw in movies or magazines. It was fun and relaxing and it also gave me a creative outlet for dealing with the mundane daily issues of just growing up. I continued to draw as I got older and finally a good friend convinced me that I should seriously consider making it a career. So when I was 25 I applied and was accepted at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA , graduated with a BFA in Illustration and Design in 1999, and have been a working artist and designer ever since.

How long have you been designing?
10 years.

What is your favorite medium to work in?

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Try to be versatile. While it's important to have a distinctive style, it's also very important to not limit yourself to just one thing. When I was in my last year in school, I took at lot of graphic design, advertising, and photography classes in addition to my regular drawing and painting in an attempt to have a better understanding of the related fields. This has proved to be invaluable over the years as it's opened up multiple streams of income that wouldn't have been available to me otherwise.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
The one I'm currently working in.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would really like to make the transition into doing more gallery shows.

What is your favorite piece?
I've Always been fond of my "Praying Elvis", and I like "Death Among Us".

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?
Most of my influences come from the old Medieval icons, Renaissance and Baroque portraiture and the Vanitas still life's.

What is your favorite piece by another artist?
A Vanita's still life by the Dutch painter, Pieter Claesz.

4 of my favorite designs:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Interview with artist Lora Zombie of Bananaca

I was stumbleing around the net one night when I first came across Lora's site. I instantly loved it. I must've spent an hour looking at all of her drawings and paintings. My personal favorite gallery is her whitewall gallery, it has a very raw feel to it.

When did you first realize that art was going to be a major part of your life?
i did??? is it?whahaha! seems i haven't realize it yet

How long have you been in the industry?
well,i've been drawing since i remember my self

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Stay away from the late nights, drugs and unbound sex!whahaha!
well,actually, just don't look for profits from this.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
what style??huh!weeeeeeell,i worked with a lot of styles but one wich has worked,well stop bollocks!its really easy to see...Its Hewlett's style.i've ,made tons of stuff exactly with his style...and its really so wierd to hear when people who know about hewlett and all his work say me "hey!i like your style",but its not mine at all!haha

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
in the space with spacemokeyzzz!hahaha!

What is your favorite piece?
virgin piece of white paper

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?
muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuusic...sure...."music is my hot hot sex"(C) hahaha!
actually almost all pics i've made is result of my connection with music... damon Albarn's stuff,the rolling stones,kraftwerk,massive attack and many many others,....its all about that for last half a year my main influence was Radiohead..they blow up my mind to million of bright pieces! thank you,thom!hahaha =)

What is your favorite design by another artist?
hm....its hard to chooce only ONE favorite design i like...there are a lot of amazing artists today who creates absolut-lee unbeliveable and impressing pieces

3 of my designs:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Interview with Jonah of Pocket Aces Apperal

I know Jonah is fairly new to the tee scene but I immediately loved his style. I found him on a new social site for tee designers.

What inspired you to start designing tee shirts?
-I've always enjoyed making graphics in photoshop and illustrator and decided to start applying them to shirts.

How long have you been in the industry?
-Since October 08

What advice would you give someine just starting out?
-Come up with a catchy name and advertise as much as possible. The more hits, the better chance you have of selling your product.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
-I'm sort of all over the place. I try to appeal to a broad range of customers.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?
-I'd like to see a huge product line compared to what I've got now.

What is your favorite design?
-Skull sportin Aviators

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?

What is your favorite design by another artist?
-That's too tough

3 of my best designs.
-Blue Wings -

-Morgan's Custom -

-Pistolas -

Interview with Nina of Small Potatoes Designs

Lets take a dive into the ultra cute world of Nina Miles of Small Potatoes Designs.
Nina's designs are a great example of how keeping things clean and simple can make for very successful designs.

What inspired you to start designing tee shirts?
My son started designing shirts and I helped him with descriptions. Soon I had to try designing too!

How long have you been in the industry?
Since Summer 2006

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Begin by designing something you have a passion about. Your passion will show in what you create to sell.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
I use many styles in my work.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?
Wow, it's grown so much already. I hope to have many more designs and be a known brand.

What is your favorite design?
This one is one of my favorites:
Cute Irish Leprechan

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?
No one, really.

What is your favorite design by another artist?
I love this: Vegatarian Chic

3 of my best designs.
Mini Golfer Kids
Green Frog
Military Kids Support

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Interview with Jay and Be-Him of Van Tribe

I first met Jay and his lovely wife Bettlina (aka-Be-Him) on the Spreadshirt forums. We became instant friends. Jay has a very edgey rockabilly style in his designs and his wifes digital work has a very dark yet very sensual feel.

What inspired you to start designing tee shirts ?
We read in the german news magazine “Der Spiegel” about a new company called
Spreadshirt, where designers could get their work printed on high quality T-Shirts
and sell it to the public easily.
Years ago we had tried this before, selling merchandising shirts of our bands, but it
was a very complicated process at that time.
The quality of prints and the shirts were, lets say, horrible, and you had to buy a certain amount of shirts.
It was lots of work, expensive and not that satisfying, so we finally stopped it.
But here we are again.

How long have you been in the industry?
We started VAN TRIBE in 2006.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
You should ask yourself three questions:

Do you want to make a lot of money the easy way?

Are you giving up soon when times get rough?

You dont really have time to work on your designs over and over again?


Then it will be difficult.
First of all you need to be patient.
Be sure, to develop the designs, your shop, the network, the marketing.
Just everything takes a lot more time than you expect. And if you are not burning for your ideas, if you are not convinced that the world is waiting just for your designs, you will not work as hard as you can.
Start sketching your ideas roughly, train yourself in doing this.
Dont expect pieces of art at the beginning, thats not necessary, then work it out, work it over until it fits in all systems you are working with.
You have to understand the differences between Digital Printing and vector graphics, there is a lot to know about technical specifications, your computer system and the designing software.
Thats maybe a little frustating sometimes, but it`s no magical mystery tour, blogs and the Spreadshirt forum will be helpful. Be sure: There`s really nothing you can`t learn !!!!
So be curious, be patient and never give up.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
Our hearts belong to Tribals, Skulls, Tattoo designs, that´s what you`ll find on VAN TRIBE, but we do other designs for our Manga-Shop and our BADASS-shop, where we got lots of political or funny graphics.

Where do you see your company in 5 years ?
On top
Just Kiddin`.
We want to be established as a high quality brand and give people the chance of wearing our designs at a competitive price.

What is your favorite design?
Be-Him: I love my “Lucky Skull”. Its fresh, cute and it looks a bit melancholic. For me it`s absolutly perfect.
JayOne: My favourite? Well it`s “Killing Fields”, a design that reminds me that life is a journey that will end someday. It`s very clearly drawn in a graphical style, there is a strong message in it, and: it looks awesome.

Who has been your biggest influence in your design?
Be-Him: I can not say influenced, but I am deeply impressed by old woodcuts from japan, images of the “danse macabre”, the “Vanitas” theme, comic art, graphic novels, the artists Albrecht Altdorfer, James Ensor, Edvard Munch, Max Klinger, Aubrey Beardsly, Wilhelm Busch, Heinrich Zille, and many, many more.
But really the biggest influences for me as an artist are music (Loud and Hard) and the works of Oscar Wilde, because they feed the cinema in my head and keep my dreams alive.
JayOne: Well, I`m not that much into the classical stuff, I do love Comic Art like Marvel or DC, the Japanese Manga-Style and Pinstriping Art, made by designers as Herb Martinez, Tommy The Greek, Art Himsel, Von Dutch, Robert E. Dunn or Tommy Otis.

What is your favorite design by another artist?
The design “Skull Fade” by tat2ts, printed on a deep red teeshirt is our favorite at the mo.
Its cool, quite elegant, no mainstream skull trash, its high class

Two of our favorite designs
Killing Fields

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Interview with Allen of Koalapop

If you are into partying hard and the rave subculture then look no further. Allen's designs are super colorful and tre trippy.

What inspired you to start designing tee shirts?
It was probably a combination of marijuana and Vicodin which inspired me to begin.

How long have you been in the industry?
Koalapop opened in March, 2008 but since September, 2007 I had already been researching and creating designs. Preproduction for my brand took roughly half a year.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
I would sincerely recommend a brief foray into the world of psychedelic drugs while sorting out your brand's themes and vision.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
My designs are pretty stylized and I've found that the cleaner the lines, the bolder the composition, the more bombastic the colors, etc. the better a design will lend itself to being printed onto a piece of pop-art clothing. Grunge elements, gradients, etc. will muddy up the shirt's concept, in my opinion. The reason why is because a passerby has only a few seconds to glance at a shirt, and even your friends probably don't want to stare up close at your clothes for half a minute in order to understand what you're wearing. My goal is to make my clothing designs bold and intuitive.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?
In the hearts and minds of fine raver girls the world over.

What is your favorite design?
We have a design called "Octopop" which is my personal favorite. It depicts a multi-colored octopus drawn in successive layers of lines (the line detail isn't readily noticeable from afar but reveals itself nicely from up close) with a huge lightbulb trapped inside its translucent head. The message behind the design is, as usual, left deliberately ambiguous so that everyone can interpret it for themselves.

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?
A lot of influences are woven into Koalapop, and the site is always slowly evolving, but if asked to choose one influence I'd probably say the late pop legend Andy Warhol.

What is your favorite design by another artist?
I glanced at Jeremy Kalgreen's interview below and noticed he likes Glenn Jones. I'd have to agree: Glenn's concepts and execution are quite impressive. Take a look at his design called "Experimental Music".

Please pick 3 of your best designs.
"Koalapop on Mars", "Shock and Ahh Yeah", and "Tablet Smiley" are farily iconic of the Koalapop brand, and they're what I personally think of first. But instead of linking to them, I'd rather fans look them up by hand in hopes they'll stumble upon others they like.

Tat2ts does not endorse the use of recreational drugs.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Interview with photographer Richard Rizzo

I first met Richard in the Zazzle forum, where he is a very helpful and active member. I believe everyone will agree he has an excellent eye for catching a momment in time with his camera

What first inspired you to get into photography?I think seeing the work of Ansel Adams in books when I was young first put the spark in me but later in my early twenties I met a friend who was a professional photographer in North Carolina who really had the most impact on me, he taught me not only to look at things through the lens but how to see creatively.

How long have you been in the industry?Well that’s a tough one because I can honestly say art has been my life since at least second grade when I remember winning an award for an abstract painting I did for art class. As far as working in the Photography Industry I worked for several commercial photography studios in the 1980's doing various work from /Set Designing, Decorative Painting, Carpentry, Key Grip, Lighting and Assistant Photographer/ I later started my own residential /Faux Finishing and Mural /business which I have been doing for over twenty years now but I always kept my camera close in hand to take opportunistic images whenever I can.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?Generally speaking.. search for your desire and talent, hone your skills, work hard and network.
Most of what I know about art is self taught, everything from design to photography to painting, though I did take a few courses when needed.

What style has worked best for you as a photographer?I generally work with realism in photography and painting though I do dabble with abstract and surrealism at times.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?Since my photography is _not_ my bread and butter at the time I would like to see it take off but also I would like to get more into 2D and 3D digital art it is something that fascinates me and wish it was around when I was in public school.
As far as a plan being flexible, diverse and a tad spontaneous I generally keep my options open when it comes to long term planning I have a general idea where to take it but it will most likely evolve itself to a niche market being totally adaptable if and when needed.

What is your favorite photograph?I guess I can honestly say I don’t have a favorite but I photograph what I love whether it’s landscapes, trains, machinery or old abandoned buildings, it’s a part of what I am and it shows in all of my work.

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?I would like to say my older sister who used to take me to the Museum of Modern Art in the city a lot when I was a kid but various types of artists/designers who are relevant to my tastes of styles or interests would be Ansel Adams, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dali, Frank Lloyd Wright, Picasso, Matisse, Peter Max, Leonardo da Vinci and Marino Marini just to name a few.

What is your favorite design by another artist?I really have no one favorite because I appreciate all the artist work I mentioned above, they each have their own styles with equal impact.

Please pick 3 of your best designs, and provide links.I’m not sure if they are the best but I like them a lot.
“Going Down”
“Logan Pass”
“The Back Shop”

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Interview with Jeremy Kalgreen of Amorphia Apperal

Jeremy Kalgreen's designs are just amazing, thought provoking, and purely entertaining. If there is one person to be admired for his genius and imagination he is it.

What inspired you to start designing tee shirts?

It was quite by accident. Once upon a time, years ago, for reasons I don’t clearly remember, I decided I didn’t want to wear any clothing with any messages on it that I didn’t put there myself. I’m not one of those zealous ‘Adbusters’ anti-capitalist types, it just seemed like the thing to do. So for fun I started printing single copy silk-screened shirts for my own personal usage. Well, despite the fact I found it enjoyable, I was bloody terrible at it and eventually I decided to try out one of these custom shirt websites I had been hearing about. Originally the plan was just to upload some images and make a single copy of each shirt for my own personal use and then forget about it. I took some of my existing silkscreen designs and vectorized and uploaded them.

As it turns out a few days before when I planned to place my order I had some car troubles that robbed me of the extra cash to splurge on custom shirts. Since I had already put the effort into uploading my designs it seemed like a shame to abandon the project altogether. So I set my shop to public, and in the back of my head I figured I might sell a shirt every once in a blue moon and that would be totally flattering and whatnot. I didn’t imagine selling more then one or two a month, and I certainly didn’t imagine it would become a real source of income. As it turns out even before I made a ‘real’ shop front there seemed to be a bit of interest in my designs, and I decided “What the hell, I might as well try and make it look like a real store” but I still didn’t think I’d get more then $20-30 a month.

Turns out I was wrong, and now T-shirts are my primary source of income.

How long have you been in the industry?
Since February '06 if I recall correctly.

What advice would you give someine just starting out?
Well my goal was to try and make a shirt shop I felt proud of, and that represented me as a person. So I say forget about trying to pander to your audience, make shirts you would like then try to find people like you. Develop your own style, instead of looking at what other people have been successful at and trying to ape that. Of course if your goal is to make the big bucks, *and* you have the capital to horn your way into the market directly then you should probably do the exact opposite of that.

Oh, and learn to do web programming. Learn HTML/CSS and at least a little Javascript/PHP/MySQL. I just taught myself one little bit at a time via my local library as I went, and being able to do these things for yourself makes a huge difference. With every new project I work on I learn so much it makes me ashamed to even look at the source code of my previous projects. Seriously, it's not particularly hard if you take it one step at a time, get cracking folks!

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
Keeping it simple, amusing and hopefully a tab surreal or oblique. Communicate a concept as elegantly as possible. The trend in recent years has been to 'busy up' your designs. "Add more distressing! More lines, more visual jibber jabber" seems to be the watchwords apparently designers feel that makes things look more artsy. But the market is now flooded with that style, and while obviously there is a market for it I get people e-mailing me all the time saying what a relief it is to see simple, clean designs. Of course the fact it also lets me use the Spreadshirt plot printing method instead of having to rely on Silk screening / Digital Transfers or DTG printing is a very significant bonus to working this way.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?
Hopefully pretty much the same, but with 5 new Sub-sites a-la 'Teach the Controversy' and 'Science!'. I just want to keep having ideas that make me smile and hopefully people will continue to respond to them.

What is your favorite design?
Oh my, I can't even start to decide on a favorite, but I do get a really warm feeling whenever I see someone has bought my KISSinger tee.
I think it's the kind of shirt that really says a lot about my shop, my target audience and what I find funny/interesting.

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?
You know, I seriously try to avoid looking at other shirt-smiths work. Mostly to avoid poisoning my idea-well, but also I always just get annoyed at the good ideas I see because I didn't see them first. So I studiously avoid looking at Threadless and what have you because I think there is a lot of great work out there, but I think I work best isolated from everything else. Early on though I'd have to say I was really impressed and encouraged by how much I enjoyed my then fellow Spreadshirter Barry of Barry's Farm ( It doesn't appear he does the shirt thing anymore, but I loved his old designs and wanted my work to be as good as his.
What is your favorite design by another artist?
I don't know if I can pick a favorite, but recently I discovered the work of Glenn Jones ( from a post on and it reminded me why I hate looking at other people's stuff. It was all very fantastic!

3 of my best designs.
Roach Celebration:
Rock Robot:
Devil Bones:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Interview with Amy of Ming Tees

Amy is a great lady I met very early on in this crazy biz of tee designing. She has always been very supportive and outspoken. I find when I'm having a mental block that I can go check out her designs and find inspiration.

What inspired you to start designing tee shirts?
Well, i couldn't afford the shirts and clothing i loved by DaNang, Great China Wall, Lucky Brand, Johnny Was, and others. So i figured it couldn't hurt to try to design my own.

How long have you been in the industry?
Probably around 2 years.

What advice would you give someine just starting out?
To learn from my own continual mistakes? Well, don't spend too much money to start off, especially on things like advertising. Take the time to figure out a a good coherent them for your collection, and work on getting a collection together of at least 12 good designs or so. Then do some research into the POD printing companies, look at design requirements and printing, product assortment, interface, and marketplace. And figure out which one is the best fit with your type of designs, market, and interface. Then take the time to get a good website together, you NEED a good website of your own. The for marketing use the free stuff until you start making a good bit of money. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Stumble upon and other social networks,t shirt sites and blogs, and the marketplaces of the POD that you use.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
Well, i have a few websites but all are some sort of Asian theme and based on the art and art history of the Asian countries. Ming Tees is based on Chinese and Japanese art and design, but is a tough one to market. I have also a Buddhist themed site as well as a yoga site based on Indian art and design. These have more coherent markets and get searched a lot more.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?
I don't know! All i know is that in 5 years i want to be painting. Whether t shirts have anything to do with that i don't know yet. I still want to have the time to deal with my photography too. But in the not too distant future i do want to more to more specialty products - embroidery, fabric design, silk screen, stuff like that.

What is your favorite design?
Of my own? Well, i actually prefer the more elaborate types, but the people who comment and vote with their wallets prefer the simpler ones. Images and links below. That bamboo design is probably my simplest, and it sells probably 4 times more at RedBubble than my next best selling design.

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?
Art and art history, definitely. And flowers, I'm a botanical photographer, andi do too many flower designs.

I absolutely love Asian style designs and art. Amy nails that style like no other can. I am also proud to call her a great friend.

What is your favorite design by another artist?
I can't even pick one, way too many.

3 of my best designs.
Bamboo Kamon
Friends of Winter Kimono Shirt
Auspicious Chinese 5 Bats and Peaches

Interview with Tommy of Nekkid Tees

Tommy influenced me more than he knows, when I was first starting out. Nekkid Tees was what I imagined Tat2 T's could be. Thank you Tommy.

What inspired you to start designing tee shirts?
I had created a logo for an opensouce project called joomfish which is part of the Joomla! opensource project. They needed the new logo to meet the standards of Spreadshirt so that it could be printed on t-shirts.

After a bit of research I liked the idea of creating my own shirts and decided this could be a way to help work off some of my wifes medical bills we inquired when 2 automobiles ran a traffic light (that was red), 1 T-boned her and the other hit her head on. Needless to say we needed more money after 2 surgeries and 2 and a half years physical therapy. So selling t-shirts sounded like a good idea.

How long have you been in the industry?
3 years this June 09 and counting.

What advice would you give someine just starting out?
Don't think you're going to make it big over night, I'm still trying myself. Have good ideas and execute them well. Don't be afraid to be different.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
Text tees are my favorite. They are simple but can say so much. It's great to have someone read your shirt in public and start laughing. Sometimes you just can't get that with a graphical tee.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?
Still trying to make it. It's a long road when you do everything out of pocket and by yourself, but I hope to grow year by year until I can dedicate 100% of my time to It also helps
to have a good company like behind you.

What is your favorite design?

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?
Friends and fans for the most parts or just random daily happenings that I think are worthy of a shirt. :)

What is your favorite design by another artist?
Anything by Jeremy Kalgreen from

3 of my best designs

An interview with David Cree, the president of soge shirts and Tim Fox the Ceo of Soge shirts

I first met Tim on T-shirt magazine and we hit it off straight away. I think everyone here will love their offbeat humor.

What inspired you to start designing tee shirts?
Dave: Seeing too many sports fans with not enough beer and too much paint and skin.

Tim:The creativity that both Dave and I have had to come out and it ended up on t-shirts. Plus we wanted to bring some originality to the table and do designs that no one had done before.

How long have you been in the industry?
Dave:25 plus years. We started with crayons and our parents best clothing.

Tim: Soge shirts started though in late 2007. We had a meeting at a park where I crashed Dave's family reunion and we decided that t-shirts were going to be the basis of our business.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Dave: Do as much research as possible, to find out what and how you want to run your business. Make your company a part of you, and a representation of the value you bring.

Tim: Also remember to think about your customer and target market for every facet of the t-shirt business. If you think like a customer you might get more sales.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
Dave: The fun styles, wacky designs, and cool jokes, or puns. But we Love graphic tees, with sweet designs on them, and something written on the inside that you don't find out until 19 months down the road, when you finally wash it.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?
Dave: Answering more surveys, that we found in our spam folder. We get a lot of emails, so hard to sort through them all.

Tim: In five years we'd like to see people on the streets wearing our t-shirts wherever we go. Getting into major retail stores wouldn't suck either unless the economy gets worse in which case the stores would shut down.

What is your favorite design?
Dave: it's all fun and games till someone loses an eye. Probably because it's took so much from me to draw it. I had a little ring, that gave me inspiration, and it was hard to see.

Tim: My favorite is caution white boy dancing being an uncoordinated white guy and the kids meal t-shirt. The artwork Dave did on kids meal was incredible.

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?
Dave: My biggest influence would be my childhood. We all had something wrong with our childhoods, and i decided to never stop growing and learning. (i also learned how to sneak out at night when i was 2 years old) I grab influence from everywhere i have been and everywhere i want to go. Family, friends, and random strangers. I've heard some funny, and wild stuff while standing on the street waiting to cross. The designs come by day dreaming about the idea, and then visualizing the worst way to draw it. (usually stick figures.) and the concepts just come. When i don't think too hard about a design, but start somewhere.. it just builds. I'll take 3-4 re-designs sometimes to get it how it should be.. and not always how i want it. They take on a life of their own sometimes.

What is your favorite design by another artist?
Dave: it's done by many companies, and because i have about 3 shirts with different designs.
"without me it's just aweso "

links to our three favorite t-shirts
Kids meal

It's all fun and games


Sunday, January 4, 2009

GritFX Cult Movie & Pop Culture Tees

Grit Fx interview.
Amanda and Dave are the cofounders of Grit Fx. Their campy retro style is very fresh and ingeneous.

What inspired you to start designing T-Shirts?
The simple fact that I couldn’t find T-Shirts for the films I liked. I’ve always loved movie-related Tees, but finding T-Shirt designs referencing obscure films (or obscure moments in a film) is a hard task. When I was a teenager, I would create my own T-Shirts for the films I dug using fabric pens. In hindsight, drawing freehand on fabric must have resulted in some crappy artwork – but now, with age and experience, not to mention the right tools, designing T-Shirts is a feasible and enjoyable reality.

How long have you been in the industry?It has been one year since Amanda (Manz) and I began GritFX. Our first year was surprisingly good, with a great response to many of our designs. The proof is in the sales, I guess, and that also means confirmation that we are doing something right. Any artist will tell you that it’s always nice to receive compliments, and the fact that people actually buy our art is the greatest compliment. So thanks to everyone who bought a T-Shirt from us in 2008.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?Be original. Whilst I cannot say that all of our designs are wholly original concepts, all our artists remain true to themselves artistically, meaning that originality flows from you regardless. Business-wise, I would suggest do something that you’re passionate about. You’ll have days where motivation is lacking – but if you’re passionate about your biz, you’ll put in the hard work and time that is required. Make no mistake…you’ll have to work at building your business, so be patient and stay focused.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?Personally, my designs rely heavily on ink outlines and bold black figures. Max produces most of the ink illustrations on our shop and these have been quite successful. Manz has a more retro feel, using simple grainy photos with clean text. However, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly which style (including the art from our other freelancers) has been the most successful.

Where do you see your company in five years?The leading name in T-Shirt design, of course! Seriously, Manz and I would both like to grow GritFX into a complete entity, where we would handle all production. Whilst online printing services such as Cafepress and Zazzle are wonderful for people with a lack of capital who wish to start a business on the net, the optimal course is to be in total control of production techniques. We’d also like to pay our artists and writers more than what they currently receive.

What is your favourite design?Being totally biased, I would have to say “Crazy Swedes”, which was one of my designs – from concept to illustration. It’s a nod to one of my favourite films – John Carpenter’s The Thing. The reason I created it was so I could wear it myself.

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?Manz. She taught me everything I know, as I never studied to be a graphic designer. She’s constantly on hand to tell me if my designs suck ass, and she’s always lending advice and expertise on how to actually accomplish what is in my head. Basically, she acts as my brain.

What is your favourite design by another artist?Personally, I love the “Chairman Meow” shirts by ObeyThePureBreed. I also dig the design “Tribal Wings” on your shop, Tat2ts.

Here are 3 of their favorites
1. Monroeville 1978
2. Writer
3. Fear & Spiders

Interview completed by Dave

One of my personal favorites is the GritHouse Grit Fx's You Tube channel.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Interview with designer Flynn the cat

Interview with Flynn the cat

What inspired you to start designing tee shirts?
T-Shirts aren't my main product - I started off simply painting pictures. I started painting because I've always drawn, I've always had too many ideas and wanted to capture sweeps of line and curves of colour - and because I see things, and they give me ideas. And of course, I see other people's work and I wonder 'how did they do it?' 'Could I do it?' And this becomes - 'I know how they did that!' and 'Maybe if I try this...' and finally 'I can do that, I can do BETTER than that'. So of course, I have to prove it ^_^
I've just started branching out into t-shirts (yesterday! actually) because I realised that I had all these pictures, many of which were still on transparent layers, that I could tweak into T-Shirt designs. ANd then of course, I got carried away - I like make and designing things with my own artwork.

How long have you been in the industry?
Hmmm... painting and putting work up online? I started on DeviantART about a year and a half ago. Seriously selling? Well, I started looking about a year ago and settled on Zazzle three months ago.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Research more than one site before you decide; it's time consuming to set up and you won't see immediate returns so it's hard to back out in time if the site isn't suitable for you. But before that? Have some work - paintings, photos, designs, phrases, whatever you're hoping to market. Make sure you have initial stock, and that it's worth putting up (one good reason to wait until you have a lot - you improve with practice). And finally don't ...stop. Don't stop experimenting; always try something new. The first attempt will probably flop, but the second and the third will probably work. And you'll learn things that will crop up in your other designs, and will give you other ideas. You don't have to sell it, but most people like seeing variety.
Myself? I started with simple prints/posters; added everything to cards, then started playing with cropping for stamps and variations. THEN I looked at what other people where doing and realised that I could adapt my work, or do other things...
Descriptions. You need them. you need to learn how to write them. And the first ones will be horrendously awkward (...I have some especially purple prose lurking on some of my offerings)
Promotion, unfortunately, is very necessary - you simply have to build up a 'base' of people who know of you, if you can. They can't buy, if they never encounter you.
Ah! Don't forget - LEARN FROM OTHER PEOPLE. Including the person-who-you-were-yesterday who made that rather clashing banner. Take something away from everything - these colours work well, that link was useful, this is how NOT to draw an eye...
And probably the most important tip - have FUN. If you aren't enjoying yourself, frankly, why are you doing this? If you aren't happy and enjoying playing with your designs, it'll usually show.

What style has worked best for you as a designer?
....oooh dear. Um. Very colourful work, generally, people like the bright colours - but really? I can't predict which ones people will lke past that. The more time it took, the more people usually like it (as one of my main faults is that I get bored and don't tidy up enough)

Where do you see your company in 5 years?
Mmm. Assuming the world and the internet is still here? Well, I intend to take over 70% of Earth by around 2011, and then... oh, oh RIGHT, the 'art' company!
Well, The New Zealand internet is fianlly being reworked so around then I should actually see improvements. I'm doing my art and online selling concurrently with a degree (about to start my post grad diploma) and a part-time job (YES. I am a poor and struggling student! ..well, sort of ^_^ ). But - unless I get 'discovered' or get hit by some random occurrence of luck (good or bad), I expect my art to be a LOT better (I... improve pretty fast) and therefore to have built up a niche following of minions who worship my every brushstroke.
But seriously? I can't put any more time into it right now, so it'll be slow and steady. Currently I'm a tiny tiny minnow... with ambition, mwahaha.

What is your favorite design?
This piece:
( image link:)
It's the best painting I ever did, in my opinion (so far!) and I spent longer on it than any other - it's not always as popular, because other designs are more eye-catching, but it's full of detail ^_^ I love asking people if they liked the deer. They hardly ever spot it on their own.

Who has been your biggest influence in your designs?
Um? Me, because I'm so competitive ^_^ But really? Uh, I tend to take ideas from EVERYWHERE. Studied Art History at school so the Impressionists stuck; a lot of the fantastic artists on DeviantART (there is always someone better than you. ALways. It gets quite irritating ^_^). I would mention Himmapaan - - whose delicate pencils and watercolours proved to me that I was a lazy, untidy layabout who had no excuse for not finishing their work properly. My Aunt's - simply because one would send us artwork, and the other had done a painting that we had in our house so I grew up knowing It Could And Should Be Done.
I've picked up a lot of tips about organising and building up galleries, and the technical stuff for designs around Zazzle, but most of the *artistic* influences are from DeviantART, and other artists I've found offline.

What is your favorite design by another artist?
On Zazzle? Currently a tossup between by Liiga and by KyleFinchsigmate

Here are 3 of Flynns best designs