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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.


  1. Hi Vic,
    Thanks again for wanting to interview Dave/GritFX!! It's cool that you like the GritHouse - are you tatman on youtube?

    I have someone that I think would be great for your next interview... Deryke of California is a cool artist and also does t-shirt designs. His blog is located at

    I'll also send you an email about this :)


  2. It was neat to hear about the beginnings of GritFx. I bought a tshirt for my wife from them for Christmas and it was a big hit.

  3. Feeding my addiction! I can't wait to get a few extra bucks and get my artist over for another tattoo party. I have a few ideas in mind.

    Do you have a store for the tee's? I'd totally buy a few.


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