Sunday, October 5, 2008

Political Mix & Match

So, if you read my previous post, you'll know that I'm in Tennessee visiting some family, so I'm trying to take a break from working, but I must finish the Five Shirts!

While we were on the road we got to listen to the Vice Presidential debate - thank goodness for NPR. Since it's SO close to the election and I just happen to be sitting in the middle of staunch Republican territory, politics have been on my mind. Here's a few features and my political "spin" on them:

Freedom by Spokenvisuals
The Freedom design by Spokenvisuals is meant to be an artistic Christian design, but it fits well with the election. Many of the issues voters are concerned with revolve around our freedoms. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are common and ongoing concerns, but I think that freedom of choice will play a key role in this election. See all of the designs by Spokenvisuals at his site Spokenvisuals.

Palin -vs- Palin

We all know that Sarah Palin is a the talk of the election, and we all know that you either LOVE her or HATE her. Like it or not, I fall into the latter category (I'm not a McCain fan to begin with either). So, if you love Sarah Palin and you think that she's the best thing since sliced bread, you might enjoy the Supermom design (by Cardvibes). I've found many serious Palin supporters are moms that think she's the shit since she ran a state while raising a whole flock o' kids.

On the other hand, if you don't care for Sarah Palin and her rape-kit-charging practices, you might enjoy the Bullshit design (by Aspa). Do I really need to explain myself further on this one? See more designs by these two designers at their shops - Cardvibes and Aspa Shirts.

Can't everyone just get along? (Everybody Happy? by Spokenvisuals)
This last design is simple, but it made me think about the aftermath of this whole election. When it's all over, will everyone be happy, or will no one be happy? At least half of us will be happy for a while at least...again, check out the rest of the designs by Spokenvisuals at his shop, Spokenvisuals.

So, please visit all of the guest shops listed above to see their full collection of designs, or, if you're in a hurry you can find all of the featured guest shirts in the Guest Designs section at the Insan Art Store!

(PS. Vote Obama.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Narrow Way by the Naked Pastor

Well, I'm smack in the middle of the Bible belt in Tennessee this week visiting some family - it's the perfect time to introduce the shop and designs of my newest long-distance friend/colleague, David Hayward, aka the Naked Pastor. David is just starting out in the t-shirt business, but he's no stranger to illustration - he has a great blog called (surprise) The Naked Pastor featuring some really great religious discussion and original cartoons/illustrations.

So here's a little taste of the Naked Pastor. This design is called Narrow Way - it's an original design by David (but I helped him a bit in getting the vector drawn up properly for approval). David's designs are really thought provoking - I'm confident that more great vector designs will be coming from the world of the Naked Pastor, as he builds up his Illustrator skill!

Check out David's shop here:, or visit the guest designs section at the Insan Art Store to get this shirt and check out all of our other guest designs...

Friday, September 26, 2008


So, this is the 3rd attempt I've made at writing this feature...I first started it on Friday afternoon before some friends were coming over for some grilling and beer. Things (for this blog entry, at least) went downhill from there. We ended up having a little Oktoberfest - lots of dark beer and plenty of sausage grilled over an open fire! By the time the night was over, I wasn't really in any condition to blog, so I planned on finishing this on Saturday. Saturday rolled around, we did a nice 12 mile bike ride and then decided to have Oktoberfest, part 2 - more dark beer, plus TWO kinds of sausage this time (and some other assorted grillin's - that's the spread from Oktoberfest night 2 in the photo to the left).

Anyhoo, no Oktoberfest part 3 today - we need a break! But, that doesn't mean we can't have a t-shirt Oktoberfest, right?

It's been a bit since I've featured designs from a our cool German friend, Jay, from Van Tribe. So here's five shirt designs by Jay - a little something I'm calling, "Jay-toberfest"!

Triple Skull & Lucky Skull
I know I've touted Tat2ts as the Master of skulls, but he and Jay are both heavily into the skull genre (actually, they do designs for each others shops occasionally). Jay's got quite a nice collection of skull designs including the tribal reminiscent Triple Skull and the Lucky Skull: skull + lucky clovers = great, unique idea (not to mention the dropping leaf - a beautiful touch).

Fist of Love & Hate
Jay has a really great graphic style that carries through all of his work, whether it be tattoo, tribal or even /graphic slogan based. One of my favorite non-tribal/tattoo related designs from Jay is his Fist of Love and Hate design. The design is so simple and clean, but the graphic itself and the message are so powerful!

Breeding Demon

A number of Jay's designs are tribal inspired (or mixed with tribal elements). I really like his Breeding Demon design because, frankly, it's quite clever.

Twinkling Dead Flower
Yes...he even does flowers - Jay's got something for everyone. Of course, it's with his own personal touch, twisting tattoo and tribal elements into one sweet, unique design. The dead flower concept is morbid enough for men, yet feminine enough for the ladies (and it's featured on Spreadshirt's brand new unisex tie-dye).

Grab these shirts today in the guest designs section at the Insan Art Store, or check out Van Tribe to see more great designs from Jay and others...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Campers by Gladditudes

So, it is officially autumn, but I'm definitely still trying to get outside for some camping - so what if summer is over!

These "Happy Camper" designs by Gladditudes are a perfect way to extend your summer (or maybe the perfect Christmas gift for your favorite outdoors-person - hint hint!).

Choose from 3 different Happy Camper themes: with pine trees and sun, with the classic tent/camping symbol and a very cute smiling Half

Get these shirts by visiting the Guest Designs section of the Insan Art Store and don't forget to check out the rest of the happy designs at Gladditudes!

27 New Designs from Insan Art

Well well, it has been a month since my last feature and what a busy month it has been! Over the past few weeks I've been doing a number of things, first and foremost grinding the rust out of my Jeep and patching and painting it. That was crazy. Then, I've been working on a book for my good friend Van Wagner. In between everything else, I worked on a whole slew of new designs! There's 27 in all including 3 new slogan/text designs and the rest are symbols based on real signs. Here's a peek at 12:

Three New Slogan designs:

Give Me Unlimited Internet or Give Me DEATH - This design is for all of us out there worried about the recent news of caps on bandwidth usage.
WARNING: May Contain More Than a Trace of Nut: This one was actually overheard being said by a certain Colbert on his report - it's too funny and so true, I need one for myself!
BEER, Now cheaper than gas! "Drink, Don't Drive." - This one is pretty self-explanatory.

lus, new symbol designs:

Various Animal Warning symbols including Moose Warning (from Maine), Squid/Stinging Marine Animal Warning (one of my ocean/beach favorites), Giant Insect Warning (those skeeters are a bitch), plus Bear Warning and Croc Warning (not shown)...

...various sport/recreational symbols including Technical Rock Climbing (and not shown are Climbing/Mountaineer, Kayaking,
Biking, Swimming, Hang Gliding, Swinging, Skiing and Spelunking)...

...various "warning" symbols like Jet/Plane Warning, No Pirates Warning, Radioactivity/Death Warning and the "Crotch Fire" Warning (plus, not shown are Cliff, Shock, Thin Ice and Tsunami Warnings)..., one very special symbol design (green shirt, bottom right) that is honestly from a real sign. It is a Japanese Subway

informational sign. Look at it briefly, what's your first impression?

OK, ready for the spoiler? From left to right it means: Person with injured arm, person with a child, pregnant woman and person with an injured leg.

Yes, seriously. Not what it looks like, huh?!?

Hehehehehe... on any shirt to go directly to that design
section in my shop, or go directly to the Insan Art Store main page to check out all of the new designs!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Inspiration: Lotus - 5 designs by Giltlotus

Back from Hickory Fest - spent a few days recuperating (I'll probably be blogging about the weekend on the Insan Art Blog, sometime next week) and now my husband and I are headed out for some camping, hiking, biking and rock climbing, in-lieu of the honeymoon we're supposed to be on this weekend in Ireland (decided not to go this year because of the economy). But, before I go, I better throw down 5 new shirt designs! Being in a hurry, I'm doing a 5 design quick pick and as usual, a perfect candidate for this is Giltlotus, our resident Sensei of lotus and Asian inspired motif. Let's see what's she's been up to:

Chinese Peony Swag - one color & multi-color
This design is exactly the kind of shirt design that amazes me - Gilt (aka Amy) has got an eye for creating these lusciously intricate vector designs that still somehow meet Spreadshirt's design requirements. She must put a ton of time into creating these tasteful, yet technically printable motifs. I absolutely adore the multi-color Chinese peonies, but the one color version is JUST as striking!

Wave Kamon & Japanese Snake Kamon
If super intricate designs aren't your thing, Amy's got you covered, too! She's got an amazing line of Japanese Kamon style motifs (another I blogged previously) that are simple, yet striking. The wave kamon is a beautiful, clean example of a contemporary spin on traditional Japanese styling. The snake kamon is a bit more high energy with it's crisp repetition and tribal feel.

India Paisley
Amy's got quite the collection of paisley inspired designs, too - singles, multiples, one colors and multi-colors. She also has a number that are inspired by different regions. While I love them all, I had to pick the single India Paisley as my favorite to feature here!

Well, here's the part where I usually tell you, "Go buy these in my store!" Sure you can still do that - my store.....or make your own.

However, I wanted to put the link to Amy's designs she has available in the Spreadshirt Marketplace as well. She doesn't have a full store at Spreadshirt right now, so I encourage you all to check out her Marketplace designs here, if you see something you like, just click on "place the design on a product" to get started designing your own shirt.

You can also visit Amy's other shop, Ming Tees.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gone to Hickory Fest!

Well, I was hoping to get a quick shirt post in for the week, but that's not going to happen! I'm way too busy getting ready to go to Hickory Fest - it's a bluegrass festival put on by some good friends of mine in Stony Fork, PA. My husband and I run the security team.

If you're in the area and like great music, check it out!!! Can't get there but still interested? I have lots of pictures from the past few years on my photo gallery:

I'll be back next week with more all new shirts!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

NEW the Insan Art Store & Designs by Insan Art


The Insan Art Store is ALL NEW with a fresh new layout that matches my homepage, plus several new designs. This remodel has been needed for a long time. I originally started out with just the stand-alone Spreadshirt shop. Then, I upgraded to a premium account and started expanding - I used the PA State Store as a guinea pig to test remodeling options. When I had that squared away I went on to the Squid Shop. Then summer came - LOL. But, it's finally done. A few minor layout alterations to work on, but it's there!

The first new design that I absolutely love is Nigga, Peas. It's offensive, but overall it's funny. It's a parody straight from the actual Green Giant. I was going for a disco/pimp kind of look.

The next design, Will Thrift is one I've had started ever since I made Thrift Store Chic (which has been completely re-designed as well). It's a parody of the Goodwill Logo. I grew up on a healthy diet of thrift store visits and clothes with my mother being the thrift shopping queen (and I'm next in line for that throne), so I had both those things in mind when I created Will Thrift as well as Thrift Store Chic.

Another new design is I'm a ctrl freak, made with myself in mind, but I figured that plenty of others would get it, too. I'm an avid user of programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver in which your productivity is greatly increased by using keyboard shortcuts - many use the "ctrl" key. But, even everyday computer use can be streamlined by using "ctrl" plus other keys for things like cutting, pasting, etc. If you're truly a "ctrl freak", you'll totally understand this.

So, check out the all new remodel of the Insan Art Store and check out the new designs. As always, if you don't see something you like, you can make your own with our t-shirt designer!

Skulltastic Spectacular from Tat2ts

If you've been following along with 5 Shirts, you'll know that Tat2ts (aka Vic) is the master of skull designs. Along with that, in a world with a sea of crappy digital t-shirt designs, Tat stands out.

I harbor poor feelings towards digital printing-on-demand since it's opened the doors for any old Joe to put any old crappy, pixelated digital image on a shirt, or even worse, a whole slew of other products! This is not the case with Tat - he sincerly puts a lot of thought and work into his digital designs and I really appreciate that.

So, on to the skulls!!!

For a while now, Tat has been experimenting with "trompe l'oeil" type designs (fool the eye). One of my first favorites of his was one of these (previous post). For this design he says he was trying to get the effect of the skull "rising up out of the shirt", hence the name.

Gone But Not Forgotten

In this Vietnam vet themed design, like many of his other recent designs, Tat's been playing with gradients and he's done a fine job with them! Overall, it's a nice combo of skull and nature theme. I like the design best on white, but it is made to work on all colors and would even look cool on black.

Dead Planet

Another technique Tat has been toying with is morphing multiple images. Dead planet is perfect example of this and he's done a great job combining the earth and skull images into a quite a thought provoking piece. It's exactly the kind of "environmental" design I'd expect to see from the (proclaimed by me) Master of tattoos and skulls.

Go ahead and grab one or all of these shirts today at the all new Insan Art Store, make your own in our t-shirt designer, or...

...check out all of Tat2ts products at his site:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Attn. Spreadshirt Shoppers, Part 2

Just wanted to give an update on the digital design production delay at Spreadshirt. They've been working around the clock and even added a second printing setup - it seems like they've got things running fairly smoothly again over there!

Triple Feature from New Artist, Taikuodo

Introducing yet another new artist, Taikuodo (aka Andrew). Here's a quick pick - triple feature - power preview of three of his designs! Hehe.

Guinea Pig On Drugs

OK, I'll admit that this is my favorite of all Taikuodo's designs. I laughed so hard when I saw it!
Great concept. Great execution. Totally hilarious shirt.
'Nuff said.

Learn to Fly

This design stood out to me since I'm working on one that is a slightly similar idea. I think Andrew had the Foo Fighters in mind when he came up with this one. This is a really fun one to play with in the t-shirt designer - lots of great color combos to mess around with.

Love Machine

I love "Love Machine" because I'm a sucker for the triple 7's - my husband and I were married on 7-7-07 (more for the religious reference to the number). This design is a really cute take on traditional lucky 7 and slot designs. I'm curious as to whether the man is the artist himself?

Grab these shirts in the Insan Art Store, go make your own (under borrowed designs) or visit Taikuodo's whole collection here:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Attention Spreadshirt Shoppers!

I just wanted to let all Spreadshirt shoppers know that due to a high volume of summer t-shirt sales, Spreadshirt is FAR behind in the production process of all digital printed orders!

What to do if you've placed an order with a digital print:
Please be patient! All customers whose orders are effected should have received an email warning them of the delay. This email initially said it would be a delay of about 4 days, but that delay has grown to about 10 days! (I believe the email no longer states a specific time period) Regardless, your order will be produced as soon as possible! Spreadshirt wants to not only get all orders out, but make sure they're all printed properly as well.

What to do if you're looking to do some shopping at Spreadshirt right now:
Please, keep on buying our products at Spreadshirt!!! To ensure that there is no delay in your order at this time, we suggest sticking to ordering only plot printed items (vector graphics) as these are being produced in the proper amount of time. Not sure which type of graphic you're ordering? On each product detail page, whether in the Spreadshirt marketplace or in a shop, you'll see where it says "print type" in the details section: you're looking for something that says "flock" or "flex" print. Anything that contains the word "digital" will be delayed.

So, keep on shopping, buy lots of vector graphics (which are better than digital anyways!) and stay tuned. I'll post again when the digital design production at Spreadshirt is back to normal!

Thanks! Happy Summer Shopping!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

MjrProductions Quick Pick!

Hey Everyone! Those of you who have been reading (and I thank you for sticking with me) know that this time of year is extremely busy for me. But, that doesn't mean there aren't any shirts to feature!! So, in an extra effort to get 'em out on time, I'm going to start doing some more multi-design features and quick picks...

... since MjrProductions is up next in the feature queue, I thought I'd talk about the rest of his really great vintage advertisement designs (you may remember I posted the first one a few months ago here). I loved the first design so much that I decided to feature some of the other vintage ads he's got:

MacNiven & Cameron
Vintage ad from the 1890's. Not sure what they're selling, but it's "Sold Everywhere" and a wise old owl watches over the commerce atop his neat, 4-way street sign (one of the signs does say "pens"). I'll bug Mjr about getting a better image of this design.

"REX" Tailor-Made Shirt
I think this is probably my favorite of the 3 (although, it could have something to do with the fact that I put it on my favorite style shirt...). It's a vintage ad from the 1890's and reads, "Proper Fit Guaranteed" & "Special Orders in Four Days". Lol, sounds like Spreadshirt. Again, need to bug Mjr for a better picture of the design because I really would like to know what the guy is putting up to his face - a pipe perhaps?

Ransomes Lawn Mowers
"Ransomes Lawn Mowers, the Best in the World!" This is a vintage ad from 1910. Mjr says that it was a "firm in my home town of Ipswich, UK". That's one hell of a funky looking lawn mower. They advertise both hand AND motor powered mowers.

So, if you're into vintage advertising, one of these shirts might be for you! Check them all out in our featured guest designs section at the Insan Art Store or go ahead and make your own shirt with our design your own t-shirt shop (to find these designs, please choose "grabbed designs" under the menu where it says "top graphics").

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Summer Fun from new designers...

The blog is definitely due for a Summer feature and what better time than now to introduce 3 of our new featured designers? Here's a quick peek at our newest designers and a hot summer design from each...
- Summer: Everybody Loves the Sunshine by birdy27

Birdy27 (aka veggie27) is the master of slogan designs. I promised I would squeeze some in and check it out Veg, it didn't take me long! This summer design (which is available with multiple phrases), when paired with the chocolate ringer totally screams vintage. I think it just might be the 70's again every time I see it! The simplicity of the overall design and beautiful tri-color use evoke fond memories of classic iron-on designs.

- Sundown by lucentdesign

Although it's not a vector, I had to pick this one up - Sundown from lucentdesign. I love Japanese art and this design is a really nice twist on the good ol' "rising sun" motif, plus slap in the wings and you've got one hell of a modernization of traditional Japanese styling.
PS lucent, vector this puppy ASAP. It is such a nice design, I hate to see it ruined with digital printing.

- Bikini Girl by undrcentr23

Grab this Bikini Girl design by undrcentr23 and you can have a hot girl in a bikini ON YOU all day long. HA! But, seriously, this shirt is almost an instant beach classic, just add shorts, flip-flops and some shades and get ready for fun in the sun! To be completely honest, open this one up in the t-shirt designer (under "grabbed designs") and play with the colors - the design looks so neat depending on what color shirt it's on. Though I'm not usually into the orange and blue retro ringer, I absolutely adore it with this design - you can match the design blue color to the shirt, and the orange color shows through as hair - she's a fiesty redhead!!

So go ahead, grab one (or all) of these shirts in the Insan Art Store or make your own!

Monday, June 23, 2008

My APOLOGIES (the continuing Skateboard Mural Saga)

I know - this isn't t-shirts, but I feel the need to discuss it!

First I must apologize to all my readers, subscribers and featured shopkeepers/designers for such a long delay in new posts here on the blog. I've been sooooo busy!

Second, I'd like to thank Jill Nickerson (and her husband Shane, whom the project was for) for commissioning such a demanding piece!

The Blossburg Skateboard Mural
- AYE! What a hell of a project! When Jill first came to me with the commission, I figured it to be about a 50-60 hour maximum project (in painting). Well, 50-60 hours painting turned into about 200 hours (I think, not sure, stopped counting after 150). This is not counting the time I spent prepping the boards - they were blank maple skateboard decks with varnish that had to be sanded, taped and primed before painting.

The first problem (not SO much a problem) came with the extensive detail in my own damn design. Areas I was painting that I figured to take a few hours turned into 3-5 times as much work. Again,
this wasn't so much a problem, just a huge effort to actually get the work done and make sure it was quality work. I certainly could've done the same work in half the time, but it would've sucked, and I don't work that way.

The second (and major/real) problem came next. I finished the painting around 4am last Friday (June 20th). I REJOICED and let it sit for about 20 hours. Then I started to seal it - I planned to use a two-part liquid fiberglass resin, commonly used for car and boat repair, but it works very nicely as a SUPER DURABLE sealant. So, never having used this stuff on a piece so large, I set out by mixing a small batch and coating the first board. The first batch got me all the way through to the third board, but when I was about to finish the bottom portion, the resin started to seize up. It had felt stiff since the beginning so I figured, "Hey, I can smooth on another few inches, right?" Wrong. The bottom of board three, which you can kind of see in the detail photo to the right (the "O" board), has some chunks that I just couldn't smooth out.

I figured that my first batch of resin was mixed too "hot" (too much hardener), so I checked my measurements and made sure to mix the second batch with the proper amount (and stir it GOOD). However, the second boards, to me, turned out worse than the rest ('cept for chunky letter "O"). There are some really nasty chunky spots (I've circled the most visible in the top photo, mostly on board "U"), but there are multiple spots that, even after the resin had dried, bubbled up the next day as a storm and high humidity rolled through.

So, that's pretty much where I'm at with the skateboard mural. I've gone and talked to the Nickersons, hoping they understand my woes (and they do as far as I can tell - they are extremely great folks). I do feel absolutely horrible about the whole thing though because I was supposed to have this done for Shane's birthday, nearly 2 weeks ago!

AGAIN, I apologize to everyone who has been reading! I promise, there are are more posts to come with designs from myself and our current featured designers, as well as a few new designers coming soon!

Thank you for reading! AND, if you have any similar experience working with the kind of fiberglass resin I'm using (I believe it was actually the "Bondo" brand), I would appreciate any advice!! Just leave a comment.