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.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

ON VACATION (from the blog)

OK. So, not really on vacation from anything, but rather hella busy on other projects this week. I've spent about 70 hours this week painting a mural on skateboards (yes, skateboards - it'll be on the Insan Art Blog soon...). My painting/typing hand is CRAMPED and my ankles are swollen from standing for so long in my 100 degree studio!

Needless to say, yesterday and today were spent lounging with a frosty one (or 2 or 3) in my local swimming hole.

No worries. I'll be back next week with new designs to feature! FYI though, summer is very busy for me, so if my posts become (even more) intermittent, then you know why.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

2x the Twisted Pleasure from Shivtees

If there's one thing I love about the designs from Shivtees, it's got to be the consistent theme of twisted sarcasm (I also dig the fact that ALL the designs maintain a very distinct style that is simple yet hugely professional!).

This first design from Shivtees is called "Gingerbread Cannibalism". The name alone is pretty catching. The design itself is SO simple, but has an extremely funny and hardy message. The gingerbread men make this shirt work for Christmas, but the sarcastic tone makes it a no-brainer for t-shirt loving jokesters to wear year-round.

This next design is "Freedom from Prehistoric Oil". I'm always looking for well-executed, environmentally-conscious designs, so this one stood out. However, I think that this design is perhaps a step above the rest of Shivtees' designs. The style is consistent with the rest of Shiv's designs, but rather than simply a play on words, Shiv takes this one and makes it a sarcastic view on a very real, very timely problem. As a design in the environmental genre, "Freedom from Prehistoric Oil" is SO timely and SO original that it stands out miles ahead of the rest of the "Earth Day" pack.

Catch one of these tees at the Insan Art Store or make your own!