Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Great T-Shirt War

I've not been as faithful with updates I would like to be.  A lot has been going on.  At this point I don't want to go into detail because I'm worn out and I'm trying to focus on other things right now.  

As for the title, well it is pretty much what it sounds like.  I've been locked in a battle of wits between my computer, redbubble, society6, and CS5 to produce a good tshirt design. 

While I realize that computers are not sentient and therefore cannot be in such a battle with me it certainly feels that way.  Anyone who has ever grappled with a computer program understands what I mean.  

I think a lot of artists like to make it look effortless.  I think society conditions us to believe we have to look like we've got it all together or people will think less of us.  While that may be true in some cases I've come to believe that sharing your struggles humanizes you and bonds you to others.  Keeping hardships and difficulties completely under wraps is way too difficult and stressful to be worth the payout of having your neighbors be jealous you have time to keep a perfectly manicured lawn, perfect hair, and basically live a life that looks as domestically blissful as Martha Stewart's.  

So as an artist and a fellow human being I humbly present to you the evolution of the tshirt designs I've been working on.  

(Putting a watermark on failed tshirt designs may seem ridiculous but I'll tell you this, First rule of the internet- if it's not nailed down someone somewhere will steal it)

Original concept-

This is the first in the Terra Series I made and I love it but it won't work for a tshirt design.  Changes need to be made.  

First draft.  Hard edges don't look good on tshirt designs.  It was the wrong size and I didn't like how it looked on a shirt.

This was finally the correct size but I still didn't like how it looked on the shirt.  It was too long.

This time the dimensions were to my liking but the design still looked too cluttered and boxy on a shirt.

I was finally starting to get on the right track with this one.  I still felt like it looked cluttered.

So close but not quite.  As much as I love the scratchy pencil lines of this design there was too much white.  Soceity6's tee designs make anything white in a picture transparent and while this doesn't look super white on the actual lines the scratchiness was an issue because it let more white through and wasn't solid enough so the design blended into the tee too much which is what I continually ran into throughout these other incarnations of this design.  

So close!  I decided to go with a more vector like image for this and drew outlines and then painted in first flat colors then shading on top of that.  I wanted to keep with the colors of the original design but I despised them in this format.  It looked too much like the lakers.. or mardi gras..  Which, I'm sorry, but I find the combination a bit tacky.  It's just not my taste.  

And here we are at the final design!  I changed the colors to ones that looked nicer together and I fell in love.  

 So now you may be wondering why I haven't made this into a tshirt yet.  Well that's a lovely and complicated story that simply put I can't figure out the color format for redbubble.  I decided to opt out of using society6 for tshirts because I really despise the colors they offer and their format for isolating the image isn't the best idea, in my opinion.  So I've decided to go with redbubble.  One problem, despite changing the color profile of the image to match what they specify the colors look very gray when I upload the image.  So now I've decided to walk away from this for a bit and come back to it because it's frustrating me to no end.  I know there has to be something I'm missing but I'll figure it out eventually.  For now I'm focusing on photography and digital mixed media for the prints I want to make.  If you want to see the other versions of this wannabe tshirt design you can check out my facebook page for my art.  I have an entire album just for them.  lol  So that explains the title of this blog.  Sometimes art is war.  

The splatter brushes used in the background of the last two designs are from texture mate  all the other textures, compass rose drawing, and images are my own.  

Glossary of terms

Color profile- In simple terms it's instructions for computers on how to display the colors of an image.  This is pretty important for printers too.  Complicated explanation here.

Vector- To put it simply it's the blocky colors you typically see on tshirts and other various designs because they can be scaled easily without making it look blurry an pixelated.  More complicated version here with an example picture.  

So that's that.  Thanks for reading.  :)

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