Growing up I was a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. Don’ believe me? Read this. So I love the Turtles and I love wearing Mona Lisa tees. I’ve got a few Mona Lisa tees and I feel like THIS T-Shirt from Snorg Tees is a MUST. It’s called Leonardo but I’d like to rename it Teenage Mutant Ninja Mona Lisa. Cowabunga!
It has been a long while since we lasted reviewed tees from our buddy Emil Kozak, who designs awesome stuff all the way in Spain. Spain is a far ways from Hawaii, but I do hope that I can make it there sometime in my life. What I can do (and do pretty well) is take advantage of lazy days. Lazy days tend to be a bit more rare nowadays, but on the few occasions when I do have a lazy day, I love to just relax on the beach and enjoy the sun and the waves. That’s my perfect lazy day.
Why all the talk about lazy days? Well, that’s the name of Emil’s latest collection. The collection features a set of three very well designed T-Shirts (I wouldn’t expect anything less from Emil), a zine with 60 pages worth of Emil Kozak goodness, and an Optical Birds poster printed on heavy art paper (70×50 cm).
The collection is very Emil Kozak. The eye-to-detail is always present in his work and his designs. I’d actually love to get my hands on one of the Lazy Days Zines. It must have been one of hell of a task to decided which of those designs (in the zine) would be selected as the designs to be printed on the T-Shirts. Lazy Days is a stellar collection.
The T-Shirts are priced between 35€ and 40€ (~$47 – $52 US), the zine is available for 35€, and the Optical Birds poster is priced at 180E (~$237 US). All of these items are available now at the Emil Kozak online shop.
You can file this under the category labeled bizarre. Yu Kobayashi is a Japanese actress that is best known for her voice, which has appeared in video games such as Ar tonelico III, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon and the feature film adaptation of Animal Crossing. What’s bizarre is that she decided to create some scribbles that look like they came from someone who was high on acid. And the worst part is that this isn’t a joke product, Kobayashi is actually selling her design in tote and T-Shirt form. If you’re crazy enough to be even remotely interested in this, then you deserve to spend the $63 that it will cost you to own these two products.
Would you buy this T-Shirt/Tote combination pack? Would you wear this T-Shirt?
As you may know, I’m on the road and playing tourist in Los Angeles. So, there’s not much I can do “craft” wise for my 365 Days of T-Shirts. But what I can do is get creative. Having said that, today’s Project365 was inspired by the very popular Mr. Tee by Phil Jones. Today’s leg of my trip involved a visit to the happiest place on Earth: Disneyland. This is what I made with the T-Shirts that I had on hand (by the way, those were the three T-Shirts that I wore during the first thee days of my trip). Enjoy!
Day 8: Mickey Made From Tees
Click photo for a closer view!
All artwork belong to their respective owners.
The T-Shirt 365 project is free of charge, meaning, you can use the materials provided here as many times as you would like. However, I do ask that you DO NOT repost the actual project files on other websites. It would be better if you simply linked back to the particular blog post on my website! It’s good karma for you and it’ll make me super happy to see the linkback!
The goal of the project is to have enough material so that I can make a book encompassing the entire project. If all goes as planned, we’ll have something amazing available in 2012!
You can say that at times I can be pretty jaded by overhyped emails notifying me of a new clothing brand or a just released seasonal line. I get a lot of these emails and most of the time, the hype isn’t worth the product. Sistine, a progressive streetwear and lifestyle brand based out of New York is different. I checked out their site and was blown away by their unique designs. It’s almost as if their T-Shirts deserve to be framed and hung on the wall of an Art Gallery in Manhattan.
Sistine’s winter collection is called Live and Let Live and it features 8 eclectic designs with a splash of pop. Imprint and I Am Not Young Enough To Know Everything are two of my favorites from the winter collection.
Imprint is inspired from Hermann Rorschach’s classic inkblot test. For the most part, I think psychoanalysis is utter bullshit but for some reason I’ve always been fascinated by the Rorschach inkblot test. It’s used by psychoanalysts as a tool to record and analyze a subject’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning using psychological interpretations. I’ve always wondered what I would say if presented with inkblot test.
I Am Not Young Enough To Know Everything is a quote from the great Oscar Wilde. It’s a reminder that the older you get the more you realize just how little you know.
I also have to mention a design from Sistine’s summer release. The shirt is called Stay Hungry Stay Foolish. The quote originally appeared on the back cover of the Whole Earth Catalogue in 1974. It’s memorable to me because Steve Jobs famously referenced this quote in his iconic 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish. I live by those words.
If you love fashion and you dig art then I highly recommend that you checkout the rest of Sistine’s winter line. The shirts are priced on the high end at $36 a piece, but hey, can you really put a price on a well thought out piece of art? Nah, don’t think so.
Fur Face Boy sent me an insane amount of T-Shirts from their Series 3 Line. I will be featuring the shirts throughout Co-Tee TV Episodes 70-79 so definitely keep an eye out for even more Fur Face Boy in the coming weeks! See Episode 70 of Co-Tee TV for the Fur Face Boy full review.
You can also watch this episode on Vimeo, Viddler, YouTube, blip.tv and download and sync all episodes to your iPod, iPhone or iPad by subscribing for free to Co-Tee TV in the iTunes Store.
Voltron FVR FRSH by SoillFu.Pros: The shirt features a custom neck tag and tag on the lower left seam. Cons: First off, the wrong size was sent to me so I could not try on the T-Shirt. I did notice a lot of stray markings on the tee. There were stray green markings on the front of the T-Shirt to both the left and right of the center Voltron design. Also, on the inside of the T-Shirt were even more stray brown markings. The sewing work on the custom tags were not done very good, a lot of stray thread Â and uneven sewing (see image below). The neck area on the T-Shirt was quite dirty. Also, a quick inspection of the print of the design tells me that it had been previously washed because the ink looked faded, especially the black ink. And most alarming was the very odd odor of the T-Shirt. All of this leads me to conclude that the T-Shirt has been previously worn. I was not blown away by this product from Soillfu. All of this distracted me from the actual design, but even the design did not do it for me and would not be something that I would wear. Price: $24.00.
FFB Bam! by Fur Face Boy.Pros: Another excellent comic inspired T-Shirt from Fur Face Boy. The design itself is actually based on â€œSweet Dreams Baby!â€ by pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein. This five-color print features a custom hang tag and neck tag, as well as a custom FFB tag on the left seam of the tee. As with all FFB tees, this shirt comes with FFB logo stickers and is packaged in a custom FFB plastic bag. Price: $32.
Some of you might remember that about two weeks ago I posted a story about New York based artist Rob Pruitt ripping off the popular Threadless T-Shirt, When Pandas Attack. The tee was designed AJ Dimarucot and Jimmy Benedict (aka jimiyo), despite this, neither artists received attribution for the design nor did either provide Pruitt with permission to use the design.
Since then, the close knit T-Shirt community has been discussing this hot topic, with one forum thread on the popular T-Shirt site Emptees receiving 300+ posts regarding the topic.
Threadless, a popular Internet based T-Shirt company with a tight knit and vocal community decided to take things into their own hands. A handful of Threadless faithful made their way to Pruitt’s “Pattern and Degradation” gallery in West Village for a silent protest of sorts, with each member decked out in the original When Pandas Attack T-Shirt. Oh, and they also had a huge panda accompanying them. Threadless posted a few photos from the event and promises to share video. And guess what, Pruitt was at the gallery.
“Yesterday in NYC at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Threadless fans and staffers staged a silent attack against the use of a Threadless design, â€œWhen Pandas Attackâ€ (which was originally a collab by Jimiyo and AJ Dimarucot). Rob Pruitt, the artist who allegedly misappropriated the design (to put it kindly) was actually in the gallery at the time, and was completely baffled. Weâ€™re sure the guy sneaking around in a panda suit helped our silent yet powerful cause too! Talk about art creating art creating one very confused â€œartist.â€
Now you’re wondering why Threadless doesn’t just sue Pruitt for copyright infringement. It turns out that since Threadless is crowdsourced, they only keep the rights to the apparel, while the original artists hold the rights to the actual design. So therein lies the problem. AJ Dimarucot, one of the co-designers is based in the Philippines, which makes things quite complicated. he wants to take action, but because he lives so far away, it is difficult for him to do so. And Jimiyo has gone on record as being quite apathetic to the whole situation.
So what to do? Well, first off, we can start by showing Pruitt that he is wrong. If you live in New York:
Show up to the gallery wearing you When Pandas Attack T-Shirt and ask Pruitt why he ripped off two artists without giving attribution or getting permission.
If you don’t have a When Pandas Attack T-Shirt, then show up anyway, and question him and/or bug the staff or curators about the situation. Let people know that he ripped off this piece.
Post about this story on your blog, or better yet, RT this post or link to it on your Facebook page so that when people Google Pruitts name, this and the other posts linked will also show up.
NYC Neighborhoods Visited: Midtown West, Lower East Side, East Village, Theater District, Flatiron
Today was our last full day in New York City and it started early. very early. How early? 5 am early. Now you might be wondering what would compel two people already lacking in much needed sleep to wake up to 5 am. The answer: Foursquare. I was determined to earn my Today Show Newbie badge and the only way to do that was to be at Studio 1A in Rockefeller Center before 6 am. Possible? Absolutely! Out hotel is situated about a 5 minute walk away from Studio 1A and so quickly getting there was not an issue. The alarm went off at 5 am sharp, but we both hit the snooze the button. It went off again at 5:30 am, we jumped out of bed, quickly got ready and was out of the door by 5:35 am. By 5:40 we were at Studio 1A and I was able to score my Foursquare Today Show Newbie Badge! I was excited and tired as hell. And so instead of standing in line with the crazy Today Show fans, we decided to head back to the hotel to snooze off again. Hah!
After a slight blog disaster (it lasted a good 30 minutes before the problems were resolved), we decided to head back to the Lower East Side to experience the one and only Katz’s Delicatessen. Located on East Houston St., Katz is famous for their popular Pastrami on Rye Sandwich.
If you’ve seen When Harry Met Sally then you’re already familiar with Katz’s Delicatessen. It’s the place where Sally had the greatest orgasm ever. They even have a sign situated right above the table in which the infamous scene took place. Part of the Katz experience is simply getting your food. They have a weird system of ordering, but if it works for them, why change it? When you first enter Katz, you are given a ticket. You are then directed to one of 4 different areas of the counter. Depending on what you want, that is the area of the counter that you go to. We wanted our Pastrami Sandwich, and after initially go to the wrong line (the breakfast line), we headed to the sandwich line. Now, there was literally no one there when we went since we stopped by shortly after opening, but apparently, it gets super busy at peak lunch times. Our sandwich server was a little grumpy, but he did offer us samples of the meats while he made our sandwiches. The samples were so delicious and was a great prelude to the real deal. I ordered the classic Pastrami on Rye and Michelle had the Reuben on Rye. After you get your sandwich, you then go to one of the drink lines to grab your beverage. There’s one section for canned sodas, and another line for everything else. At each counter station, you give the helper your ticket and they serially tally your total charges. Interestingly, you don’t pay until after you finish eating. You bring your ticket to the front of the restaurant and pay the cashier before heading out the door full and satisfied.
The pastrami for me was the best I have ever had. I’m used to wet pastrami sandwiches, this was hardly that. The meat was tender, but it was not dripping like crazy with oil as I ate it. Also, the serving was huge (for me at least). I asked the server if the sandwich was big (we considered sharing one). Then, he flashed me the piece of bread he was using and then said “no, it’s not.” And that is why we ordered two separate sandwiches. But when we received our sandwiches (it took about 5 minutes for him to cut the meat and prep it) we noticed that they really do pack on the meat. If it’s a big and succulent pastrami that you’re looking for, then be sure to check out Katz’s Delicatessen. Meg Ryan would approve.
Though we couldn’t even finish our sandwiches from Katz’s, we headed down to Butter Lane for cupcakes, as suggested by Carlos of Oven Fresh Dreams. We arrived there right before they opened. Upon entering, we were greeted by trays of mouthwatering cupcakes. I decided on the Elvis (banana cupcake with a peanut butter frosting, topped with marshmallows) and Michelle had the Marco (chocolate cupcake with a maple pecan frosting). The cupcakes was so light and moist and the frosting was not overly sweet. One of the best cupcakes we’ve ever had!
Hey, that’s me sporting Origami Pigeon in front of Butter Lane! Be on the look out for this shirt to be featured in an upcoming episode of Co-Tee TV (I should know, because it’s already been filmed).
We then caught the subway back up to 5th avenue to check out the NBA Store. I’m a big basketball fan, but the prices were just a little too outrageous for me. Once we did our walk through, we headed back to Hotel Mela for some much needed rest and some shut eye. After 5 days in New York City, we were both very exhausted.
Feeling rejuvenated, we caught the subway back to the Lower East Side to pay a visit to Brian Shevlin of Year of the T-Shirt fame. He’s the guy that’s been wearing a different T-Shirt ever day in 2010 and posting his tees on his site on a daily basis. Brian runs a little art collective called Con Artist, with Con standing for Connected. It’s a place where artists can congregate, socialize, design and sell their goods and artwork. Con Artist is a little hole in the ground, literally. Two black doors are swung open from the sidewalk of Ludlow Street, inviting guests to come and take a peek at the artwork, as well as the vintage and new tees. Brian gave me a tour of his little art abode and I was thoroughly impressed and blown away by their quality of work. If you’re in the Lower East Side and you want to be inspired, then be sure to stop by Con Artist – tell Brian that Coty sent you!
Brian let me take a TON of photos of his gallery and workshop, and I will be posting those in the coming days in a separate post, so be sure to be on the lookout for that.
A few blocks away from Con Artist was our dinner destination. Boca Chica was highly recommended by Carlos of Oven Fresh Dreams (remember, we stopped by and visited him the day before) and so we just had to check it out. Tired of Italian, we were excited to tingle out tongues with Latin American cuisine. Carlos was right, Boca Chica was an awesome food experience – it was so good! We started off with plantain chips and bean dip (on the house) and Alitas De Pollo (grilled spicy, honeyed wings). The honeywings were so tender and spiced just right. For the entrees, Michelle had the Arroz Con Camarones (shrimp and yellow rice) and I had the Pollo Havanero (grilled chicken with almond, parsley, garlic sauce). The Pollo Havanero was delicious, and the sauce that was smothered over the chicken was perfect.
After dinner we made a pit stop at Trader Joe’s to pick up a few more goodies to bring back home and then we made one last ditch effort to taste the famous sticky buns from Amy’s Bread. When we visited Carlos at the Amy’s Bread on Bleaker St., they were unfortunately out of sticky buns. Lucky for us, they had one sticky bun left at Amy’s Bread in the Hell’s Kitchen area.
With our sticky bun curiosity put aside, we headed back to our hotel to pack up our things for our flight back to Honolulu, Hawaii. We made one last trip to the Shake Shack on 44th for a midnight snack. The Shack Burger hit the spot and was the perfect ending to a delightful and food-filled NYC experience.
In 5 days we did so much, experienced so much and tasted so much. The only thing left to wonder about New York is when we will be back. I Heart New York, that’s for sure.
I should first note that I do not consider myself to be a graphic designer in any way. I wish I had the skills of the artists whom I profile on a daily basis, but alas, I do not. Having said that, I’d like to talk a little bit about the controversy surrounding the Design A Cover project set forth by Guy Kawasaki on the crowdsourcing site, CrowdSpring.
Two days ago, the former Apple Evangelist, social media guru and Alltop founder, posted a call for entries for people that were interested in designing a cover for an upcoming book project of his,Â Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. Kawasaki used the site CrowdSpring to open up the contest to those who were interested. CrowdSpring is a site that individuals can use to find professional designers to create things like logos, stationary, illustrations, and even clothing designs. Here’s an excerpt from the CrowdSpring About Us page:
By helping Buyers reach countless creatives across the globe, we’re changing the game for the little guy. Now small businesses, one-man shops and individuals anywhere can tap into a global pool of creatives for logo design, web design, company name, product name, packaging design, and many other graphic design, industrial design and writing projects. -- CrowdSpring
Soon after Kawasaki posted the contest offering on CrowdSpring he of course let his Twitter followers know, all 258,000 plus. To the surprise of many, there was what seemed to be a backlash from a subset of Kawasaki’s Twitter followers. Designers revolted and accused Kawasaki of offering “spec work” that in effect ripped off the designers that entered and would have a negative effect on other designers within the industry. Here are a few of the Twitter comments:
“@frenden @GuyKawasaki add that up for all the people involved and that’s a LOT of free work for nothing” via @progressions.
“@GuyKawasaki If exploiting the hard work of others equals a pay off, I’ll pass.” via @frenden.
“@GuyKawasaki How about you just use your money to hire a legitimate illustrator rather than taking advantage of the inexperienced? #nospec” via @LandauArt.
Those are some strong words right there coming from experienced graphic designers (Frenden and LandauArt).
So, let’s back up a little but. Some of you might be wondering: What the heck is “Speck work?”
Spec work (short for speculative) is any job for which the client expects to see examples or a finished product before agreeing to pay a fee.
Basically, a client offers a job to any designer interested in the job. The client then, theoretically, receives multiple submissions from a variety of designers. He then picks the one that he likes the best and then pays that specific designer. The other designers who also submitted their work will receiving nothing for the work that was submitted and rejected.
Designers tend to prefer clients review the portfolios of various designers and then offer the job to a single designer that best fits their needs. The designer would then negotiate his/her rate with the client and would then design the project for that client.
Seasoned designers often hate the concept of “spec work” because:
the designers commits time to a project, but is guaranteed nothing in return.
the designers are forced to prove their worth when in fact the potential client can simply refer to the designers portfolio.
“unlike other industries is unique in that the intellectual property is put into your deliverable, and when the client asks for you everything you have to put into the project to think about purchasing.” via Andrew Hyde.
So now that you understand what “spec work” is and why many designers loathe it, let’s discuss why I think Guy Kawasaki’s Design A Cover Project is not so bad of an idea. In fact, I think it is an awesome idea.
First a few facts.
Guy Kawasaki is an established figure with a reputable background. He is respected within the tech industry and thought to be a forerunner in the social media movement.
Crowdsourcing*/spec work has become a major part of the social media movement. There are many examples in which large company’s provide an open call to designers to submit their work with no guarantee of payment. Threadless, for example, receives thousands of T-Shirt design submissions each week and only prints a handful of new T-Shirts each week. Needless to say, there are many people that submit to Threadless with no guarantee that they will receive payment for their work.
“Bandwagon fallacies donâ€™t work for a lot of things, including this. If you are talking about ThreadLess, they have done a very good job a) paying their designers fair market value b) involving a community in the beauty of design that traditionally would have been left out and c) making clear that the designs are done for the love of design, not for a 3rd party to profit off of.”
But I have seen other up-and-coming T-Shirt design contest sites use the same model and not pay nearly as much as Threadless. Some of these sites pay $500 or less. And let’s not forget that Threadless, when first starting out, did not pay market value like they do today. Hyde also notes in point c: “designs are done for the love of design, not for a 3rd party to profit off of.” But come on, at the end of the day Threadless loves design BUT they also love bringing in the money. They are a business, a multi-million dollar business that thrives on spec work.
UPDATE 1 (8/2/2010 at 10:45 am): Some people in fact do not consider what Threadless does to be “spec work.” Here’s one reason why according to Creative Pro:
Some designers believe that sites like threadless.com are a better alternative to cattle-call contests. Threadless produces t-shirts based on artwork submitted by designers. Winning artwork not only gets printed up but also bags the designer $2,000. Why is threadless different? Members of the site — designers themselves — vote on each design. Itâ€™s a collaborative community-based decision rather than the edict of a client who may not be well informed about the nuances of successful design.
However, if I am going by the definition of spec work provided earlier, “any job for which the client expects to see examples or a finished product before agreeing to pay a fee.” then I have to say that Threadless is in a fact a form or a type of spec work. It is true that the designers vote on submitted designs and the chosen designs that go to print are a combination of Threadless discretion and communities votes. But at the end of the day, though, there are still many, many people who submit to Threadless who spend countless hours on a project before they are selected as a winner and if they are not selected as a winner then they do not receive any payment. They do, however, retain all rights to the artwork and can resell or submit to other sites or even produce the product on their own. Does the community involvement not make what Threadless does spec work?
Back to Kawasaki’s Design A Cover project. Why would I do it?
If you are an up-and-coming designer, with little to no real world experience then you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
It’s not just about the $1000, but it’s what could potentially arise from you making a connection with Guy Kawasaki.
Kawasaki is a big time player in the social media world and tech industry. He tweets a lot, but more importantly, he engages with his community of loyal followers and friends through multiple mediums.
Even if your design is not selected, there is a good chance that it will be seen somehow. In fact, this is what Kawasaki did the last time he ran a similar cover contest in 2004: Design Eye For The Startup Guy Contest. There is even speculation that non-winning cover designers may make it to the back of the cover sleeve.
Kawasaki’s rate of $1000 is reasonable and competitive. This site (Alpha Advertising) offers aÂ professional package that is priced at $1000. This designer (Archer Graphics) specializes in book covers and charges $800-$900. And there are a few more here that charge the same or similar rate.
If the design is not selected, it would make for a good portfolio piece.
At the end of the day, I think Kawasaki’s Design A Cover project is an excellent idea and a wonderful way to network and build your portfolio. Professional designers may not think this and rightfully so. They have the experience, payroll, and contacts to allow them that right. They have the right to refuse work and offer their own rates. Up-and-coming designers may not have the same privilege and may jump at the opportunity to work with Kawasaki to get their work out there and rightfully so -- they should not be persecuted or looked down upon for this decision.
As an outsider looking in (I’m not participating in this contest) and as a non-designer that is enthusiastic about social media, I must say that this battle between Kawasaki and a select subset of designers has intrigued me. Let’s not forget the old saying of you get what you pay for. Kawasaki may not get the most renown book cover artist to design his cover, but he is doing what he does best for many years now -- engaging with his community in a positive and interactive way. He could easily pay someone $5000 to design a cover for him, heck he could pay much more than that. But that’s not what he does. He engages his community. This is him doing exactly that.
This Design A Cover project is not about ripping off professional artists, but rather, providing an opportunity to those who 1. are not as fortunate as those professional designers that are on a steady and current payroll, and 2. simply want to enter just for the heck of. If in fact Kawasaki did go the “review a bunch of portfolios” route, he would be ignoring almost all of the people that fall under type #2 (those that simply want to enter just for the heck of) -- bad idea considering he would be ignoring a large portion of his rabid fans, a death move for a social media guru like Kawasaki. And of course, up-and-coming designers tend to have small network, which would theoretically reduce their chance of being reviewed by Kawasaki. By crowdsourcing the book cover design, Kawasaki is not only reaching out to all designer types, both seasoned veterans and fresh up-and-comers, but he is also extending the offer to his large fan base.
Guy Kawasaki is definitely using social media to his advantage. Is he abusing it? I don’t think. Is he making the experience interactive, fun and enticing? I think so.
What do you think? I know that I am probably opening myself up to a can of worms BUT I’d still love to hear what you have to say about the issue! Let your voice be heard and leave a comment below.
*I use the term crowdsourcing synonymously with spec work HERE because in fact, crowdsourcing as we know it is a form of spec work. It is an open call to large group of people to get a particular task done. Threadless considers themselves to be a company that thrives on crowdsourcing. However, I should note that in the case of Threadless, both the designer and Threadless retain all rights to the designs. At CrowSpring, the buyer (in this case Kawasaki) becomes the “sole and exclusive owner and copyright proprietor of all rights” pertaining to the design.
Here’s an excellent video from SXSW 2009 that looks at spec work from both perspectives:
I’m a sucker for a good M. C. Escher themed T-Shirt. And Slinky Heaven from Glennz Tees is a very good M. C. Escher themed T-Shirt. Of course, artist Glenn Jones added his own little spin the classic never ending Escher steps by adding none other than a slinky. Brilliant? Indeed.