Tuesday, October 21, 2014

T is for T-shirts

T-shirt design seems to call my name.

In 2006 I won first prize at The Brooklyn Public Library PowerUp Business Plan competition for my t'shirt company TotStops. My partner and I printed images from my illustrated books, My Subway Ride and My Taxi Ride onto t's for tots, hence the name Tot Stops (making stops throughout New York City via train and taxi). It was fun but we soon realized how much work is involved in starting/running/maintaining a company. I decided to stick with making art.

Then just last year HiHo Batik asked me to create a unique Brooklyn t-shirt design. I got to try my hand using wax and fabric dye. My limited edition t-shirt was part fundraiser for Kids with Cancer which I blogged about here.

My most recent foray into the world of t-shirts was unveiled this past Saturday. I was commissioned by Greenlight Bookstore to do a special 5th Anniversary design based on my book, B is for Brooklyn

Here's how the design process worked.

First I did a whole bunch of sketches.

I showed these (& more) to the owners at Greenlight and they narrowed down their favorite design which involved buildings and their signature G. 

Then I did some more sketches. I added more spot green color, made the smoke funkier and played with different line work.
There was some back and forth to tweak the concept. For example, I had to use the exact right shade of green to match Greenlight's identity (PMS:3435), and they decided that the smoke had to go.
Once the final art was approved it was digitally sent the printers.... and voila!

Here are the t-shirts (+ onesies):

You can buy them at Greenlight Bookstore.