Teeing off: jumpstart T-shirt design

I don’t fancy myself as a great designer of T-shirts, however, inevitably during the course of one’s artistic career, one is asked to design a T-shirt. (I’ve also designed and airbrushed a couple surfboards – once, just once, a long time ago. Since then I’ve learned to say “no” to projects like that, even though they DID turn out pretty cool.) So here are a couple of simple hints to help the T-shirt designer noob on her way.

Find an adorable picture (this one is of my granddaughter Charlotte “Lottie”– you can’t have her).
Make a line drawing – lines show up well on T-shirts. Embellish.
Add color. For digital printing (4-color cmyk) on white garments, something like this should work. If you are screen printing on dark colors, you’ll need to identify one or two Pantone spot colors you want to use.

If anyone wants to know the difference between CMYK and spot color printing processes, please let me know! Otherwise, check out my store for my new products featuring this illustration!

Humus erectus: Mulch Man

Missing link found in my back yard!


Looks mean and creepy, but he’s the champion and caretaker of all green living things, and very warm at heart. In future posts, I’ll bring him to life in an animation.

If you remember my earlier post, which could have been more aptly titled “Mulch Ado About Nothing”, I featured a monstrous but benign mulch pile. This is an example of what could happen if you leave a mulch pile lying there long enough. Evolution!

Kitty mind control illustration

I looked down from my desk the other morning to see this:


Now I know that she is lying next to me because she likes to be with me, but when she is staring at me like that it means she expects something, and if I choose to disregard the thoughts she is beaming telepathically at me and reach down to pet her, she will grab my hand, hold it and bite it while scratching me with her back legs, then jump up and run down the stairs and demand to be let outside, which is what she was expecting of me, pre-attack.


I did test this out, always hoping that someday she will learn gratitude and not bite the hand that feeds her, reaching down to pet her and sure enough, she grabbed my hand, bit and scratched me then ran down the stairs. This time, however, I was not seriously wounded – just washed my hand and I was fine.

This morning I did an illustration using that grainy closeup of her staring eyes as a start. Took about three hours, with interruptions.


Here’s what my Photoshop workspace looked like: