Sifting thru my old school portfolio looking for the next project to share with you, I found this gem. Shortly after I graduated college, I did a short stint as a manual paste-up artist on electronics flyers at a production house- yawn- then moved along to a very colourful design job at a very colourful company, Radical Shirt Co. (defunct). They made these very awesome spray dyed/painted then hand embellished and/or silkscreened surfy skateboardy t-shirts for clients, friends, customers, and events. My workspace was in a loft you had to access by a pull down staircase, complete with a rope swing hung from the rafters and a full on tiki bar and old school hi-fi record player stereo that blasted Bob Marley’s Legend on repeat. When I arrived at work every day, if the stairs were down, it was ok to go up. If they were up, it was proceed with caution due to tequila-fuelled festivities the night(s) before. Interesting place let me tell you! But one of the funnest places and most awesome places to work because of these guys:

work buddies

I would sit in the loft drawing away and sometimes below in the warehouse I would hear *clack* clack*clack* and loads of yelling and laughing. “Steve-o! Jim-o!” I found out later this was from clothes hanger wars where one brave soul sat in a garment trolly and one pushed the trolly and they’d go up against each other in teams, winging those plastic clothes hangers at each other amidst hanging racks of freshly dyed garments drip-drying in rows hung from the ceiling.

As I got to know them we did fun things for each other, like I would bake them a batch of chocolate chip cookies and they would dye some fabric for me. Cool right! When they asked me to come up with a special t-shirt print of the entire crew, it was a no-brainer! I grew to become friends with them all – and we all spent many fun evenings hanging out and generally being silly together. This shirt basically describes it! It was drawn up in pencil then finished in rollerball pen- my fave- then shot onto film and burned to a screen to print their shirts.

Sadly the business went under about a year after I started, but it was one of the best places I ever worked, for so many reasons, to this day. I learned a lot about making art for tshirts- which also to this day is one of my specialties, and the whole process behind them, and made some great friends while I was at it, “Zorty!”. Good times, people, good times!