Monthly Archives: June 2010

if I had a million dollars

I’m not a horder. In fact, if I don’t use something for a year, it’s gone. I don’t like collecting things; not shoes or thimbles or jewelry or Precious Moments figurines (*retch*). “The less you have, the less you have to maintain.” That’s my credo.

Which is why, if I had a million dollars, I’d prefer to GIVE our T-shirts away. I’d love to see our designs on the backs of all those who love and appreciate them. No more inventory, no more sales, no more taxing and shipping. Just stop by and ask for a shirt, and voila! It’s yours.

A customer browses through "odd guy art" wear.

But alas, that’s a utopian vision that cannot thrive in the real world (not without our inevitable starvation). So we’re forced to ask for your hard-earned dollars in exchange for our merchandise, because that’s how the system works. (We initially tried using the barter system, but weren’t sure how many beaver pelts to ask for in exchange for a shirt).

We do want you to know, however, that we deeply appreciate your business. Whether you’ve bought some “odd guy art” already or plan to do so in the future, our gratitude runs deep. Please pass the “odd guy art” dream along to your friends and colleagues, family members and acquaintances.

Thank you.



Saturday 19th June, Fountain Park, Sheboygan

We’ll be out and about with “odd guy art” again tomorrow. Once a month, arts and crafts merchants are invited to join the farmers market in central Sheboygan’s Fountain Park. We’ll be setting up shop under our brand new canopy and having some fun in the sun. T-shirts, caps, canvas tote bags, and our art/postcard design reproductions will be available. Come out to see us between 8:30 AM and 2:00 PM and grab some “odd guy art” goodies.

Marie is back from DC, just, so she’ll still be catching her breath. She’ll will be at Fountain Park with me up until late morning before rushing off to play a charity gig with her band (Sheboygan Light Rail) in a different Sheboygan park. So stop by if you are in the area, or come to the area to stop by. See you there!


Friday night retail therapy

Friday evening was a blast and kicked off a great weekend for “odd guy art.” We expected a quiet night; people wouldn’t expect to find T-shirts for sale at a bicycle-based fun night in a coffee shop. But boy, were we wrong. Our shirts and tote bags attracted a lot of attention and sales were brisk. We also discovered that our target demographic is just about right except that we were also making sales to much younger people, too. This was a very exciting discovery.

On top of that we made some great new connections. We received an invitation to sell at the NOMO Expo at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, July 8-11th. NOMO is all about using your bike for transport (Non Motorised transport) and is very close to our hearts. It’s also right in our target audience of artistic, earth-aware, thoughtful people. (Basically us, and the people we love). A great Friday night led to an excellent Saturday through residual sales, website and blog visits, and the general “feel good” factor of a successful night’s work.

On Sunday, I bid a sad farewell to Marie for the week as she heads to DC. After the intensity of a business start-up and the creation of our designs, I feel like I’ve had an arm cut off. So I am holding down the fort (figuritively speaking) and having a bit of a tidy in the studio. Maybe I’ll finally get that water cooler fixed, but I doubt it somehow.

Until next time, have fun, wear T-shirts.

Join us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Visit us on the web

our first gig

It’s Thursday and we’re busy preparing for our first local show: a display table at a local coffee shop.

Marie at work

Marie at work. Groovy shirt!

This particular coffee shop is rather cutting-edge for our little town. They hire some great independent musicians as they travel between bigger gigs in Milwaukee and Madison, so we get to hear some wonderful talent without having to travel. (Not that we don’t like to travel. “Road trip” is our middle name).

Anyway, tomorrow this coffee shop is hosting a “Bike-In Movie,” with food, live music, and… “odd guy art!” We’re excited.

Since we’ll be indoors, we won’t need to purchase a canopy, but we did buy a display rack for our T-shirts. We’ve got a nicely-covered table for our cards and a cool stone pedestal for our hats. We’re working on signs today. Since our business focus is “art,” we’ve continued the theme with a price list that reads like an art gallery price sheet. The magic is in the details.

Our goals are these: To make some connections and to sell some merchandise. We’ve only been in business five weeks, but we’re eager to make this happen and frankly it can’t happen soon enough. It’s exciting to finally get out there and introduce the masses to our designs. Fingers crossed.

That’s it for now. Back to the drawing board.


guerilla exhibiting

Marie’s rendition of Leonardo DaVinci’s “The Last Supper” was on display at the Milwaukee Art Museum this week. Here is the photo to prove it. We call this “guerilla exibiting” and it’s a lot of fun. The shirt certainly did get a few interesting looks – or maybe it was the odd guy wearing the shirt that got the looks; it’s hard to tell. I think it was the shirt.
The Milwaukee Art Museum is housed in a stunning building overlooking Lake Michigan. The building’s famous “wings” were wide open that day and made the most amazing sight. The inner space is white on white, reflecting the clear east light from the lake and maintaining its beautiful quality. This building is worth a visit itself even if you don’t have time to venture into the galleries.

So here’s a thought: Newspapers sometimes do those cheesy features encouraging readers to submit photos of themselves reading the local paper in odd locales. Guerilla exhibiting goes beyond that.  It requires some forward planning, but heck, it’s fun, right? Wanna give it a go?

Here’s what to do: Buy an “odd guy art” T-shirt. Then, pick a venue in which to practice guerilla exhibiting. Galleries and museums work well, or anywhere art is displayed*. Then send your photos to us at “art(at)oddguyart(dot)com” (making the usual substitutions in the address there). We will publish a selection of your photos here in the blog, so buy a shirt,  go out, and do some “odd guy art” guerilla exhibiting.


*Don’t photograph anything you shouldn’t – just you in your “odd guy art” T-shirt. We are absolutely not suggesting anything illegal, omg. If you are not sure, take the photo outside of the venue, before or after exhibiting inside.

Join us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Visit us on the web

the last supper: from painting to T-shirt

I’m sure everyone out there in T-shirt-design-land has similar stories about how their designs came to fruition, but this one really puts the “fruit” in “fruition.” (*groan*).

Several years ago, I painted a watercolor still life called “Last Supper.” All I knew at first when considering the composition was that I wanted to paint pears; they’re so lovely and sensual. As I was playing around with the set-up, the idea to line up the pears like the apostles in the famous DaVinci painting just kind of struck out of nowhere. I headed to the library, checked out a book on DaVinci, and meticulously arranged the pears just so. The Judas pear even has a bruise.

So when we first considered designing T-shirts, I knew I wanted to convert this idea into a shirt design. Considering the screen printing process and hoping to keep costs down, I re-drew the image as a two-color design, with the third color represented by the shirt showing through, like this:

Most people do not get the DaVinci comparison at first glance, so if you saw it right away I give you major bonus points. To me, it’s just great fun to see this painting converted to a T-shirt. It’ll get more exposure this way, I hope, and sharing one’s ideas is what art is all about.



Join us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Visit us on the web

All content and images;
Copyright © 2010 by Hetzel and McAllister. All rights reserved.

social media marketing and YOU

Good morning!

I studied writing in college, and I recall one particular class entitled “Writing For Media” that taught how to write news releases, radio advertising copy, TV ads, etc. That was 1995.

Well, it’s an entirely new world. Of course good writing skills never go out of style, but marketing has changed dramatically with the introduction of the internet. Now that we’ve started our own T-shirt design business, we’ve had to re-learn some basic concepts about marketing in 2010.

First, we’ve decided (for now, anyway) that we don’t need a marketing budget. *Shock*. A decade ago, that might have spelled instant failure in the business world, but thanks to the internet and its immediate global reach, we’re able to spread our message for free. Social media outlets like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are wonderful ways to convey our ideas and meet potential customers.

Secondly, there are social bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon and Delicious. These sites spread your web url to other members in response to the interests they listed upon joining. We joined several of these sites last week, and though we’re still learning how to use them, they seem to be working. (In fact, don’t tell Graham, but I’m secretly addicted to StumbleUpon).

We also participate in online forums, which are incredibly helpful online communities of like-minded people willing to share tips and advice about a particular area of interest. For us, the best we’ve found is We also started this blog (the one you’re reading right now), which is another online vehicle not only for marketing but for sharing information.

All of these media, in one way or another, provide an opportunity to market your business.

But how do you get your message heard amid the internet’s gazillion others?

First, you have to market specifically to your particular audience. This is called “niche marketing.” Who are your potential customers? Identifying your demographic is important. If your business sells, say, hammers for left-handed people, then you have to search the internet for elements of that exact group (and believe me, the internet contains information on some very specific groups. One quick search on blog publisher WordPress yielded 177,588 results for “left-handed”).

You also need to find a way to help potential customers solve their problem quickly. When a customer visits your site, the site design should enable him to make his decision rapidly and efficiently, and to enter into the buying cycle with ease.

Establish a genuine online persona in order to garner trust and create relationships with potential customers. Just be yourself. Leave status updates on Facebook and let your personality shine through. Write blog posts that not only talk about your products, but help your customers solve their problems and get to know you better. People are more willing to buy things from someone they feel that they know.

At this point our business is only three weeks old, so we still have a lot to learn. But teaching a couple of old dogs new tricks is still possible. And, we have to admit, it’s fun.


Join us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Visit us on the web