Guess what, shirt-wearing public! We have some new designs!
With these, however, we are doing an experiment – of which YOU can be part! If you can help set up “odd guy art” with a shop in your area, we’ll send you a FREE shirt.
Sound like a lot of work?
Not really. Think of all the little gift shops, boutiques, and coffee houses in your locale. Just send us their contact information, we’ll wow them with our goods, and if they order from us, YOU get a FREE Shirt (a $28 retail value).
If you can help us find a home for our new designs – or ANY of our designs – we’ll order them in larger quantities so that we can sell them on our website as well.
BEYOND (Bee-YOND): Outside the physical limits or range of.
BANAL (Bih-NAHL): So lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.
At “odd guy art,” we’re bored by banality, crushed by clichés, terrified of trite. There is no place in a quirky new business for mediocrity, and so we wrack our brains continuously for new ideas. In the immortal words of the legendary Steve Martin, “Comedy is not pretty.”
Our newest shirt design features that very thought: “Beyond Banal.” When you wear this design (which we know you’ll do with pride), you are telling the world, “I’m so far from dull I’m practically maniacal.” No flashy colors or design elements necessary; you are BEYOND BANAL.
This new design is available for purchase next week at our website. Take a look, you. 🙂
As our one year anniversary approaches, let’s take a look at what we’ve accomplished, shall we? • Hours spent defining and researching our target audience: 84
• Number of logo fonts considered before deciding on “Hasty Pudding:” 23
• Number of hours logged on Skype: 328
• Miles from Lake Michigan our OGA studio is located: .2
• Hours spent hand-drawing much of website: 42
“Little darling, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter.”
(“Here Comes The Sun,” -George Harrison)
Even spring’s first robin is frozen.
Selling T-shirts during one of the snowiest Midwest cold spells has been nothing if not challenging. BUT… we’ve kept our scarf-covered chins up, and fully anticipate getting our line of T-shirts into more and more stores as the weather warms.
Being our first winter in the T-shirt world, we did what we thought most seasonal businesspeople do: We worked inside. There were many cups of hot tea consumed as we designed new shirts, made new contacts, and pursued new ideas. We researched the T-shirt forums and read about the successes and failures of those brave souls who’ve ventured into this business before us.
And now it’s March – halfway to April, actually – and we’re looking forward to flooding the market with “odd guy art” T-shirts. We hope you’ll see something you like!
Our first winter in the T-shirt business finds us eager to solve the age-old question, “How do you sell short-sleeved shirts to frozen people in sub-zero temperatures?” Through trial and error (mostly error, like the failed “T-Snuggie®”), we’ve come up with several solutions to keep you fashionable AND warm.
Our patented Microwavable Shirt®
First up, the Microwavable T-Shirt®. Made from a foil polymer fabric patented by NASA, this “odd guy art” shirt is nothing short of extraordinary. Pop it in the microwave, nuke it on high for 45 seconds, and voila! – your torso stays toasty for up to 10 hours. (For arm warmth, accessorize with our patented Microwavable Long Gloves®).
The infamous OGA Electrishirt®
Next, the Electrishirt®. Simply plug this “odd guy art” T-shirt into any outlet, and rubber-coated wires within the fabric provide endless hours of heat. Our 500,000-foot extension cord (sold separately) allows you to roam about freely and snugly.
And finally, our series of warm and fuzzy Furshirts®. Stay cozy the way our animal friends do: With a thick layer of natural fur! The pelts for these PETA-friendly shirts were all acquired through non-violent means; most died naturally on our nation’s highways.
Balmy Baby Seal
We look forward to serving you no matter what climate you live in. Check out our website!
Today a friend of mine posted a photo of her mother on Facebook, and I commented on how much they looked alike. Faces, like all 3-dimensional objects, contain geometric shapes, and when those shapes are positioned at similar angles and have similar proportions, you get similar faces.
This is usually the result of familial biology, but sometimes two unrelated strangers are mistaken as twins or siblings. (This happens to me frequently, as I live in a city wherein another woman my age has similar coloring and facial structure. We’ve been mistaken for each other for decades).
As a portrait artist, I’m fascinated with faces. When I’m out people-watching (a favorite activity), I see the ovals and cones and spheres in every face. I weigh the angles and proportions of the underlying bone and muscle structure that gives each face its unique appearance, and imagine how I’d draw each one.
The most common mistake made by beginning artists when attempting to render the human face is to draw what they think they see instead of what they really see. For example, we all consciously know that there are two tiny facial holes called “nostrils,” yet those holes are often drawn by beginners as black circles, giving the face a porcine-like appearance.
BEFORE: Disproportionate Features
In reality, nostrils are neither circular nor on a vertical plane. Look again. Nostrils are typically an asymmetrical oval (though the shape varies widely) and, when looking straight on, lie on a nearly horizontal plane (depending on the nose shape). From a straight-on perspective, nostrils are hidden almost entirely, and might only be rendered as subtle curves or indentations along the bottom edge of the nose.
AFTER: Proportionate Features
But that is just one example. Each part of the face requires a great deal of observation before putting graphite or paint to canvas. I urge each of you – especially those who say “I can’t draw faces!” – to spend some time really looking at the human face. What a fascinating and diverse subject.
Many of you in the T-shirt design world find yourselves looking for that one perfect concept – a design with that special something that catches on globally and launches you into extravagant T-shirt-selling wealth.
For those of you who’ve watched “The Making of ‘odd guy art’ Part 2: The Designing,” you already know what a mentally-challenging and physically-taxing process T-shirt design can be. Sure, it’s fun; but sometimes “fun” can be fleeting when you’re faced with mounting bills and, in Graham’s case, an ongoing tea addiction.
Plus, there are as many potential T-shirt options as there are people on the planet (6,894,185,175 as of press time). When faced with a blank computer screen or canvas, where does your inspiration typically come from?
Take a second to click below and add your voice to this universal question!
Well, good morning! Come on in and make yourself at home. There’s some coffee over in the corner there and a blank easel for the kids to draw on while you shop.
Ah, good question. We mainly design and sell our own T-shirts featuring the kind of art we ourselves are drawn to; art that is odd or witty or cool.
See this shirt here? It’s based on DaVinci’s “Last Supper,” only it’s also a still life of pears. Like all our shirts, it’s screen printed on 100% cotton.
And since we often hang out and work in coffee shops, we were intrigued by the artwork that the baristas make in the foam of their lattes. That’s what inspired this shirt:
And if you’re like us, we find mechanical designs as fun as the are perplexing. This design begs the question, “Is the bird operating the gears or are the gears operating the bird?”
Thanks! We’re glad you like them so far. Might we interest you in a shirt that reflects our enthusiasm for bicycling? (You’ll soon recognize a theme here):
If you grew up in the 60s or 70s (or even if you didn’t), you might appreciate the sentiment behind this bit of nostalgia: The next set of shirts are sure to be conversation starters. They’re based on historical events that never actually happened. Try this one on for size:
Bet you didn’t know that there was also a Victorian-era “Run to Eradicate Rickets” in 1862. Here’s “proof:”
And the 1918 London Triumvirate? The European precursor to the modern-day triathlon? It’s all right here on the shirt:
Sure, you can try them on. The fitting rooms are over there next to the Monet. Go on. We’ll wait!
Oh, I see the women’s cut is a little snug on you, sir. You’ll want to try the roomier Mens/Unisex style. All shirts come in both cuts.
Ah yes, you’re referring to the little guy printed on the back of each T-shirt. That’s our logo, “odd guy art,” whose face changes color with every shirt: Our shirts are all pre-washed, so don’t worry about them shrinking. Have you decided on purchasing something today? (Pause). What?! You want one of each? Excellent, sir! Graham will ring you up back at the register (just right of the Renoir) while I refold your shirts and bag them for you.
Thank you for stopping at “odd guy art!” Feel free to visit our online store.
Dispatcher: 9-1-1. What is your emergency?
Caller: Uh, I just can’t believe this.
Dispatcher: How can I help you, sir?
Caller: It’s completely crazy. How can they do this?!
Dispatcher: Sir, try to calm down. Let’s take this one step at a time.
Caller: But it’s mad! They can’t be serious.
Dispatcher: Take a deep breath, sir. Who are “they?”
Caller: It’s those two, you know, at “odd guy art.”
Dispatcher: You mean those witty, artsy, T-shirt people?
Caller: Yes! Oh my god. I can’t breathe.
Dispatcher: Ok, sir, slowly: Are they threatening you? With stylish shirts?
Caller: No, no, it’s… it’s much worse than that.
Dispatcher: Then what? What are they doing to you, sir?
Caller: Fff…fff… free shipping! They’re offering me FREE SHIPPING! On EVERYTHING!
Dispatcher: Sir, I need you to step away from your computer.
Caller: Ahhhhh! Ok, I’ve let go of the mouse. Are you sending an officer?!
Dispatcher: Heck no! I’ve got to get to oddguyart.com before their stock runs out!
Back in college, I had an art professor who voiced an interesting theory: That a work of “art” should be defined by the artist’s ability to bring something into existence from his own imagination that did not exist before.
This professor then went on to say that a sculpture like Michelangelo’s “David” did not meet this criterion because it was commissioned by the Overseers of the Office of Works of the Duomo. In other words, because Michelangelo was paid to render someone else’s idea, “David” was not, by her definition, “art.”
On the other hand, this professor continued, Marcel Duchamp’s store-bought shovel propped in an exhibit gallery corner and titled “In Advance of the Broken Arm;” now THAT was art. It represented, she said, a completely original idea depicting the artist’s “leap of faith” in considering an ordinary object with irony and humor.
While I understand my professor’s intent (sort of), I can’t help but compare these two pieces of artwork and conclude that my professor (with all due respect) had sniffed too much turpentine. The skill and interpretation and knowledge and passion and GENIUS that Michelangelo utilized when creating “David” – who began as a 17-foot block of marble and who’s figure is so beautifully detailed you can see his VEINS – puts the store-bought shovel to shame.
Digital "Book Illustration" by Ture Ekroos
But I still struggle at times with how to define “art.” As an artist with a Fine Arts degree who also creates artwork on a computer, I often run into people who prefer to call me a “designer,” as if my work isn’t “real art” because it wasn’t created with a paint brush. I’ve heard this said about illustrators as well; even though there exists some utterly gorgeous book illustrations, they aren’t considered in the same league as what hangs in (or what’s propped in the corner of) a gallery.
How do YOU define “art?” Drop us a comment and let us know.