Tag Archives: mountain promotions

odd guy’s index

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

T-shirt designs created: 16
• Miles walked/ran for mobile business meetings: 124
• Ranking of “raspberry” among best-selling OGA cap colors: 1
• Hours spent ironing tote bags: 35
• Number of T-shirt-shaped OGA brochure designs created: 2
• OGA YouTube videos launched: 6
• Number of foreign cameo appearances in videos: 1
• Number of cameo appearances by Walmart employees: 1
• Number of small fires accidentally set during filming: 2
• Penalty points assigned for finger quotes during filming: 10
• Hours spent editing footage: 853
• Size of OGA festival canopy: 10′ X 10′
• Ratio of Diet Cokes consumed to ounces of water: 245 to 1
• Miles biked round-trip to printer, per trip: 26
• Ranking of EnMart among most-active OGA Facebook friends: 1
• Number of celebrities named Yoko Ono who follow OGA on Twitter: 1
• Number of national magazines that featured OGA on the cover: 3
• Number of stores in which OGA shirts are currently sold: 3

Thank you for joining us in this, our first year of business. If you have any questions, or if we can help you in any way, just let us know!

Marie and Graham

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

Advertisements

scratching the creative itch

Prior to our grand opening three months ago, we designed shirts ’round-the-clock like fiends – staying awake some nights until 3 AM, squinting at the monitor through bloodshot eyes, nodding off onto the keyboard, dribbling drool atop the desk, and eventually falling off our chairs onto a pile of spent Diet Coke cans. Man, how we’ve missed it.

As of today, we’ve got two new designs “in the can” and several more in development. The process, as we’ve said in the past, begins with preliminary sketches and ends with the delivery of our digital files to the screen printer (a shout-out here to Mountain Promotions in Oostburg: Woot!). But between start and finish, there exists a huge amount of time spent sharing ideas, scratching heads, making suggestions, explaining jokes, and defining drawings.

In some partnerships, that process might result in a few disagreements (if not spewed insults and painful kidney punches). But Graham and I work together well, thankfully. I attribute this to a high level of mutual respect. That and the exorbitant sum of hush money he pays me to keep his biological gender a secret.

All writers have experienced the soul-crushing liability known as “writer’s block.” You sit in front of your computer waiting – pleading – for inspiration to come in any form, but nothing happens. It’s utterly exasperating. We’ve found, however, that working within a partnership helps to eliminate writer’s block almost entirely. While one artist alone can certainly create a design, two artists with similar talents and senses of humor (in this case, “twisted”) can not only create great designs, but can have an incredible amount of fun doing so.

The muse behind our caffeine-induced creativity.

So that’s my advice to you this evening: If you’re stuck, bounce things off of others. Share ideas and stories. Learn how to best relate to your audience by getting to know it well. Art, design, writing: It’s all about communication. And you, as the artist, designer, and writer must (must!) convey your message thoughtfully and clearly. What makes your audience think? What makes it laugh? What makes it learn?

Good luck to you. It’s time for me to sign off for now. I’m starting to drool.

Marie

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

evolution of the “Bird Mechanics” design

So, how do we go about creating our designs? As fine artists you can be certain of one thing: We never use clip art. We would cut off our hands first! Here is a brief explanation of our process. Our ideas can come from anywhere, really; sometimes as ideas sketched in the early hours, sometimes from conversations, sometimes pure inspiration.

In the case of the design which became “Bird Mechanics,” I remember Marie saying to me, “I’d like to do something with gears.”

I replied, “Leave that with me.”

I decided to do something along the lines of an automaton. These are typically figures, animals, or artworks animated by the use of hand- or clockwork-driven gears, pulleys, and bits of string and wire. These are delightful devices, particularly popular in the Victorian era, yet still made and enjoyed today.

This is my original sketch:
I pictured a blackbird or crow in flight whose wings are operated by pushrods. These pushrods are driven by a series of gears which in turn are powered by a hand crank with chain drive. All very practical.

I imagined the gears to be made from brass with a black bird and chain. At this stage the whole contraption was to be mounted on a base with a structure to support the various gears.

.
In the next stage I developed the gear drive and chain-driven cogs using a variety of scaleable gears in Adobe Illustrator. Once satisfied with the layout, I printed this and added the rest of the image with graphite pencil. This was now approximately full size. This image was then scanned and passed over to Marie for further rendering.

Now, Marie took the design into Quark Express and drew the whole design by hand using the Beziér pen tool to create the lines and shapes. Her attention to detail at this stage has to be seen to be believed. I thought I was a perfectionist until I saw her work. When you see the design on your own shirt you will certainly come to appreciate her skills, too.

During this stage, we continued to discuss the design and develop the idea. As you can see from the final design here, we removed the whole base. Is the bird operating the machine, or the machine operating the bird? We like the ambiguity introduced by removing the base. We also changed the attitude of the bird after looking at many photo references.

The final colour choice was made at this stage, too. This design is a two-colour design and is printed that way. (In some cases, such as “The Last Supper,” Marie used the shirt colour as a third colour in the design). Finally the design is sent to Adobe Acrobat for conversion to the file format required by our screen printer.

Our process is an interesting mix of traditional fine art skills and contemporary computer-based graphic design. I hope that you have found this insight into our method interesting and that it will add a little to your enjoyment of any shirt, bag, or art card that you may purchase from us at “odd guy art.”

Graham.

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.

gearing up to open

Dear existing and potential friends,

As “odd guy art” prepares to open its virtual doors, we look forward to getting acquainted with you. We can’t wait to show you around our studio, and to help you into some unique, artistic, and witty T-shirts. If you have a sec, post a comment here and say hello.

How was your day?

Ours was busy in the best of ways. We placed our final shirt design order from our most excellent screen printer, Mountain Promotions in Oostburg, Wisconsin. They are currently undergoing a business identification upgrade (and adding services to boot), yet they’ve continued to serve customers like us promptly and efficiently. We cannot say enough wonderful things about the quality of their printing and the kindness/helpfulness of their staff.

While the last of our designs are being printed, we are working furiously on our website, registering our business, opening a bank account, organizing shipping materials, ordering shirt tags and business cards, and developing our marketing and web presence. We rarely sleep and drink lots of caffeine. But amid all the hard work, we laugh a great deal and are truly delighted to have set off on this venture. We hope we can spread some of that joy to you.

Bye for now!

Marie

PS: Here’s Graham looking very serious as we opened our company bank account yesterday. Ha. Smile, Graham!