Just wanted to let you all know that it's been a great year here at Sharp Shirter, and we'll be spending the Christmas vacations in South Africa. I'll be checking my emails regularly and will be back on January 5th to start it all up again.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Okay, so I’ve been making t-shirts for the last 4 years, but today of all days it dawned on me, I know nothing about the history of the t-shirt. I’ve been using terms like American Apparel, tri-blend, 100% cotton and other industry jargon without ever stepping back and asking myself “What does it mean?” (Double Rainbow?)
Granted it might not be the most interesting topic, but if you’ve been doing something for a really long time and never wondered how it started, I suggest you take a moment to ponder.
I just finished doing some digging around and here are the cliff notes:
The t-shirt made its debut as an undergarment during the 1800s. During this period, minors cut what was originally a one-piece union suit into a 2-piece item. The top part (what we now call the tee), was tucked into the waist and could be conveniently removed in hot environments.
Some years later, the tee became popular as a slip on garment when the U.S. Navy issued their creation during the Spanish American War. These original tees were worn by Marines in tropical climates or down in submarines. Some have speculated that the Navy got this slip on tshirt idea from the dock crews and helping hands.
The name “T-shirt” came about due to the actual shape of the item. It’s popularity grew thanks to its easy fit, low maintenance cleaning and cheap cost. It became quite common to see young boys wearing them since they tended to get dirty on a regular basis. By the time of the Great Depression, the tee had become a regular trend and was regularly worn by ranchers and other blue collar workers.
It was only by the 1960s that the t-shirt became a medium for displaying artwork. One pioneer in this field was a psychedelic art poster designer named Warren Dayton. He became famous from his political protests shirts featuring Cesar Chavez and other iconic figures.
Today, the t-shirt is now worn as the only layer on the top half of the body. The tee is used as a medium to express oneself, advertise, or to just keep a low profile.
Monday, November 29, 2010
When we first printed our bear punch t-shirt back in 2008, we had no idea of the epic following that it would gain. I remember receiving my first order of the Haymaker t-shirts in the mail and showing them to my friends and family. Everyone in my immediate circle thought that it was just your average bear punch t-shirt, but luckily they don’t make up my bear vs. lumberjack enthused customers.
Once the lumberjack punching bear t-shirt made its debut at a local craft show in DC, things started picking up. It’s been the leading item in my company for two years straight. One part of me feels like “Ok guys, I’ve got a lot of new stuff that doesn’t feature a dude punching a bear…” but the other part of me is like “Woohoo!”
So what does this bear punching tee mean? Some have speculated that the lumberjack character is Paul Bunyon, Chuck Norris or maybe someone they know like a grandfather, brother or boyfriend. Others notice the Russian script on the bear’s body and think that since it’s an American looking dude punching the bear, it represents the Cold War in a t-shirt image (American kicking Russia’s ass). Since we kept the facial details really abstract, there’s no straight answer to any of these questions…
My favorite moment with the haymaker t-shirt has to be when a guy named Voltaire Casino swung by my booth in Eastern Market rocking the haymaker hoodie. He asked me “Are you the bear punch dude?” and I answered yes. He then whipped out his iPhone and flipped to his photo section. He had over 100+ photos of friends and other random people that he met on his trip across America all wearing the bear punch hoodie. I was blown away and felt compelled to give away a free Haymaker iPhone case on the spot for such random dedication.This is the kind of stuff that keeps me going through the week when I’m stuck in my man cave working on new designs to release. One of these designs happens to be a potential sequel to the man punching bear phenomenon. I can only hope for it to be 1/2 as good as the original...
Friday, November 26, 2010
Last weekend I was hanging out with my best buds Will & Ben watching some good ol’ UFC at the bar. While waiting around for the UCF 123 to kick off the topic of pre-UFC fighting came up. I’m definitely all caught up on my facts about modern day mixed martial arts, but I had only seen a couple of clips of the old school Japanese leagues. This is when Ben spoke two golden words: Bas Rutten.
He’s a Deutch Thai Boxing champion from the Pancrase league that was way before my time. You have to check out this Best of Bas youtube clip:
My initial reaction was that this stuff was as fake as WWF but after some heavy Wikipedia-ing I found out that it’s the real deal. The best sentence in the article has to be:
“During his MMA career he became known for two particular things: his fondness of liver shots and his habit of doing a jumping split after winning a fight."
Oh man, I’m so inspired to get another Haymaker epic t-shirt going…
Thursday, November 25, 2010
My biggest inspiration for making new t-shirts has to be National Geographic. I love kicking back with a brew and letting my mind wander as I learn about new creatures and their strange abilities. I recently bumped into a lizard with the ability to run on water. Check this video out:
I don’t think I’ll be able to use it on a t-shirt since the religious theme would definitely mess with sales, but I’m really glad I found it nonetheless!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The rules are pretty straightforward. A candy company releases a new product and I take on the self-appointed role as candy critique.
Take Reese’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup for example
You see, dark chocolate is much more of an adult choice, and combining it with rich creamy peanut butter is a winning recipe. I like the subtle remodeling of a household candy so I gotta give it a “Next Best Creation” status.
On the other hand, our good friends over @ Willy Wonka tried to drop Nerd’s Rope on us way back in the 00’s. I’m not quite sure why they decided to take us down a gummy path, which is totally out of their element, but it was one of the worst oral experiences that I can remember. Definitely a “Struggling” status on that one.
If you have any new candies for me to critique, drop me a comment and I’ll be sure to give it a go.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
We're also throwing our Cycling Fish Dress into the sale!
Hope to fill your closet soon.....
Monday, November 15, 2010
The Detectives tee was created by Morgan Lappin, a crazy-cool dude hailing from Brooklyn NY. I’ve spent a couple of nights crashing on his couch, and let me tell you, this guy is never at a lost for inspiration. His speciality is taking different pieces of artwork from various encyclopedias or VHS covers and melding them together into iconic pieces of art.
This one's one of my favs:
Since I’ve got a team of experienced printers, I had the capability of making the Detectives collage into a full colored tee print. Morgan & I are both thrilled with the result and are joyfully basking in sales.
I can’t wait to do another tshirt with this guy!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I must admit that it was a bit like watching road kill at first. With each punch knocking out a good chunk of a rivaling alpha male’s 2nd grade math skills, I couldn’t help but feel sick as I would vicariously take the same punch on the couch. But I just couldn’t take my eyes of the screen. This is true natural selection at its finest! 2 bros in a cage with close to no rules, fighting for survival until the other submits to his brute dominance.
Just to clear things up, the UFC is not fake. Sure I said the same thing about WWF when I was 8, but back then I believed in a lot of other crazy things... (For the record, I still believe in David Blaine, so please do not attempt to disprove his hovering powers in my presence).
Each month I have the pleasure of gearing up for yet another UFC bout with some extreme title like “Relentless” or “Unforgiving”. “YESS!!!” I declare as I pound my fist on the nearest object. This is what I’ve been waiting for! I like to label my UFC watching time as work time. As elbows and knees are raining down on helpless victims, I’m sitting back, daydreaming about t-shirt ideas and how I can apply this violence to a t-shirt.
That’s how we got to designs such as The Haymaker aka Bear Punch, or the Rhino Hunter (When Animals Attack! Part 6). I’m lucky to say that my favorite pastime has now become a source of my livelihood. I can’t wait to clock in again tonight as Marquardt takes on Okami. Showtime baby.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
- I was just stumbling around on the internet and ran into an entire definition about the Haymaker t-shirt:
SUGGESTIONS FOR BUYING YOUR VERY OWN BEAR PUNCH SHIRT
- it should not contain rainbows, unless they are being vomitted by a wild animal.
- anything with a beard or elaborate mustache will receive high marks.
- bands should generally be avoided.
- metallica and guns and roses are exceptionally poor choices.
- choose bears over polar bears. wolves over coyotes. technics over atari.
- there should not be any danger of running into another woman wearing your same Bear Punch Shirt (tm) on the street, let alone in a bar.
- it should not boast a city.
- it needs to be a plain, no bullshit tee.
- it should be a t-shirt that your target wishes he owned.
- upon first wear, if you don’t receive three comments, you’ve failed to purchase an adequateBear Punch Shirt (tm).
if the pressure of finding a Bear Punch Shirt (tm) of your own is simply overwhelming, i suggest just buying The Bear Punch Shirt (tm) that’s linked above. just don’t let me see you walking down my street with it on.