So, I think it’s about time I started putting some of my own ‘real’ artwork up now. I’ve been having great fun with this blog, and hope you are enjoying what I have posted so far.
Here is the painting that triggered all of this (I suppose Facebook is to blame really, but that’s another story - for later).
This is a commission that I produced for Sarah Walters; portraits of her and her husband. The two larger panels are a little over 1 meter square, the other is about 40cm x 1 meter. I’m happy to say that after a 17-year break, and a little time to knock off some of the rust, that I am very please about how this turned out.
Book: Separately together for now, then and forever...
'Separately together for now, then and forever…' is a collection of three-dimensional slides produced over the past couple of years by Matty Stuart; “an extension of work that began many moons ago”.
It is a medium that continues to demand Matty’s attention.
Some of the images contain recognisable elements, but are mostly abstract; bright, haunting, organic, sticky, viscous, whirling shapes; reminiscent of satellite photography, weird and wonderful microscopic life or silicon structures, 60s and 70s psychedelic lava-lamps and oil projections. Completely fascinating.
This is a limited edition first draft of a larger book that he aims to have completed in the early part of 2011. The book is available at Blurb, from £15.95 (softcover version). An on-line full preview of the book is also available on the site.
Popular poster images of classic actors and actresses are two-a-penny these days, with the ease of which they can be downloaded and reproduced from the Internet, so it takes something quite special in this regard to stand out from the crowd.
This painting is one of those. Chris Cox has rendered a classic Audrey Hepburn pose with an airbrush, giving it a beautiful soft-focus effect.
'Audrey Hepburn' by Chris Cox (Acrylic/Airbrush portrait 30×20cm)
Chris is a self taught artist that has always loved painting and drawing and has been doing so all his life. He likes to try anything in art and loves learning new techniques and trying new mediums. Chris mainly specialises in portraits of people and animals. Commissions to draw portraits from photographic references are requested many times now and he enjoys the pleasure that it gives to people when they see their portrait of a beloved pet, children or of themselves.
Bleee (Billy Allison) describes himself as “a ‘slightly’ skint animator living and working in Wakefield, Yorkshire UK (for now)”. He has many great designs on his Qwertee page, but I love this one.
'Hike and Chully' by Blee (Billy Allinson)
Here’s Hike and Chully… they’ll do anything for money… no wait, that’s the other guys, these guys will do anything for laughs (and bottle them up)! Surfing the web as you do, I saw an image of Han ‘n’ Chewie in almost the same pose as Mike ‘n’ Sully… I just had to draw it and here it is!
"So’s Christmas but you won’t find me stuffing your turkey!"
This may not be a new design, but it caught my eye this morning and made me giggle. A clever, reversed, take on the ‘KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON’ designs that are extremely prevalent at the moment (guilty).
Sid James and Carry On. Shirley Bindun?
Prolific [nay, obsessed - his words, not mine] t-shirt artist robotrobotROBOT has this one for sale on RedBubble for the bargain price of £15.12.
Qwertee.com is another ‘one-day t-shirt’ site, but this time, based in Ireland. However, unlike its peers, Qwertee.com provide ‘one-day t-shirts’ that are chosen by peers and fans, based on a simple voting systems of one account, one vote.
Of course, like any other voting system, the voting system is open to abuse in the form of people setting up multiple accounts, but in my opinion, it’s a better and fairer system; one that doesn’t just let the designers post their submissions and then leave them to stew, with no feedback whatsoever.
Voting requires registration, but this is very straightforward, requiring only a user name, e-mail address and a password. That’s it. You register, you can vote. There is no requirement for you to validate your account.
Designers are well catered for with the provision of a brilliant Photoshop template for submitting designs. Anyone with a modicum of Photoshop experience should be able to insert their design into the correct layer, select a colour and background (and any other detail they feel necessary) and export it to the relevant filetype (jpeg or png). Designers retain all rights to their design, thus allowing them to be able to submit it to another site should they wish. Other sites also follow this model, but there are some that taking full control of the design.
Qwertee.com utilises social linking to Facebook and twitter. and a myriad of other social and blogging applications via an AddThis add-in. This enables fans to share the designs they like (or think others will like), essentially publicising both Qwertee and the design. The number of Facebook ‘Like’s, Twitter ‘tweet’s and other ‘share’s are displayed on each design’s page, though these DO NOT count as votes. So, if you like a design, and would like to see it printed (especially if you want one) then registering and voting is the way forward. To further assist the designers, there is also a forum that enables designers to publicise their designs on the ‘Promote’ board, or simply put designs up for feedback (or generally discuss a design).
The Product Qwertee prints on high quality, super soft and ethically produced cotton t-shirts. Then use 160g/m2 100% ringspun jersey cotton t-shirts. Ringspun cotton ensures the shirts stay soft even after many washes.
“Qwertee wants you to be happy. Both in life and especially when it comes to tshirts”. They state that if buy a t-shirt from Qwertee and are not happy with it for any reason you can return it within 14 days of purchase for a free exchange, store credit or refund. Returning items is also not restricted to what you would consider valid reasons for return, such as incorrect item, wrong size/colour, printing or garment defects, etc. The ‘Qwertee GuaranTee’ allows you to buy their t-shirts risk free, safe in the knowledge you can return it with no fuss, if you are unhappy with the size, colour, anything at all really.
Qwertee provide a sizing chart for both men’s and women’s t-shirts so, you can be pretty sure that the shirt you but is going to be a good fit. They even go as far as to provide detailed information on how much your t-shirt is likely to shrink. By using pre-shrunk shirts to start with, further shrinkage is kept to a minimum but as the shirts are 100% cotton-based, shrinkage is unfortunately inevitable. To further enforce the Qwertee promise of wanting you to be happy, extra care instructions are provided on the website to make sure you get the most from the life of your shirts.
At the time of writing, Qwertee do not provide Kids’ sizes, but are hoping they will come in the future, basing this decision on the fact that child sizes are very expensive, so will wait until there is more demand for them.
The Cost Printed t-shirts from Qwertee cost £8 (€10); no more, no less. Delivery starts from £2; anywhere in the world. So, for me, £10 delivered, is an absolute bargain. Registered Delivery options with tracking are also available and you can choose your delivery method when ordering. For the best shipping rates order no more than 2 t-shirts at a time, if you want to order more than 2, place multiple orders.
The Website As a t-shirt designer (and web developer as my day-job) I feel that the website could be improved upon in a couple of ways. For designers, the ability to be able to tweak and update their designs would be useful. Obviously, this would need to be managed by the website, sending notifications to people that have voted when a design is updated. This would then allow the voters to leave, or remove their vote accordingly. An ‘at a glance’ page, with the status and number of votes as design has had would also be useful - for both designers and voters alike.
As previously mentioned, for voting registration is required. My personal experience (canvassing for votes) is that most people don’t want to register - not until the actually want to purchase. They are also lead to believe that their ‘Like’ will also count as a vote. The possibility of registering/logging in using an existing Facebook or Twitter ID, or the increasingly popular OpenID, and counting all ‘Like’s and votes together would benefit not only the designers, but the voters too.
The Verdict This version of the website is the first live version, and while there are a couple of minor shortcomings, the site itself works well and all users (anonymous, designer or voter) are well catered for. The products are great quality, the prices are seriously cheap (for pop-culture, custom designs) and the designs (once past the voting stage) are exactly what the fans want. As far as I know, for this kind of product, Qwertee cannot be beaten on price. When it comes to designers, comparing Qwertee to other sites of the same ilk, I feel Qwertee certainly has the upper hand. For other general users, the site is simple to use, though as I said earlier, to be able to vote requires registration. This also applies to design feedback.