Having read all of Poe’s work, I have chosen the below stories and Poems to use as the concept behind my t-shirt series. These will also act as the chosen texts within my project that is meant to be incorporated in some way into it:
The Fall of the House of Usher - Eerie story of a haunted house nature. This one shows the surreal uniqueness of Poe’s darker work.
Chosen quotes to illustrate:
"having informed me abruptly that the lady Madeline was no more, he stated his intention of preserving her corpse for a fortnight, (previously to its final interment,) in one of the numerous vaults within the main walls of the building"
"At the request of Usher, I personally aided him in the arrangements for the temporary entombment. The body having been encoffined, we two alone bore it to its rest. The vault in which we placed it (and which had been so long unopened that our torches, half smothered in its oppressive atmosphere, gave us little opportunity for investigation) was small, damp, and entirely without means of admission for light; lying, at great depth, immediately beneath that portion of the building in which was my own sleeping apartment."
"The radiance was that of the full, setting, and blood-red moon which now shone vividly through that once barely-discernible fissure of which I have before spoken as extending from the roof of the building, in a zig-zag direction, to the base. While I gazed, this fissure rapidly widened —there came a fierce breath of the whirlwind —the entire orb of the satellite burst at once upon my sight —my brain reeled as I saw the mighty walls rushing asunder —there was a long tumultuous shouting sound like the voice of a thousand waters —and the deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly and silently over the fragments of the "HOUSE OF USHER."."
Eleonora -Love story where a man breaks his vows of commitment to his wife even in death and is told of the wrath which awaits him because of his actions. Chosen because i think this is a perfect example of Poe’s strange outlook on love, and his philosophy on life and consequence.
Chosen quotes to illustrate:
"Thus far I have faithfully said. But as I pass the barrier in Times path, formed by the death of my beloved, and proceed with the second era of my existence, I feel that a shadow gathers over my brain, and I mistrust the perfect sanity of the record"
' “Sleep in peace! — for the Spirit of Love reigneth and ruleth, and, in taking to thy passionate heart her who is Ermengarde, thou art absolved, for reasons which shall be made known to thee in Heaven, of thy vows unto Eleonora.”.'
Ive decided im going to produce the below: 3 separate t-shirt designs:
From reading Poe’s work i have distinguished 3 directions in which his work takes, either Eerie horror story, adventerous tales, and dark love story. I intend to illustrate one of each of these story types, to show the diverse range and breadth of Poe’s work. Whilst also avoiding any repetition in my designs. I think this will also give my work a larger target audience.
Due to the timescale of this project, and the limitations of Screen-printing [which is my chosen method of printing these t-shirts], i also intend to create an accompanying zine-like booklet for each t-shirt. These will include the whole story in which the illustration is based around to allow Edgar Allan Poe’s work to be spread to the newer audience without them having to do anything.
After much thought, i have decided to stick to t-shirts with this project - as apposed to including sweatshirts and other apparel - as i think this restrict my audience less.
Summary/ to do:
- 3 t-shirts
- 3 accompanying zines
- Any sort of promotional work necessary for end of year shows and internet advertisement.
Right, so im gonna leave it at that for research, i feel ready to start getting down to business so i reckon that’s enough. that means that there is going to be less random dribble about t-shirts or Edgar Allan Poe on here from now on, and more updates on random shit like BMX and happenings of the now.
Rationale tomorrow then its go time!
This guy was pretty creepy, but i felt sorry for him. He reminded me of the types of characters i tend to use in my drawings
I found a font package called Quaint Gothic SG that replicates the type seen below in the Six Tales book. I decided to see what affects colour and cases had on this typeface to see what ways i could incorporate this into my work:
Six Tales of Mystery and Imagination: Illustrated by Harry Clarke
I recently purchased this book of Edgar Allan Poe stories that have been illustrated by Harry Clarke. Harry Clarke is a big inspiration to me, and i hope to incorporate his eerie tone within my illustrations too. Below are a selection of illustrations from the book which hold interesting Characteristics.-
The Typeface seen in this book seems to fit perfectly with the theme and feel of its content. I think this is down to the elongated Caps height, which seems to distort the typeface, giving it a surreal and odd-world aesthetic. I also think that it is quite a modern looking typeface, due to its san-serif form. By incorporating this typeface i could give a stronger reference to Poe’s work within all aspects of my designs, whilst still allowing the Art Nouveau style to add a new and fresh look reign supreme. I aim to find this Typeface!
Im really liking the relationship this tyepface has with the mock-up imagery. It is eye catching without being garish, and still inkeeping with the concept, content and intent of my work.
I love the detail and movement Clarke captures in the fur of ‘the beast’, along with the dark earth-like surrounding looking very mysterious and dark, this image reeks of the surrealistic essence of Poe’s work.
Not too keen on this one, as it becomes noisy and distorted when looked at for too long. However i like the impact that the dark sky has in its solid tone state. There is something very solid and brute in the way Clarke illustrates the backgrounds in his pieces. I think this could very easily be incorporated in a newer aesthetic with the usage of geometric and graphic shapes within my t-shirt designs.
Again, i love the use of block tone used here. it is as if the character has emerged from within the canvas, as if raised from the dead which fits perfectly into the story in which it illustrates. I think to capture the same affect seen here would be very easily accomplished with the use of a black t-shirt. This would allow the scene and mood to be set for the design, and allow it to hold a striking amount of contrast, especially if this black and white style is incorporated.
I recently purchased this book, which showcases a ton of really good contemporary T-shirt designers. I have picked out a selection below which i feel holds some interesting values and characteristics.-
Love the simplicity of this design, it gives it a clean aesthetic which kind of contradicts the torture based message behind it, giving it a very sarcastic post-modern feel. I hope to get such a contrast with my work, possibly through colour choices AND conceptually.
I love the idea of creating designs that reference computer games. I think this would be a really modern angle for my work, although i think it might limit my audience too much. I am still enjoying the geometric image style a lot in this image though.
In Black We Trust:
Love the small yet creative use of colour within these designs. As it is not overwhelmed by background colour and a large amount of detail, it becomes very striking and noticeable to the eye. I think this would work with all colours of t-shirt due to how striking the designs are in their simplicity and surreality.
I like the usage of space within this design. it allows the t-shirt to feel very considered and settled. I hope to get my designs to feel like this.
Unfortunately due to time and money, i don’t think i will be able to produce multiple colour prints like this, within the project. Although i would like to incorporate some of the more colour dependant styles within some sort of booklet to accompany the t-shirts. Maybe promotional equipment or even a zine-format of the story captured with the t-shirt?
Although these are simpler in design, i still they have the same impact due to the high contrast in colours, and simple eye-catching designs that are quick yet enjoyable. I will need to take this into consiration with my work. I don’t want to make the design too complicated that noone wants to properly read into them, yet i don’t want to make them too simple or lacking depth.
As well as loving the type used on the top example of serial cut’s work, i am very interested in the way they have advertised their clothing range. I did not consider this before, but now i think about it, i can use the way i display my work as a tool also. Something to keep in mind!
To me this is too simple, and like explained earlier, lacking depth and becomes boring. To me this is just exploiting the ‘cool’ shapes within the industry instead of using them to aid a concept.
You Work for Them:
Although it is a little obvious, i do like the ‘different perspective’ this design has. I think it is important to give your personal touch to a concept whilst also doing it for your audience [like Jake Dupre from Say Bruh clothing said from the questions i sent him last week]
By doing this i think there will be an easier and more natural style seen throughout the t-shirt series that enables people to recognize my work/products within other brands of t-shirt and also any future clothing i bring out.
Interview found on the rumpus website. I have quoted the questions and answers which i found insightful -
- “I have this box but it’s not really a box. It’s the new book of Marcel Dzama’s art, The Berlin Years, published this month by McSweeney’s Books. Like its packaging, there’s something self-referential about Dzama’s art and something reflective of the packaged world we live in.”
I think the idea of using the media to also reflect meaning and messages onto the viewer. Could this be done within a t-shirt media?
- “Like Warhol, Dzama’s work is influenced by modern advertising, except in reverse. While Warhol reveled in the colors and imagery of popular culture, Dzama strips it down, turning an x-ray on pop culture to show the skeletons beneath the marketing without losing the message.”
- “One of the prints from The Berlin Years shows Dorothy wrestlin èg with the Tin Man over a bicycle. When I think of The Wizard Of Oz I’m thinking of the absolute peak of technicolor. Yet you use dull, flat colors in your work. So why the Wizard Of Oz? Where’s the line?
Dzama: ‘The tin man seemed like a good character to use because he could be remorseless because of the missing heart. That idea and just the character design appealed to me. I made a tin man costume with tin foil and furnace parts because I thought it would help me be more heartless, we used it in some videos’.”
I would love to be able to incorporate imagery already known within my audience, to add relativity and a sense of new time to the new interpretations of Poe’s work. This could also add to my desired photomontage/DIY aesthetic.
- “Your work is very reminiscent of Henry Darger, the Chicago artist. Darger is the artist most associated with ‘Outsider Art’, art meant to exist outside of the mainstream. Was Darger a big influence for you? Do you consider yourself an Outsider artist?
Dzama: ‘I only learned about Darger a couple years ago, when I kept seeing his name in reference to my artwork so I looked him up. I wouldn’t consider him an influence because I’d already established my current style before learning about him, but I enjoy his work a lot. I wouldn’t consider myself an outsider artist because I have a university degree in painting’.”
Creating an overall style definitely seems like a sensible way to give the series an overall consistency, without having to affect the conceptual side of things.
- “It seems that your popularity is growing exponentially by the day. Your art has an element of nostalgia to it. It evokes fairy tales and film noir. Not only do you reference cultural characters from the fifties but many of the characters have a look like the ‚y stepped from an old Sears Catalog. I think that makes the art easier to relate to. How important is it to you that people connect to your work?
Dzama: ‘I make art primarily for myself and to show my friends so I guess it’s important to make art that they can connect to. I think the nostalgic feel adds an interesting element, it makes them seem somewhat familiar even though that style isn’t that prominent currently. I also think that fashion wise that time period is hard to beat’.”
I would like to make any reference within my artwork to be of the concrete ‘modern’, say within the last century or so, as this will allow it to become timeless, whilst still attracting my targeted audience.
I found this interview with Lizzy Stewart on the Ape on the Moon website. I have quoted the questions and answers in which i have found insightful -
"What do you think is your most treasured tool used for your illustrations? ‘I always use a 0.3 Mechanical pencil to draw with. I can’t function without it. Whenever I go to visit my family in Devon I have to stock up on pencil leads before I go as I can’t find anything that fine at home. I love the versatility of pencil and how simple it is. It’s the first thing you learn to use when drawing and I love that link back to childhood’.”
Aubrey Beardsley often illustrated E.A.P’s work, and i think is one of the main examples of how it has been done successful:
Love the contrast Beardsley gets with his large use of block ink. It is inevitable that this brings with it darker connotations and elements to his work. If i can find a way to incorporate this sort of contrast within my own work i think i will be well on the way to succeeding.
Aubrey Beardsley illustrates Morte D’Arthur II [Holdridge, B. 1983. Owings Mills, Maryland: Stemmer House Publishers Inc]: I also enjoy the way the large detailed areas of the images contrasts with the sleek block tonal work, seen here depicting the character’s gown. It allows the character to be striking and eye-catching, in a surprisingly contemporary style, whilst the detailed background gives the image life and energy.
:Although i enjoy trying the fathom what is going on with this image, it is far too confusing to be used as inspiration for my t-shirt designs. I think this shows that, although i do like Beardsleys style, and would like to take certain essences away into my work, i will need to do so in moderation.
:Again, i love the way the black inkwork acts as both background and foreground within the image. it adds a lot of surreality as it almost appears to be sitting within 2 different dimensions. Very Poe-like.
:A little overboard with the detail for me this one. Very traditional and fine art-like. Not what i want to replicate.
Me:1. What would you say makes a t-shirt design successful over others?
JD: It’s really a matter of who you want your clientele to be. Some companies focus on “what’s cool right now,” or how to sell the most clothing to the largest group of people, I focus on people that are similar to myself and my friends. I design my clothes based on what I like, which gives a great sense of pride and accomplishment when others like it as well.
2. Is there always a hidden message/concept behind Say Bruh’s designs and illustrations?
Not always, sometimes I design something just because I think it looks cool. Some designs may have to do with BMX, skateboarding, music, or just the general culture surrounding the people in my life.
3. If so, where does the inspiration come from for these designs and illustrations?
Inspiration comes from all over. It can hit while hanging at the bar with some friends, driving my car to work, skateboarding, eating lunch, or watching an old person who’s had a little too much to drink fall in a pool. The point is, inspiration can strike at any given moment in time with no limitations, that’s the power of the human mind, some people just decide to harness it in different ways than others.
4. What are the most common production processes you use to create your clothing?
My production processes are actually fairly simple. When I think of an idea, I write it down or start sketching it out (depending on where I am). If I don’t like where it’s going, I leave it alone and come back to it when I’m done stressing over it. I primarily use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to knock out the final design to send to print. Once it’s time to print I order the t-shirts wholesale through American Apparel and bring them to a local screen printing shop I’ve been working with since 2006. I like working with local guys, I’m helping them out giving them needed business, and they help me out monetarily because I’m loyal. I never just send the design to the print shop, I bring the designs hand drawn, and the digital finished copies to the shop, and sit down with the guys and hammer out details on printing placement, sizing, colors, etc. It takes more effort, but insures the finished product doesn’t suffer, which in turn makes the customers happier. When the shirts are done, I pick them up, pay, and head straight to the internet and local events I sponsor and start selling.
5. Who are your main influences when it comes to design and illustration and also in life?
I don’t really have any specific people who influence me. What really influences me is my general mood, music, lighting, where I am, and everything I see around me. Sometimes I work outside, sometimes inside. Sometimes I work in a foreign place that I have never worked, or have friends with me to throw ideas at me. You’ve got to be open to new ideas in design and let a plethora of things influence you, even if you aren’t sure about them, or you’ll get stuck in a rut, and that’s when things get boring.
POE: Illustrated Tales of Mystery and Imagination-
I recently purchased this book in order to see how other illustrators are creating contemporary illustrations for E.A.P’s work. I have selected a few from this book which i believe hold the below characteristics:
Dirk Rudolph illustrates The Raven:
Very Fine art-like, love the use of photo montage as i think this allows the surrealism of Poe’s work to be shown whilst the line and ink work appears to ressemble infectious clouds and evil, giving the surreality a darker nature. Although i think that Rudolph has done an interesting job at illustrating Poe, i think it is a little limited, audience wise, due to its fine art nature. I think if i were to use something similar to this i would have to give it a contemporary twist. Maybe by incorporating some primary colour or graphic shape into the image:
By using coloured shape to contrast with the painting i think i have managed to escape the traditional portrait canvas style of image, giving the design a newer look. The circular shapes give the design a globe-like feel, making the illustration act as a metaphoric Poe-world exaggerating its inhabitants, whilst the colours allow the design to beacon out to the eye.
Although i think this is a definite improvement, i am not sure how i could replicate this within the print process.
Jen Ray illustrates Hop Frog:
I love the line work Jen Ray has within her drawings, i think on their own, they would work perfectly in depicting the tone and feel of Poe’s work. However, the colours used, to me, seem to detract from the linework, giving the images a more innocent and child-like audience. I think this could be easily solved by simply using darker colours, that give off connotations of darkness and a more morbid outlook to the illustrations.
Although this is still illustrating the desired scene, it is now doing so literally under a different light. To me this is also more in-keeping with Poe’s story. This could also be done within the print method!
Cheval Noir illustrates The Tell-Tale Heart:
I am not massively keen on this type of visual art, although there are some features in which i do think work very well within context. The main one being the way in which eyes are illustrated. Due to their dazed stare, they appear to hold a remorseless and death-like poise that seems to look right back at the viewer. By doing so, the whole image is given a darker and sinister feel whatever colours or imagery happens to be around the eyes.
The second feature that caught my eye in these images is the repetition and symmetry. I think this also adds to the surrealistic mood to Poe’s work, referencing that of the Dadaist work, giving the pieces a modern edge too.
Jan Feindt illustrates The Conqueror Worm:
Although the line work in these images is of quite a traditional and intricate style, the use of colour within the background allows it to be modernised and become more appealing to the eye. I also think it works well in giving the images depth and energy. Although the colours used are not ones that i would choose for Poe’s work, i think they still allow an essence of what Poe’s stories are like to read, due to the intense bloody reds and mist-like beiges.
Maria Tackmann illustrates The Bells:
These prints seem to have been created using a very traditional print method, something like etching, monoprint or maybe drypoint, therefore portray Poe’s work in a very old way. Although this is not a bad thing, it is something i need to avoid to make sure my T-shirts do their job. I think that it would still be possible to use such print methods, but other manipulations of the prints would then have to take place. Multimedia = Modern it seems:
Circles seem to be very affective in a range of conceptual areas.
Lars Henkel illustrates The Masque of the Red Death:
The rapid and harsh linework used in Henkels work illustrates Poe’s work in an almost nightmarish state to me, due to its unnatural and stiff movement, alongside the splattered reds and harsh Indian inks they make a very striking and fitting depiction of Poe’s work. This is something in which i would like to work into my t-shirts, although maybe in a small dosage, as this could be seen as a little too gruesome for my audience as a whole.
Vania illustrates The Facts in the Case of M.Valdemar:
I love the gruesome imagery captured in these illustrations. I think that it is so affective due to the way in which, at first, it is not apparent what you are looking at, and it takes a second look to see the deathly imagery detailed in the illustrations. The illusive nature of the illustrations seems to be because of the traditional, almost photographic qualities of the work. This with the surreal and psychedelic surroundings and layouts of the illustrations allow Poe’s work to be seen in its true form. Again i think the most successful examples are that which are in another format, other than a portrait rectangular canvas, which give the illustrations a modern aesthetic, resembling that of Alphonse Mucha’s work. I still think that this style would need modernising more if it were to be incorporated within a t-shirt design.
By applying these colours to the design, i have accentuated the psychedelic features of the illustration, whilst allowing it to escape the traditional pen on paper feel of original. I think that it does however lack contrast…
Giving back more contrast within the new design allows the darkness of the concept to still present itself, yet still in a newer and more contemporary fashon.
Me: 1. What would you say makes a t-shirt design successful over others?
AP: good quality and better value for money or better original design
2. Is there always a hidden message/concept behind your chosen designs and illustrations?
not really because i have to design mainly for the mainstream market.
3. If so, where does the inspiration come from for these?
music is a big inspiration though
4. What are the most common production processes you use to create your clothing?
screen printing mostly - heatpress and embroidery occasionally
5. Who are your main influences when it comes to both the industry and life?
in the industry i take influences from all over, i don’t have any main design icons or styles that i follow. in life it depends what mood i’m in, if i’m in an angry mood then stella, black sabbath and 70s rock helps a lot. if i’m in a more positive mood then excercise and more chilled out music.
- Aged between 18-30: With this age group i can be creative without having to necessarily stick to the latest popular trends, whilst still giving my project a purpose. As we are currently moving out of the print age, our newer generations are only reading what they see on the internet, and missing out on the printed classics such as Edgar Allan Poe’s work. I carried out a quick survey within this age group and got the below results:
People who have read any of E.A.P’s work: 2
People who have heard of but not read any of E.A.P: 11
People who have not heard or read any of E.A.P’s work: 27
When i asked those who have heard but not read any of his work, i found that it was mainly by modern interpretations of his work, such as the Simpsons Halloween episode which featured an altered rendition of ‘The Raven’ which is one of the better known Edgar Allan Poe stories.
- Male and Female?: Depending on the individual stories i end up illustration, i should be able to create a clothing series that could appeal to both male and female, as there is such variety in E.A.P’s work - from murder mysteries to love stories. It will only be when i have defined which stories i will be illustrating that i know for definite which gender i will be focusing on more specifically.
- Social Standing/Class/Type: I would like to focus more on the creative groups within my age range, those that are more open minded to contemporary design. I also intend to produce my clothing to be accessible to those that don’t necessarily have a lot of money, such as students and young adults. With this in mind i will need to make sure i keep production costs down to the minimum, to allow the theoretical sale price to be kept to a minimum.