Monday, 29 September 2014

$110 T-shirts! Tell me I'm dreamin'

It's taken a few weeks and a total of $221.50, but I finally have SoulStrike T-shirts!  Two of them.  And I've spilled coffee on one.
The cost of having my A3 size drawings scanned was $35.  Not so bad and they were lovely hi resolution (600 ppi) TIFF images that I've been able to work with since.  However, I baulked at the copy shops' prices on having t-shirts printed, and decided I could find cheaper online.  Which, of course, I did.  I promptly ordered a few different sizes and styles and uploaded my lovely scanned images.  Then waited 2 weeks.
What arrived was, well, disappointing, and the pic beneath illustrates why.  The colours were either way too dark or light or not even close to the originals, and the quality of the t-shirts themselves was quite poor.  Not great for a $186 outlay, including postage within Australia.  I had been experimenting with ways to make my pencil sketches look better once they were in the computer, and had discovered that I like the smudge tool for smoothing out the colour, blending it and even making it look a bit more like a painting.  I applied this to the scans and took them back to the copy shop that had done a good job scanning the originals (and who are the only copy shop open on a Saturday in Hobart!).  I had learned my lesson and only asked for 1 of each design, costing a total of $84.  The results were much better this time, the colours brighter and more true to the original, and the smudge tool made the image look smoother and cleaner.

The top pic is of one of the first shirts (on the left) and the final shirt on the right.  The bottom two pics are the pencil drawing scan and the smudged versions (both resized down so they don't take a year to load and lay waste to your data cap.  You're welcome!)

So, basically, I've gone and proven the whole 'get what you pay for'/ 'poor quality is remembered long after a bargain price is forgotten' thing.  And now I have a bunch of t-shirts I can't do much with (except perhaps to use them as Pinterest hacking practise) and two t-shirts that have cost me a total of $110 each!  So it's back to the drawing board in terms of what I'd originally envisioned for SoulStrike.  I have some new ideas, some of which might actually lead me to doing some sewing!  Scary!

In regards to my progress on making 10 designs to submit to DENY, I have one completed image (well 2, but I just completed the second one, and I'm practicing leaving them for 2 days then looking back at them to see if I'm happy with them or if they need more work.)  I'm working on combining drawn and digital elements to make composite images.  I'll be working out co-ordinating patterns from each main picture to be applied as repeats, potentially for uploading to Spoonflower as fabric and paper.  The first completed image is below.  Again, part of it was a pencil sketch that has had the smudging effect applied to make the flowers look more painterly.  The second piece also uses this technique, but has a completely different mood to this one.

This is a very different way of working for me, and I'm enjoying the results so far as it combines some digital effects which I think are cool, but also traditional mediums that I feel I can control better than straight up digital painting.  Let me know what you think!

Cheers, Emma

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