Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yin yangin' it

The finished art and accompanying pocket art for the 2009 camp shirt.
Each year I get to design a T-shirt for Larry Carter and his jiu jitsu (he spells it jujitsu) summer camp in the far north state.

The design if money were no object.
Each design has featured a dragon and a tiger in some variation of yin and yang. This  follows the tradition of the camp rather than any particular tradition of this martial art. There is no particular dragon style or tiger style to the jujitsu Larry teaches, for example.

In this year's design, which I'm working on feverishly today and will post when approved, dragon and tiger break free of the yin yang constraints and take advantage of camp's offerings, namely jumping off a cliff into cool water.

While I crank on that, I'm also posting previous designs and variations that didn't fly because of budget considerations.

The multicolor version below is a prime example: Budget limits would not permit multiple colors, gradations, the shadow, etc. I wanted to augment the inspiration for this illustration: Japanese cut paper art. Ultimately, the style came through in the budget version, and maybe even emerged bolder:

The two-color version is starker and bolder, IMHO.

The first year was also less yin-yangy, but kept the concept of intertwining while also evoking Children's Day in Japan, celebrating and honoring children in part with colorful banners: 
Again, the budget required limitations, so we tossed out color and focused energies on helping the screen printer print the gradated highlights on the dragon and tiger's faces. The screen printer was kind but hated this challenge; I just wanted the gradated mesh tool from Adobe Illustrator to magically become the gradation on the printed piece, but I think I had to create a hamhanded series of half-tone dots to mimic what I had created. It was probably a lot of work, which is probably why I have forgotten what really happened.
… if Donald Trump or his ilk was bankrolling the project …

The pocket designs had to match or complement the shirt back. Here are some variations for the first year's version:

It's always a design problem I'm happy to try and solve, and I'm grateful to Larry to giving me wide open space to take up the challenge.
I like the optical illusion the intertwined horn shapes create. The ribbony yin yang version was chosen.

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