Welcome to another edition of Geek Shirts HQ Designers Unlocked. This week we have the designer who is a ninja with pen known as Jayveezed.
Some of his designs are included in the interview as I always try and get a good selection of a designers designs to showcase. But please check out his other awesome designs on the websites listed at the end of the interview.
Check out is awesome Beatles/Martial Arts Mash Up!!
Can you start by giving some background about yourself? Where you are from? What is your background? How did you get into design?
I'm originally from Holland but came over to Bristol (England) when I was two and never left. I have no real 'artistic' background, no art qualifications or training, I just liked drawing cartoons when I was younger but gave it up when I joined the working world.
I somehow got trapped in a call centre for 16 years but, happily, was made redundant at the end of 2009 and that broke the spell! I began drawing again at that time, completely unaware of all the avenues available for T-Shirt designs and have been playing catch up ever since. The moral of the story is: Beware of call centres.
Where did you get the name jayveezed?
It's just a sounding out of my initials that I've used for years. It has nothing to do with Jay Z (zed!) who I can only assume saw my nickname and used an Americanised version of it to avoid my ineffectual wrath!
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
Pop culture has taken over a bit but I used to write a few short stories and had many ideas for cartoon characters when I was younger so have started to look back over them to balance up the portfolio.
My brain spends an unhealthy amount of time unconsciously analysing what it's being subjected to and throwing up ideas in a haphazard fashion. It comes up with a half decent idea about 1% of the time, unfortunately I usually do not have the skills to pull off the idea so it is written down on a scrap of paper to await a time when I do.
When you create a new t shirt design, what is sort of process do you follow?
After thinking of an idea, and googling it to make sure it's not been done etc. I sit on my sofa and sketch out the image using a file folder to rest on. Many sketches and a few erasers later I scan the image onto my PC and check with friends on Facebook groups to see if it makes any sense.
If it's a go I use the dreaded (but excellent) Pen Tool to go over the outlines of my sketch, then colour, then agonise over whether it's good or not for ages before pretending to myself that I don't care what people think and upping it to the McWeb.
Looking at your own portfolio what is your favourite design and why?
My favourite design is usually the one I happen to be working on. I'm still amazed I can get stuff finished, let alone looking like I want it to! Saying that, my current design (Stand By E.T.) may stay my favourite for a while because it took a lot of work (for me!) and I've wanted to complete it for a long time now. Plus, it involves Stand By Me which seems underrepresented in the Tee world despite being an absolutely tremendous film.
What current projects are you working on now? And can we get a exclusive peek?
I've got quite a few half finished (or half started!) sketches on the go but I might have a go at finishing off a sort of side project I started which is a more realistic version of Stand By E.T.
Stand By E.T. (An alternative vision)
Who are your favorite designers?
Ooooh unfair! I'm in a couple of T-Shirt Designer Facebook groups and so have got to know many mighty fine artists. Their designs blow me away on a daily basis but as a cartoon style is more my thing.
I'll say Nik Holmes (ZombieDollar), Crystal Bam Fontan (Bamboota) and Billy Allison (Bleee)…
Oh, and James Hance, Megan Lara, John Midgely, Rob Wood, Captain Ribman etc etc… everyone is great!
Do you try to convey any message in your designs?
Not really, I try and keep it light and with a bit of humour. What you draw is a bit of a mirror and I've been quite happy since being made redundant If I have to go back to a call centre the dark side will definitely start to come out, then the mockery will start and they'll all be sorry!
Star Wars Or Star Trek? Which Do you prefer
Star Wars, specifically the 'original' three films, more specifically A New Hope. I quite like Star Trek too, especially the latest film which was pretty damn good and got extra respect for using Sabotage in the early car chase scene.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I really have no idea, I don't like planning things more than a few weeks in advance and have never really had a life plan, and it shows! If I can make a living drawing on my own terms and am doing that in 10 years time I will be ecstatically happy.
What other interests and hobbies do you have when you’re not designing?
I watch a lot of Asian martial arts films, old and new, I'm quite interested in their different cultures, odd humour and, of course, insane action choreography skills. I'm also a little infatuated with science, particularly physics and neurology, I have an insatiable appetite for brains… and not in a zombie way.
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
The amazingly helpful people at the RBC and RBA, in particular Rob Wood (cu3ik) and Billy Allison, but everyone in those groups are top notch.
David Edwards of Candy the Magic Dinosaur fame has also been very helpful. Also, the many bands that help stir the artistic juices (salute to MCA), my friends who seem largely oblivious to what I do but are great nonetheless and the Mothe.
Where is the best place to find your designs and buy some of your shirts? And of course get in contact with you
ANY OTHER WEBSITE THAT FEATURES YOUR DESIGN
One last question, when you going to design a Firefly shirt as I am a massive fan?
I'm also a big fan of Firefly but coming up with an idea that hasn't already been done is difficult as I discovered the show very late in it's life. I have a few ideas in the 'I can't pull it off yet' pile, I may have another look at them soon.
Thanks for a great interview, if you are interested in any of Jay's designs, don't forget to visit the sites listed above.