“Normally I’d give anyone the shirt off my back, but not in this case. It looks great, is a fantastic conversation starter, and is simply too well designed to part with. Get your own.”-Edward Hemingway
“We’re getting ready for the summer of 2014, taking inventory of swag and are in need of a new Tshirt design that will take us from the summer through next spring,” Nathan Fox wrote to the class of 2015. As usual, he had a few ideas up his sleeve on how to keep the creative juices flowing all over the halls of SVA. “So I’d like to announce our First Annual MFAVN Tshirt Design Contest! The winning design will be selected by the first annual “Killer, Rocking, Awesome, Good-look’n” committee.” [Note from ed. I was not on that committee]
But some worked together.
Nadia DeLane and Jenny Goldstick decided to team up.
“This shirt gives me a feeling of pride. I feel proud to wear a cool shirt for a program I think is one-of-a-kind.”
-Why did you decide to collaborate?
Jenny: We found more and more as we got to know each other that conceptually our artwork overlapped somehow, despite our visually different styles. We had always discussed exploring this conceptual overlap further by collaborating on something, so when this project came up I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to work as a team. In terms of our seemingly opposing aesthetics, we also thought it could be cool to try and find a way to integrate our styles in a cohesive way. While Nadia’s work often feels more emotive and visually raw and organic, my work is generally more static, geometric, and logical. We thought meeting in the middle somehow visually could be really compelling.
Nadia: What brought us together for this project was a mutual appreciation for our complementary styles and the craft of monster-making. We are two very different visual storytellers who happen to work very well together. Why not enjoy the wild abandon and data-centered treats that pop up during our process? Collaboration is cool.
“It’s PERFECT! I’m wearing it today! I enjoy telling people “It’s my friends’ work; they designed it in a bar.”
– Feifei Ruan
-How did you land on this concept? What inspired you?
Jenny: You know, it’s funny what a few honey whiskeys with a friend during stressful times will cultivate. We were all very busy with schoolwork for our spring semester, so we knew that if we were going to turn something in for this, it would need to be a great idea that we came up with quickly—and it would need to be something we could execute quickly. We somehow squeezed in a meeting at 7pm the week before this was due over at local dive McManus. We came up with several sketches at the bar, and landed on this one. We started in a place of trying to “map” out the components of a story, and somehow it evolved into the anatomy of this creature as a representation of storytelling. We thought it made just enough sense and not enough at all to actually work!
Nadia: Womanhood and penny scratch paper inspired us. We created various sketches around themes related to the human body, aliens, education and urban interaction. After drawing up several sci-fi ideas and literally passing the notebook back and forth, we decided to build a creature with arms strong enough to hold up the whole city. While there were some ideas left on the table that I’d love to investigate further, we are pleased with the end result. The anatomy of storytelling figure is the result of one fateful trip to McManus on a summer’s eve.
-What was the process behind creating the design?
Nadia: Following the sketch, I created a collage eye by hand and scanned it into Photoshop. Likewise, I scanned in a hand drawn heart and abstract cityscape into Photoshop. After creating the top part of the figure, I sent the file over to Jenny complete with the tilted crescent moon. Jenny‘s illustration work on the stockings, color separation and icons was particularly impressive. The rest is herstory.
Jenny: With a pencil, I came up with a few different sets of icons I thought might work, and made them digitally in Adobe Illustrator. Nadia sent me her collage file, which I worked with in Photoshop to bring to the 3 color specification required from us. I laid everything out in Illustrator over a t-shirt template I downloaded from the Internet…and voila!
“I love this year’s tshirt design. In fact, it’s the only shirt I’ve ever worn from any school I’ve ever attended.”