There is a new t-shirt designer on the scene and I have a feeling we are going to see more of him in the near future. His name is Jon Haste and and you can find out more about what he is up to on his website (). There are only two tees available at the moment but the design work is great.
Actually one of the tees is a band t-shirt for Vib Gyor. I am not going to pretend I knew who they were but I listened to their music on their MySpace page and it is pretty sweet. Right down my alley. The band t-shirt at a glance made be think of popular t-shirt designer and Design by Humans’ employee Jimmy Bennedict aka Jimiyo but when you take in the details you can see that the style is quite different. This design is quite fun and has a soft warm vibe. You can check it out below.
On Jon’s blog (not updated nearly enough) you can see how this design came about. [With Jon’s permission I have posted the images below but for more detail be sure to check out the blog post.] You will also be able to read a but more about it in the interview below. First a line drawing and then two colored versions before settling on on the dark masterpiece that it became.
The Vib Gyor design is available on two tees, black and white and his other tee, Fist of a Thousand Faces is on white.
Well, now let’s get on the the interview because we want to know what what’s going on in Jon Haste’s mind…or at least what he tells us.
It’s always good to see another artist join the t-shirt industry. How long have you been designing?
Why did you decide to start designing t-shirts?
Thanks. It’s really very exciting to be here. I was about 16 when I first started making marks on old blank tees. Mostly very spontaneous and covered in mottos and phrases with nothing tight as far as concepts go. I started illustrating in all seriousness back in 2002, working for a broadsheet newspaper in Brasil, which is where I was living at the time. Since then I have continuously been attracted to richly patterned and highly detailed illustration, looking for techniques from woodcut printers and engravers and bringing that in to my own work. The first time that I looked at an illustration I’d produced and felt that I wanted to apply it to a tee was only last year, so only very recently. I initially submitted the design through threadless.
No joy there I’m afraid, but the process of design and illustration specifically for the tee left me with a pretty convincing hunger to take it further and keep designing. It’s been a slow process but I’m here now. At the beginning.
Do you have any favorite t-shirt stores or designers?
I love seeing Ray Frenden‘s work line work and the wonderful colour palettes he uses. Si Scott’s line control and elegance are awesome and Frank Brabara who I’ve seen a fair bit on threadless has a brilliant mastery of so many different styles of work. I do the majority of my shopping on-line. There’s just no time to put the pencil down and get out of the office!
What would you say are your biggest influences, design-wise?
Probably growing up with a wealth of story telling around me. Nursery rhymes, fairytales, books of poems, song books, were pretty much all accompanied by illustrations of varying styles, but maybe surprisingly nowadays, probably quite adult in their tone and content. Thats given me quite an emotional, maybe darkly sensitive side to my work, so that I really strive to create feeling in the image, and hopefully stir the viewer into the same experience. Its all about narrative for me. On top of that, Gustave Dore, Juarez Machado, Dave McKean, Simon Bisley, James Jean, Tomer Hanuka, and others all knocked me out at how incredible their skill was, and pushed me to go further.
Where are you based?
East London. I’ve been here six or seven years or so and It’s really home, everything I need is banging at the door.
What is your relationship with Vib Gyor? How did you come to design their t-shirt?
I went to secondary school with the drummer so we’ve known each other for a long time. He knew that I was illustrating and designing so he asked me if I could come up with something simple for the tour shirt. No brief or anything, just gave me a lot of freedom to work on something I thought suited them.
The Vib Gyor design is very complex. How did you come up with the original concept?
I’d already had the seed of an idea of an astronaut in space floating without a helmet but somehow alive, but it had never really made itself happen. When I listened to Vib Gyor’s music it that visual popped back and clicked in place. The soundscapes and depth that the music had, demanded that something quite momentous should be taking place, so I took out the glass slipper and popped in a harem of interstellar black-hole sirens!
Fist of a Fousand Faces is your latest t-shirt, right? It is also a very complex piece. Can you tell us about it?
Definitely one of those images that just came together very quickly from nowhere. The idea came all of a sudden and really made me smile. Often that initial inception of the idea is the most exciting part. That skeletal idea can be realized in hundreds of ways! The dynamism of the image was what I was after. A real forced perspective to make the hand-cloud look huge, and then look at defining the shape of the features themselves, so that it would end up looking like a kung-fu master. The work was penned in line work and then scanned and coloured digitally.
Do you have any more t-shirts in the works? If so can we get a sneak preview?
Always! There are lists, sketches and works in progress all around. I know this is really rough, but there’s one piece Ive had knocking around for a bit, only at sketch stage though. There’s going to be a slogan -BEWARE IMPOSTORS! – and I really need to figure out what the thing dressed up as a robot is going to be! A dolphin? Cactus? Its a slow burner. Maybe your readership can help me out?
Thanks Jon! Great answers and good luck!