Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tea/Tee Serpents (Process)

I recently completed some art for a challenge on Threadless called the Thermos Loves Design Challenge. I have always been intrigued by designs that wrap around cylinders, so I decided to take a stab it with the Tea/Tee Serpents design. I decided to make a design with no end. It does this fusing at a seem and wrapping around the cylinder.

I was inspired by pottery designs of ancient civilizations. The scale motifs were inspired by North-African art and the water swirls where inspired by Ancient Greek art. The idea of using a snake was influenced by the importance of snakes in the Ancient Mayan culture. I wanted to use the circle, of the Thermos, to represent infinity. As you may have guessed, each character represents the four-senses: Visual, Auditory, Smell, and Taste. The sense of touch is activated by touching the Thermos.

The design process is demonstrated below:

The red box shows the first sketch of the concept. The little faces represented possible faces for the serpents.

This a sketch demonstrated how the Thermos would look. This also shows the idea of using swirls for the liquid in the art.

I downloaded the measurements for the Thermos and created a template to follow to make sure the serpents fused seamlessly.

I drew each serpent and the swirls on separate sheets of paper. I used the previously mentioned template to place the serpents and swirls in the composition. I was also extremely careful to cut and place the fuse making serpent, and swirls, in the perfect position. I printed a copy and taped the paper together at the fuse location to be sure the serpent and the swirls lined up correctly.

Then I experimented with color and came up with a cool palette. I also inserted a water droplet texture behind the serpents; I had to use the rubber-stamp tool in Photoshop to make the droplets repeat exactly along the seem.

I put the placed the design in a t-shirt and Thermos template for the world to see.

It is a three-color print on a light blue shirt or a three-color blueish gray brushed steel Thermos.

Here is a link to it on Threadless, pending approval of course:

Tea/Tee Serpents - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever


Brine Blank said...

I don't think you have any idea of the true awesomeness of this design...

Josh (musarter) said...

Thanks man. Thanks for noticing. I think it is a design that can be taken on an aesthetic level but can also contemplated too.

Ryan Litts Creative said...


This is an awesome illustration. Reminds me a lot of MC Esher's Stuff. Way cool.