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Monday, December 7, 2009

Tee-Cember: Two For Tuesday

We're both shocked and pleased to announce that twice in a seven day span, we've had reason to talk up RIPT Apparel, the red-headed stepchild of the daily sites. They're a site that seems to keep struggling to find itself as well as find a regular, loyal fanbase, and really, we'd love to see what they could do if that fanbase grew for them. A small site is a double-edged sword... without large customer bases, the site finds it hard to get top names. Without top names, it finds it hard to bring in a customer base.

So really, partnering with shirt.woot cult favorite EdgarRMcHerly tonight could be the best of all possible worlds... Edgar is incredibly skilled and creative, and has a large-ish following, but is not near so well known as to have RIPT be a true risk for him. He'll have his fans follow him anyway, and they'll reap the benefit. It's really a solid piece, too; "I Dig Life" is a little creepy and a little charming, a little goofy and a little powerful, a little life and a little implied death. The colors are vibrant and fluid. The style is unique. The concept is brilliant in its own odd way. There's a lot to see in here, much more than at first glance, but even if all the life in the growing tree was gone, the character spitting that life forth at the bottom is just so wonderful to look at, spectral in a death-gives-way-to-life manner, yet proper in a way that cannot be less from-the-earth if he tried. I'm really looking forward to this one. If you're loving it too, pick one up, and support an artist who truly deserves it and a site that could use your support. And hey, if you like hats, consider RIPT's holiday bundles... a tee a month for six months, and a RIPT cap. Shipping included, the bundle costs $80 (lest you think this is far too pricey for $10 shirts, consider an extra $2.50 or so per tee for shipping, leaving you with a whole stack of prepaid tees and a swank hat for an extra fiver), but for those of you who might wish to be more frugal now, you can get the same for $65 without shipping. Maybe not an ideal personal purchase, but could be an excellent gift idea. Just make sure to warn your potential giftee if you go for the cheapie bundle.

By comparison, I almost feel guilty having to make Edgar share billing with another daily, this time from TeeInvaders. TeeInvaders seems to have some solid clout in getting great designers already, and seems to be going in a quite positive direction with its relaunch and rebranding. I've been very interested following them, which is why today's curation makes me so sad. It's not really The_JCW's fault... "The Incredible Flyingcontraptionofwaste" is an excellent illustration, and one that deserves its day in the sun... or at least on a tee. It's even an old Contest Watch fave, which is why we're mentioning it here. For us, though, while the piece was bold and detailed and eye-catching and simply wonderful as a blown-up, full-tee print, it loses a lot at its new, tiny, chest-print size. But, we would like to give you, the readers, the final say. We love our contest watch designs like children, so even when they screw up, we hope things go their way. If you're still digging the design at this size (and definitely check the site for a full view), give JCW some well-deserved love. Just remember, while each site has its own turnover time, you've only got until the counter reaches zero to get these guys... after that, they're lost to the sands of time.

3 comments:

TJ Mapes said...

Thank you for the words on RIPT and our shirts. We always welcome ideas, suggestions and more so this will go along way.

We are working on narrowing our focus a bit as far as art goes, making things a little more consistent, yet at the same time, not alienate our roots.

the_jcw said...

well, thanks for still mentioning, unfortunately when the major contenders will not print designs that were meant for all over I am still happy when a site like Teeinvaders still gives it a shot with their print capabilities...so yeah, it has to shrink down :(

Adder said...

TJ... One of the things I do love about RIPT is how it's really prime for something amazing taking root. It's still an uncarved block, so to speak, and I think that could allow you to hone your focus into something truly unique and special as you find your footing. As you narrow into a specific niche, be sure to make that niche anything but narrow. There are plenty of places already catering narrowly. Hone your quality, find a niche, but try to be RIPT, not some other place. And if you're not already, listen to your curators. Jaden and JCW have brought around most of my favorite RIPT pieces, and DCAY, while not usually my style, still brings a lot of experience and a definite eye for artwork to the table. It's a valuable resource, and three different perspectives. It can only help you grow.

As to the JCW, I totally understand the difficulties of printing such pieces, which is exactly why I still mentioned your piece despite feeling it lacks due to those same limitations you note. For me, I'd love to see it as intended... for others, hopefully they are just stoked to see it as it is. It's really an incredible piece, so I'm sure that you and many others are happy to finally see it print. I am too. I just hope that it gets a chance some time down the road to become the garment you originally imagined it as.