Archive for the ‘Donkeyshines Origins’ Category

Faker and Teela

Friday, September 25th, 2009

A friend of mine commissioned this piece as a birthday gift for his girlfriend. From a technical standpoint, it is not my tightest painting. However, because of the nostalgia for the subject matter, I am pretty happy with the overall content.


Faker, the robotic He-man impostor created by Skeletor, was quite a preposterous character. While his build and features were a dead-on likeness to He-man, his blue skin, orange hair, and visible Vader-like control panel on his chest made him a less than convincing decoy. In this painting, I like to think that Teela is fully aware that the man kissing her is Faker, but plans to play dumb so she can’t be blamed for cheating on He-man. Clearly, Faker is the better lover. The theme and composition of this piece is actually based on an old Christmas card, which is equally racy:


There’s no excuse for Santa’s behavior here. At least Teela and He-man weren’t married. Also, Faker IS actually supposed to be a villain. But children look up to Santa, and this is a poor example he’s setting. Anyway, I’m sure he got a frying pan to the back of the head when he came home that night. Who knew the Easter Bunny was such a home-wrecker!

Robot Penguin Hoodies Have Arrived!

Friday, September 18th, 2009

So it took a bit longer than expected, but the Robot Penguin Hoodies are finally ready and available to buy! Here’s what they look like:


I am pretty happy with the way they came out! The design is nice and big, and the silver ink is especially shiny! I lucked out when Printmojo told me my original choice for blanks was no longer available, as I really love these Independent Trading Co. Standard Supply sweatshirts. They are nice and soft, they fit well, and the sleeves are a perfect length. The Robot Penguin Hoodies are printed on a unisex style, sizes Xsmall all the way up through XXlarge. We suggest the Xmall for the petite ladies out there, as the these run somewhat big. And here’s the best part…

For a limited time (til the end of September), you can get these shiny Robot Penguin Hoodies for the redonkelous intro price of $29.99! Yes, you heard me right! For about two weeks, you can get these for $5 more than the cost of a t-shirt! But then even the “real” price is pretty damn good. Starting October 1, they will go up to a measly $34.99.

Oh, one other thing I should mention. I only printed 102 of these things!  I already took one for me, one for the wife, and one for sis, so that means there are only 99 of these left to buy! If ya want one, ya better hurry, cuz I currently have no plans for a second run!


Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

As many of you know, Vanessa and I had our big family wedding in Pittsburgh back in May. It was an amazing time for us and for our family, with tons of good food and dancing and more food. One thing we didn’t have was an officiator present with the power to make the marriage legal. While we will always think of the ceremony in Pittsburgh as our real wedding, we still needed to tie up that loose end so we could get all those benefits and tax breaks and stuff that the government likes to give married people. We decided to do something small, intimate and unique. We had our friend Jeff get ordained as a Justice of the Peace for a day, and we had a little gathering in our living room. There was a total of seven of us, and we all wore pajamas. Here’s a picture of Vanessa and I:


Vanessa is wearing her usual monkey-in-the-bathtub pajamas, complete with the button-down top. She would later add a tiara which says “Princess for a Day”. I am wearing Super Friends bottoms and my Friends for Life t-shirt that I blogged about a few months ago. Here is Jeff, the JoP:


Since he was the officiator, he got to wear the nightcap. It is too bad we did not have a candlestick for him to hold.  Here is another picture of the lucky couple, along with another lucky couple:


That other couple is Jon and Loretta, who you might recognize from my Monkey and Bulldog painting. They are actually getting married in September, but I will probably not wear my pajamas to that wedding. Next, we have a photo of just the ladies who were present:


From left to right, there’s Loretta, my sister Kim, Vanessa (you can see the tiara in this one) and my good friend Shelley.

The lil’ ceremony began with a short procession from our bedroom into the living room to music from The Mummy soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith. Jeff then had us all watch a clip of the finale from Revenge of the Nerds on Vanessa’s laptop. Jeff did not completely explain the relevance of this clip, nor did he need to. He then played a short congratulatory video made by our friend Jesse, who lives in Florida and was unable to attend the festivities. It was a parody of a Youtube video featuring a stoned Harrison Ford trying to congratulate a friend on receiving some film award. My mom, who was joining us via speaker phone could be heard laughing rancorously, although I am sure she was not familiar with the reference. After this, readings were delivered by Shelley, Jeff and Kim. Jeff chose these pieces randomly from a wedding website without first reading them himself . They were both amusing and moving. Jeff then brought the whole thing home with the standard “by the power vested in me” lines, and the deal was sealed. Vanessa and I are now able to share health insurance ! Hurray!  The seven of us then went out to celebrate at Tremont 647 in Boston’s South End. We had ribs and tater tots, and lobster mac and cheese. It was the perfect mini reception to our pajama wedding. While we will always think of May 24th in Pittsburgh as the day we were married, our little party in the living room will always have special meaning for us. Good stuff.

New Concept for T-shirts

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

On Sunday I was able to work on the painting for about 37 minutes, and there wasn’t enough of a difference to bother posting the progress. Hopefully I’ll be able to finally finish it once I am moved and settled into my new apartment. In the mean time, I think I’ll be able to work on some T-shirt designs. This one is based on one of my old greeting card designs:


It is different than the usual Donkeyshines one-color designs, so I might submit it first to Uneetee and see how well it does there. I am working on a new style which will fit with a new concept I’m developing. The current Donkeyshines line mostly draws inspiration from two places: 1) 1980’s toy logos, and  2) the coat-of-arms logos worn by the people of Krypton in the 1979 Superman movie. I really do like the simple, single-color designs, and don’t plan on discontinuing this theme any time soon. But I also want to work on this other idea I have rattling around in my brain. I have always been fascinated by the idea of giving people part of a story and having them fill in the rest with their imagination. That is, I give people an image of a scene with lots of unexplained details, and they need to figure out what is going on. Sometimes I have something specific in mind, and sometimes there is room for individual interpretation. This is what I did with my greeting card illustrations, and in fact I plan to go back to more of them for t-shirt ideas. The  Barrel of Donkeys is a good place to start, I think, because it is still a pretty simple concept, while at the same time suggesting a full story. It could be sort of a bridge between my two styles. Eventually I want to get into more complicated scenes such as this one:


I still want to limit the designs to 5 or 6 colors, which is going to be challenging. I am expecting it will take me some time to come up with a style I like. I am not satisfied with the Barrel of Donkeys yet. I’m not sure what it needs or what it is missing, but it’s just not quite “right”. I will post my progress , so stay tuned n’ stuff.

Why Are We Selling Holiday Cards, Anyway?

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

I was making t-shirts for myself long before I ever thought I would try to sell them. An example of this is that hand-painted Lando Calrissian shirt I wrote about back in September. These were days when I was a poor art student. At the same time that I was making t-shirts for myself to wear, I was making custom greeting cards for friends and family, since I couldn’t afford gifts for them on holidays and birthdays. I guess I could have made t-shirts for THEM, too, but then you have to know everyone’s size, etc. I would put a lot of energy into the cards, and they were basically little mini paintings. Eventually, I had so many card designs that I decided to try to sell them. The original paintings were all given away, so I either worked with digital scans, or re-made the designs. I had too many designs to be able to afford printing them all in bulk, so I was printing them from my home inkjet printer as each order was placed. I knew that if things really took off, it would be impossible to fill these orders individually by myself. For that reason, I never really tried to expand the business too much beyond a hobby. At some point I realized it would make much more sense to sell t-shirts. Orders would be more expensive, but I wouldn’t need to start with as many designs, and filling orders would be at least a little easier. I made a few t-shirts and sold them alongside the cards for a while. What was making it difficult to fully commit to selling t-shirts was that I just didn’t have room to store a bunch of shirts in my house. A few years later, I discovered Printmojo, and the solution to most of my business obstacles. With them I had a printer, and a warehouse and someone to fill my orders for me. Suddenly, I was able to really get things in gear! I love making t-shirts. I design them for myself, then try to find people with similar tastes who might also want to wear them. This is my approach that has thus far been pretty successful. But then, I started to miss the greeting cards, too, and tried to figure out a way to incorporate them into the Donkeyshines world. There are still some logistics that limit the way I can sell them. For instance, I really need to sell them in 10-packs. People tend not to buy birthday cards and such in bulk, so that is why I have started with holiday cards. In another year, I might add Valentine’s Day cards to the mix, and then we’ll se what happens from there. T-shirts are going to still be my major focus, since they’re just so much fun to make! Anyway, here are a couple of examples of my old greeting cards. Guess what occasion each card was for…