Hello Deviants! The Better Chemistry shirt was the result of a great artistic back-and-forth conversation with Forest Stearns, Art Director of deviantART Brands. We ultimately went with a very clean and recognizable solution for this one to be sure the message was communicated, but this is a perfect example of how a project can evolve from its roots to a final deliverable. Here's Forest, describing how this concept got its start:
"As artists it is really important that we expand past our comfort level and look for inspiration in a multitude of places. deviantArt is a great place to find all sorts of different types of art that might be much different that your own. Beyond even the arts it is good to look for this inspiration in other fields of study and other thought processes. Bringing in elements of many topics and subject matters can make your art a really rich experience for many types of viewers who may not make art themselves. This shirt was designed with science in mind, I often study science books and watch nature shows for ideas to bring into my work. Better Chemistry is a nod to the science of chemistry and its beautifully established visual language. Wear this illustration when you are meticulously testing out your artistic ideas and solving your hypothetical theories. Be an alchemist of art! Go explore with your art tools and document the journey.
One morning I was experimentally building sculptures with a molecular model set for organic chemistry. I thought it would be great to build a molecule chain that looked like a cluster of characters connected in theses chain like ways.
The characters are fun and grimy but not clean like these orbs. There was an epiphany when I made the molecules look like the letters 'dA.' This really stoked me out, but it was not quite what I was thinking.
During the building of this collection I was working with 'Tonybricker,' who I know as a science-loving artist as well. I did a quick sketch for him to work on of a dA lockup within a single periodic table element. Little did I know, that this would be the new kernel for the graphic and the others would be shelved for future use.
We went back and forth in conversation and did more sketches to develop this new idea. Looking at different ways that scientific illustrators have tackled this topic historically we pushed forward while doing much research.
The decision was made to make the piece super clean and the tag line was chosen to flank the graphic.
From the sketchbook the graphic went digital and we were able to talk about color. Wanting the color scheme to be 'serious' we explored many colorways and landed on grey and red. Seeing them next to each other we decided that they are both strong. The hoodie in blue followed for a colorway that is cooler in temperature but just as strong.
The piece was sent to the printer and we were left in suspense.