Teeg (@TeeKetch): Talks T-Shirt Design, Inspiration & Life

teeketch artist interview

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Interview of Teeg (TeeKetch) for RIPT Apparel

1.) Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from?

My name is Teeg or as most people know me TeeKetch. I draw silly pictures that people seem to like to wear. I am into almost all things nerdy, video games, movies, cartoons, and comics. I also really like illustration and art. Also I am a huge basketball fan. I am hoping to someday get into making comics in some way whether that be interiors, covers or whatever. I hail from a smaller city about 30 minutes north of Boston, MA.

2.) How long have you been designing?

I have been designing things since high school as I went to a technical high school where we got the normal education you would receive but also took up a trade, I chose graphic design. As far as making art in general well I have been drawing since I was a baby. As soon as I could hold a crayon, pencil, pen, whatever I was drawing. Then after about a year of graphic design in college I left school and transferred and took up illustration as my major. So all in all I would say I have at least 8 years of solid art/design experience Maybe more, but at least that.

3.) What inspires you?

I didn’t ever really have art classes actually, aside from the normal “art” kids take in school and a few classes here and there on anatomy and such. I would sayt I am primarily self taught which I think is good. I mean I think everyone who is serious about making art or illustration should have a solid grasp on the basics of anatomy and perspective but after that I think people need to find there own way. Develop a style that is yours and speaks for you. But don’t look at pro’s you admire and think they don’t know anatomy or whatever just because they use a highly stylized approach. Thinking like that is what leads to huge hurdles to get over down the road in terms of artistic growth in my opinion. Of all that said I think everyone should continue to try and improve and learn no matter how accomplished they are or become. I am always eager to discover new techniques and approaches to things. As far as what inspires me and my work I would say it is a lot of things. A bunch of stuff from the various entertainment outlets I mentioned above to other artists. Some of my favorite artists are Inoue Takehiko, LeSean Thomas, Ryan Ottley, Mitch Breitweiser, Masashi Kishimoto, Kazuto Nakazawa, Tite Kubo, OMOCAT, Tim Sale, and Mike Mignola. Those are a few haha, Basically never stop looking for new art and you never know what will give you that creative spark of inspiration.

4.) What was your first big break that started your career?

Well I still don’t know that I would call it my career just yet but I would say my first break in this industry would be my first design ever printed. It was my “Air Nimbus” design and it was printed on Thanksgiving day of 2011. I was so happy I told literally every one I knew. Though looking back at that design I am still proud of what I accomplished with it but I look at it as a measuring stick and a marker for just how much I have grown and improved artistically. I am extremely grateful to the folks over there for giving me my initial chance. Just as I am thankful for the folks here at RIPT and everywhere else that has printed me. Every single time a design of mine gets selected for print I am elated and grateful.

5.) What is your favorite thing to draw and put on t-shirts?

My favorite subject to draw would probably be the characters of Adventure Time. I love the show so much. I enjoy drawing the characters so much because I think they are just so very well designed and though they appear simple stylistically there are a lot of small nuances and things that each character has that can really show through when illustrating them. It would be a dream of mine to work with the Adventure Time folks on something, anything really haha.

6.) When you aren’t designing T-Shirts, what are you up to?

When I’m not designing shirts I am probably drawing characters for my graphic novel or random illustrations, or hanging out with my friends and playing video games. I try and keep busy, I very rarely have time where I am just doing nothing as I get bored and my mind starts to race with ideas.

7.)Do you design full time or do you have a day job?

I would say I have a full time job and also design full time, like I said I am usually pretty busy haha.

8.) Can you tell us how you bring your ideas to reality? Do you sketch things out first or go right to the computer?

Well typically I start with a sketch either digital or on paper and go from there. I went through a long period where everything was digital, from initial sketch to finished product but I found I missed drawing on paper. So now depending on the design I will do all the line work in pencil before bringing it in to Photoshop and finishing it off there by using my Wacom Cintiq. I have included some pictures that show a basic break down of my process. Starting at the left you have the rough pencil sketch, then the finished line work, then the flat colors, then the rendered colors and finally the finished illustration. This piece took me in total probably about 3 hours or so.

9.) Do you have any wisdom you’ve learned along the way you’d like to share with other aspiring artists?

Wisdom for other artists would be never stop learning and never stop trying to improve. Honestly as corny as that sounds it’s true. Also try and do work that you are passionate about. Don’t just draw something because you think other people will like it. Draw for yourself first and worry about the rest later.

10.) If you could meet any person alive or dead who would it be and why?

If I could meet any one person it would probably be Hayao Miyazaki. He is a huge inspiration of mine and his films are just genius. I think he would be a great person to just sit and have a conversation with.

11.)What work have you done for RIPT Apparel that you are most proud of and why?

I am proud of all the work I have done for RIPT. I think that every design I have had printed here has been better than my last. As I mentioned earlier I am always trying to grow and these designs, all of them have helped me accomplish that.

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