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TeePublic Artist Spotlight: Beastpop


We interviewed digital artist Beastpop about his style and inspiration!


What inspires your work?

“Most of my inspiration comes from cartoons, monster movies, comic books, beloved childhood toy/cartoon properties, etc. Some of my biggest artistic inspirations include artists such as Frank Frazetta, Bernie Wrightson, Simon Bisley, Claire Wendling, Eric Canete, Glenn Barr, Mike Mignola, Dave Johnson, Ben Caldwell, Walter Simonson, and many more that are slipping my mind right now.”

What’s your creative process when creating a new design?

“Well, it’s never quite the same. I keep an ever-growing list of ideas that might pop into my head at random times - I jot them down on scrap paper or put them on my “grocery list” app on my phone -- and I pull this up whenever I’m looking for something new to tackle. Sometimes an idea will hit me, and I find it necessary to rough it out immediately, and occasionally, I’ll take it all the way to completion right away. Usually, I’ve got 5 or 6 different designs going that are in various stages of completion at any given time. I bounce around a lot. If I’m doing a design based on a movie or TV show, I’ll review the movie to get properly inspired or take notes on any details I need to keep in mind. If it’s something non media-related I’ll spend a good amount of time gathering reference until I’m comfortable with my knowledge base on the subject matter. I never like to just assume I know what something looks like, and the only thing I really don’t do, which I should, is take photo reference of posed figures -- I usually end up just winging it. Basically, I’ll start with a simple rough thumbnail, blow it up and work out all the kinks, then I’ll either print the pencils out on nice paper in order to ink with brushes and pen, or scan it in and do the inks digitally in Clip Studio Paint. The colors are always done in Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint.”


How would you describe your design aesthetic/style?

“I’m very much influenced by comic book and pen & ink work by cartoonists and classical illustrators. I tend to try to stretch myself when it comes to odd and dynamic poses and perspectives. I like to try and inject a decent sense of movement and flow into my designs, and I get a fair amount of positive response to this, so I guess it’s working.”

Where'd your name come from?

“Well, I dig all manner of beasts, and my studio always looks like some sort of low-yield explosive has been detonated in there, so...”

What do you like most about being a designer?

“I like being able to choose what I’m going to be working on at any given time, and allow inspiration to guide my work flow, rather than the demands of whatever client I may currently be catering to. Starting up my own brand has allowed me more freedom with that, but I still need to take on the occasional client job and use some discipline to give them (hopefully) what they want.”


How did you come into t-shirt design?

“I’ve always had a love for effective and eye-catching t-shirt art. There’s just something unique and interesting about wearable art and the science behind its printing. After graduating art school, I dove in and started swimming, getting my own designs screen printed to sell and submitting art to various shirt sites. Things sort of snowballed from there, though I find the state of many shirt-of-the-day sites and the tastes of that crowd in general has pushed me further and further away from that world -- too many lazy derivative “designers” and too many thoughtless and repetitive meme and mashup based designs.”

What are your favorite two designs of yours?

CTHUL-AID is a favorite, because it’s fun and goofy, and it’s proven to by my most popular, best-selling, and most frequently stolen design. I also really dig my BEASTBURGER design because it combines two of my favorite things: hamburgers and monsters, plus it’s got a nice pop sensibility to it that has stuck with me.”

Are there any current artists in the t-shirt design community that you’re a fan of or collaborate with?

“I’ve done several collaborations with a few artists that I’d love to work with again. Jehsee and I did an ALIEN PINUP and PREDATOR PINUP series of designs, which were great fun to work on , and I really love how they turned out. I’ve also worked with Poopsmoothie a few times, and I’m actually working on another collaboration with him right now. He comes up with the best vehicle-themed designs, whether it’s Rat-Fink style stuff or Pixar-ing pop culture vehicles, and it’s a blast to work with him, too. Kenny Poppins is another artist who is fun to collaborate with, and I like how our styles merge and blend into something new and unique -- I’d love to do more with him. Hillary White Rabbit comes up with design ideas that consistently blow my mind with how oddball-brilliant they are. I’ve collaborated with her once, and would love to do so again. And finally, though he’s primarily a comic book artist, and a damned fine one at that, I’ve worked with the amazing Kyle Hotz several times to bring some of his illustrations and drawings to t-shirts, whether it’s simply cleaning up his inks, inking over his pencils or coloring his already-inked artwork. The man is a powerful artist and I love working with him.”

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