Artist Spotlight + Takeover: Steven Rhodes!
We interviewed veritable treasure and digital artist Steven Rhodes (!!!) about his style and inspiration.
Read on to get to know the man behind some of your favorite pieces, including a new, exclusive design, found only on TeePublic!
Check out his process of making this design below:
What inspires your work?
Inspiration always comes very randomly! I often get ideas when I’m trying to fall asleep or going for a walk so I keep a list of design concepts in ‘Notes’ on my iPhone so I don’t forget them. It’s usually something that makes me laugh or I might see some imagery and think of a way to put a weird spin on it.
What's your creative process when creating a new design?
When I start a new design I scribble down some very rough thumbnail sketches to try and find the right balance and layout. Once that’s working, I move onto a more detailed sketch and refine it from there. I ink my designs the old-fashioned way with pen and paper and then scan and do my final coloring digitally in Photoshop.
How would you describe your design aesthetic/style?
I’d say I’m currently very influenced by the late '70's and early '80's design aesthetic. I particularly have very nostalgic memories of my childhood and I try to invoke the feeling of retro VHS covers, toy packaging, cartoons, kids books (obviously), board games, comic book ads, video game arcades and album cover art - but always with an edge of dark humor.
How did you come into t-shirt design?
When I was studying graphic design my teacher put us onto Threadless and other t-shirt design competitions. I started submitting designs within these online communities and I guess I caught the bug! I really enjoy the challenge of making someone laugh or leaving a lasting impression with a just simple illustration.
What are your favorite 2 designs of yours?
I like "Science!" It was the first one I made in the retro kids series and I like the simplicity of the colors and just the silliness of it.
And I’m inclined to say "Let’s Summon Demons" - it’s been hugely popular for me and opened a lot of doors. My advice would be to never take my designs too seriously ;)
Are there any current artists in the t-shirt design community that you're a fan of or collaborate with?
I’m always keen to see what rad, '80's masterpiece Hillary White Rabbit is working on.
sts are you really into right now?
I’m currently enjoying the new Father John Misty album, "God’s Favorite Customer," and I never miss the "Creative Pep Talk" podcast by Andy J. Miller. My wife put me on to the Paper Girls graphic novel, too, which is awesome :)
Thanks so much for sharing a glimpse into your process and work, Steven.