Monday, December 6, 2010

Eventually I will stop referencing my work on subdomain / web blog management here, but

Eventually I will stop referencing my work on subdomain / web blog management here, but since everything started here, this is where I need to wrap up the discussion. I have been tirelessly setting up my subdomains for a specific set of websites under SeatbeltBuckles.com with each model of car having it's own subdomain, like: viper.seatbeltbuckles.com and chevrolet.seatbeltbuckles.com and so on. The goal here is to be able to manage the content of my website through blogspot.com and not have to use a web design software outside of logging into blogspot and therefore I can manage multiple websites and their content with one login. So far, so good. Also I am setting up a Wordpress folder for each category of content under the domain name and testing some of the features of Wordpress directly against BlogSpot. So far the potential for one management location for the websites is a huge plus for blogspot, once I finish setting up the blogs. Time will tell.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Great it worked, subdomain management of blogs through blogspot

Great, I can consolidate my blogs and use them from my domains so that there is a self-organized way to update post and keep the blogs separate. The first such project was to assign a subdomain to free-speech.org and link it to a current blog, Something Big. The following is a link to the successful setup: http://wherestheblog.free-speech.org What else can I say, Mission Accomplished?

The next step is to see if features and templates can be merged with WordPress themes.

Where's The Blog? Section 3 - Copying web content and pasting in blog

No, copying web text and images did not work completely. It partially worked as it allowed me to paste the text, but none of the html or images pasted with this trick. I will spend some time now setting up wherestheblog.free-speech.org using an underused domain name to point to one of my underused blogs. Text on how to do this is once again pasted here from a Google Help page:

How do I use a custom domain name on my blog?Share
Twitter Gmail Blogger Buzz Orkut Google Reader Bookmarks » More
Comment Print Note: The setup process for newly-purchased domains may take up to 24 hours.


Publishing on Blog*Spot is the fastest and easiest way to use all of Blogger's great features. (And for free, no less!) If you don't care to have blogspot.com in your blog's address, though, you can get a domain of your own. We'll continue to host all your content as before, but it will be displayed at your new address. (Unlike FTP publishing, which requires you to buy both a domain name and a hosting service.)

Choose and Register Your Domain
The first thing you'll need to do is to choose a domain name, like example.com and register it. You can register domain names from any of a number of different registrars, and you can use .com, .org, .net or any other valid addresses. Remember: you only need to get the domain name; you don't have to pay extra for hosting service. The easiest way to register a domain is to buy your domain directly through Blogger. If you go this route, we'll automatically configure all of your relevant DNS settings and attach your new domain to your existing blog immediately.

Update the DNS Settings
DNS stands for Domain Name System, and a DNS server determines what site a given address takes you to. So far, you have a domain name but none of the servers on the internet know what to do with it yet. To take care of this, you need to do two things:

•Create a CNAME record for your blog's address, which should be a subdomain of the form www.example.com.To create a CNAME record for your domain with the DNS, associating your domain with:

ghs.google.com.

The exact procedure for doing this varies depending on your domain registrar, but you can find instructions for many common registrars here. If yours isn't listed, or if you run into other difficulties, you can contact your registrar directly and they'll be able to help you out.
•Create 'A' NAME records for your naked domain (blog.com)


Note: The following information applies to naked domains only!! If you're setting up a subdomain then this does NOT apply to you! :-)
Creating A records for your naked domain is important as it allows Google to redirect people who use in your naked domain name (blog.com) to your blog page (www.example.com). If you do not do this, visitors who leave off the www will see an error page.
There are four separate A records you will create, and can be done from the same control panel you accessed your CNAME records. Simply point your naked domain (example.com, without the 'www') to each of the following IP addresses:
216.239.32.21
216.239.34.21
216.239.36.21
216.239.38.21
Your DNS setup is now complete!

Updated Where's the Blog? blog optimization and consolidation effort

I changed the skin for the front page and see that there are more options than I have been using on Blogspot.com. I looked at the gadgets and found that Amazon dominates the product gadgets and there isn't really any gadgets to link products to the blog. Here is a replublished version of this blog: http://t-shirts.org/wherestheblog.htm ,however, there seems to be some formatting issues that may simply be related to applying the new template to this blog. I do like the Dashboard for managing different blogs, but now I need to look and see if there is a way to directly feed these pages into my main websites without having to republish the blog page itself, or are all post required to sit on the blogspot.com servers? Hmmmm.

Now I'm getting somewhere. I seems I can allow Google to host my domain name for an account and then direct all of my blogs to that account, or set up separate routing for a subdomain and allow that the be my publishing for the blog. Either or both may work. I am not sure I can have multiple blogs, each with a separtate routing to a subdomain. Must check.

Ok, I see a light now at the end of the first tunnel. I can setup a subdomain on any of my specific websites and then publish that blog under that domain name but setting up the DNS to route to Google for each particular blog account. This should work to keep me from having to deal with a new software, although I really like the options available in Word Press. My daughter discovered that you can simply copy and paste from a browser into the WordPress editor and the images and html code simply show up and work. How amazing is that? I haven't tried it because I don't have much set up on Word Press yet, but I do need to test that on this blog editor.

Here Goes:
How do I use a custom domain name on my blog?Share
Twitter Gmail Blogger Buzz Orkut Google Reader Bookmarks » More
Comment Print Note: The setup process for newly-purchased domains may take up to 24 hours.


Publishing on Blog*Spot is the fastest and easiest way to use all of Blogger's great features. (And for free, no less!) If you don't care to have blogspot.com in your blog's address, though, you can get a domain of your own. We'll continue to host all your content as before, but it will be displayed at your new address. (Unlike FTP publishing, which requires you to buy both a domain name and a hosting service.)

Choose and Register Your Domain
The first thing you'll need to do is to choose a domain name, like example.com and register it. You can register domain names from any of a number of different registrars, and you can use .com, .org, .net or any other valid addresses. Remember: you only need to get the domain name; you don't have to pay extra for hosting service. The easiest way to register a domain is to buy your domain directly through Blogger. If you go this route, we'll automatically configure all of your relevant DNS settings and attach your new domain to your existing blog immediately.

Update the DNS Settings
DNS stands for Domain Name System, and a DNS server determines what site a given address takes you to. So far, you have a domain name but none of the servers on the internet know what to do with it yet. To take care of this, you need to do two things:

•Create a CNAME record for your blog's address, which should be a subdomain of the form www.example.com.To create a CNAME record for your domain with the DNS, associating your domain with:

ghs.google.com.

The exact procedure for doing this varies depending on your domain registrar, but you can find instructions for many common registrars here. If yours isn't listed, or if you run into other difficulties, you can contact your registrar directly and they'll be able to help you out.
•Create 'A' NAME records for your naked domain (blog.com)


Note: The following information applies to naked domains only!! If you're setting up a subdomain then this does NOT apply to you! :-)
Creating A records for your naked domain is important as it allows Google to redirect people who use in your naked domain name (blog.com) to your blog page (www.example.com). If you do not do this, visitors who leave off the www will see an error page.
There are four separate A records you will create, and can be done from the same control panel you accessed your CNAME records. Simply point your naked domain (example.com, without the 'www') to each of the following IP addresses:
216.239.32.21
216.239.34.21
216.239.36.21
216.239.38.21
Your DNS setup is now complete!

Blog Consolidation - Where's the Blog?

I am torn between many products that overlap in one way and that is that I am the person working on them. The problem is that I have experimented with many different softwares, like blogspot.com, wordpress, simple engines bulletin board/message board and various shopping cart environments that each require login and maintenance. It's killing me when I combine that with my web development, SEO responsibilities and basic t-shirt design needs, not to mention the burden of email management and automatic form responses via 3rd party vendors and inquiries. It's not worth hiring people to manage these departments, but it's not worth giving them up either. I need a super blog, a management system that allows me to consolidate my blogging and keep all of these areas updated with new material.

For now I am going to make a Super Blog using WordPress as the ubiquitous tool for composing all of my information, then republishing each page as a static web page. I liked the idea of calling it Where's The Blog? and using that as a lead in on all of my websites, like wherestheblog.ekay.com and wherestheblog.seatbeltbelt.com, but using one software to create the pages as a master control program. Once I start this there will be no turning back. I have also used Cerebus as an email software manager, but that hasn't really worked either, but the general idea is good.

Ok, Blogspot kinda answers the blog-consolidation problem shown above with the Dashboard, but I am not happy with the look of the webpages that are created under the blogspot headings. I suppose I could research the skins available and formating potential for blogspot and work on that before I go start something new. I mean I am here already.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The first generation of Giants Torture Series T-shirts are in production

I posted a bunch of designs on my websites at tortureseries.com and yque.com. Luckily I had some screens prepped and as a few orders came in I was able to ship the first expedited order today so that one person in the country, Minnesota somewhere, will be able to wear a Torture Series shirt during the game. The extras and samples are going to be distributed through my kids. I still want to go into the city and pass out free t-shirts, but I know I just won't have the time to do my work and have that kind of random fun. I'm just glad to have gotten a few orders to make me have to shoot the screens and get into production. Luckily I also had some extra Orange shirts in stock.

To expand on the concept I wanted to make a Giants candle and a Shrine with these other printing techniques. I also have to delay those concepts in favor of using the same artwork that I did for screen to make photo fresco prints to display on the Truck Gallery in Sausalito where many people catch the ferry to games in the City. I spent part of the evening mixing a batch of colors that I can use to fill in the framed print with an emphasis on Orange and glow in the dark. The black is made with atomized steel pigment which should show as rust if I choose not to coat the final product. I'll link to these later as I get them mounted on my truck before gametime.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's done, the Giants have won and now the real torture begins


The final pitch with two runners on and the Phillies sent Howard in who hasn't had a hit in the series? WTF? It worked out for the Giants as Wilson struck out Howard to seal the deal. Now the Torture series can continue. This designs seems appropriate as the number of pitchers did not guarantee that Wilson was going to be the pitcher at the end of this.

Don't Torture Me I'm Local SF Giants T-shirt World Series

Crap, I lost my last post. No reason, just the season. No time to fix, but basically the shirts are practically designing themselves, starting with "Don't Torture Me I'm Local", check out the other Giants Tortue T-shirts here: TortureSeries.com. Only 3 more hours to game time and I even posted a free t-shirt, you pay the shipping, for good luck. b out

It's on! Top of the 6th Inning and tied 2-2, not without drama.

Here is the latest t-shirt design, launched on CafePress at: http://www.cafepress.com/tortureseries Fear the Beer'd, which makes fun of the Fear the Beard t-shirt that has become popular as a slogan for the closers. This game already has the bullpen in control of the Giant's pitching effort.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Day Off from Baseball - But Never a Day off for T-shirts - Torture Series 2010


I've been listening to the SF Giants trials and tribulations the final part of the season and now through the playoffs. It's been a trip, literally, and torture has been the word most commonly used to describe the experience for fans who want the team to go all the way. Each game has had ups and downs that make the game theatrical to say the least. Now I am focusing in on a t-shirt to commemorate the World Series that will be coming to San Francisco as they win the National League Championship by renaming the games to the "Torture Series" shirt shown above. I'll be posting this design on various shopping carts and websites over the next few days, as well as, offereing them for Free as long as you pay the shipping via USPS in order to use up a bunch of shirts I have in the warehouse. Check it out as I develop of list of Torture slogans to go on the back of the shirt too.

Here is the CafePress version of the "Torture Series" t-shirt.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Greenspan Bernanke Wrong

Admitting your wrong when you break something or do something stupid is one thing, but being wrong in a significant way on the economy is quite another. Alan Greenspan admitted some errors when testifying to Congress about some aspect of his policies on deregulation. Here is a shirt to commemorate this statement.

Friday, October 1, 2010

T-shirt Printing added to every product on my website - New Format


I am testing a new format for adding t-shirt printing online to a shirt order. Over the years I have developed a published custom t-shirt printing price list based on Levels 0-10 with each level representing a different quantity of shirts for the total order. In this way I can give discounts for bulk t-shirt purchases and since everyone is used to Levels from video games it seems like an intuitive way to show potential customers the discounts they get on custom printing as they order more shirts. Typically I use a price grid table format, but this is confusing for many customers. I have now found another way to add printing to the bottom of every item on the website by formatting a list of the levels and posting them under every t-shirt on the site that is printable.

Link here to the T-shirt Printing Pricelist Guide.

This is annoying to look at first because it looks like a long list of similar items, but I hope that it will draw each customer that is interested in printing to look below their items and check for the cost of printing without having to call. I can build discount pricing into the shirts themselves with a pricing formula without having to send the customer to a different page for ordering the printing. Now it is time to test this procedure so I can get back to printing tee shirts instead of designing web pages.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Now look at what you've gone and done!

Ten years later I am still working on the basics, but it always seems like I haven't done enough. I've started the organization for t-shirts.org to match the search delivery system that Google is launching based on intuitive guidlines and vague references to the products that I work with. Now I am adding the ads to these pages in hopes that it will generate income and I won't have to direct a shopping cart and sell t-shirts directly through these pages. Most of these pages link back to my main shopping cart pages on YQue.com and it will only get confusing is I have to duplicate those efforts here. The goal here is to develop in depth topic orientated information and links through t-shirts.org without having to post all of the same information on the YQue.com site which is more of a retail t-shirt store versus a t-shirt directory like t-shirts.org .

The T-shirts Organic Organization has begun

Here are the categories and links that I have made for developmental purposes on T-shirts.org - the organized t-shirt website:


T-shirts Store - for buying t-shirts online

T-shirts Artwork - Design t-shirts for printing graphics

T-shirts Brands - Hanes, Gildan, American Apparel and others

T-shirts Printing - How t-shirt printing works and the different methods

T-shirts Organic - Certified Organic t-shirts and organic cotton t-shirt brands

T-shirts Styles - For Men, Women, Kids

T-shirts Wholesale - Bulk discounts and wholesale t-shirt prices

T-shirts Academics - How to print t-shirts, how to design t-shirts

T-shirts USA - Made in the USA and USA t-shirt locations and designs

T-shirts Fantasia - T-shirt websites that break the mold

T-shirts Bands - Music and Band related t-shirts

T-shirts Supplies - Inks, screens and t-shirt supplies

T-shirts Printed - PrePrinted T-shirt designs and funny t-shirts

T-shirts Blank - Blank Wholesale t-shirts for sale online

T-shirts Bulk Printing - Wholesale t-shirt printing prices for custom t-shirts

T-shirts Accessories - Trucker Hats, Seatbelt Belts, and Panties that go with t-shirts

T-shirts Sales - T-shirt Sales and Bargains

These are going to be developed around the intuitive organization that has resulted from my midnight romp through Google. They don't have to immediately make complete sense, but there is some rationale for each section albeit vague.

Organic or Organized - that is the question.

Google has gone through a massive change with the suggestive refreshing of results for searches in the drop down menu. Although I have tried many things for business over the years t-shirts are the one product line that keep pulling me back in. I've been working with this website as a t-shirt store online called, T-shirts.org, but it has done little in the way of increasing my sales for Organic T-shirts. I stare blankly at the horizon and wonder if I have put my eggs in the right basket with that website and once I reviewed the words that are associated with Google through the pull down search function I can't find hardly any searches for t-shirts organic. Now I am thinking that I should redirect my web efforts for t-shirts.org to "T-shirts Organized"

I've reviewed the many words that are associated with t-shirts and I am going to fill this page with the results. Simply put I need to regenerate these words into categories and then build my little TshirtVille on an organic platform sorted by the world of search results. Underlying this optimized organization will be the products or links to products that people need as they relate to t-shirts, t-shirt printing and blank t-shirts, my specialty.

My first step of organizing a t-shirt website is to categorize the searches. These are some general categories I have created, location, store, items, how to, artwork, supplies, wholesale, style and printing. I am working on placing the first wave of results into these categories, which were quickly associated with the phrase results of the first 100 results, so I expect this association and organization to change as I dig deeper into this project. For now I am simply going to create the categories and build pages that associate with the basic structure. Here are the words that seem to relate to t-shirts via Google. These results may be localized and formatted to fit my profile on Google, but I've got to start somewhere.

printing
design
quilt
maker
man
mockup
clipart
guys
graphics
junkie
king
land
lyrics
logo
outlet
ology
uk
pros
quilting
citynames
ville
tv
wholesaler
z
shop
shack
iwant
online
for sale
in bulk
vintage
stencils
styles
store
supplies
world
art
and more
buttons
bulk
blank
bands
blog
big and tall
by the dozen
custom
cheap
cool
café
company
clipart
china
cape cod
designer
designs
design your own
deals
direct
designs for women
east lansing
elk horn
embroidered
express
ed hardy
etc
houston
embroidery
batavia
for sale
funny
for women
for kids
for men
from movies
for printing
for a cause
for teachers
graphic
geek
gildan
grand rapids
games
galore
girls
graphic design
history
hawaii
hoodies
hangover
hanes
heat activated
hoboken
hip hop
humorous
in bulk
into quilts
ideas
in las vegas
in spanish
india
ink
in russian
in movies
japanese
junk food
jersey shore
jacksonville
junggesellenabschied
jokes
jesus
jackson
japan
made fast
mugs
made by humans
made
made in usa
new orleans
neon colors
new york
next day
nerd
norfolk
nyc
nashville
numbers
on demand
on sale
online store
order form
oil spill
plus
plain
printing machine
press
printed overnight
political
peru
quotes
quality
queen street
quick
family renunion
custom t-shirts quick
funny t-shirts quotes
football t-shirts quotes
cool t-shirts quotes
r us
rock
outlet
overnight
running
rock bank
retail
reno
retro
redding
review
bend oregon
san mateo
san jose
sale
size chart
screen printing
store
styles
sayings
san mateo
sf
san francisco
that fit
transfers
that change color in the sun
to go
to order
that say awesome
topeka
that change color
unlimited
urban
unique
under 10 dollars
under 5 dollars
usa
under dress shirts
uk
urban outfitters
united
vintage
vistaprint
vancouver
vancouver wa
vector
vector free
vintage uk
victoria
victoria bc
ville
wholesale
with sayings
with quotes
wiki
wholesale printing
with funny sayings
with logos
with pockets
with photos
websites
xxl
rock t-shirts xxl
vintage t-shirts xxl
coheed and cambria
metal t-shirts xxl
world cup t-shirts youth
mario t-shirts youth
youth
zazzle
custom t-shirts z

Saturday, August 21, 2010

One thing leads to another and I need a down and dirty art program


One thing leads to another and I need a down and dirty art program. I need to quick edit images from time to time to get them on the web and photoshop isn't always available. I tried the photo program that comes with Windows and I couldn't even get the image to fit into the screen to crop it. Low, Low resolution crap. No wonder all the artwork I get from people often sucks if they tried to do it with Paint. I have heard about Picassa and if this works I'll forward my customers to the Google link to quick edit their own artwork. I will post the progress as it occurs.

Except for trying to bump out the other browser when I started it and request for anonymous error tips, it seems like a harmless photo editor, for now. The program seems to recognize the following file types: jpeg, jpg, tif, tiff, bmp, gif, png, tga and raw. They each are different compression algorythms for photographic files that are often viewable by web browsers and other photo editors. The Raw format is straight out of the camera and I am not sure what a TGA file is. The first thing the Picassa did was search my computer and find all of the above mentioned file types. the sorting window looks pretty good and it organized my images by folder. I was able to open a file and crop it, as well as, apply an assortment of filters. The only save as format was jpeg, .jpg. Next I need to check the image resolution and size.

Picassa allows me to see the image size under Properties, but I can't seem to increase the size arbitrarily. I was able to zoom in on sections. I played with the contrast in the various tonal ranges and that wasn't bad, not great, but not bad. I don't see any export or halftone functions, which limits me for screen printing grey tones, but you can get a down and dirty high contrast effect by manipulating the shades. Rough Edit. Wow, I really like the soft focus when added to a high contrast funky mix. Ok, I can add text, but not that easy to find a blank space. Image posted, 15 minutes of hacking.

I don't think it will replace photoshop, but this appears to work for fun edits. Almost printable artwork.

There is an export function that takes the photo image over to another program, picnik. In this program I was able to resize the image and send it back to Picassa 3 where I saved it and uploaded the images to my website. More editing features were available in teh PicNik program and although I did not get printable artwork out of the software, I was able to convert some web images from large files to viewable jpegs. Success.

I went back later to do a design that popped in my head, "Made in America" but with an Indian Head. I found some clip art and went to work. The combination of Picassa and PicNik isn't bad to get something on the web. I can go back and fix it if it sells and needs to be printed, but this gets me in the ballpark. I would still have to charge for artwork if I received this type of file from a customer, but overall it's a good draft, possibly salvagable into a printable file. A point in favor of the program is that I actually created a folder called "New Designs" on this Acer mini computer, thus recognizing that the file may be printable. It's a good thing I don't have high demands for my artwork requirements. I am interested in the tag elements of the program, it seems like it is allowing the insertion of keywords into the image, which makes alot of sense. I wonder if those are somehow read back into Google? My next step is a web design interface that has a chance at being workable without crashing.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Alternatives to American Apparel - Wholesale Made in USA t-shirts

Y-Que has promoted and sold American Apparel for a long time and there has not been a sufficient amount of focus on providing a direct alternative to American Apparel until now. I sell t-shirts all day long and despite previous problems with the stock and availability of American Apparel in the past I don't think anything will compare to the problems that a company will face with hundreds of leases and not enough cash. To be properly prepared there must be an available resource to provide to my customers that is a viable alternative to American Apparel.

We've listed and discussed various brands in the past and we will have to reconsider and promote many of them until the winner is clear. Consider Y-Que like a wine merchant who gets grapes from many sources and comes up with the best combination for a particular year.

The main brands as alternatives to American apparel t-shirts that are available wholesale are Alternative Apparel, Kavio, Next Level, Canvas, Bella, Hanes, Anvil, Gildan, Alstyle and each of them have their positives and negatives. Made in USA iss the first problem and only American Apparel can boast that, but we have found a private label t-shirt the we can have for Y-Que that is Made in the USA. The problem is there isn't much cost savings from American Apparel, but as an introductary price we are considering selling it for a straight $4.00/ea on whites and $5.00/ea on color. The label is a consideration, but I am thinking about printing a label that will dissolve in the first wash. In this way I can make it easy for printers to find the size, but the buyer of the shirt can get rid of the label by washing it. If they want to keep the printed tag then they would simply iron the space with the print.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's not easy being Green - Save American Apparel

The fact is that survival in corporate america isn't easy, especially when you sell out. American Apparel tried to sell out, everyday, and it isn't working. Selling out is the American Way, so this is an obvious path for the company to have taken, but don't get fooled again. This isn't just about the libido of Dov Charney, this is about profitability and extortion. The financiers that control the clothing industry of this country have a strangle hold on the companies that work in this country and right now is not a good time to have debt. The debt is what is destroying the stock value of American Apparel and the profitability of the company would be sufficient if it weren't for the exhorbant interest rates that are being charged to the short-term financing and covenents that are restricting the ability of the company to post a profit. I am not saying that the other realities like over-expansion and negligence on the part of the administration aren't obvious problems, but that shit happens all the time from Apple to the White House, so stop throwing stones. Face the facts that the very people that made American Apparel what it is are upset because they can't profit as much as they want. REMEMBER PUTNEY SWOPE! SAVE AMERICAN APPAREL!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Space Truckin' 1981 - 2010 Commemorative Space Shuttle T-shirt


I can print this design because I feel like I own this subject. In 1981 I drove and saw the first Space Shuttle launch in Cocoa Beach Florida. The next year I had traveled back to Florida and started hitch hiking back to California. I only had $50 to my name, but I invested it all into some t-shirts, razor blades and spray paint. Then I cut out a stencil and before the second launch of the Space Shuttle I had made some t-shirts and sold them during the launch. I didn't make a profit, but I had fun and it was quite the experiment in trying to make event shirts with nothing. Now it's almost 30 years later and the Space Shuttle is being retired. I've always wanted to make a Space Truckin' shirt so if I don't make it now, then I'll never make it. I'll dig out my old photo of the first space shuttle launch too, just to give perspective on this whole thing.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Only Asian Spammers read my blog

Racism is a dirty work, but am I wrong to identify that the only comments left on my blog are in an asian font. I can't even read the stuff so the only thing I can conclude is that it is some kind of asian spam. Why would people post comments on my blog in a font that I can't ready unless it was spam? No reason. I am not making a comment about asian drivers or anything, but are there that many asian people reading my blog that it is worth spamming in an asian font? I should've never have stopped the Japanese mafia from teaching me their language when I had the chance and then maybe I would understand what these comments mean. Are they selling viagra? Or is it a serious discussion about t-shirts or American Apparel. There isn't really anything to write about right this moment which is why I figure this is a good time to point out something as absurd as this. Oh, I started a new blog called, "Best Indian Food EVER! the blog" located here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Exclusivity Be Damned - NFL loses anti-trust lawsuit - similarities with American Apparel ensue

I just heard on the radio about a Supreme Court lawsuit that was settled on behalf of an embroiderer who was denied the opportunity to sell NFL gear because of an exclusive arrangement the NFL had with Reebok. This sounds simliar to the restraints American Apparel is trying to accomplish with their anti-trust behavior in that by controlling the distributors then the company at hand can control the final prices for their products. Exclusivity be damned.

American Apparel has it's own problems now, but I feel that the underlying strength of this decision is basis enough to embolden my position that American Apparel is wrong by limited the type of resellers who can resell their blank t-shirts on esoteric conditions that are beyond their control like a requirement that somehow companies can only resell their products if they are printing on them. Yet, American Apparel sells these same products blank through their own retail stores which effectively makes them an exclusive distributor of the product. All of the actions American Apparel has taken to intimidate and force people out of that sort of business has only resulted in higher prices for the consumer at the cash register and is the type of behavior that anti-trust laws are supposed to prohibit. At this point I will resume selling American Apparel t-shirts at the prices that I feel are competitive and if they refuse to sell to me then I will have to forward my case to the relevant type of legal organizations that will hopefully prosecute and limit these unfair business practices that American Apparel has been implementing. I wonder if there are criminal liabilities or only civil liabilities in this type of case?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

JUST SAY NO!!!!! to American Apparel orders

As the request come in for printing and shirts what should I do?

Typical request recently received:

"Please quote 300 T shirts being 250 lime green and 50 orange.
It has to be a sweat free product (made in USA works)"

Is the typical request. I could send them a link to American Apparel, which seems to be what American Apparel wants, all business for their shirts, or I could just say "NO" to the order. Or I could sell them an alternative.


The longer this issue continues for not being able to sell American Apparel t-shirts the more likely I will have to start selling alternative brands of wholesale t-shirts. American Apparel should leave the resellers alone so that we can continue to help them grow as they have in the past. I am trying not to go to the dark side, but maybe I'm on the dark side by supporting American Apparel to begin with.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What would Dov Do? American Apparel t-shirt conflict continued

What Would Dov Do?

Not to take this lightly, but I have to wonder what would Dov Charney, CEO of American Apparel, do if a company wouldn't sell him product that he needed to stay in business? Would he jump up and down and yell? Would he sue for violations of the anti-trust act for unfair business practices? Would he create a competitive line of clothing and/or offer alternatives to the items that he was being restricted from selling? Hmmmm, I wonder.

Most likely Dov would do all of these things in a random sequence, but yelling would be first. He's quite the successful business person and I am always impressed how he comes from behind and ends up on top.

The yelling is a given, but after that a serious discussion would ensue with a few confidants. As far as the anti-trust issues like monopolistic corporate behavior; Dov would sue asap. My response: I'm not in a position to pursue legal action since the cost are too high for lawsuits and to get good results you have to have the time to deal with the details. However, if this truly is an anti-trust violation of the law that harms the consumer by forcing them to pay higher prices by manipulating the distributors, then the government itself may be responsible for enforcing the law on this type of matter. But Dov, like myself, would avoid involving the government into his business as it usually just creates more problems in the long run. Nonetheless, if after a legal review that the government would enforce his rights to do business then I think he would immediately bring them in with the hopes of creating a 2nd front of attack against the company denying him products.

Team up with other manufacturers. Dov has been successful in the past at partnering with others to create new lines of clothing. I currently have some competitive lines of clothing that are available and I'll list those later. The problem here is that people do request American Apparel as a specific line for their jobs and I have offered it for over ten years and I don't bother trying to sell them an alternative in the short run. Case and point:

"I am looking for a quote on screen printed t-shirts for my XXX.

I would need approx. 100 American Apparel (no pocket) shirts in assorted colors in various men's and women's sizes. I would be looking to have a small one color logo put on the front left pocket area and one larger (but not large) on color logo printed on the back. All printing would be black."

Why should I have to say no to people or try to sell them something different? American Apparel has also improved it's quality and stock availability over this same period of time and I prefer selling that brand over some of the competitive brands. Dov would not give up selling these shirts easily, but would pursue other lines in the meantime. I feel the same.

Creating a new line of t-shirts isn't that difficult, but I don't have the financial resources to back this venture, as I have done before, except maybe in White and Black t-shirts. Private labeling a basic t-shirt that matches the style and color choices available with American Apparel is not as easy as it looks. Inventory and production schedules are the largest problem, but it is not impossible. Once again, the end result would most likely have a smaller color selection anyway, but underlying style factors like fit and texture with the basic American Apparel t-shirt in both Mens and Womens t-shirts are not unique enough to be exclusive. Dov would increase his debt and liabilities to create a new line, but I personally am not willing to invest my meager earnings into wholesale manufacturing since I don't the capacity for more debt.

The correct answer for what American Apparel and Dov Charney should do is:

Realize the shortcomings of the current prohibitive marketing strategy and separate his wholesale line from his retail line cleanly so that the wholesale market could continue to exist without interference or confusion with the American Apparel retail line of basic t-shirts? No brainer. The market forces for wholesale t-shirts are then returned to an equlibrium. As well, by offering a second line strictly for the retail market, as they have done with so many other specialty products that American Apparel has made, then they would solve this problem in the longrun instead of blaming it on smaller t-shirt distributors and screenprinters in the shortrun. The printable line of clothing should be separate anyway from what is sold retail. Thus by fixing this problem American Apparel would allow a competitive free-market system for blank t-shirts to exist again for the basic American Apparel 2001 and 2102 t-shirts and American Apparel would not be so Un-American in it's pursuit of complete control of the t-shirt industry.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How the American Apparel customers are being ripped off by an American Apparel monopoly

Slowly American Apparel has restricted the flow of it's products to the wholesale market to create a monopoly in the retail market for their basic t-shirts. The end result is that the consumer is being ripped off by higher prices than are reasonable for their basic t-shirts. As a reseller of blank t-shirts for screenprinting to the public I find this alarming in many ways.

Number one, these restrictions eliminate a major product from my offerings which restricts who I can and cannot print for because of the availability of American Apparel t-shirts. Two, it has affected my ability to increase my market share by being forced out of the market for basic American Apparel t-shirts. Three, it has limited my companies ability to create a profit from buying and selling t-shirts.

Is this legal? Is this right? My personal opinion is that is not legal and there is definite harm being done to the consumer so that American Apparel can increase it's profits in an unfair way. I am not sure how far I can go to fight this, but it is alarming that they have gotten this far by implementing such a non-American strategy in the manipulation of the pricing of their products to the retail customer.

Here is a link to an American Apparel retail page for the basic 2001 t-shirts: American Apparel retail pricing for the basic 2001

Many companies were selling these shirts at competitive prices from $5-8, which is the normal price for a basic wholesale t-shirt. These companies have been threatened with litigation and forced to agree to ridiculous terms in order to keep selling these items. I was reselling the basic American Apparel t-shirt here on a sliding scale based on the number of shirts a customer buys: American Apparel t-shirts online at yque.com. The basic shirt cost about $7/ea on white. How can American Apparel restrict the sale of it's products to the retail market so that it can enjoy a monopoly for the same product at an enormous retail markup. If it was a different product that it offers to the wholesale market at a lower price then I could understand, but to create a reason, "they only sell to companies that print on the shirts", then they violate this rationale by selling the product unprinted themselves. I can delve into the details later, but essentially by limiting the distribution and manipulating the distributors American Apparel is ripping off the retail customer for this basic t-shirt.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Gildan T-shirt Sale on store.BlankTshirt.com $1.35/ea - launch new cart

The titles says it all. I am lowering the prices to get the ball rolling for the summer. The prices for the Gildan Heavy Cotton t-shirts 5000 are $1.35/ea on white and $2.35/ea on color. The Gildan Ultra Cotton t-shirts are $1.85/ea on white and $2.85/ea on color. Check out http://store.blanktshirt.com to place a wholesale t-shirts order for these blank Gildan T-shirts. I am still working on the shopping cart interface to offer all of the colors. I spent the weekend trying to bring the pricing and ordering structure up to speed and I am not quite done on the Gildan Ultra t-shirts, but it works pretty well for most colors. This will be my main shopping cart for future blank t-shirt orders for wholesale customers that are printing shirts or that need t-shirt printing.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Gildan Activewear - the store, the shirts, the colors and the corporate responsibility objectives

History: There is a complete article on the transition of this family business to a giant t-shirt corporation here: http://www.answers.com/topic/gildan-activewear-inc

Brand: Gildan is a large, large t-shirt company that seems to be growing by using low prices and high quality standards in a effort to cover the world with moderate quality cotton. Gildan is a public company with nearly 20,000 employees. The company was founded by two brothers, Brothers Gregory and Glenn Chamandy in 1984 and it appears they relinquished their control in 2004.

Products: Gildan offers a wide range of t-shirt styles and products but we are focusing on the 2000 Ultra Cotton, 5000 Heavy Cotton, 64000 Soft Style and the 8000 50 50 poly cotton blend here.

Ordering: I offer the Gildan t-shirts through my wholesale website at BlankTshirt.com and my retail website at YQue.com

Colors: Gildan has one of the largest color selections available for affordable t-shirts. Here is a link to the pantone color chart that shows a small sample of all of the colors that Gildan works with. http://gildan.com/distributors/colorpalette/ This does not mean that every product is available in these colors, but this is generally the colors that are available. Each

Styles: Generally a boxy cut type of shirt the Gildan Heavy Cotton 5000 is the economical choice for many t-shirt printers. Surprisingly it is a decent shirt at 5.4 ounce and there is a wide range of colors. The Gildan Ultra Cotton 2000 is a heavier shirt, not super smooth, but a decent good quality strong shirt that comes in an even wider range of colors. Following these is the Gildan 50 50 t-shirts, 8400 and the 64000 which is a fashion cut style of Gildan t-shirts that are lighter and softer than the standard t-shirts mentioned above.

Sweatshop labor: Here is an excerpt from their corporate website, "No. All Gildan facilities (and contractors) adhere to our strict internal code of conduct, local & international laws and the codes of WRAP and the FLA." There is more information regarding this company and it's policies at their corporate website here. http://gildan.com/corporate/home.cfm These shirts are manufactured internationally and the corporation of Gildan appears to have a strong committment to preserving their brand, which makes it unreasonable for a company to purposefully use sweatshop labor. Based on the PR statements and up front statements I would have to take the company for it's word and read the accredidations if you need more information about this subject. WRAP and FLA are two independent organizations that have accredited Gildan in different parts of the world. The corporate citizenship page has a lot of interesting info on this subject: http://gildan.com/corporate/corporateCitizenship/codeOfConduct.cfm

http://GildanUltra.com

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

There comes a time when all good postings come to an end


Such a time has arrived. I only post on this blog because I haven't had time to break away clearly and switching blogs would likely break my concentration on the artistic ventures I have been playing with. However, spring is upon us and I must venture off with these undertakings in new directions. Here is a batch of Frescos, in cloud form, drying in front of the fireplace. Since it will be warm soon I will no longer need to carry these brick-like paintings inside to dry. I can simply stack them along the wall outside and place them on top of each other until someday I find a way to exhibit, sell or destroy them. Hiding is also an option. I was considering hanging them today and the problems that someone would face who tried to put one of these 10-20 lb. frames on a wall. Not likely. Just not a good idea in Earthquake country.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Transfer Papers and Further Advances to Nowhere

How can it be, 2010, and still transfer technology is like throwing bricks through windows as compared to screen printing. All the crap in the world piled on top of all the crap in the world and surprise, we still have a pile of crap. I am like a caveman in that I still do screen printing when all the world has passed me by for other forms of technologically advanced digital processes. Digital this, transfer that, oh, la, la, it just doesn't last. I don't always have the time to mock what could very well have been my future, but when I do I get a certain sense of "I told you so!" Frankly my dear, who gives a damn. Nobody.

T-shirts are a convenience product, that is somehow also sold as a fashion product from market to market. T-shirts range from barely a dollar in some places to hundreds of dollars in others, yet they all can be judged equally once they come out of the wash and if people will continue to wear them. Longevity is a measure of success. Like marriage, if you have survived you must be in love. People fall in love with their clothing that evolves with them and does not disappear. Transfers tend to dissappear long before they should.

Twenty years later, I wonder, have t-shirt transfers gotten any better? My kids always think that it sounds really cool to be able to print out a shirt from the computer and not have to make screens or try to count the colors in a design, because they have heard me bitch about terrible artwork and impossible prints over and over again. However, I did some test today with inkjet transfer paper onto dark and white t-shirts, and when I showed them the designs they did not say they could wear such a glossy feeling thickened object heat molded onto the t-shirts. I tried.

Why is it so hard to imitate screen printing? Screen printing must be rooted in magic and voodoo to be this hard to duplicate with computers. There is always a lot of talk about digital processes like straight to garment printing, but I fail to see the potential. Basically some companies have loaded a pallet onto an inkjet bet and then they feed and adhesive precoat and/or a white coat and then other colors onto a garment as if it was a piece of paper. Sounds good in theory, like communism or democracy, but I have enough trouble making one print, much less running one thousand t-shirts through an inkjet printer. This is the age we live in. No flying cars and no instant high quality t-shirts.

There are some alternatives and I am sure that the quality of transfer t-shirt technology has improved, but it is surprising how long it has taken to get so short a distance. Screen printing is still a dominant technique for adhering images to garments in bulk. Sure, there are some successful techniques like discharge printing that has made all over printing more bearable and wearable simultaneously, but generally we have not come very far. Shirts that light up are too bulky, shirts that are very soft are too frail, shirts that are super soft are toxic and shirts that are too cool are too expensive.

Still I must see what transfer papers are currently on the market and test those papers to see if I am missing the boat. Will there ever be an easy to handle transfer paper that is one-step, mutli-color, self-weeding, ink jet or not, that is affordable and will survive a wash through a general clothing cycle? Tell me more, tell me more.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Where did these come from? - Candle Wax Linseed Oil Prints with Teflon



Ok, I know where they came from, I just am not totally sure what I was up to. - Candle Wax Linseed Oil Prints with Teflon - That is the best explaination I have. Overall these experiments benefitted from distractions, because they needed time and I am not a patient man. I hid them, as I do much of my work. Sometimes I hide things in the yard, other times in different states. Regardless, these were hid under my nose and unless I wasn't looking for my teflon sheet I would have never dealt with these images. Originally I mixed some sort of black bone pigment with a copal varnish I had made from scratch. Then I printed a 4-up set of images onto a teflon sheet and let it dry by hiding. A few months later I was still unable to get the image off the teflon as it was so I later made a mixture of linseed oil and a white pigment, titanium or some such powder, then I painted that onto the back of the other print. This did not work and I stored it again for a few more months. Next I tried putting a coat of adhesive onto a piece of wax paper and tried to lift off the image once it dried, but that did not work. So I stored the teflon and it dried some more.



Finally I needed my teflon and I found it hidden in a cabinet, completely dried. I thought I was just going to have to rub the image off and scrub the teflon experiment into the trash. I ripped off the paper, with no idea what the experiment was originally trying to prove, and it pulled the images off quite cleanly, cosidering the force of my peel. I got the rest of the goop off of the teflon with a heat transfer machine, but now I am left with these images in a sort of waxy dried state and trying to figure out if this technique was successful or not. The images attached to this post are approx 3" high and were made for transfering the images to candles with organic substances that would not pose a problem if burned.

The Failure I've been looking for - Frida Khalo Broken Fresco Revival


A few months ago I found myself breaking these things and reassembling them for craft (See prior post 10 steps to enlightment through destruction). It seemed an interesting way to work with previously created works by great masters without duplicating the work directly. In fact I thought that it was a statement of sorts, not just a derragatory one, but a statement about craft. I moved out of that phase in my efforts as I tried to simply control this medium before I set me sights on breaking the pieces I was making. Most of the last six months has been spent on trying to get both an artistic and a spiritual interpretation of pop culture images so that I can get back to a the literal duplication process that I am yet to completely control. Personally I hate literal duplication, which may explain why it is so hard to achieve. My impatience is my biggest enemy and in this case it has taken me back to the broken Fresco, the mosaic fresco, made from the pieces of an otherwise decent print.

As I have mentioned previously I have had the most trouble trying to get some spiritual transliteration out of Frida Khalo and Vincent van Gogh portraits. I attributed this to the original artwork that I started with which were paintings and not photographs. For some reason I cannot get the same blurry, soul enhancing properties out of these self-portraits when I convert them to black and white images and put them through the rigors of fresco photo casting. Here is a whole batch of Frida Khalo photo fresco prints that shows how I have tried. I can't seem to leave the image and I returned by using it as a print to try and make a direct copy of the screen painting of the painting that I had made. In the casting my impatience caused it to break and before I smashed the entire piece I forced it back together and let it dry. Previously I had done this with a William Burroughs piece shown here. Again it hit me that this is the interpretive process for works done by artist themselves that are not photographic in their origin.

The best explaination I can come up with is that because the images are artistic to begin with, both in color and in composition I may not be able to transfer the visual representation of the soul spirit that is contained in photographic images. The breaking and reassembly represents my failure, but in essence it is consistent with my disgust at literal interpretation to begin with. I cannot pull anything more from these images than what the artist originally intended. I cannot channel that which is controlled by it's maker. I cannot take and reinterpret something that speaks it's own truth. I have nothing to add. My destruction of the image is acceptance of this fact and the reassembly is the duplication that I am forced to do for some other reason that I cannot explain.

Moments are fleeting and my underlying rationale for working artistically is that there is a visual language that is beyong our abilities to explain, but that artistic works individually propels our cognitive senses to new heights. I grasped a sense of abstract communication through some works at the Modern in New York and have never been the same. The works themselves were DeKooning and Pollack, but even though they were old they read this was modern, this may be the last word you read that makes sense, even though the lines did not make sense. The lines had meaning of time and by seeing these works firsthand they transcended time. The art is a craft, but the dimensionality artistic works last longer in a physical state than many other fluid crafts. In order for these literal works like Frida and Van Gogh to achieve a new meaning I need to pull from them something different. My tools are limited, but this breaking and re-assembly is sort of like the dribble that I considered so meaningful. I can only accept this because I did not contrive the meaning, it just happened and it keeps happening because I have no patience.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A cloud shrine, maybe? Hollywood Clouds Intro


Here is a sample of a shrine version of the Hollywood Cloud using Hunter Thompson photo. I like it because I am not sure how I ended up at this place, but at least this looks somewhat finished. The way the layers are combining seems Japanese, and the out of character black and white photo image floats on top, yet it is molded into the plaster itself. I had already made these tacky shrine type shapes and painted them red, but I like the contrast between the red and the light blue.

I was able to make this from the reversed image of Einstein. I had to work in the negative since his hair is so white. This spiritual effect of the shadows is what I have been trying for and the cloud may be a more controllable way of getting the image to migrate as I add more pressure on the printing while it is setting up in blob form making the cloud. Not sure, but I was able to get some blur on Einstein and JD Salinger, who has been the hardest print to-date besides Van Gogh and Frida (who I have all but given up on). This is the original shrine version of the Einstein Fresco before reversing to black and white.

Here is what I was able to pull out of JD Salinger and this photo from a book cover. I am attaching both the shrine color image and the new base image for a Painting.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Le' Shit C'est Arrive - Hollywood Clouds



It was a terrible day to start. The first day with sun. I cleaned and arranged scraps of prior designs laying around in the mud so that they could dry. By most accounts it was beautiful morning. I even fell for the concept that the ground would be dry and my feet would not be sullen with mud and chill. I put card board over my regular mud puddles, arranged glass plates, watered my blueberry bush and cleaned frames. Then I made a couple of frescos, Frida, with both dye inks and pigment inks, expecting that I would be able to compare the two. They both sucked and neither was what I expected, again. I turned from my work and let it dry in the sun. Hours later it was no better off than when I left it, both pieces failed to make a decent transfer and the dye inks were just strangely colored and too dark. Time wasted on high expectations. I spent the rest of the day working to offset my expectations of artistic success with business.

The real work did not begin until the afternoon and then even later. It was as if I could not think until I expelled all of the business thoughts and responsibilities from my head. I do not think I am a creative I am driven. I don't even think of it as a vision as much as my body fulfills it's task when it is ready. If I actually thought about my results I could not achieve the things that I am doing. Somehow they happen, I am just there to do my part.

I was upset about my prior work in the morning and decided to make a few more prints for fun. Earlier in the day I had stacked a bunch of paintings that I needed to frame right in the middle of my work table so that I couldn't miss them. I plan to take a batch of work to LA and sell it in my store and need to complete the pile of screen paintings that I have completed. Once I made a few prints, in black and white, I realized I needed a more complete product for my work. The cloud effect is very fragile and recently I had attempted to pour a frame of blue around the cloud to make it durable. This worked, but to make it work successfully I needed to pour the blue before I removed the first fresco from it's mold / position. I cut out several images from their frame while the plaster was setting and quickly positioned them above the images I was about to transfer. The end result was a three layer casting with a rectangular frame. I think this is the shit. Because they are celebrity pop culture icons I call them Hollywood Clouds.

These images have combined many levels of conceptual dribble that entertain my brain. I think they are silly to begin with and unexpected as the result of so much serious work. I mean puffy clouds, c'mon! The symbolixm is also a paralell to my everyday life as I have always considered the Puffy Cloud the ultimate symbol, uncapturable, and inspiring in it's elusiveness. I once had a club called "The Puffy Cloud" patrol, whose only purpose was to chase clouds and photograph them like those storm chasers that chase tornados. Hawaii by the way is one of the best places in the world for puffy clouds. Click on the image below as these three puffy cloud images dry and you will see where I am heading with this. Closer to the obv ious.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So many calls, so little time

I turn down 2-5 jobs a week for instant printing jobs, but just don't have the time. The problem is that usually the job becomes more complex than it seems and although transfer technology and printing transfers seems easy, there is no accounting for the shirts required to be thrown away before the customer is happy. As such, I am testing a whole new batch of heat transfer t-shirt, mousepad and coffe mug papers. Report to follow.

Back to real work - Laser printing and transfers

My entire enterprise and attempts to create something new and different could be avoided if I just worked with the methods that already exist. The techniques of transfering images to products is an industry in and of itself that I have sidestepped over the years. Evey so often I try transfer papers and materials and see if things have changed. I picked up a new laser printer, a Samsung for only $170 and am going to test it with the laser printing papers that I have for t-shirts, mousepads and coffee mugs. It's not photo-frescos, but if these papers work they will provide me with income and products to sell until the rains end and I can get back to messing up prints with plaster.

The Magic Touch paper is from a German company and cost nearly $5/sheet. I've been dying to try this stuff, but it is a mutli-step process. I'll be back with info later on how it works.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The clouds have gone away

I mixed a new batch of plaster, longer drying time, but had no success. A day like today is a day to forget. More mess and less results. Basically this was an off day, but I thought about how to make the cloud type images fixed into a mount that may preserve their shape. It's risky, but I think I will tint some plaster blue and pour around the cloud in a frame to mount the image securely. The final result may be a sky type effect with puffy clouds suspended in a field of blue. For now the clouds have gone.


The risk of doing a double pour is that the new layer will seep under the side with the image and block the graphic. It would be best if I pour the blue before I separate the original print, but I only want to add the blue plaster to images I plan to keep. My present state wants to throw all my samples and rejects, but for a few, into a trash bin, clear the decks and start anew. I can't get back to painting when I am in the middle of a bunch of casting. Ideally I would split the task to different locations so that I'm not trying to do too much at one place.

Puffy Clouds appear as frames to hold iconic Fresco images


I left off last night with a reference to making the vague the obvious. It sounded good, but I didn't really think about what it meant. I think it means that I can take something and make it into a kitschy t-shirt or a simplistic joke, but as I have struggled with the Fresco printing technique I keep finding new meanings for the direction that I am going in. Now I have gone on and did it again.




I have been suggesting that these iconic images are ghost of the real people and that through this process I am pulling their visual spirit back into these works. I also suggested that these were temporary in that I am no longer working with frames and the result is a super fragile piece that is only around long enough to photograph it, but noooooo. The new shape has taken on a simplistic and symbolic form of the puffy cloud.





What better shape to carry spiritual images of classic icons on than puffy clouds? Even I think it is beyond obvious to the level of stupid, but I can't deny the ridiculous symbolism and the process by which I have come upon it. Now I am going to be forced to keep the originals and figure out a method to hold the fragile shapes longer than I intended and potentially these are the final form for these pieces and this effect. Check out this group of seven photofresco prints, in cloud form.




Monday, March 1, 2010

When all else fails try voodoo...and a little wine.


There is a reason why I am accepting all of these formless approaches to this craft of photo-fresco icon regeneration. Since nothing in the normal realm of experimentation can give me control of the results I am resorting to esoteric rationalizations for my methods. Today I breached a new level in conceptualization. While consuming large quantities of wine and working myself up to attempt a mass fresco casting of seven frameless images I decided to share my wine with the plaster. These are my friends, my only friends the images. I dipped my finger in the glass and dropped three drips into the approximate gallon of freshly mixed juice. Physically the wine did not change the color, but in spirit the wine represented the blood of life and a drink for my homies to make them want to appear again. Did it work? Not so much.

I used glass as my flat surface and I was able to look at the images before I pulled them from there monoprint positions. They still seemed like perfect duplications of the originals so I added water to the back side of the plaster to force the images to spread. For some of the images it may have helped and for others it simply made them darker. I am having the most trouble getting a spiritual print of Van Gogh and Frida Khalo. I've made over 10 prints of Van Gogh and nearly 30 of Frida and I don't seem any closer to success than I was at the first one. It may be that I am working from painted portraits and not photographs. It also may be that they have been dead much longer than the other icons I am working with. On a humorous note I have gotten a much more potent image of Ultraman, but Einstein has no essence in the latest print. JD Salinger is anothe bitch to print and I may have to stop here since his face is sullen and non-descript. Still it is hard to drop any character from use until I feel I have drawn into the hardened rock the feeling of their being. It's as though I am beating a drum and calling into the dark.

I don't know what I am asking for but once it arrives I know that I have it. The fragility of the originals is now a part of the process. By the time a get a decent photo of the casting the edges snap and the image crumbles. In this way I don't feel like I am keeping the spirit beyond a reasonable amount of time for their portrait. The original image becomes pieces once I have the portrait and then I can work with it in duplicate and in 2nd generation printing techniques that will never be referenced to their origin. Somehow this comforts me in that I am not capturing and controlling something that I don't understand completely. My place in this is to channel, not to control. My place is to see with castings that which I cannot create by hand. My place is to translate the vague into the obvious.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Read 'em and Weep - advance in frescoland


I am moving in a direction that I can no longer call forward. I am losing reference to borders and permanence. The last transition towards elusive photo fresco portratiure was the result of having enough frames to cast the images into, which therefore restricted my experimentation. The black and white blurred images in plaster that I have been trying to make have been rectangular as a result of the wooden frames. Essentially this is a formal shape and since I feel more of the essence of the characters that I am entombing it has restricted my thinking about the final graphic, as well as, forced me to keep making frames before I could make my photo-frescos. Now, as I have developed my pouring technique I have realized that I don't need a frame to work in, I only need a flat surface upon which to work. Above you will see the first work done without the use of a frame.



A piece of misinformation I have absorbed from pop icon Albert Einstein is that while traveling the train to Princeton Einstein proposed that he could see in 4 dimensions. Although this may be fiction I have always wondered if this is indeed possible. Now I am playing with fire in that I think I can see the innards of the people whose photographs I print into these photofresco prints. The fact that I am moving away from shape and permanence only makes me feel closer to the idea that I am seeing something more than the two dimesions that make up the visual image. I am pulling from the past the persona of the individuals themselves. This is a spiritual dimension that exist in photographs, but is not conveyed through literal photographic printing techniques. Here is an image of Einstein himself.




Now that I have a clue what I am doing I am challenging my own aestetic in that my rejects may be more on target than what I keep trying to accomplish with these prints. If these images are going to be spiritual, then by definition they do not have to adhere to my constraints on what is visually appealing. My sense of composition and style is irrelevant to the final product and I need to separate my own desire to have a symbolic and good looking image from simply a read on the photographs that I am working with. Much like reading cards, I should not project what I want to see. With this in mind I have a sad looking image of Warhol and a dark image of Bruce Lee.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Things are coming around in the t-shirt world

Affordable Organic tshirts, Made in the USA organic t-shirts, fashionably cut organic t-shirts and stock in organic t-shirts. All of these things seem to be coming around, finally, to where we can offer and fulfill reasonable quantities of organic t-shirts at good prices. To start with check out this Ultra Club organic t-shirt starting at $4.50/ea on white. 5.1 oz certified organic cotton, not bad for the price. Add $1/ea for color t-shirts.

American Apparel still has the best colors available, photos to follow, but the prices are higher. In the $5-7 range approximately.

The Anvil should be coming of age now and although I like the Alstyle t-shirts the organic t-shirts are never available when I need them. I am looking forward to trying the Bayside organic cotton t-shirt and possibly private labeling that brand. The price will be a bit below the American Apparel and the cotton a little thicker and not quite so soft. So stay in touch with the organic pages at t-shirts.org as I relaunch and consolidate the available wholesale organic t-shirts that are currently on the market for spring 2010.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

There is no easy way to say this, but there is a funny way

For more images of Photo Fresco and Screen Paintings go here: PhotoFresco.com


I get different results almost everytime I work with this process. This makes the game of trying to control my results entertaining and constantly surprising, if not frustrating. The reality is that I must not know what I am doing if I can continue to get this many different results. When I try to make a mistake I get a perfect print. When I try to get a perfect print I get new flaws. I can only say that my dry skin from mixing plaster and my messy floors with broken castings is a testament to my determination to get this right.

At one point I thought I had understood the mix and the pour and the results, but when I went back to repeat that with black and white images I've only gotten clearer and cleaner prints. I'll post the images later of the image rocks drying around the fireplace, but romantic it is not. I've only had an obsession like this a few times in the past, like when making a model for an engineering class or making a chopped bicycle when I was a kid, model cars, puzzles, car repair, to name a few. The problem with this undertaking is that the only thing I can do is make more samples. So each result leads into a new test, which leads into a missed target and a new test. I've got so many Frida Khalo Phot-Fresco prints that I get dizzy looking at them and I can't remember which test proved what.

My last test was using very wet plaster and this seems to be the right direction to go with what I am after. I am trying to get a uncontrolled blur around figures in black and white images. Sort of a halo effect. I consider it materializing the character's soul from the photograph. Maybe this is why the results are so elusive. Once I get the blurred image I can then use that to create a screen painting from which puts the color and life back into the print. (See Burroughs reference on earlier post).

I could probably manipulate the images in Photoshop and get a result that is dramatic, but the plaster Phot-Fresco printing process seems very holistic and as it is very elusive to get a good print then I think the process may be true to form for what I am after. I don't want something that I can visualize, I want some that manifest itself from the materials. This is what I got occasionally when I was a photographer and now I think I have a process that can merge that effect with rock and ink. Onward.

Friday, February 12, 2010

William Burroughs Fresco Screen Painting

For more images of Photo Fresco and Screen Paintings go here: PhotoFresco.com


Thursday, February 11, 2010

New elusive Photo-Expressionist Frescos - Paulson uses a pulling teeth metaphor






Ex-Treasury Secretary uses "tooth" metahpor. The Bailout was Like Pulling Teeth, he said. This definitely makes teeth the news of the week. Have I mentioned the "Happy Teeth" t-shirts we sell?


Frescos Update: I've gotten different results with slightly different materials. Images shown above can be compared with a previous set shown below. The funny thing is that I was trying for more clarity. However, these results are more exciting to me as I appreciate the unexpected results when I make these fresco prints and this a result that I enjoy. When I did more photography I used to get similar effects on 35mm film with extreme overexposure while following movement. This was a style I liked but it wasn't palatable to others and I didn't pursue that style. I switched over to screen printing in college and have been making t-shirt type products ever since. Now I am back to the same types of results as I got in film, only with fresco prints.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Photo Frescos Final Beta Test - Images Posted here

The last test generation of PhotFresco images are here:






The last test generation of PhotFresco images are here:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Don't get fooled again - The Greater Recession C'est Arrive!

I run a business, so I am always suprised when I get scammed. Sometimes I see it coming and other times I simply act too quickly and the devil is in the details. The one thing that always seems true is that the cards are stacked against the consumer and there are endless ways to get taken advantage of.

Just like the new wines in France, Le Grande Recession C'est Arrive, bad French but the reality is that the economist in charge have been figuring some really messed up match on the economy. The Great Recession has never gone away, it just got bigger. I am refering to the revised jobless numbers and the resetting of the stock market prices. The reality is that things can't just get better because the projections are going in the right direction and they have stopped going down, especially if the numbers aren't correct to begin with. This is cooking the books for the manipulation of public sentiment. Except for the fact that eventually job losses have to slow because there is nobody left that can be fired without turning off the lights and going home. A slowing of the decline is not an incline. An incline will happen once the year to year comparisions are coming in being compared to the desperate situations of the prior years in percentage terms. A growth in the economy would result from adding jobs and not reducing less or fudging the numbers. The Greater Recession is now what it should be called, because none of the media are willing to use the word Depression and they "want" it to be different than the 1920's.

As far as getting scammed goes it was with Star Ford in Glendale. They switched in and out the sales guys when I was buying a car and I signed a contract that did not represent what I thought was happening. Due to the fancy debits and credits the car that was suppposed to be paid off by Star Ford of Glendale was valued at $100 and they added the cost of paying off my car to the new loan. Does this scam have a name, besides "Screw Your Best Customers"? That was my 4th car from this dealer so I didn't expect to get scammed since I trusted them. I attribute part of my failure to recognize the scam to the switching of sales people and negotiating with a man in a back room who never showed his face. I call this the MSRP , Multiple Sales RipOff Pros. I've filed a complaint with a Consumer Advocacy Group and since these sales reps really don't seem to give a crap I will eventually have to sue them for stealing my trade in vehicle. Whatever you do, Don't Buy A Car From Star Ford in Glendale or any other Star Ford for that matter.

Monday, February 1, 2010

No, I did not have an advance copy of the Obama Speech


I know, the lead on on my last post was similar to Obama's tooth analogy. What can I say? Great analogy makers think alike. There ends the similarities. Also since my last post J D Salinger has died. I am inclined to make a design, but the best I've got is to post a picture of him with the word "FUCK" below. Like this.

Two funny items about JD, besides the fact that Catcher in the Rye preceded the beatniks and his reclusiveness added to the mystery of his character, was that in coming up with a name you have to be both sarcastic and non-glorifying in order to add consistency to the design. I couldn't do a simple "Never Forget" design as I have done with so many other images. Secondly, I was reading the unauthorized Wikipedia.or bio on JD Salinger and one of his wives went on to marry Charlie Chaplin. For no reason I had been doing a Charlie Chaplin screen painting and will post the image here:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Writing is like pulling a tooth, or worse.



Writing is tough to do. It requires concentration, skill and enough sobriety to be able to read through the slurs. The ideas are easy to come by. I have an abundance of overwhelming conceptual dribble that pulls your brain into a struggle with reality to the point that I have to try and explain it to others. I know the world would be a better place if we did not have to prove things to each other, but without a confirmation that our ideas exist then we are without challenge to existence. The point here is that I have teeth that need my attention, but I would rather suffer through the pain than deal with it, however I cannot deal with the pain that if I do not write I will pass on the very point of existence.

The original ideas that I was so concerned about have now been lost due to this distraction listed above, but I am writing and that is the underlying requirement to conceptual transmigration of ideas. Part of the concept / struggle that I am dealing with is the chemical difference between dyes and pigments. Techically it isn't relevant to much and not worth discussing, but on a conceptual level I find a paralell with my earlier concepts. I have always been amazed at the process of photography as much as the results (argggh today I dropped a digital camera in the mud and screamed) that are shown in their final form as silver prints on paper. The idea that the underlying molecular structure of the silver allowed these items to be interpreted artistically was an early part of my conceptual misunderstanding of composition, since composition on a moleculer level is truly the ultimate determinate of the final visual composition. The separation of the molecular to the conceptual is where we are delusional and ultimately duped by chemical based arts.

The reason why photography is valid as an art form is that is no less chemically dependent than painting on the final product. The craft required to make photographic prints is far more complex, but then so seems the honeycomb to the ant hill. Underlying all of these process, including the biological ones, we are in essence dealing with interpretation as the abritrator and therefore we have the problem. ART is not with the making, but with the viewer and chemically we are on the same level as the ant.

I come to this point as I am struggling with where I am and where I how did I get here. I continue to see large paralells with my earlier artistic endeavors which reinforces the idea that when you are younger you should just work, don't ask questions, just work. The work will take you where you want to go, not the questions or answers to questions. Then later you will have something to look at and consume. Now I am at the point where I can deduce that in 20 years I have not gotten very far. I have stopped or I have been in a loop or I am further than I realize or there is no where to go. That last sentence was really fun. I am going to post some pictures now of a variety of works that show that even if I have had 20 years I still cannot escape my own astetic and every thing I make ends up looking a certain way.