Tuesday, August 17, 2010

When culture creates its own pop clothes

The internet offers artists a chance to show their work to a much wider audience and skip the traditional "middleman" when it came to creating and selling their art. One industry which exploded in popularity with the internet is the user-created clothes industry. For decades, everyone and their mother had ideas for cool shirts, but unless they knew talented artists, stores with screen-printing machines, or could live with text-only shirts very few of them ever made the shirts. Now, everyone with a shirt idea can create a store and sell the shirt to anyone in the world. Entire sites have appeared whose sole business model is "allowing" artists to upload their art for the chance of being popular enough to appear on a shirt. In some harsher cases, the sites accept the artists work, sell the artwork on shirts, offer nothing to the artist (accept pride), then prevent the artist from selling the same or similar concepts on their own in order to make a living.

Anyways, while I may have an issue with a few sites exploitation of uninformed artists, I definitely do not have an issue with the encouragement for creating art and showing it to the world. Especially creative pop art. Below are a few of my favorite, hilarious art samples from various shirt sites (many of which are also collected here). Many of these contain references to characters and situations from the 80's and 90's (the timeframe today's creative internet users grew up in), so if you don't get the reference just ask a twentysomething.

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