COMMUNITY: Flying Skeleton

Being in the t-shirt business you often are perusing the net keeping an eye out for other cool t-shirt companies. It’s good to see whats out there, what kind of design people are coming up with, to check out your competition or just try to find yourself a cool new t-shirt. For me I really like to see good hand illustrated work. There’s so much computer generated work and silly logos and phrases out there. I want a t-shirt graphic with some meaning. I want a piece of art.

A companies reason for being is important to me too. Who are these people? Why are they making t-shirts? What do they believe in? Having left a well paid design job to create an eco-friendly, socially conscious company from the ground up, I appreciate and look for the back story on a company. It’s important to support companies with the same values as yourself. There is a ton of mass produced, environmentally damaging t-shirts out there in the world. I’m not sure people even know how high the environmental impact of a standard t-shirt can be. There are many other considerations besides environment I take into account when looking at a company. The kind of screen print ink is almost as important as the fabric of the shirt and honestly a much more affordable move in the right direction for many small companies. Waterbase inks still have pigments but do not have the non-biodegradable medium that plastisol inks contain. (read my article on water base inks here) Many large companies use plastisol inks as they are easier to work with in a shop, however for the small studio printer waterbase inks have the extra added advantage of an easy non chemical clean up. I also look at where and by who a company’s t-shirts are made. The other major impact a standard tshirt has on the world is to the working conditions and pay of the people actually sewing the shirt. Luckily there are some unionized factories out there and more that are voluntarily policed by global human rights watch dog groups, so finding a socially responsible t-shirt is not as hard as it once was. Still many brands choose cost over people and go for the cheapest blank they can find. I think it’s worth my money to buy from a brand that chooses human rights over a few extra dollars.

Flying Skeleton from Taos, New Mexico is one of my favorite new brands. Produced by artists Bradley Sleep and Christie Swathe, the brand has a slight southwest vibe with very cool images. They screen print their tees one at a time in their home studio and use water based inks on socially conscious t-shirts produced right here in USA.

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The Flying Skeleton Logo

Flying Skeleton in their own words:

Flying Skeleton is for everyone, in the spirit of unity, in that we are more the same than different. Regardless of nationality or politics, ultimately we can usually agree about more things than disagree. Basic things like food, shelter and clothing, equal rights and justice, the right to freedom, to be happy and healthy, and opportunity for bettering ourselves are important to us all.Flying Skeleton is a reminder of the time that we have on planet Earth, that we are all mortals here for a limited amount of time. Time, really, is our most precious resource. In the end, it’s not about the money we’ve made or our material gains, it’s about human relationships and the love received and given through them.

Life is short, so make your indelible mark. Fly High.

FLYING SKELETON SHOP
About the artists:
Bradley Sleep is an artist with a background in printmaking and jewelry making. He enjoys screen printing, hand printing on clothing as well as prints on paper. He also produces hand-drawn works of fine art. He says, “The Flying Skeleton just showed up one day and I figure I just work for him.”
To view more of Bradley’s art, go to:
http://www.bradleysleepdesign.comChristy Schwathe is an artist, printmaker, and seamstress with a love for making stuff by hand. She actually enjoys ending her day covered in graphite, ink, or paint. She says, “Support the revolution, buy handmade.”

Christy’s art:
http://www.cschwathe.com
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Proud Hopi Maiden

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Skull and Roses

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