How to design a graphic t-shirt collaboration ?
How does a collaboration work ?
We first met Ten Hun at the Sprayseemo in Kansas City. It is a mural festival organized by some people from the graffiti art scene such as his founder Rif Rif Giraffe and his other half Ami Harrington. We have tremendous luck to participate in such a festival. Why are we participating in these kinds of street art festivals?
- For the money? If only it was worth it…
- For visibility? We’re better off doing a solo show…
- For free vacation, Nah most of the time we are working in a parking lot.
Guys we are joking, most of the time, a mural festival is an chance to meet-up our friends, and make new one from around the world. It is one of the things we liked the most about those kinds of gathering. To see how much one common passion can reunite so many artists and can be shared at the same time is something amazing. And like that, it is sometimes the beginning of many new friendships.
Who is Ten Hun?
Ten Hundred is an artist and designer who lives actually in Seattle, he is best known for his illustrations, which include very colourful characters. His inspiration comes from anime and cartoons , childlike imagination, comics, world cultures, street art and graffiti and folklore.
Ten Hun or "Peter"? when he called us from the airport to let us know he'd arrived, he introduced himself as peter. We said who?? We only knew him by his artist name “Ten Hun”. Since then, we call him "Peteuur" (obviously with a French accent). He is funny, talented, he makes us laugh and all-around a wholesome guy.
Why this collaboration was made?
The main reason was the money. If we calculate correctly:
10hundred X 123K = 12 300 000K
You have to follow your feelings and do whatever you want ... Obviously, we have always worked that way when it was time to meet new people, it is always a hunch, a feeling and above all very organic. That’s how our friendship with Ten Hun came to life. We had an instant connection with him and that’s how over the month, the idea of a collaboration was born. For those kinds of partnerships, it is always best to let the process be natural and not plan in advance. Generally, the reality of what we expect to happen is greater than what we could wish for.
What’s the purpose of our collaboration?
The number one target was money, success, admiration and everything in between. Back to reality now, it was to do a partnership with Ten Hun on a streetwear t-shirt. We communicated back and forth on WhatsApp and came up with a date where Peter could fly in from Seattle to Montreal for a week. With more than 20 years of expertise in hand, 123Klan refined their streetwear and has made the graphic art tee a specialty. When Ten Hun said that he owns himself an online clothing store, it was a no brainer to do a collaboration on a t-shirt, a perfect canvas to showcase a mixed style of his and ours style. We also have to mention that he came in January, in the middle of Montreal’s winter so no graffiti art on the wall, the second-best ideal is obviously the t-shirt.
What is the difference between Ten Hun art style and 123Klan art style?
We had to talk about each of our own art styles to figure out where to meet. 123Klan aesthetic leans more toward clean thick lines and graphic art and Peter’s is more one the skinnier lines and a bit more hand-drawn art. As a result, it would be very awesome to see those two houses collide together or it would need a bit of work to finesse the result and make them be cohesive.
What is the first step to the collaboration?
Step 1 : brainstorm
Step 2: draw
Step 3: illustrate and vectorize
Working with Ten Hun was very easy for us. Not sure about him.
The first character that Ten Hun came up with is from the inspiration of an old Sony walkman. It’s more throwback and old school. Not sure if it was his way to make fun of us for being in that Boomer category. For our character, we could not miss the opportunity to use our classic Mr. Card mascot and make some variation to it. We felt free to produce whatever we wanted to create without limitation on this combination. Then, we worked with the name “Ten Hun” with many different graphic hand-drawn styles and eventually gave it some scale and dimension on Illustrator and Photoshop.
How to vectorize a drawing?
It always starts with a hand-drawn sketch and then vectorizes on a computer to be able to work better on that image later on. On the other hand, Peter was also working on his character and he used Procreate to tweak his character a little bit. A big part of this coming to life streetwear shirt was getting into the design on computers. There was a lot of vectorizing on one computer and adding logos and crazy elements on the other computer. After some time, the Sony Walkman had a bunch of different elements on him mixes with 123Klan emblematic art logos and street style designs.
How to choose the colors?
The final appearance of that character was in different shade and contrast of orange mixed with a little bit of grey. To make everything pop, we decided to use black as the main color of the t-shirt so that we could easily read the graphic on the shirt.
What is the process of printing a t-shirt?
To complete the process, we had to figure out how to print that shirt design. We opted for a silkscreen printed shirt. Why we prefer Silkscreen printing ? Because we prefer to provide quality. The silkscreen does not fade when washed, and has a longer life cycle.
By using a website called JackPrint, we were able to easily customize our order and printed them out.
Did we really make a second street style t-shirt?
We had so much fun creating the first streetwear t-shirt and we had so much more ideals left that we decided to do a second shirt with a completely different vibe than the first one while maintaining a cohesive style. Ten Hun is outstanding! We left him alone for not even half a day and he came up with 3 new hand drawing. We had to use them all for the second shirt! It has a mafia man holding a gun, a hentai girl, a tapir and a bunch of street-style graffiti art in the background. We did the same thing with the second streetwear t-shirt, we kept it black on the background so that the coral pink of the shirt translates better. It came down to the same process and we are so proud of the final products. We could not be happier to have shared the experience with Ten Hun!
If it's not too late, you can purchase these 2 t-shirts at TENHUN's streetwear clothing online store: https://www.tenhundredart.com
You can also watch the complete video that we made with Ten Hun on his Youtube channel.
🎥 📷: Ten Hun x 123 KLAN