Jan 4, 2010

Three Outstanding Artists of 2009

There are thousands of great artists out there. This is a list compiled from the artists I've had the pleasure to work with during 2009. It is based on artistic ability, communication styles, marketing prowess, and demeanor.

I worked with a ton artists over 2009 in conjunction with Design by Humans and Teefury. The personalities ranged from high maintenance, self-entitled whanks to humble, helpful artists that not only made my job easier, but frankly their products sold better.

They might not be the highest seller (sometimes they are), but the three I will list are consistent good performers as far as sales, and with great business acumen and professionalism, it's a no brainer to want to work with these guys and gal.

I noticed a odd correlation. Although it may be biased, it seems that if an artist has a friendly persona online, their products sell better in comparison the other extreme. This may be because one gathers more flies with honey, and the nice ones might pick up more fans that will support their work by purchasing.

In no particular order, these are the most memorable artists to work with in 2009:


We printed missmonster at both DBH and Teefury. She has a strong fan base and they support her with every shirt (and other products!) she creates. In communications, she is friendly, supplying entertaining and informative interviews. The art she creates is of a specific genre, but it is well done so it appeals to art fans who may not be familiar with missmonster.

Missmonster's strongest suit is her ability to crank out new work and promote it like a mad woman. I have not seen many t-shirt designers in my circle of knowledge persistently self promote. It's not arrogant self promotion either, it seems to come from the love of creating. It's easy to be enthusiastic and sincere when you love what you do, and you want to share it.

thestray aka kissmyaesthetic

thestray is also one of the more positive and friendly personas I've met online. Although relatively new on the scene, he's gotten several prints at both DBH and Teefury. The most notable being Umibozu, which reached the final 5 of DBH's $10,000 annual contest, and My Lyrics are Bottomless which has ranked in the top ten of Teefury's top ten selling shirts.

thestray has a unique style of art which has a tendency to be more illustrative than most. He's a younger fellow out of Southern California so he does seem to have a fresher style than the veteran designers online. It will be interesting to see how his career develops. He has a passion for art, so no doubt we should see more of him in the art industry.


Zerobriant. I ain't met a nicer fellow... on the internet. He's halfway across the world, but he communicates often and well, so it feels like he's next door. He even called the DBH office once to chat on his dime!

Very eager to do his best, his work ethic is admirable. I would hire this guy to do any job cause whatever task you would give him, he would do it to the best of his ability.

Being an artist isn't his full time job, but it seems he never sleeps. His promotion abilities are supreme. He's consistently created great products that sell, and there's two reasons.

1. Great design
2. He promotes like a madman. I think he might even go and pitch boutiques the shirts as if he was a salesmen for our company. I am not sure of this, but I think it's true.

His art style is very painterly, but fresh. He also has a knack for creating images that you know will appeal to a large crowd.

I am happy to have become aware of him through my art director position.


There are many artists with whom I've worked that have stood out, and I plan to write more recommendations as I have time.

We actually have a Missmonster and Zerobriant print coming up at Teefury.com, and hope to see more of thestray. I hear he's busy with a design for a band, so maybe he can get us some more work when he's free. ;)

Anyways, these artists are on twitter and have web presence, so if you want to glean some wisdom by observation

Missmonster - http://twitter.com/missmonstermel

Zerobriant - http://twitter.com/zerobriant

thestray - http://twitter.com/kissmyaesthetic


zerobriant said...

wow, every word tickles, every inch of my skin, the goosebumps man :)...reading those descriptions from a legend simply makes my shaved head grew ten inches of standing hair, hehehe... you are the best jimiyo! i haven't slept well tonight but after this i guess i just had a very strong espresso to boost me up for the rest of the day:) Thanks again my mentor! hope working with you for 2010 will be more exciting and productive as last year!:D

thestray said...

Awww shucks!
Happy to be included. Zerobriant and Missmonster are both inspirations to me. Their art, consistency, bankability (new word?), and worth ethic are very admirable and what I work towards.
And oh yes, you will see much more from me. I'VE GOT THE FEVER!

myargie22 said...

congrats guys! =)

thestray said...

I meant work ethic not "worth ethic", but they've got good worth ethic too! Whatever that is.

zerobriant said...

congrats to miss monster she is full of inspiring ideas and illustrations also thestray is a self-built artist with his skyrocketing career in designing..congrats to you man, you inspire me as well for being friendly and being real...:)

jimiyo has always been my mentor:) and i know there are thousands of other artist out there that are amazing and i would love to work with them too:)

starryeyez said...

wow, CONGRATZ guys :) *************