Spirit of the Animal tie-die T-shirt project

There are so many graphic T-shirt projects in the world that we don’t normally write about them here on the CR blog. However, just this once we’re making an exception – for the Spirit of the Animal tie-die & animal print T-shirt collection…

There are so many graphic T-shirt projects in the world that we don’t normally write about them here on the CR blog. However, just this once we’re making an exception – for the Spirit of the Animal tie-die & animal print T-shirt collection…


Spirit of the Ape, Matthew The Horse

The project is the brain child of illustrators Matthew “the Horse” Hodson and Jon Boam, who have have created T-shirts featuring their own animal illustrations but also asked some of their favourite fellow image makers to get involved too. The result is a range of striking, super-limited edition tie-die T-shirts, with prints designed by Boam, Hodson, Andy Rementer (his Spirit of the Owl illustration is shown at the top of this post), Marcus Oakley, Drew Millward, Jay Cover, Jack Teagle, and more…


Spirit of the Bear, Drew Millward

“Matthew and I really enjoyed collaborating on our DOOOM 3.0 exhibion/project for Nobrow,” explains Boam of how the project started, “and we are often bothering each other with daft phone calls and stupid e-mails about all sorts of ridiculous nonsense. Actually, this was mostly Matthew’s idea. I just kind of went along with it.”


Spirit of the Hedgehog, by Jon Boam

“Matt already had experience selling his own tee’s with his h-o-r-s-e label and a fondness for hippie tie dye animal shirts,” continues Boam. “We both love animals and find shamanism and spiritual stuff genuinely fascinating so we asked a bunch of our favourite drawing pals to draw spirit animals and amazingly they all agreed!”


Spirit of the Cat, Marcus Oakley

“One of the initial reasons for the  project was to work with some of our favourite artists,” Hodson affirms. “Beyond the actual T-shirt illustrators, we’ve had some amazing [animal art] submissions to the Spirit of the Animal blog we’ve set up. It seems to be an idea lots of image makers want to respond to. As a result we’re planning on a zine release with some of our favourite submissions.”

“We did the tie dyeing in Jon’s garden in Chesterfield,” Hodson continues. “Apparently his neighbor was heard grumbling ‘bloody tie dye’ at the sight of 50 shirts drying in the wind. Most of the shirts are dyed with two colours, one more subtle than the other. We screen printed at Leeds college of art.”

“We printed 240 shirts, so that’s 26 garments per artist,” Hodson tells us. “They are  super limited and won’t be reprinted. Jon and I are hoping to run a second series for next summer, this time with female artists. Essentially, the project is about liking animals and feeling good. Some people are put off by the tie dye thing, but I’d encourage them to try one on. It’s just like a green T-shirt but with bits of white in it. I want to endorse monkeys and peace and I don’t think I’m alone.”

Fans of the T-shirts will be delighted to know that they will be exhibited for a few days at Beach London‘s East London gallery and shop from October 13-18. They are also available to buy online (while stocks last) from spiritoftheanimal.bigcartel.com. Do check out Spirit of the Animal blog too at spiritoftheanimal.tumblr.com

CR in Print

Thanks for reading the CR Blog but if you’re not also reading the magazine in print, you’re really missing out. Our October issue includes the story of Blackpool’s Comedy Carpet, a profile of Jake Barton whose studio is currently working on the 9/11 Memorial Museum, plus pieces on branding and the art world, guerilla advertising coming of age, Google’s Android logo, Ars Electronica, adland and the riots, and loads more.

And, if you subscribe to CR, you also receive our award-winning Monograph booklet every month for free.

If you would like to buy this issue and are based in the UK, you can search for your nearest stockist here. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 292 3703 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.

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