One of my coworkers asked me to design a tee shirt for our cafe. He joked that it could be a competition between me and another coworker/ artist (who was asked to design one a while ago, but hasn’t yet). I have no idea whether the shirts will ever be printed, but it seemed like a good challenge. Because I don’t have much in the way of a finished design, I will share my inspiration photos and thought process.

I am making a botanical design, since the cafe is in a wooded area and our logo is an acorn with two oak leaves. I would also like to incorporate some design elements referencing the spiraled metal columns out front.

Marathons of LA Ink on Netflix streaming have inspired me to make the design in the shape of a tattooed chest piece. (You can Google “chest tattoo” yourself, if you need to see basically what I’m talking about… I didn’t link to one because I couldn’t find any that look enough like what I’m thinking of.) This shape is well suited to a deep v-necked tee like the one below.

I don’t like the over-sized tees that many companies adorn with their logos, so I sought out something online that is a little nicer. However, since this specific shirt (a cheap cotton tee from Old Navy) would probably only please the female baristas, I’ll keep looking for one for the guys. Also, this shade of gray would look great printed in white ink.

In my search for chest pieces, I found this pretty tattoo (I forget where), based on classical leaf motif scroll work. In the design I have so far, I have taken elements from this, made the leaves into oak leaves and adapted it quite a bit.