When I first found out about Keith Walsh’s idea to do a T-shirt a day every day for a year, I thought it would be a good idea to do a feature on him and the company he runs Turtlehead. We spoke to Keith plus we have some cool T-shirts to give away too.. (see below).
What gave you the idea to do one T-shirt a day?
The idea for a year of tees came about as kind of a dare, kind of a bet and kind of a challenge for myself. I was doing a few tees here and there as well as art direction and graphic design.
I like to keep myself busy so I decided it would be a bit of a challenge to design one t-shirt a week for a year. I was talking it over with some friends and after a few beers I was challenged to try one a day.
After 5 beers it seemed like a good idea. 6 months later, not such a good idea. I actually had a blast doing it. Sometimes the ideas flowed, sometimes it was a struggle. But I am delighted to have finished it.
When did you launch Turtlehead?
I launched Turtlehead in 2006. I was traveling for a year, and got into street art while I was in Melbourne. When I returned home I couldn’t find any decent street inspired tees anywhere, so I decided to start my own. I met up with Will S. Leger, an amazing Irish street artist, and he became one of the first artists to design a t-shirt for turtlehead?
Was their a ‘mission statement’ as to the sort of T-shirts you wanted to sell on Turtlehead?
I always wanted to sell the kind of tees that I wanted to wear. It was very hard at the time to get artists tees. So I contacted them myself and got some incredible artists on board. There was never really a brief for the artists, we just wanted to be socially aware.
Our mission statement has always been to “Keep one eye on the establishment, one of the subversive, and another on stuff we like“. Our goal is not to bring down governments or save rainforests but we do what we can to help in any way we can. We have worked on lots of charities over the year, donating time, designs, and tees to causes we believe in.
Our designs are part social commentary, part rant, part art, part up theirs, and part down with that sort of thing.
Where do your ideas come from?
The ideas can come from anywhere, an overheard snippet of conversation, something I read, a song I heard, a photo in a magazine. At the moment I am collecting vintage magazines and photos, and am loving www.archive.org. So for me at the moment the ideas are all coming from lots of old school places.
Are all Turtlehead T-shirts designed in house?
A few of the Turtlehead ideas are done in house by myself, but most are done by artists from all over the world. I approach artists I love and most of the time they say yes. I also approach local and international I know through other projects. David Shrigley was the first person I asked as I have always been a massive fan. When he said yes, it was easier to ask other artists.
Which is your favourite Turtlehead T-Shirt?
It’s hard to say which would be my favorite Turtlehead tee. I’m proud to have Shrigley on board, I love the Oxfam project we have just finished, I really love Chris Judge’s ‘last leaf’, and Will St. Legers ‘I hate bread’. Of mine it’s probably ‘quack’.
We have 2 T-Shirts to give away, the winner will receive one T-Shirt of their choice from A Year of Tees, and another from Turtlehead.
** This competition is now closed, to view our latest competitions click HERE **
Competition closes 8th July 2011. Open to all, one entry per person.
Usual Terms and Conditions.