While we should regularly observe and study traditional art and its history to inform our own pieces, deviantART exists as a community to encourage those within it to push the limits of “normal” and loudly embrace the title of “deviant”!
In life, there’s a lot of black-and-white. To maintain order, things are sorted into categories and organized into piles. Signs all around us dictate what we can and can’t do, but rarely do they inspire us to create and imagine. When brainstorming this shirt, I very clearly imagined standing in front of a stark door, and on it was written “NORMAL” in black and all caps. Simple. Nothing fancy. Serious.
Another vision appeared in my mind as I was brainstorming. The same door, the same authoritarian font, but this time, someone had scrawled something over the text, taking “NORMAL” right out of the equation, and leaving a beautiful, dripping reminder that sometimes it’s the right thing to deviate from the norm, go outside of the mainstream, and be DEVIANT!
This philosophy is exactly what I was going for when I set out to design Never Normal, and I really like how it turned out. Starting with a silver brush pen, I practiced drawing a simple sentence in my sketchbook. This proved to be too elegant, so I experimented with other methods, designs, and emotions.
Pages and pages of my book were covered with different variations of the word deviantART or some version of it. I experimented with many different fonts in black marker and inverted the colors digitally, just to see how the silver would look against a dark surface.
The experimentation of different thicknesses, tips, and inks went on thanks to a full quiver of pens. It’s always good to have a host of tools at the ready.
With a broad silver marker, I experimented with Krink Ink on a blue surface. It looked beautiful on the rich hue, and the piece’s name was coined.
Next, I added wet drips and splattering to the piece. I turned it yellow digitally to test out that color scheme. It was striking for sure and definitely worth remembering for future projects, but I ultimately ended up with a few different color combinations as my favorites.
The final shirt colors were chosen to be mailbox blue and brick red. Metallic ink was specially ordered, and the design was sent to the printer. We were so excited to see the outcome.
The metallic ink was more successful than I expected. It was printed straight over the “NORMAL” text and dramatically dripped down the front.
These shirts help prove that striking through convention, breaking out from the norm, and finding comfort and strength in making your dreams come to life is the most powerful thing a deviant can do. And it’s never normal.
Deviants play well with others!