6 Nov 2011
Strike Fightwear are a new UK based fightwear company who commissioned me to design a number of pieces of art for use as t-shirts, rashguards, grappling tights, adverts and many other items. It was a huge project and I'm very pleased to see they've opened up shop and are doing very well already.
It's a bit nervy to be entrusted with quite a bit of responsibility, I mean my designs have to be attractive enough for people to want to buy them and help launch the brand! Thankfully, since the Strike Fightwear website launched earlier last month, the cool kids in the BJJ block have been happily purchasing items.
Here are some more photos and details about the designs I created...
Mushuu the Macaque
When Strike Fightwear contacted me, they pretty much left me with an open brief. As a company, they wanted to avoid the cliched use of skulls and other similar motifs used in a lot of MMA clothing, but apart from that, they were happy to consider any ideas I came up with.
I've been sketching small monkeys as grappling creatures for a while now and my sketchbook contains a zoo-full of apish characters. The Macaque seemed to me a perfect jiu jitsu creature - small, tricky, mischevious, skilled and fast. A bit like me (not) ha!
Fellow blogger (and sports science expert) William Wayland named my character Mashuu in a contest run by Strike. Although, ahem! I'm not sure what it means myself (yes I googled it too).
The Strike Fightwear lads seemed to really love the macaque and adopted it as their unofficial mascot (the dragon head is their official logo). Pretty neat to see how they have used it on rash guards and grappling tights too! If you are quick, you can also order the macaque as a zipped or non-zipped hoodie and choose from a staggering 20 colours!!!
50 Foot Lutadora!
I love this design - even if I do say so myself :) The original film poster is in my opinion a B-movie classic.
I actually designed my version to be a poster too (see below) but it seemed to work well as a design on a Brazilian footie top.
In order to add to the feeling of authenticity, I hired a translator to add some film-style Portuguese language text to the design.
Of all the concept ideas I sent over to Strike Fightwear, I included a couple of dragon designs. I thought that being a company based in Wales, perhaps something to hint at their Welsh heritage might be cool so I drew this Western style dragon / MMA Fighter.
I must admit, I had a bit of help here, while the head and wings are my own original creation, I did rely heavily on a well-known MMA fighter's pose in this photo. The design was originally meant to have the wings spread all the way over onto the t-shirt sleeves, but the printers said they could not print that large, so it got shrunk! It's still cool in my opinion, and I'm very excited to see the rashguard that Strike are planning to bring out that features my dragon:
I want to really thank Strike Fightwear for giving me the chance to design, not just one, but a whole ton of characters for them. I really love what they are doing and their energy and spirit seems to suggest they'll go far. In particular, I like the way they are very active on Facebook - giving a lot of feedback to customers and interested people. They also sponsor fighters and give away tons of stuff with regular contests. So go 'like' their Facebook Page if you have time and of course, buy stuff!
So onto my top secret next big project for Strike Fightwear, hmm, not sure how much I can say on the subject, but I'm pretty pumped about it. Ummm, okay, here's a teeny preview teaser of my artwork for the product:
T-shirts, from £12.49 (special promotion price)
Rashguards from £28.99
Grappling Tights from £34.99 (available soon)
BJJ Gis from £58.99 (available soon)
Shipping - UK and all over the world.