19 Mar 2012


So this weekend, I began work on the sequel to last year's honey badger themed rashguard that was made by Tatami Fightwear. The poster above gives a hint to how the final design will look - think Kill Bill, Manga, splattered blood, old Chinese kung fu movies, East Asian cinema weirdness and you should et the idea of what my influences are in this design. I'll post more of this later as the design comes along.

In the meantime, fans of the series will be pleased to note that the Honey Badger Gi will shortly be landing in the UK and then shipped to various outlets around the world. As far as I know, the incomplete list of places that will stock the honey badger gi include:

Tatami Fightwear
Budovideos
MMAOutlet
Martialartsupplies.com
NHBGear
Fighters Market
BT Fightgear Japan



In other news, check out scienceofskill, it's a blog set up by BJJ Instructor Dan Faggella. Dan kindly picked me out under his 'Top BJJ Nerd' series of blog posts. Thanks Dan!

Finally, for all the drawings I've done, I never really had one place where I can show off my portfolio of bestest work. I'm still not really there, however, if you click at the top under 'Meerkatsu Art' you will see I have compiled some recent work that I quite like and I think represents the variety of topics and pen styles.

Enjoy.

:)

Honey Badger Rash V2012 and other news

So this weekend, I began work on the sequel to last year's honey badger themed rashguard that was made by Tatami Fightwear. The post...

16 Mar 2012



Summary
With cool branding and a good fit, this gi has a lot of potential however it could do with a few significant tweaks, notably the itchy tape lining, loose threads and rapidly deteriorating inner screen print.

Introduction
I've always found it odd when companies brand themselves after strong pop-culture imagery and then refuse to carry any of those images on their apparel. Zombie Kimonos is one such brand. Have a look at their website - you won't see a single zombie image on there. Sure the biohazard symbol kind of alludes to it, but it irked me so much that last year, when the owner of Zombie Kimonos contacted me offering a gi for review, I suggested I would do it only if they would at least make a patch with a zombie on it. That patch design is here, only, it's not been made yet. so Zombie Kimonos at present, remains zombie-less. Regardless, it seems the emphasis with the brand is less about zombies, more about raising funds to support jiu jitsu athletes. As the About Us section states:

" I created this company out of my passion for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well as my hope and vision to one day one day "Give Back to Jiu-Jitsu" by helping compensate the top level athletes of our sport and sponsor new and upcoming talent."


Giving back is a laudable aim and I commend that for a mission statement. Now let's get on with the review...

Gi Review: Zombie Kimonos 550

Summary With cool branding and a good fit, this gi has a lot of potential however it could do with a few significant tweaks, notably th...

12 Mar 2012

I want to give a shout out to a couple of BJJ-related charity projects that I have been honoured to be involved with in some small way:

TAP CANCER OUT
Tap Cancer Out (TCO) began last year as a mission to use the power of the BJJ community to raise funds for cancer research.  Headed by Jon Thomas, the non profit organisation produces patches, t-shirts, events and other activities all in aid of various cancer charities. The beneficiary for 2012 will be the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society. TCO have just announced a novel tournament format in which entrants must be fundraisers.


The design above is a sneak preview of artwork for a t-shirt I have designed for TCO, along with assistance from some of my friends, including Scramble. All profits from the tee will go towards TCO. The tee will be released in a few weeks. when it does I'll write about this design a little more as it involves an interesting back story.
Website: http://www.tapcancerout.org/
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/TapCancerOut


MIXED MARTIAL HEARTS
Popular Texan based website The Caged Door have just started a series of fund raising activities under the banner of 'Mixed Martial Hearts' which raises funds for Heartgift.org. This charity provides lifesaving surgery to repair congenital heart defects in children who live in countries where this kind of medical care is not available.


The t-shirt above has just been printed and proceeds from the sale will go towards the Mixed Martial Hearts charity. The sponsors on the back have kindly donated some aspect or other of their time and expertise. I offered my support and also found a graphic designer (Scott Miller) and a printer (Handprint Store) willing to donate their time to create the tees so I guess that's why my logo is on the back.
Website: http://www.thecagedoor.net/perspectives/mixed-martial-hearts


Gi Drive
Gi Drive is the brainchild of fellow gi reviewer Brendan Hufford. With the help of his extensive network of BJJ friends Brendan has managed to acquire over 100 second hand but still very usable BJJ uniforms. In order to send them to the communities in Brazil that need them, he needs to raise over $4,000. and he's doing this with a series of novel and interesting auctions and offers on his website.
He reached out and asked if I could contribute in some way so I thought I would offer my last ever honey badger rashguard and a bunch of Meerkatsu designed t-shirts. To be honest I thought they might not really be much interest but when he posted them up on his Gi Drive website they were gone within minutes!


The photo above shows just a few of the many gis he has collected to give away to communities in Brazil that want to train jiu jitsu but do not have the money to buy uniforms.

Website: http://beta.indiegogo.com/gidrive
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/GiDrive


Good luck to all the charities listed here. I hope my small contribution was able to make a difference. I hope readers might also be convinced enough by these causes to donate or offer their support. Even if they do not wish to support, liking a Facebook page and sharing the page on their walls can really help bring these charities out to a wider audience.

Cheers.


.

Charity Projects

I want to give a shout out to a couple of BJJ-related charity projects that I have been honoured to be involved with in some small way: TA...
Summary
I sample three brands of full length tights designed specifically for grapplers: Scramble 'spats', Strike Fightwear 'Mashuu' grappling tights and the Tatami Fightwear 'GenX' grappling tights. Having not worn tights before I was surprised how much comfort they added during training and possibly a small modicum of soft tissue support.
None of the models sampled here are classed as 'compression wear'.

Introduction
Grappling tights have been around for quite a few years - a quick trawl through Sherdog's equipment discussion forums brings up mentions of spats/tights around 2008 - see here for the link.  Wrestlers have long worn colourful lycra leggings and tights and it is probably this that influenced Japanese grapplers to adopt their own highly coloured 'spats' during grappling matches. The most notable example would have to be Shinya Aoki with his infamous Rainbow spats. I came across this web article in 2009 reporting on the phenomenon of 'Meggings' in Japan. It was clearly only a matter of time before the craze for tights hit the UK market...

Review: Grappling Tights

Summary I sample three brands of full length tights designed specifically for grapplers: Scramble 'spats', Strike Fightwear '...

6 Mar 2012

I've been very lucky recently to have been involved with a large number of design projects. My thanks to all those who commissioned me, I hope they like their designs. Here is a brief rundown of recent artwork:

THUNDERCAT
Personal logo for Pro MMA fighter Craig 'Thundercat' White. Craig will print these off for his friends and followers and also use the design on a walk-out t-shirt. Good luck to Craig on his future fights.



OSS! CLOTHING DRAGON T-SHIRTS
My ever expanding portfolio of oriental dragons continues apace with a couple of designs I drew for Oss Clothing - the brand that hired my to design the Miyao Brothers signature t-shirt. Below the coiling dragon floats surrounded by water and clouds. The chinese words say: chéng fēng pò làng - riding wind and waves (click here for explanation).


I also drew another dragon, originally designed to go on the other side of the wind and waves dragon but Oss liked it so much as a standalone design that they will issue a separate t-shirt. Here is a draft of what it looks like:


If the postures, poses and angles of Chinese dragons here look familiar, then it's worth noting that most classically depicted Chinese dragons are modelled on several very famous sculptures, pottery designs, costumes and other items of art harking back to dynastic times. The most famous of these is the 9 Dragons  Wall in Beihei Park, Beijing, China. It is hands down my personal favourite among all depictions of Chinese dragons and I used to marvel at it for hours on every one of my many trips to China in the past.


X-GUARD BRAND T-SHIRT
A slightly different style of design from the ones above, this design focused more on the energy and movement typical in many BJJ matches. I sampled from my own collection of BJJ photographs taken at the many tournaments I have attended. I then reduced the pictures down to just black and white lines and composed them into a giant 'X'. The end result is an intentional melee of arms, legs, torsos, gis, belts etc. The printed tees should be available any day or so.


PITBULL FIGHTWEAR T-SHIRT
The owner of Pitbull Fightwear liked my previous design for him (Chinese Lions) and commissioned another. This time he was clear that he wanted a more traditional MMA style of art. I took this to mean skulls, wings and snakes - which I love drawing! I drew each element one by one (wing, skull, dog collar, pitbull terrier skull, snake), scanned then and vectorised then composed into the final piece on Adobe Illustrator.


If you like my fightwear designs, then it's probably a good idea to keep checking on my Facebook Page to keep up with the latest new designs. I often show sneak previews and early stages of new work and talk about the direction such work is going.

Plenty more design news coming up. If I get time, I hope to discuss the details of the above projects on my art blog - MeerkatsuArt.


:)

Meerkatsu Art: Thundercats, dragons and flying skulls

I've been very lucky recently to have been involved with a large number of design projects. My thanks to all those who commissioned me, ...

 

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