10 Aug 2011

Meerkatsu Art: Satanic Versus

I was commissioned to design a T-shirt for entrants to the Grapplers Showdown NoGi 4 Challenge tournament, which happens on Saturday 18th June in London. Here is the link:
If you enter now, you'll get the chance to pick up this T for free. Otherwise, it might be available to buy on the day. Division winners will receive the T as a prize.

And here is the T-shirt:

If you'll indulge me, here's the story of how this design came to be...

Grapplers Showdown is a very popular NoGi and sometime Gi tournament held in London each year. Comp T-shirts are always something that this event has done and the forthcoming NoGi 4 is no exception.

I pretty much had a free rein to draw anything I liked so I just randomly came up with the idea of a human grappler beating up the devil. If you wanted to dig a little deeper, I guess you could suggest the concept is a visual metaphor to illustrate the many 'demons' we all go through in our battle to become better grapplers. You could think that, but I have to be honest, I just drew it because it's the first thing that popped into my head.

But as you can see from this early sketch, human was originally using an armbar on old Beelzebub:

I posted the above sketch on my recently created Facebook page: BJJ Artists (more about that later) and received some very useful expert feedback from professional designers and artists. The main suggestions were to add flames and change the submission from an armbar into a crucifix choke/lock. BINGO!

Here is the next stage concept sketch:

The next stage was to use my pencil sketch as a template and perform the slightly tedious task of inking up all of the artwork using the vector program Adobe Illustrator. Actually one could easily use an automatic tool like Live Trace but I decided instead to use the brush tool, and set my Wacom pen to pressure sensitive. This set-up simulates the feel of using an analogue brush to paint the line art and gives it that more artistic feel to the linework. But it does take a while :s

Once the line art was done, I chose a couple of colours and voila - the artwork plus my suggested logo and text placement (I wanted a full moon effect before deciding to go with the on fire idea):

I came up with the final strapline: "And on the eighth day...man created jiu jitsu".

Hope my use of cartoony satanic imagery has not offended anyone, at least the devil is getting his ass whooped :D

Oh and finally, here's the unused idea for the back of the T-shirt:


About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


AndrewWrites said...

That is AWESOME!

If you want to send one to Australia, just let me know! haha!

enter the hero said...

great t shirt dude very cool idea.nice concept and very good drawings.i need me one of these

d henwood said...

yay i remember suggesting stuff lol, this is a very cool design n as it contains no blood, skulls or knives is still awesome;)


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