This Guitar tee design started with me staring at a black & white pic of Marilyn Monroe playing an acoustic Guitar. I thought to myself, “that would look cool as a Guitar t-shirt”.
Online images may appear blurry on some devices,
but T-Shirt images are high resolution.
It ended up being quite a challenge, due to the framing of the original photo which omitted part of her leg in a weird way, hence the positioning of one of the fish, and the accompanying flower to mask this problem.
The next design element that I messed around with was the font. I ended up going with a Metal looking font that I used on a previous tee called “Metal Maniac”. Now that I had the font, I needed some kind of slogan. There were many pre-existing phrases out there like, happy birthday Mr president, and other corny ones as well.
I couldn’t find anything I liked, so I finally said to myself, well, she lived in the fast lane. So what can I say about that in a slogan. I knew I wanted to keep it simple. So that’s what I did. “Livin’ in the Fast Lane”. Easy, nothing more, nothing less.
After working with the colours, brightness, contrast, as well as getting rid of parts of the original tattoo-type image that didn’t work alongside Marilyn, I was finally left with realisation that it just looked plain and bare. There was too much space left over.
There was a big gap on one side, the side of her strumming arm. I tried many different tattoo flash type images. I found that after adding those fish and flowers, the only other images that went with the rest of the design were tattoo flash images.
After much frustration, I finally came up with the snake. It filled the space nicely and fitted well with the other images. I did quite a bit of modification with regards to the snake’s colour, saturation, hue, contrast, brightness, and everything else that I could possibly do to get it to work with existing images.
At this stage, I had been working on it for too long. I needed to clear my head of anything to do with this tee design for a while and come back fresh later on. So I went and played my electric guitar for several hours. When I came back to it, I said, “It’s too sparse”. Yes, it still needed something else. I wished it didn’t, but it did.
Backgrounds. That’s what I needed to do. Try a whole bunch of them, and that’s what I did. I ended up with the cool skull background that you see before you now. I just tweaked it a bit and added a bluish filter. The end – FINALLY!