Helvetica Robots = Helbotica
This one goes in the category, 'Things I Wish I Thought of, Oh Wait I Did But Never Finished it': Helbotica t-shirt by Jonathan Yule at ChopShop:
That's it, we're moving to Japan!
...really, you have no idea how sad it makes me the we are so far down on that list. How will there be able to be a robot uprising if we don't ever have enough robots?! C'mon, people! Get with the AI program!
I am a t-shirt fiend. Really, I think I may have a problem. I can't wear t-shirts to work, but I still have a closet and drawers-full of t-shirts, from Threadless to Oddica, to my favorite band(s), to the random robot shirt from wheresizit. This creates envy at our house sometimes, cos the Bubby pretty much ONLY wears t-shirts, and while Threadless and Oddica both sell kid versions of several of their shirts, they always seem to be out of the groovy ones we like which he also would like, and there's only so many Paul Frank/Small Paul kid's shirts he can wear. And so the Bubby complains (understandably), wondering why he doesn't have cool t-shirts like Daddy?
...so I decided to make him one.
I've been wanting to submit something to the Threadless t-shirt competition for a long time, but generally doubt my illustration/design skills and have been meaning to do a couple of 'warm-up' tees just to get used to the idea of drawing something that will be printed on a shirt. So, with my main Bubby in mind, I set out in early December to make him a robot t-shirt of his very own, in time for Christmas. My first step was to use a pencil to sketch the robot, and then ink it in on the paper. My concept was that just like Bubby wanting his Daddy's t-shirt collection, even robots start small:
Next up was converting it to a format I could sent to the printer. So I scanned the picture, and then tweaked it quickly in Adobe Photoshop CS3 to isolate the white and black colors (using a combo adjustment Layers and Threshold). Then I imported the flattened image into Adobe Illustrator CS3. For those of you familiar with Illustrator, you know they have the 'Live Trace' option, which you can use to have it (attempt to) convert an image like a photograph/scan into a vector image, with anchor points, fill colors, etc. Basically, it's a help in digitizing hand-drawn illustrations.
Live Trace is a help, and they certainly have made it more useful in the last couple of versions of Creative Suite, but it still requires work, and I've found it's got a bit of a learning curve. So after importing and tracing in Illustrator, I then cleaned up the drawing itself, rounding off rough-edges, but still trying to keep it looking like something that was done with a regular pen, not an auto-shape hose from Illustrator.
There are many options for self-printing your own art online. Probably the oldest is Cafe Press, but being the oldest, it's mostly crowded with caca, and I don't like the interface so much. Awhile back, I received a beta invitation to do testing with a company called Spreadshirt, which is a print-on-demand site where you can upload your own art and print it on a variety of items. (In fact, at that point, their domain was www.spreadshirt.net. They have since obtained the highly desireable .com extension.) I like the Spreadshirt interface, and at the time I received my invite, obtained a domain prefix I like: KillerRobot.spreadshirt.com. For these and a few other reasons, I decided to go with Spreadshirt for my own on-demand print need. They printed the shirt within 24 hours and shipped it immediately (and then, UPS screwed it up by taking 11 days to ship a 3-Day Select package).
So the day after Christmas, Bubby's very own special robot kid t-shirt, drawn just for him, arrived:
The Bubby loves it, and wore it for about 3 straight days, before we finally had to make him change and give it it's first wash. Jenni kept insisting she wanted one, too, and then it occurred to me that maybe I wanted one, too, after all the time I put into it. Well, the good news is, YOU can get one, too, if you like:
Visit KillerRobot.spreadshirt.com, where I currently have up mens, womens, and a couple of children's versions of the robot kid t-shirt, which first and foremost was for the Bubby. The whole driving force was that kids should have cool tees, too, so if your little robot likes robots as much as ours does, this may be a great, super-late Christmas present (or New Year's present?). And to help you with your own fashion bailout plan, I am happy to pass along a Spreadshirt coupon code for a 20.09% discount off your order (until January 16th). Simply type in the code NEW29 when you check out. (Minimum order of $20, and does not count against shipping).
Either way, that's one of the many things I've been up to lately. Hope you like the shirt, and happy new year!
We went and saw WALL-E again this weekend, and again loved it. Seeing the sleek, translucent look of EVE and the other robots got me to thinking about the relationship between Apple, Pixar, and the robots in WALL-E. It doesn't take much imagination to see striking similarities between EVE and the trendy line of Apple products.
As it turns out, there is. From Fortune: Apple's Jonathan Ive helped Design the heroine of Pixar's Wall-E.
"I wanted Eve to be high-end technology - no expense spared - and I wanted it to be seamless and for the technology to be sort of hidden and subcutaneous," Andrew Stanton, Wall-E's director, told Fortune. "The more I started describing it, the more I realized I was pretty much describing the Apple playbook for design."
A while back, my loverly wife surprised me (as she so often does) with a handmade gift:
A great, handmade crotched robot box! Designed all on her own, and so lovingly made with her two beautiful hands.
I love that the antenna are a heart. Seriously, people, my wife really loves me, and I totally don't deserve her, or her wonderful love. (Click on the picture to enlarge.)
Look at the stitching! It's so great! I don't know exactly how long it took her to make this, but to tell the truth, it actually had a present inside it, too, (which I'll feature later)!
The inside is lined with this very fun fabric, which I love. I really like items that conceal a luxurious feature on the inside, like a lined suit jacket that has a printed silk pattern inside the arms. This surprise inside, the thing that only you may know about even, gives it an extra charm, I think.
I am the charmed one, to have such a loverly wife. You may notice that 'Etsy,' is one of the tags to this post, and that is because my wife is just about done with a surplus of items that she is going to be selling on her soon-to-be-opened Etsy store. And quite honestly, you'd better be on your toes, because they're going to sell out fast.
...and you know you want one...
...well, not really, but I was playing LEGOs with the Bubby a couple days back, and I decided to challenge myself to see if I could make the robot Wall*e from the upcoming Disney film of same name, without using a visual aid. I'm normally quite bad at working without visual help, in any media.
Here's how it turned out:
(Not bad, if I say so myself! And seriously, it's not always robots at our house...sometimes it's spaceships and other sci-fi stuff...=^)
This time we welcome the 'Galaxy' robot, who is advanced enough that he walks on his own (if you wind him first).
If you're counting at home (and I really hope none of you are), now we're up to...well, we're up to a lot of robots at our house.
Jenni gave me an early stocking stuffer the other day, a fun Christmas ornament robot that she found at the always wonderful Earth Bones shop in Sundance Square, downtown Fort Worth.
I shall call him 'Kyobi!'
...evidenced yet again by a robot surprise, the groovy zipper pull
(The STM messenger laptop bag pictured with it, however, does not
enthrall me so much, having just ripped in a second spot, and being
just 11 months old.)
So the other day, out of the blue, Mary Beth surprised me with the groovy little robot below, Miro, made by Etsy artisan Vandicklier:
Check him out in all his majesty...no seriously, check him out! (And don't forget to click the landscaped pics to enlarge.)
Silly question, since we've seen Vandicklier's groovy work before, but 'Does his latch work?'
Heck yeah it does!
So thanks a bunch, Mary Beth! What a nice surprise! And let's all keep up the good work of supporting those great folks over at Etsy.
My loverly wife is not the only person who has so wonderfully surprised me with something robot-related. My voonderbob sister also surprised me--OUT OF NOWHERE!!!--with this gift (which she also found on Etsy):
I have no idea why I really like robots so much. I think some of it is how Dad likes old sci-fi and how we used to watch a lot with him, particularly when we were little. Some of it is probably my affection for the now-dead 'Horizons' ride at EPCOT Center and how there were just a ton of robots in it. Either way, while I may not know exactly the mystery behind my affinity for all things robotica, I DO know that I am most grateful to my sister and my wife for their recent fun sturprises (yes, I meant to spell it that way) that they have so thoughtfully and generously bequeathed me. Thank you so much, Sarah and Jenni. I love you both so much.
Don't forget to click on the pics. They will enlarge for greater detail!
Recently, Jenni surprised me with a new robot! And not just any robot, Marcus the Robot, hand-made by Vandicklier.
Check out his majesty!
No, seriously, check it out:
Everybody at work has stopped by to inquire about the new addition to my desk, and everybody has asked the same question:
'Does the latch work?'
WHY, YES IT DOES!!!
He is a fairly advanced robot. He runs on pipe cleaners. Very energy efficient.
I love the detail Vandicklier went to in building this thing. It's great, and I really love it.
Thanks so much to my wonderful wife for such a fun surprise. Now, you all know I love robots, and Vandicklier has tons more. And really, if he knew how much I liked them, he'd charge more than $16 at his Etsy store. But since that's it, you all may go buy me one.
(No, I'm not putting a smiley face here, cos I'm serious. I love robots!)
We found a whole, robot-village!
So props to Vandicklier, and much thanks to my loverly wife. My wonderful seester also recently surprised me with some robot paraphernalia, and as soon as Jenni gets her fair share of glory, it will be Sarah's time for hers...
...so while I didn't take home an iPhone over the weekend, I did get a very fun box of goodies from my favorite online t-shirt stop (which is NOT Threadless)...
Open up the box, and what's inside? All this ill-booten-gotty (thousand points to the first person who rightly identifies that quote!), all of which makes up the Oddica Robot Trilogy:
One of the things I prefer about Oddica over Threadless is that with each shirt you buy, they give you a corresponding 'library-card' style bookmark, as well as a pin. (Another reason Oddica is better is that when you order stuff, it ships and you get it immediately, whereas Threadless charges you immediately, and sometimes ships your stuff 10 days later.)
I only really liked two of the robot shirts (sorry Robot-fighting-the-bear shirt), but what really pushed me over the edge was the very cool Robot tin it all came in ('limited edition' of only 55...until they print more, but who cares, I really like it):
I really liked this shirt:
...and this one...
And this groovy sticker is either going on the back of the Mac Book Pro, or on the VW...
We like Robots at our house, particularly killer robots bent on destruction and world domination. In keeping with this, Jenni and Noah gave me (among other things) the t-shirt above for Father's day, part of a load of things they did to make it a wonderful weekend for me, a so-so father. I love them so much, and am so grateful that I will clearly be showing my allegiance the day robots take over. I hope Sonny will put in a good word for us...
Thanks to Jenni and Noah, and also Mom and Dad and Mary Beth and Grandma and Matty, who all made this a great weekend!