Ceci n'est pas une... t-shirt?
Long before I became I designer I was a writer of poetry and fiction. Reading and writing have always been the way that I digest and process life and world events, and until recently I have kept that part of my creative practice to myself.
What does this have to do with T-Shirts?
The trope of the broke poet has always been one that I like to examine.
Creative careers are often framed as hobbies that cost more money than they make; none more so than that of a poet. Creatives who are able to generate income from their work are often derided and considered sell-outs. It was with an ironic nod that I crafted one of my poems into a marketing project. "This Is Not a Tshirt" is a poem that I wrote that explores the nature of attachment and the application of meaning to objects; how personal associations cause attachments to form.
How we explored creativity and pop-art was about to change.
Last year, days before Vancouver was shut down by COVID19, I had the opportunity to co-produce a video of the poem with Prudence Gogh and Kevin Chi. The B roll was never shot though, and as shut downs have continued, I edited a 'light' version of the shoot while Brit got select lines from the poem on t-shirts available on Lippy Hippy site. Now #thispoemhasmerch!
Although I take my poetry seriously, I am always on board for a good art joke. We posted a picture featuring a mug with the title on it and the appropriate Magritte painting in the background on Instagram. We thought we were funny, but apparently Facebook disagreed, and so we took it down. (See my previous post about our Facebook + Google advertising woes...)
Without further ado, here is the full version of the pandemic edit of the video. The t-shirts in the video where hand painted (we had not yet productized them) and everyone involved volunteered their time. If you are interested in following along with the poetry side of things, follow my poetry account @peripheralkid. (The complete poem as an image is below the video if you prefer.)