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Moondog T shirt

Moondog T shirt
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About the T Shirt...

The latest release from Socialfabrik, an exclusive T shirt design by Manchester based illustrator Ben Lamb.

T shirt designer Ben Lamb shares his inspiration and process…

When Eddie at Social Fabrik commissioned me to create some Moondog artwork, I was reading a lot of Jack Kirby stuff. Now, I wouldn’t for one second put myself and Kirby in the same category… Hell, we shouldn’t even be in the same sentence! But, I started thinking that there could be some way of taking a bit of Kirby’s influence and applying it to the late, great jazz maverick Moondog with potentially ripe results. I mean, even his name sounds like something Kirby might have come up with, and of course there’s Kirby’s propensity for space and the cosmos. Plus, the man wore a viking helmet so, you know, it needed to be drawn. Moondog as comic book hero… The Viking Of 6th Avenue conjuring spectral melodies out of the fabric of space… Sounded like a plan to me!

Moondog drawings

I work in a fairly intuitive way. I’ll have some idea in my head of how something should look, but there will other elements that come to me along the way. I sort of build things up as I go, working on lots of bits of paper, reworking things and piecing elements together. From the outset I knew he would be in space, wearing his viking helmet. I also knew I wanted his closed eyes to be visible because I thought that might hint at his internal world, the mysterious place where his music comes from. But beyond that, I didn’t really know what other elements might make it into the piece. The hands came later, another little nod to Kirby, reaching out, trying to give form to something. And for a while I played around with the idea of a moon with his name in and even a sort of comic book title logo. But none of those ideas stuck, and I wondered if they were a bit of overkill. So in the end I went with some cosmic ribbon lettering, which I enjoy doing and adds some rhythm too. It was a fun piece to do, especially as Eddie gave me total creative freedom.

Moondog T shirt process 1

Moondog T shirt process 2

Moondog final design

Ben Lamb is an illustrator and designer who has worked with clients including Sperry Top-Sider, Levi’s Made & Crafted, Levi’s Vintage Clothing, Oi Polloi, The FADER, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, Jameson Irish Whiskey, The Nextmen and Piccadilly Records. You can see more of Bens work at his online portfolio – http://blamb.co.uk

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