Thu 18 Nov 2010
Now that it’s fall and the busy summer season has winded down, I’ve had more time to work on new Lincoln Apparel designs. I’ve been wanting to make more designs for awhile; my last new design was “Wide Awake Club” which I created in March and finally had printed in July.
I recently completed my “Young Mr. Lincoln” design, which is in the process of being printed right now. The design is a return to the bright colors and complex artwork that has defined Lincoln Apparel since the beginning, and that has become one of the most beloved qualities of my work. While I like what I did with “Wide Awake Club” I feel looking back it at it that the colors are kind of bland compared to the rest of my work (though necessarily so, since it’s supposed to resemble a campaign T-shirt).
I thought of the Young Mr. Lincoln design one day in the summer while looking at a poster I have that shows Lincoln at various ages in his life. The first picture on the poster is of Lincoln from 1846 – the earliest known photo of Lincoln; and the last is the famous “cracked plate” Alexander Gardner portrait of Lincoln from 1865 – the last known photo of Lincoln and the photo on which my “Back to Springfield” design is based. I wanted to make a brightly colored, vibrant, energetic shirt based on that early photo of Lincoln, which was taken when Lincoln was only 37, during his Springfield years which were probably the best years of his life.
When that photo was taken, Lincoln had been married for about 4 years, and their first two sons, Robert, and Eddie, had been born. They had bought their house at Eighth and Jackson Streets here in Springfield and had been living in it for 2 years. Lincoln was practicing law, and was running for a U.S. House seat at the time (which he would later win), which was likely the impetus for the photo (since portraits were rarely taken of people in the mid-19th century unless they were somehow important). Lincoln had escaped the poverty of his youth by this time, but he did not yet have to deal with the later deaths of his sons Eddie and Willie or the constant stress and sorrow of the Civil War.
I wanted to make a shirt that captured the energy of those good years in Lincoln’s life. I did this by using the bright, youthful, energetic 80s-inspired colors that I love and that strongly influence my work (after all, those were the best years of my life) and by creating a “hand-drawn” effect using thick lines of different colors to create the picture. Instead of removing the scratches from the picture (there are a lot of them if you look at that photo of Lincoln from 1846), I decided instead to make them part of the design – that’s where all those extra colored lines in the background come from (some of them also run into parts of Lincoln’s face). They make the design even more complex and energetic, resembling the fireworks in “Back to Springfield” in some ways. A lot of work was put into this design hand-drawing all of the lines that are in it.
Once I completed the design, I thought it would be neat to create multiple color combinations out of it. I created 4 different color combinations; however, only 2 will be printed at first. The first color combination features 80s colors – electric blue, neon red, and light bright green. The second one features orange and blue, the state colors of Illinois. I may create even more color combinations in the future. Like most of my other designs, this is a design that fills the entire front of the shirt, turning it into a big work of art. I hope to have the shirts printed and up on my site by Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
Possibly related posts (automatically generated):
- The new “Young Mr. Lincoln” T-shirts are here!
- Lincoln Apparel’s shiny new “Hair Metal Lincoln” T-shirt now available!
- New Lincoln Apparel T-shirts – “Wide Awake Club” and yellow “80s Abe”
- New Lincoln T-shirts coming soon!
- New features available on lincolnapparel.com