Home Artist Spotlight Who is Stephen “Switt!” Wittmaak AKA Spudmunkey

Who is Stephen “Switt!” Wittmaak AKA Spudmunkey

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Zombiemedia sat down  with Spudmunkey to talk all things t-shirts, favourite designs, design process, favourite people on twitter and more.

sriracha

How did you get started in this t-shirt design game?

When I was around 16 my parents took one of my designs and had an airbrush artist at the local mall duplicate it on a shirt for a present (he did a terrible job, but it’s the thought that counts right?) After that our local Kinko’s could print digital transfers to t-shirt and I had some shirts made for myself. It’s terrible to say, but, Cafepress is the first web based site I used primarily for convenience before the whole world of it opened up to me.

What have been your favourite designs you’ve released? Which have been most successful?

My personal favourite is My Blue & Gold, Blue Beetle (Yes Ted Kord, No Jamie Reyes) and Booster Gold. There just isn’t enough love out there for those two. My most successful is a tie between my Absolut Doctor (Doctor Who TARDIS/Absolut Vodka mashup) and my Sriracha! Animated style tee.

absolut doctor

What is your process? How do you go from thought to paper to computer to selling?

A lot of my designs started as convention prints that have been requested as tees, that aside I usually stick to what I like vs what’s popular. In most cases I thumbnail out, layout on 9×12 with non-photo blue pencils, ink over top and scan and import the line art and work digitally from there in Photoshop. Occasionally I’ll take to Sketchbook to work out some ideas as well.

What is your favourite outlet for selling your designs?

Currently I’m in love with what Teepublic is doing. They really listen to the artists and are this wonderful constantly evolving machine with new options and improvements. I’m a big fan of just being able to take an idea from concept to completion with-out any stumbling blocks and present it to the world. They have a lot of options, an easy upload process, and when there is a hiccup, they address it quickly.

Is it hard to keep yourself fresh creating new designs?

I’d say it’s harder to find new designs your happy with versus lack of inspiration. Inspiration is everywhere, but as an artist, we’re always our own worst critic.

What plans do you have for 2014 and beyond?

In the next couple months I’ll probably be gearing up for next year’s conventions as well as finally getting to work on some personal projects I’ve had on the back burner for ever. Those are the things that I’m really excited about. Getting my own ideas out there, outside of the popular mashup fare.

What have you got up your design sleeves? Anything new coming soon? Any sneak peeks?

I have a series of JLA shirts that I’d like to get a villains set to pair it against, also I may have a Juggernaut…in a tutu…doing ballet design I’m currently working on…with lots of little hearts on it.

2014-09-24 18.51.30

What artists/creatives inspire your work and designs?

Top fav artists are Arthur Adams and Mike Mignola. But I have a range that really inspire me, I love Mahfood, Schrab, Glen Keane, Justin Peterson of Very Near Mint, Derrick Fish, Skottie Young, Joe Pitt, there’s a lot of them!

Who are your top folk to follow on twitter?

I’m a horrible twitter user, I post, but mostly it’s from an aggregate program like Instagram. I’m too visual dammit! Now Instagram, I usually follow everyone from the last question plus some indie artists like @Spudonkey Gareth Davies, Elliot Fernandez @jerkmonger, and @scottblairart.

What are your top 5 films/tv shows and video games?

Films, keep in mind, I’m an 80’s kid. Back to the Future Trilogy (YES all of them!), Army of Darkness, Ghostbusters, Goonies, Avengers, Hellboy…I could seriously go on all day. TV? We talking live action or cartoons man, CAUSE YOU NEED THE CARTOONS! All time favs: Gargoyles, X-Files, Supernatural, Doctor Who, and dammit I really like Almost Human. Games, I’m a big on Fallout, Resident Evil and Mario Kart, lately I’ve been playing classic Crackdown, cause if it ain’t broke!…

team spudmunkey

Away from all the t-shirts – what else do you enjoy?

Being a Dad to my 2 year old, movies, comics, and standard nerdy stuff. I’d love to say gaming, but I never have the time! It’s that or art, and my library has become a little more selective regarding what I play with a lil one. I did just find some used Rock Band guitars…

Sega or Nintendo? Once choice…
Nintendo! After Atari and Odyssey, I was a Nintendo kid born and raised. My first game was Mega Man 2 and Super Mario Bros. It wasn’t until the Dreamcast came out that I had my first Sega system.

@spudmunkey | Facebook | Redbubble

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