A woman wearing a leaping dolphin all over print white teeshirt

Dolphin watercolour print

Designed by Chrissie and I and printed in the USA and Europe. My new absolute fav dolphin watercolour ‘all-over’ teeshirt print. All purchases made using this link will receive a 10% discount that is applied automatically at checkout.

https://surface-active.myteespring.co/listing/dolphins-leaping-kaikoura-ne?product=823/pr?=DISCOUNT

Promo code: ARTYKIWI.

I love to draw and illustrate wildlife. All of Chrissie and my Surface Active Artwear designs that you see on this site have begun as drawings and visuals on paper. Sometimes as a very closely observed upscale pen & ink, or just a few lines to rough out the composition.

My lockdown project has been to create digital art of our legacy hand-rendered designs to populate our new teespring store with about 20 of our wildlife art and Kiwiana designs for adults and kids.

I’ll photograph or scan the drawing as a high resolution image, and begin building up the image in colour in Photoshop and Freehand, sometimes painting, sometimes airbrushing or drawing in digital pen & ink, I will use a variety of techniques until I have a finished, hand separated, high resolution, multicolour artwork suitable for placing on apparel, coffee mugs, art print posters and other housewares.

Each design is a wildlife art print, a Surface Active New Zealand artwear—making waves in a sea of sameness.

Facebook ad of four happy friends all wearing Spotted Shags t-shirts. Spotted shags are the best kind. Storewide discount 15% off, use code “ARTYKIWI”.

Spotted shags are the best kind

Storewide 15% off till January 5, 2021 here, use promo code “KIWIART.”

During breeding season nature gets heavy-handed with blue-green makeup and punk hair-dos.

With their distinctive spotted feathers, bright blue-green colouring and tufted crests, these spotted shags/parekareka are thinking of romance (and fish.) What else does a shag do in it’s pre-nuptial plumage?

Shop for the double-sided version here, and the single-sided version here.

Spotted shags/parekareka design collage

My kind of shellfish. Paua Pacific tee 15% off till Jan 5, 2021. Promotional Facebook Ad for Surface Active New Zealand Artwear T-shirts. Young woman wearing a black paua teeshirt underneath her blue denim jacket.

My kind of shellfish

Storewide 15% off till January 5, 2021 here, use promo code “KIWIART.”

These black and navy tees with the double-sided Paua print are perfect for the summer. For a 15% discount through to January 5th use the promo code “KIWIART” here:

Cool, clean Pacific waters produce the bright iridescent colours of the paua shell—a watery treasure of New Zealand to keep you cool. 

This art print is a composite of a charcoal drawing and hand-separated paua shell pattern printed in 6 colours which gives the paua design a shimmering quality. Illustration based on a photo by Rod Morris.

Awesome New Zealand Nature Inspired T-shirts. Storewide 15% off till Jan 5, 2021. Promotional Facebook Ad for Surface Active New Zealand Artwear T-shirts. . Young couple wearing a jewelled gecko New Zealand and a kiwi New Zealand t-shirt leaning against a blue VW Kombi van.

Awesome New Zealand nature inspired T-shirts

Storewide 15% off till January 5, 2021 here, use promo code “KIWIART.”

What a way to spend lockdown! As Surface Active’s graphic designer I built this new collection of awesome New Zealand Nature Inspired T-shirts from a mix of our legacy drawings, photolitho artwork and some new hand-rendered digital illustrations.

To celebrate the launch of Chrissie and my new store we’d like to share a storewide 15% discount offer that expires on January 5th. You can shop here https://surface-active.myteespring.co/?pr=DISCOUNT to get your Surface Active teeshirts.

The jewelled gecko is available here, and the kiwi is available here.

‘Paua Aotearoa’, adults and kids T-shirt, four colour print on navy and black fabric.

Surface Active: Making waves in a sea of sameness

T-shirts in the spirit of fun.

Surface Active made in Aotearoa, T-shirts main neck label.

Surface Active T-shirts main neck label.

As an illustrative graphic designer, writer, desktop publisher; I was a design pARTner with Chrissie Terpstra in our in-house garment screenprinting studio. We learned that hand-pulled screenprinting is the medium of the hard labouring graphic artist.

Overview

Of course we were big fans of the humble T-shirt and by the mid 1980s they had become hot promotional items, garments on the outskirts of fashion, and a relatively new medium for the Graphic Designer’s art. What had for a long time been considered a poor medium for Graphic Design grew to an almost essential one.

All you have to do is walk down the street anywhere in the world since the early 80s to see what a ubiquitous promotional vehicle they have become. If you mail out 100 potential clients a direct mail brochure perhaps 200 people will see it. But mail out, or better yet, sell 100 T-shirts, and assuming they’re at all decent looking, you launch 100 walking billboards.
Keep on reading!

Orana Park Chapman’s Zebra screen prints on front and back of a navy T-shirt

Wildlife Park T-shirts for Africa

Our 1992 competition winners, a range of wildlife art t-shirts that celebrate an international wildlife conservation success story: Orana’s African savannah top five


ORANA WILDLIFE PARK, MCLEANS ISLAND, CHRISTCHURCH


The retail market of the garment trade is tough, for an open range zoo like Orana Park, with one foot in the quality recreational experience sector and the other in the tourism sector, trading is highly seasonal. The competition for the customer’s discretionary spending dollar and the fact the park is a charitable trust that generates 95% of its income from gate takings and their ‘Trading Post’, demanded that the very best way of developing the Park’s new T-shirt range be used for this custom T-shirt design and print project.
Keep on reading!

‘Jewel Gecko - New Zealand’ eight colour T-shirt print on dark green fabric.

Jewelled Gecko: lifelike graphics make a vivid impression

Surface Active | Making waves in a sea of sameness.

Hyper-real graphics like the Jewel Gecko make a vivid impression. Why? Because people relate to them! Dramatic lifelike renderings of wildlife produce a prompt and typically positive response in a person’s mind. People relate to real things and enjoy them most. It is the route to why people relate to many of our eye-catching and impactful “SurfaceActive” wildlife-art-to-wear designs.

How did we do it? The technique of colour separating this design by hand involved breaking it down into eight separate designs, from which the screens are made. The separations are printed over each other, in layers to create the original hand screenprinted design. This crafty route is the only way to achieve the unparalleled vivid impression of the design.

It helps that beauty is permanent

Fashions come and go, then come around again, but the fundamentals stay. The inspiration for the designs came from getting to know superlative alpine/wildlife photographer Colin Monteith, and renowned wildlife photographer Rod Morris. We visited their image libraries to cherrypick the most beautiful jewels in their amazing archives that we could see had the potential to be developed into hand-separated wildlife art screen gems.
Keep on reading!

‘Tuatara - Sphenodon Punctatus’ portrait T-shirt front

Fuss, fuss, fuss: How this Tuatara drawing evolves

This terrific Tuatara illustrative design work evolves by focussing on the details, this is quite common

Surface Active made in Aotearoa, T-shirts main neck label.

Surface Active Wildlife art – making waves in a sea of sameness.

To make digital art of New Zealand’s Tuatara, that has the look and feel of a natural line drawing, the editing, fussing process can take hours and while it isn’t easy it is a great deal of fun. I take pleasure in design and I enjoy using the computer to draw with the stylus, inking over the scan just as easily as I would with traditional pen and ink. The production of design work is an incredible drill when you are doing your utmost to make it terrific. I do my utmost to make sure that every design project I work on is mega.
Keep on reading!

Jewelled Gecko Giclée on white background, A1 size. Illustration, New Zealand wildlife art.

Lifelike gecko wildlife art print

Jewelled Gecko limited edition large format art print

Surface Active garment label embroidered

Surface Active | Making waves in a sea of sameness

Surface Active is an auto-printmaking design pARTnership established in 1986 by Shaun Waugh (boss) Chrissie Terpstra (bossier). Between 1986–2002 we were committed to producing original & indigenous designs of the highest design and screenprinting standards.

The technique of colour separating this design by hand involved breaking it down into eight separate designs, from which the screens are made. The separations are printed over each other, in layers to create the original hand screenprinted design. This crafty route is the only way to achieve the unparalleled vivid impression of the design.
Keep on reading!