Screenshot of the header of the Surface Active Teespring store. A selection of four Adelie penguins, Antarctica products are featured below.

Surface Active Artwear Teespring store pops-up

April 2020
Dear Surface Dweller,

We’re excited to announce our fab Surface Active TeeSpring store has popped up! Our Surface Active Artwear celebrates some of the beautiful assets of New Zealand. Please pause & peruse our first two designs over at Teespring—Adelie penguins and Tuatara.

Adelie penguins, Antarctica

from Surface Active

Noisy, stinky & aggressive in reality but ain’t they cute? This design is a chuckle with penguins coming & going on the front and back. By the magic of art the white cotton of a plain teeshirt is transformed into Antarctic sea ice so this design is available on white only.

White teeshirt for sale with an all-over print of Adelie penguins coming toward you on the front, going away on the back

This crazy design is printed both front…

White teeshirt for sale with an all-over print of Adelie penguins coming toward you on the front, going away on the back

and back.

This imagery tells a tale of a dramatic before and after scene that unfolded when this formation of hungry Adelie penguins hesitated near the edge of the Antarctic sea ice, then they were suddenly faced with a leopard seal on the prowl in the waters just below.

This Adelie penguin all-over print, is available here for AUD$53.12


Credits


Design firm: Surface Active
Art direction: Design pARTners, Chrissie Terpstra and Shaun Waugh
Client: Surface Active
Designer, illustrator, desktop publishing: Shaun Waugh


©magentadot brands

‘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!

Wildlife Photo portrait of a Cheetah at Orana Wildlife Park

Where the wild things are

Orana Wildlife Park is a great place for wildlife photography


ORANA WILDLIFE PARK, MCLEANS ISLAND, CHRISTCHURCH


WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE GENRE of photography concerned with the documenting of wildlife in their natural habitat, Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch, is New Zealand’s only open range zoo. Visiting Orana Park therefore offers a unique opportunity for the self-assignment of exercising your photography skills because in the wild animals are difficult to approach, predicting their actions is hit and miss, whereas the animals at Orana Park are not perturbed when viewed from quite close up and because there are mostly no bars or cages capturing great images of them in interesting situations just takes a little patience to be in the right place at the right time.
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!