28 April 2014

Star Droids on sale on TeePublic



Star Droids is on sale on TeePublic for $14 for a limited time only! Grab it while it lasts!


Star Droids has been published on Zarkan Designs for the first time on 11 April 2014. Click here for more info, free wallpaper and funny Obi-Wan cameo

23 April 2014

Jimmy Bolton (or Roose Wales?)


Have you ever noticed how much Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) and Michael McElhatton (the actor playing Roose Bolton in Game of Thrones) look alike? Shall we call them Jimmy Bolton? Or Roose Wales?

Be careful on the next Wikipedia donation campaign, or you might end up flayed if you are not generous!

15 April 2014

101010 on sale today!


"101010" is on sale on Qwertee for a limited time only! You only have 48 hours to grab it!



This design, a quote from Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", has a concept based on the duality of complex questions and simple answers. The number "42" is made of pattern of "101010" (which is 42 in binary) while "THE ANSWER" is made by the words "life", "universe" and "everything". Thus, the idea I wanted to convey is that complex questions can be hidden inside very simple answers. Even the apparently plain and obvious football-like style has been chosen to strengthen this concept: simple and common things can have complex meaning inside, and vice-versa.

Initially I had the entire "the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything" phrase on the design, but I felt it was too cumbersome. I tried to rearrange the words, rotate them, writing them in vertical but still it was too "heavy", too complicated. Then I came up with the idea of the pattern. First I tried only with the "42" but it was too simplistic, then I added "THE ANSWER" above... and I knew that was the perfect solution. It was familiar but not trivial. From there on, it was just a matter of choosing the right colors, dimensions and shape. The "101010" for example had to look like computer code, but at the same time the various rows had to look good and not too boring or repetitive, so I created a pattern which consisted of 7 differently-aligned rows, separating the 101010s with a dash. The same with "life", "universe" and "everything". The big characters are black, but the small ones make them seem blue overall, a nice "familiar" color with which I wanted to convey a sort of confident consciousness and security. Blue is also the color of depth and intellect, so I felt that was the right choice.

What are you waiting for? Go to Qwertee and get one while it lasts!


12 April 2014

Periodic Mario Table

Periodic Mario Table

What does the periodic table of elements have in common with Mario? Nothing, apparently. But what if we try to put in a table the main characters and monsters of the franchise as if they were elements, with hypothetical symbol and "atomic number"? And what if the table had the appearance of the classic 8-bit Mario sprite?

"Periodic Mario Table", my sixth t-shirt design, is the periodic table of elements reimagined as a table of Mario characters organized in the classic original 8-bit Mario sprite shape. Can you recognize all the "elements"?

Final look as seen on Qwertee


Nothing scientific, of course, but this concept proved to be quite a challenge. First of all, the Mario characters are more than a thousand. The sprite has "only" 144 pixels, so I had choose which characters to include and which to omit. How to order them, then? And which colors to choose?

The first problem was to make a selection of what I felt were the most important 144 characters. I created an Excel spreadsheet with all the characters taken from Super Mario Wiki and began filtering them based on my knowledge and preferences. Then I ordered the list by the first time that speficic character first appeared in a game. Then rearranged the order by logic, aesthetic look and common sense: for example I wanted to put the main characters first, then the main antagonists. Another example was ending with the "Z" letter. Once I had the final order, I assigned the number and the symbol to each character.

Please advise me if you notice that a particularly important character has been forgotten!

Once I had the complete table filled, I had to choose the colors. I wanted to print this design on a t-shirt, so I had to limit myself to the average five colors maximum. Initially I used the original first Mario colors, but then I decided to go for a more modern and vivid palette. Here's a comparison of the two versions.

Periodic Mario Table work in progress

Like previous designs, you can download freely the wallpaper here. You can also buy the poster, card or print in various sizes at RedBubble.

Periodic Mario Table poster

This design has been printed on Qwertee on May 18th 2014. This is the initial mockup that I submitted.

Periodic Mario Table t-shirt first mockup

11 April 2014

Kiki and Jiji's Flight


Next in line as my fifth design, "Kiki and Jiji's Flight" is a take on the classic Studio Ghibli movie "Kiki's Delivery Service".


I was in doubt if going for a "sunny" feel like this or a more nightly atmosphere. This was in fact the initial protoype:


In the end I felt the daily one could have been more popular so I went in that direction. You can find the Qwertee entry here. As a freebie, like I did with Star Droids, I made available for download freely the wallpapers for desktop and mobile.


You can download the wallpapers here. Feel free to ask if you need a yet unavailable resolution.

W for Wendetta


"W for Wendetta" is my fourth design and a mashup between "V for Vendetta" and Wario. Actually double design, since I couldn't decide between a more popular but less original black version and a more "fun" red version. It didn't matter anyway, because apparently it wasn't popular in either versions and took very few votes. Maybe Wario is not a well known or widely popular character. Not like Guy Fawkes at least...

Anyway, here's the link the Qwertee entry, where you can make fun of me for getting so few votes. Or, you can always...


Fun note: during design I accidentally deleted the source file, so I had to redo everything from scratch. A lot of work for nothing!

Half-Life 3 Confirmed!


Lambda Lambda Lambda. Three Lambdas. Half-Life 3 confirmed.

"Half-Life 3 Confirmed!" it's the title of my third t-shirt design. It's a joke between the "Revenge of the Nerds" fraternity name (Tri-Lambda) and the fabled Half-Life sequel. I liked it, but I was aware it was too nerdy, and in fact it wasn't even selected on Qwertee. Still it was fun to do. It was also a nice exercise in vector graphics and font design, particularly for the "LAMBDA" word, which has the Half-Life lambda and "3" hidden inside. Ironically, it's the least popular... but my favourite so far.


Here's the magnified headcrab in vector graphics (too bad it was too small to be properly noticed):

Headcrab zoomed detail

101010

101010 first mockup

The Answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42 (101010 in binary)


This design, a quote from Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", has a concept based on the duality of complex questions and simple answers. The number "42" is made up of pattern of "101010" (which is 42 in binary) while "THE ANSWER" of a pattern of the words "life""universe" and "everything". Thus, the idea I wanted to convey is that complex questions can be hidden inside very simple answers. Even the apparently plain and obvious football-like style has been chosen to strengthen this concept: simple and common things can have complex meaning inside, and vice-versa.

Initially I had the entire "the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything" phrase on the design, but I felt it was too cumbersome. I tried to rearrange the words, rotate them, writing them in vertical but still it was too "heavy", too complicated. Then I came up with the idea of the pattern. First I tried only with the "42" but it was too simplistic, then I added "THE ANSWER" above... and I knew that was the perfect solution. It was familiar but not trivial. From there on, it was just a matter of choosing the right colors, dimensions and shape. The "101010" for example had to look like computer code, but at the same time the various rows had to look good and not too boring or repetitive, so I created a pattern which consisted of 7 differently-aligned rows, separating the 101010s with a dash. The same with "life", "universe" and "everything". The big characters are black, but the small ones make them seem blue overall, a nice "familiar" color with which I wanted to convey a sort of confident consciousness and security. Blue is also the color of depth and intellect, so I felt that was the right choice.

This is my second t-shirt design, which was selected on Qwertee on March 25th 2014 and received enough attention during the first two-and-a-half weeks (and a PossibiliTEE votation on Facebook) to be chosen for print. It has gone on sale on Qwertee on April 15th 2014. That one above was the original mockup that I submitted, while this was the final look:


After that, it went on sale on Limiteed on May 21st 2014.

Limiteed promo banner

What I like in this design is that its concept is hidden inside the apparently plain football-style look. Deeper meaning can be hidden in everyday things.

Star Droids


"These are the droids you're looking for!"


This is my first t-shirt design. I submitted it to Qwertee and it was accepted and selected on March 18th 2014. During its three-weeks voting window it received 1155 votes, which is not bad for a first attempt. I like it because it blends two of my favourite themes: Star Wars and Android.

You can find the design on Qwertee on this link, and if it hasn't been printed there yet... wish me luck!

As a bonus, I made freely available for download the wallpaper, both for desktop and mobile. You can find the files in various resolution on Google Drive or Imgur. If you need a particular resolution, just ask!


Up here is the banner I made for teh lulz and to advertise the design, while down below there's an example of how it looks on my Nexus 5.


Qwertee


The first t-shirt selling site I created an account on is +Qwertee, since I deem it one of the best (if not the best). I've been advised to create also a RedBubble and TeePublic account, which is what I'm going to do soon. In the meantime here's the link to my Qwertee page. There you can find all the designs I submitted to that awesome site.

http://www.qwertee.com/profile/240846

10 April 2014

Introduction



Hello world, my name is Massimiliano Rizzi (but you can call me Zarkan) and here I am on a new, wonderful and exciting journey.

Programmer, gamer, music lover, movies enthusiast, INTJ geek and procrastinator extraordinaire, I've always had a knack for drawing since I was a kid, alongside a true passion for technology and computers. My notebooks were always full of scribblings and sketches, but this "artsy" inclination never fully bloomed, while my rational and schematic self ruled most of my life. Which is reflected in my current job as an IT manager and SAP project leader.

Only recently I discovered the world of custom t-shirts and the myriad of sites that offered for a limited time an original and user-submitted design. This somewhat sparkled something in me and fueled a seemigly forgotten artistic vein. Before I could even rationalize it, I was literally brimming with ideas and overwhelmed by inspiration.

So, here I am, armed with my pen and graphic software, challenging this new adventure.