Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Shirt off My Back - or the shelf

Last summer, I had the idea to create an annual line of T shirts that would feature (for the most part) emerging designers and artists.  I, together with Naseem Rafiei, put out a call for artists and we got some tremendous work in return.

We selected the artists/designers whose work you see below.

The T shirts have been ready since October, but we wanted to wait until spring to unleash them upon the world as short-sleeved shirts aren't big sellers in the winter - at least not in the Twin Cities.

Charles Youel, of Artcrank fame, has agreed to help us promote this line of shirts. Once sold, 60% of gross sales will go to the artists who chose this over a singly payment up front. 100% of the net profit will go to help a non-profit in the cycling advocacy world. At the appropriate time, we will conduct a poll here and on Twitter (@minneapolize) to determine to whom we will write the check.

In the meantime, buy many and help the cycling world. The shirts can be found here:


The artists and their work:


Cody Mastel

Artist's statement 
Design inspired by the Dreamcatcher of the Ojibwe people. The words within the circle, Bangan Mashkawaa Nibwaakaa, translate in Ojibwe to Be Peaceful, Be Strong, Be Wise. These words apply well to the concept of safe, smart, and most of all, enjoyable cycling. 

With purchase of this shirt, ALL proceeds will benefit both Minneapolize and Wicoie Nandagikendan Early Childhood. A Minneapolis pre-school language immersion program to help preserve the language and culture of the Ojibwe people. Learn more about Wicoie Nandagikendan  here.


Naseem Rafiei

Artist's statement:

I tend to gravitate more towards the aspects of researching, asking tons of questions, and strategizing in my design work-- process and a solid understanding are my essential weapons. I guess I'm more of a thinker in that way than a straightforward visual designer. On the opposite end, sometimes I dive in head first with zeal just because I want to get started so bad, no matter the project. Sometimes I take on the roles of PR person and copywriter while I'm designing. It's like the "too many cooks in the kitchen" metaphor, except one cook with a lot of pots.


Clare O'Neill


Andrea Tetrault
Artist's statement: 
Andrea Tétrault is an avid cyclist and author of the Winnipeg CycleChick blog, where she records her meandering misadventures on a bike and explores the intricate nooks and crannies of cycling culture. She discovered cycling "accidentally" during a brief and unfortunate triathlon phase and has been hooked ever since. From racing to randonneuring, commuting to alley catting, Andrea's obsession with bikes and biking is boundless.

"I think it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find one thing that satisfies so many things that are important to me – social interaction, competition, fitness, utility, culture, and design. Biking touches every part of my life, and my only disappointment is that I didn't discover it sooner. And that I can't have more bikes."

When she's not on her bike, Andrea and husband Paul are partners at Tétro Design, an award-winning graphic design firm with clients ranging from Canada's national theatre to makers of silverwear cleaners. In recent years, they have added an increasing volume of cycling-related work to their portfolio, including race promotions, jersey designs, and a series of cheeky videos aimed at teaching people good bike handling and traffic skills.

Andrea's dream is to land a reality show about a prairie girl exploring the gastronomic pleasures of Europe by bike – preferably in the company of Anthony Bourdain.



Alison Brueggemann
Artist's statement: 
Alison is a freelance graphic designer specializing in branding and web design. Her love for design and entrepreneurial endeavors dates back to her elementary school days, when she would sell homemade stationary door-to-door in her neighborhood. Today she enjoys working with small business owners and non-profits to create compelling, beautiful, and empirical means for conveying their stories. She has successfully run her own business for over 5 years and just recently moved to Brooklyn, NY, where she plans to grow her network of collaborators and clients. 
Alison loves biking for s many reasons, but mostly for the sense of freedom and the connections to one's surroundings it inspires. Biking breaks down barriers (which cars create), increasing one's individual mobility and his or her sense of space and community.


Natalie Wynings
Andrea Lane
Artist's statement: 

What does biking mean to me.....? Well...growing up in rural Australia I was originally a horse person! I LOVED the freedom it allowed me to have fun, get to where I was going and feel the wind in my hair and sun on my face and really FEEL and live my surroundings. Now, as someone who lives in a more urban setting I love biking for the same reasons. And while bikes don't require the same amount of maintenance as a pony, it truly is a wire donkey. And speaking of my bike,  I LOVE my On-One that I received a gift, built by Hurl at Cars-R-Coffins. It is a gorgeous piece of art. :)

I am a web/graphic designer working in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis. I work at Space2Burn New Media, alongside my husband, Trevor Lettman, and Jon Wittman, our business partner, as well as a group of amazing and talented professionals and interns we enjoy in our company! I really love my job because of the flexibility it gives me, and I am always working on something new. I have a passion for most things visual and love patterns, fresh colours, forward thinking, 3D design and beautiful, clean layouts. I am also a bit of a type-nerd. :)




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