Watchman's Note

This is a journey to the best designs in the world of Handpicked and presented (along with my own artwork) by yours truly, the driving force behind Surreality designs. We'll discover great artists and special products -mostly with a taste for the eccentric. But let us not confine ourselves in specific genres: the possibilities are endless and so is the great art one can find at Zazzle.


Serious doodling

Halfway between doodles and Picasso, or maybe pop and outsider art, lies the strange work of Homeless gallery. Intriguing and fascinating lines form interweaving creatures and situations, in brilliant designs such as this one. Splendid creations that deserve the attention they get. This t-shirt is my favorite but go see for yourselves!


De vermis mysteriis

Maggie print
Maggie by fizzgig
View all the other art at zazzle
Let's see now, what have we got here? A cute, little... gross and disgusting worm? Well... yes! These soft colors and smooth curves serve to fool you into expecting something wholesome and righteous. Instead, we get this blind maggot -not to mention full of teeth- sitting proudly on a steak.
Kudos to this great John Schwegel design for pulling such a trick on us.
His ability in executing hilarious abominations is his trademark. Let's have a look at this one:

How about a sensitive Zombie for a t-shirt? Devil's in the details, and the scissors-adorned head cracks me up! Great illustrations from a great artist. You can buy his stuff on J.Schwegel Gallery and you can check his fantastic portfolio here.


Death mill

Even Don Quixote would find it a tough deal to attack this ominous mill. An otherworldly sense of doom prevails in this gloomy design by MDKgraphics.  This is no surprise, since the gallery's designs have a tendency to picture the dark side. UFO's, aliens, horror,dark fantasy, fetish are the main thing here -often with a humorous touch.

Abductions can be funny (at least if you're not the poor, surprised pig in this card) but the Canadian artist that lurks behind MDKgraphics is at his best when portraying the paranormal. Did I mention that Surreality Watch loves the paranormal? If you do too -and otherwise you wouldn't be reading this- have a closer look at his work.


Devil and the one who weeps

Fine arts and objects of everyday use go fine together in my book. Provided we're talking about strong, personal art, the gritty kind, the kind that bites you. That's why I love the work of Micah Luke (aka 6:8), an extremely talented spray paint artist. I particularly like the sober mood in this piece (The one who weeps), shown here on a beautiful bookmark. Mikah is great when he does color but look at the strength of his b/w, too:

If I had to put a subtitle to this one, it would be "Impact of reality". There are more impactful things to be found in Micah Luke's site. Raw, vivid and totally un-generic!


Greetings from the spirit world

The joys of old-fashioned spiritualism meet the digital world via this ouija mousepad. Click away if you dare to make contact with the afterlife, but be careful: some say there are things that could prove to be much more dangerous to download than a virus! This clever spirit board-turned-mousepad design can be found at MortiRiuuallon, the gallery of graphic designer Gabriela Ruella, along with other extraordinary and colorful stuff.

My favorite product line is the Land of Absurdia , whose inhabitants (like the magnificent Succarath above) existed in the mind of travelers and cartographers of the past. Gabriella gives them life, adding a psychedelic touch to the recipe and creating some seriously coveted pieces of South American intensity.



Vintage items never cease to amaze me! Long before the age of the modern fitness cult, people performed feats of strength -surely, an uplifting experience! Watch this old school muscle lift people, and share the weirdness of it all with this curious postcard. You can find it at Teepossible, along with other interesting old times stuff.


An eye for an eyefish

A fish with an eye instead of a face (if "face" is what fishes usually have...). The artist, M_Cavet, declares that it is nourished by eye-candy! For those of you who appreciate some aquatic surreality swiming in front of your torso. It's not everyday that you find a design weirder than this -and well executed, too. Guaranteed to get you lots of eyeballs.


Apprehensive tongue

This card is not for the faint of heart, strictly-kitty-loving people! Made by the hands of a true master of illustration, Tim Folley, it reminds me of King Crimson's "In the Court of the Crimson King" sleeve art. Tim's gallery is full of fine designs and unique ideas -always splendidly executed. It's difficult to chose just a couple of favorites but, since Christmas is not too far away, here's a deadly Santa pictured in an old-fashioned, pulpy way:

I find this kind of work truly addictive. If you are like me, you would sure like to find more about this artist. Well... lucky you! Tim Folley has a great site you can visit, with more illustration goodness.


Cut it out

You've seen collage before, but the work of LukaLuka takes cutting paper to a new level. Cut-out of drawings, photographed so as to create an imaginative paper-world of depth and superb ideas. The Cows in the Restaurant is a fantastic piece (just look at the background beyond the window!), but the next one is even more dramatic:

The lighting and the mood on this one is simply incredible! LukaLuka's gallery is full of surprises, as she explores the possibilities of traditional 2D design and the more theatrical 3D-like work. Funny, she describes herself as a boring person. Judging by her art, I tend to disagree.
There's more interesting stuff to be found on LukaLuka's Etsy shop, too.


Prog-rock butterfly

Like a breeze from the '70s progressive rock era, comes this design by FlyingDisc store. Remindful of a concert billboard, it's sweet and, at the same time, weird -just the way we like things here in Surreality Watch! I like it on a simple square magnet, though it's also available on apparel and other products. FlyingDisc excels in space-influenced themes and abstracts.


Funky bussiness

The art of Akamundo is difficult to describe in one word. It ranges from the strikingly playful (like the gorgeous Alphabet t-shirt above) to more idiosyncratic stuff (like the exquisite poster below). In any case, his mixture of styles have some things in common: great composition, vivid imagination and a funky temperament obvious even to his most somber work.

Like a Leach, Woman in his Head print
Like a Leach, Woman in his Head by akamundo
Browse the other artwork on zazzle

I look again and again at this one (chosen among equally powerful prints). I do love the title and the overall underground feel. Remember this great gallery. We'll be coming back for more in the future.

The squid thing

It's about time that Surreality Watch features a skateboard. No better place to start than this crazy one-eyed monstrosity from RiseGear. This wacky blue character in a sunburst background gives a taste of "terror-from-the-deep"-ness to urban skating adventures. In short: it's awesome, funny and has the coolest colors. This design is typical of the colorful craziness that dominates RiseGear's work.



WeeFrog Hoodie shirt
WeeFrog Hoodie by weemad
Make a custom tshirt on

Heraldry is so à la mode in today's shirt design that it's almost becoming unremarkable. Not in this case, though! In the hands of WeeMad Design, heraldry is fresh -especially when combined with... frogs! I like this cool hoodie with the golden frog in all it's glory, but there's more interesting stuff in this urban-cool gallery.

The WeeMad Dudes are a handful of crazy characters based on Weemad's mascot/thingie. They're all great but I vote for this mohawk-wearing WeeAnarchist. Cartoony and provocative, in the gallery's bold, modern and humorous style.


Dig that, daddy-o?

This is the world of retro cool, of ancient b-movies from outer space, of rockabilly monsters and hot rod cult, this is the world of Fridgeola's gallery. Away from the miles and miles of old lace and the scrapbook aesthetics of folklore vintage (and a really long way from Tipperary!) lies the stylish and strong work of Steve Harvey -the Londoner who let love carry him to the States. And, if this rockin' Route 66 design doesn't cut it for you, here's another one of my favorites:
Forbidden Planet shirt
Forbidden Planet by limey_57
Get tee shirts on

Won't somebody give me this Forbidden Planet beauty as a gift, please? Pretty please? With sugar on top?


Soft metal

You may have noticed that I have a soft spot for good sketches. "Good" is a rather weak word to describe this strange, delicate and hauntigly warm b/w drawing. I love the clunky, smiling robot and the friendly freedom of the sparrow's figure. I love the relationship between those two. The artist is Jake Parker, the man behind Agent44 . This store doesn't offer many designs but what it does offer, would make you a proud owner of unique wearable art.
Jake is an extremely talented guy. You would enjoy visiting his site for more hand-drawn pleasures (plus, you could find more info on the story of the robot and the sparrow).


Vlad's yer uncle!

Vlad is short for Vladislav (not Vladimir), or so the encyclopedia tells us. But we know better, don't we? To us, Vlad is the one and only Vlad III the Impaler (aka Vlad Tepes Dracula) who killed with legendary gusto and fervor. Bram Stoker transformed the historical into the mythical and, voilà, Vlad became everybody's favorite uncle Dracula.
What's Dracula (or, at least, Vlad) doing in a sweet ladies petite lime t-shirt, you might ask? Well, he's happy he's got himself a lollipop, that's all! Boogybunny gives the old tale a funny twist in one of those ideas that make you want to blink just to make sure your eyes don't deceive you. They don't: this is a fine, crazy shirt.



A reminder of mortality and the otiosity (ooh, my! what a word!) of life, skulls have always been part of art and design and they are definitely glorified in t-shirts. Sometimes we see them highly stylized in a graffiti style and sometimes in their old-fashioned, hand-drawn beauty. Enter Skulls of Five, this sketched company of five skulls, offered by Maggie02. They’re artful and not morbid at all. In fact, I get the feeling that the front two have a friendly discussion. The ringer t-shirt suits those fellows just fine –straight, no colors to ruin the mood, no unnecessary extravaganza.

Maggie02 has an interesting store with designs for all occasions but I lingered on this one, even though it’s not typical of her work. But then, that is exactly what makes this blog tic: the fascination with the non-typical!

PS: What on earth could the three skulls on the back be looking at?


Novus Ordo Curious

Most of the time, designs that tap on the conspiracy vein tend to be serious, grungy or fanzine-like. Not this one! In this case we have colors, humor and playfulness, in a t-shirt that doesn't take itself too seriously. Not much of a surprise, since we're dealing with George Curious, a designer (one of the talented Artsprojekt people and giant robot pilot, amongst other things!) with a clean, colorful and upbeat style that catches your attention instantly. Street art meets modern design in a blend that's addicting!
Here's another one of my favorites:

I just love that "ennui" on the monitor! This -curious- guy will be on my monitor again, that's for sure.



Namaste, that multi-religious and tender salutation, inspired The Shy Muse to create this beautiful mandala. I find it appropriate to visit the harmonious side of things right after a post about Eris and chaos. This particular t-shirt grabbed my eye from the moment I saw it, several months ago. The symbol and -most of all- the colors are amazing! The Shy Muse gallery offers designs characterized by a soothing discreetness. Yet, they stand out!

One bad apple

Kallisti print print
Kallisti print by surrealitee
Shop other art available on Zazzle

At first glance, the subject is mythology. Goddess Eris, angry for not being invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, tossed a golden apple at the party. The Apple of Discord. On it was the inscription “ti kallisti” (pronounced “tee kalleestee” and written in ancient Greek as seen on the design above). This means “to the fairest one” and, as it was to be expected, three great goddesses –Hera, Athena and Aphrodite- quarreled about which one of them was the unparalleled beauty.

They decided that a mortal man, Paris (the prince of Troy) should choose the one. Since bribery is an old habit, each goddess tempted him with a gift. He chose Aphrodite, who promised him the most beautiful woman in the world: Helen, the wife of king Menelaus. Paris seduced Helen, they eloped to Troy, Menelaus called on Greeks to start the Trojan War and things turned ugly.

Beneath that story lies a more recent one. Goddess Eris, known in Latin as Discordia, became the focus of Discordianism, a parody religion, half-satire and half-philosophical. Its foundation is the document Principia Discordia (first published in 1965), written by Greg Hill (aka Malaclypse the Younger) and Kerry Thornley (aka Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst). Many picked up on the joke (which, in a sense, might be not be a joke at all), including the famous Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea –aptly advertised as “a fairy tale for paranoids”.
So, these are the facts, here are some discordian designs, all Hail Eris and don’t say I didn’t warn you! The time is nigh and fnords are all around us.


Tricycle wars

Here is something that I wanted ever since I was a child: a tricycle with dual mounted machine guns (a modern gadget for every household, for just $1.32). Light, portable, fast and lethal. Offered by Earyugo, the store that brought “Texas chainsaw manicure” to the world!
“Wacky”, you say? What about this killer slogan:

I can’t help myself. I have a sweet tooth for total madness. Earyugo’s gallery is very serious about total madness. Ergo, he has a place in Surreality Watch.

Tiki feelgood

Want pagan but not the usual stuff? Want it with a twist? Well, here's the deal: what about an ancient Polynesian carving of sacred significance on your shirt? Cover your torso with this fine pop-art, orange on brown, tiki face, right from Spikemandesigns. Yes, there are more colors and styles to choose from but, in my not so humble opinion, this is the absolute best.
And, in case you thought I forgot the surreal part of it all, check this out:

I Feel Good! mousepad mousepad
I Feel Good! mousepad by spikemandesigns
View more mousepads at

Yes, Spikemandesigns has more tricks up it's sleeve than super-tikis. This mind works in mysterious ways and finds connections between golden boys, pantyhose, recession and offbeat products to keep you stimulated!


Retrofuture is now

When it comes to retro-futurism (the depiction of the future the way they saw it back in the '20s to '60s), Retropolis Travel Bureau is the definitive place to visit. Look at this fine mug: looks like we are caught in one of our granddad's loved science fiction movies. I really like the way the warm background compliments the blue-grey image. The attention to detail and the execution is superb!
In Retropolis T.B. there are numerous well-designed (and tastefully humorous!) designs. Some of the best are offered on business cards, like the one below:

They are fully -and easily- customizable, so you can add your own information and establish your status as an Airship Captain (my favorite!), Experimental Cosmologist or whatever suits your taste. For me, your surreality watchman, rockets is the way to go!
The artist, Bradley W. Schenck, has a wonderfull site, both interesting and beautiful. You wouldn't want to miss it!


The sketching hand and Sherlock

In a time when digital designing is the norm, supreme hand-drawing craftsmanship stands out as both remarkable and exciting. Russell Stutler is a great artist and it is no surprise that his exquisite sketches overshadow his -interesting- vector designs. In this mug you can find the perfect gift for an artist friend or yourself. It depicts both a right and a left hand.
Let's look at another one of his drawings. Sherlock Holmes fans are sure to get pleasantly surprised by this well-studied ground plan of 221B Baker Street:
221B Baker Street Annotated print
221B Baker Street Annotated by Russell_Stutler
Browse other fine art prints available on

It's definitely a must-have for Sherlock-heads and a tour-de-force of Russell Stutler's talent. If you would like to see more of his artistic abilities, check out this formidable collection of coloured sketches of Japan. They will leave you craving for more, and more can be found in R.Stuttler's page . You may find yourself staying there for hours!


Holy smoke

I like Shalanti's "Sweet smoke". I like the long figure, the elaborate curles of the smoke, the "60's survivor" feeling of the design. I like that it's placed on a destroyed t-shirt (of course, you can change this if you like). Hints of long-gone psychedelia in subdued, black-and-white style: Surreality Watch abides. Well, actually "loves" suits me better!


Monsters gallore!

Artist Stefan G.Bucher creates some of the coolest hand-drawn monsters you could wish for. In his gallery, Daily Monster Merchandise , he lets them out of their cage, free to spread some smiles around. His wacky Daily Monster is excellent, but those of you with toddlers should definitely check out his glorious (and forever hungry) Baby Monster:

For more monstery stuff (including the chance to show off your monster, too) visit his Daily Monster blog or his personal one-stop-shop for limited editions and originals Store 344.


The real retro deal

In recent years many artists have tried creating vintage collages with an eccentric retro feel. Some have succeeded, some not, but not many equal Winona Cookie's talent. The "Gay James" t-shirt is one of my favorites, along with the awesome "Absinthe" t-shirt:

This store oozes style and neovintage/steampunk artistry at it's best -and, although I selected t-shirts, there are some gorgeous mugs, cards & other products to be found! Surreality Watch is sure to keep an eye on her gallery (the artist's real name is Ramona Szczerba). For more surreal goodness check her Etsy store and her website.
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