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.


Twisted Celt

You can't go wrong with this guy! Do you remember Bradley W.Schenck, the fabulous artist who gave us Retropolis Travel? I wrote about him sometime ago and I feel obliged to do it again, this time regarding his outstanding work in the intricate celtic tradition -always with a touch of his great humor.
I'm drooling over this superb Cthulhu design. A really unique blend of Great Old Ones imagery and Celtic knotwork that would leave H.P.L. himself at a loss for words!
In his gallery, Ars Celtica, traditional, mythical and modern elements are combined to give pieces of beautiful perplexity, such as this one:
Bradley, a true master of his art, began exploring Celtic-influenced art back in the '80s. Lucky for us, he has never stopped streching this side of his talent ever since. My personal all-time favorite? If I should chose just one it would be this discreetly ominous mug:

A vintage theater poster of Nyarlathotep (the Older God who used dark charisma to propagate owe and chaos in our mortal societies). Inspired by the true origins of this demonic entity as formed in Lovecraft's own dreams: the ultimate sinister showman. Details such as the "Pickman Theatre" and the "Shining trapezohedron" gain my absolute respect!
[More exquisite B.W. Schenck in the Webomator]


Same as the old boss

Where would this world be without our favorite conspiracy theory? Grouchogandhi makes sure that we'll stay up to date with his surreal impropaganda designs. It's time to show that we know who is the new "Capo di tutti Capi" -yes, you guessed it, it's Greys alright!
I just love the bold lettering and the cheap newspaper feel and I prefer seeing it in this deep yellow shirt. It somehow compliments the pulpish sensationalism that pertains to every alien domination statement.
I believe I share many of Grouchogandhi's interests (including Discordianism) and I strongly suggest you take a trip down to his store to admire the splendid weirdness therein.


Stylish football retro

Americans would call it soccer. For the rest of the world it's just football and it holds it's own magic even if we are only talking about table football. In a way, table football is even more magical because it brings memories from our sweet misspent youth in glorious arcades of teenage -or even grown-up- fun.
Here we have three blue table football vintage pieces in a unique and stylish design that makes a great t-shirt. Simple, sober and yet soaking with elegant nostalgia. Found amongst other great retro designs on GT's gallery, it certainly stands out!


Windy City

Is this the famous "L" dominating this design or is it just happy to see me? I really like this red "T" form in the middle and the overall retro look and colors of Design64's Chicago artwork. A dynamic composition I would be very happy to wear even though I've never been to Sweet Home Chicago.


Scuba diving horrors

A tourist come-on for the sunken city of R'lyeh hadn't crossed my mind. Fortunately, there are people crazier than me who had such an idea! We're back to horror universe again (ole H.P.Lovecraft won't be forgotten in Surreality Watch), specifically to a part of it that's great for scuba divers looking for really extreme situations.
Strk3, where this and many more cool and humorous designs stem from to conquer the world, actually informs us that "the calamari is quite... good" down there! I can assure you that this gallery's work is quite good, too. If you're looking for smart parody in beautiful designs, you just found it.


The Xmas revolution

This is my first experiment in designing for special occasions. Christmas is just a few weeks away and I came up with something to spice things up.
What would you care to be liberated from during this holiday season? Working overtime? Yuletide commercialism? An affair gone sour? Yourself? Cutesy Santa designs?

Whatever it is, I do hope you succeed. Me, I just want to have the time to get more calm and creative. Even if it takes a bomb to blast away my everyday obstacles and annoyances!


Time for some thositive pinking

OK, I'll be frank here, I'm not into that inspirational/motivational stuff. Most of the time I think it's just tasteless glurge. I'm not into simple text desings either. Dogmatism doesn't belong in this blog, though, and there are times when I find my cynical self accepting the "other side". Especially when it doesn't take itself too seriously and makes me laugh. And the gentle art of Thositive Pinking cracks me up every time!
Here is a magnet to cheer you up in the face of adversity. A semi-ironic (but inspirational, nonetheless) motto to live by. Or maybe, die by. Or just to laugh with. The typeface and the wordplay are great, reminding of the stylish Pink Panther cartoon.
You can find it at Donnie Rocky's Gallery, amongst many designs, mainly based on photography. If magnets don't turn you on (I know: this phrase sounds perverted!), Donnie was thoughtful enough to place it on other products as well. Put it on your fridge and get rid of these self-help books.


Ogling beverage

Shoggoth-time, here in Surreality Watch and I challenge you: look at this coffee mug -or, I should say, let it look at you- and try to resist! My horror fiction appetite has gotten the best of me lately and I can't seem to get enough of uncanny designs.
Shoggoths, being protean and amorphous monsters of the Chtulhu Mythos, seemed to evade portrayal. Not any more! Richard Strohmayer, the artist behind The Sketch Aesthetic store decided to give it a try and came up with this great, wacky illustration. It's really abstract, as it was to be expected from such shifty creatures -and I do mean shoggoths, not artists! I'm sure sipping coffee and staring back at this eldritch deviation, will be a pleasure.
Richard's gallery likes horryfying themes, mostly humorous, including crazy curiosities such as Zombie Christmas.



What a delicious skateboard! The effect of the wood showing through in front of the eyes gives a surreal, superhero look on this design. Great work from a small gallery named Area 32. Not many things to chose from, but they have a cool taste for skateboards.



It's the first time in human history that more people live in cities than in the countryside. What we think of as our environment has less to do with nature than with the cities we dwell in -a fact of many consequences, some of them quite unpleasant. This reflects in the art we make and the things we come to admire as beautiful.
This great poster is a good example of modern urban naive, created by Andy Mercer and found in his gallery, aptly named Urban Icons.
His work is always strong -whether in color or in black and white. You could find more about this awarded artist from England by visiting his great website.


Woodcutting horror

More news from the dark side, folks, with this splendid woodcut picturing the infamous Deep Ones -yep, you guessed it, we're into H.P. Lovecraft territory again! This b/w design looks like the kind of thing you could find in a dark ancient attic (and would have you wondering about your grandfather's voyages to the Pacific).
 Good news is that this little treasure is not the only one of it's kind available. Check the great Hypnogoria shop, especially the marvelous Necronomicon woodcuts section, and get ready for some jaw-dropping stuff. Need more proof? Here it is:
Midnight card card
Midnight card by Hypnogoria
Shop for a greeting card at zazzle
Being a horror fan, this kind of work makes me feel like a kid in front of a candy store. This gallery's designs are NOT to be shunned! Jim Moon, the artist, has a really intriguing website, too. It'll take you treasure-hunting in the land of art and poetry.


International Meowism

A sincere tribute to loving pets or playfully ironic pop art? I vote for the second but I guess both could be true in the case of this really clever -and well-done- design offered by Obey the Pure Breed, a shop dedicated to the worthy cause of animal world domination.
There is a huge niche for pet stuff in the market. Some of it is downright tasteless. This is not the case with this gallery, though, as this t-shirt comes to prove. I guarantee you it's not the only one. They make smart, funny, strange, iconic designs that defy the obvious and are a pure pleasure to use or to wear.
[I wonder, could there be a Chairman Meow's Little Red Book?]
There is also a great site to visit, full of animal propaganda nuttiness (all for the benefit of the Revolution, of course!)


Welcome to picturesque Arkham

The former post about tentacles reminded me of this design, based on H.P. Lovecraft's fictional city of Arkham (where the influence of the Old Ones is stronger than ever). This great t-shirt is an homage to the Cthulhu mythos and I'm sure that fans and devoted readers of horror literature will appreciate it as much as I do. I found it on Arkham Press, a store that specializes in Lovecraft stuff. The stars are always right for finding such gems!


Swallow art

It's been some time since I last made something so deeply rooted in classic graphic design and now I'm happy to present you with Swallow. I love how the shape came out, the lightness of the overall feeling and the fact that that there's a sparrow hidden somewhere in there, so the swallow can have some unobtrusive company!
I had to make a rectangular version too (for binders, cards, prints, postcards etc.), and I believe it came out quite nice! But what I'm really proud of is my first ever skateboard:
So, after a series of more eccentric looking things and subterranean humor, I finally came up with something more happy and upbeat -while keeping an intriguing, approach, I hope. Here is the whole Swallow series, waiting for appreciative eyes!


I've found the definitive place for all things cranium! The ultimate skull-depicting gallery of Skullaby's Skull Solutions specializes in great designs based on -what else?- skulls. Mind you, I'm not talking about your average "bone structure that keeps our brain in one piece" boring stuff, either. Instead, we find imaginative and artful creations, ranging from black and white unique skulls (like the great Gearhead above) to funny, cartoony, goth or rocking stylized ones.

Flower Head shirt
Flower Head by skullabee
Tees made by zazzle
A special mention should be made to these great, colorful designs based on the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition with a modern, edgy touch. If you're interested in what lies behind a pretty face , here's the place to find out in the most interesting way!



Once again we're dealing with the blues, here in Surreality Watch. This time the weirdness factor gets really high. I knew that orangutans are an endangered species of great apes -and if this isn't reason enough to have the blues, I don't know what is! But I wouldn't imagine them on a painting such as this one, found at Flying Girl's gallery. This is an intriguing mixture of surrealism and folk-art, of a kind you don't see every day. And this shade of blue is absolutely fantastic! The artist is Melissa A.Robinson and she's got an interesting website, too


One-eyed but richly tentacled

There I was, sure that I wouldn't feature anything with a commercial logo on it, when suddenly I got a bad case of the Cephalopod blues! STRANGEco are well-known "purveyors of the peculiar" after all, and I found that I couldn't resist this weird design (I guess anything tentacled triggers this H.P. Lovecraft/Cthulhu mechanism in my brain!). I love sexy sea monstrosities and this giant squid makes an absolutely great t-shirt. For those who wouldn't want to be caught dead wearing a logo, here's another squidelicious beauty:

You can find these -plus more fine strangeness- in STRANGEco's Zazzle store. And, no, I get nothing in return for being enthusiastic about it, it's all for art's sake! Which reminds me: the artist is the great and famous Reuben Rude and you bet you're gonna love his marvelous website!


Blue calm

Nothing extravagant, odd or weird, today. Just a tender, calm and happy design on a coffee mug. Yes, even the Surreality Watchman needs some serenity, especially during his morning coffee. This bluebird is eye-soothing (not to mention eye-catching!) and I found it in Pencil + Wonderland, a gallery full of funny cartoon animals. Simple lines and fairytales sometimes combine to form a powerful mixture. This could prove to be your lucky mug.


Nature's abstraction

There is a product line in Robert Fagg's gallery that is inspired by the "different, weird, wet, slimy, misunderstood and under loved lovelies of nature" -in his own words. Being attracted to oddities, I had to have a look and... behold:

It seems to be a reproduction of a monoprint and I find it interesting and pretty in an odd, abstract way. I like the dirty, non-digital look of it. There's more where this came from!


Cool and lazy

Top notch designs, like this excellent take an a Chinese theater mask, make me drool and search for more. And more is better, if you are looking at the fine work available at Designlazy, ranging from the wonderfully maximalistic...

... to the deliciously and surprising minimalistic, like this one:

Nothing lazy in the unique, mega-cool artwork that can be found at this store. Strictly shirts (though I'd love to see some if these designs in print) and full of surreal themes and ideas. Definitely one of my favorite places on the interwebs.


Shake that booty!

zebra skateboard
zebra by jvinnyg
Browse the skateboard shop online on

I laugh almost every time I see this skateboard. A totally bootylicious zebra, stylishly (and, I presume, coquettishly!) passes us by while on her way to a chic spot of urban savanna. You can find this little gem at Jvinnyg alongside countless other designs.

Pretty bubbles

I didn't know what to expect when I started watching this video. Nothing much, really. But as I kept watching this man (he's all smiles, btw, and he looks happy indeed!) and listening to him unfold his area of expertise, I got enchanted.
Not because I love soda pops -I'm not a big fan- but because I saw a man that loves his job and takes pride in doing it right and learning firsthand all the details and information that make him an expert in his niche.
Someone who decided to take the less-traveled path, to avoid the trends and the big brands, and to give people the best quality products he could find. He doesn't want us to consume more (on the contrary, he advises against it), he wants us to be satisfied. And to have a choice.
By doing so, he opens a world of opportunity to many small businesses that operate outside the realm of mass-produced mediocrity. People whose existence make a difference financially and -yes!- culturally in their neighborhoods, communities or, even, countries.
Most of all, I enjoyed hearing about someone who knows what he's talking about, isn't afraid to speak his mind and has a fine time doing what he loves. I aspire to that.

[What do you mean "what's that have to do with Surreality Watch"? What did you expect, an essay about S.Dali or something? If what we experience everyday is the norm, then this video is certainly surreal -in the best way I can think of.]


Cartoon dreams

A monocled (?) boxer sporting a moustache. Below the waistline he is a wooden stool. A midget riding a weird human bicycle. A kid hiding underneath his blanket, reading a book with a flashlight. Behind him lurks a horned monster. I don't know what goes inside this artist's mind. All I know is that it's deliciously strange and can be found in Richter Apparel.

These black-humored illustrations are well-drawn and intriguing. If you're looking for strange cartoon characters in surreal situations you just found it. And it's great!


Kareem the magnificent

I'm green with envy! And speechless. This man's work is unbelievable. His art... OK, I'm going to give it a try: graphic design at it's best, bold yet not show off-ish, exquisite composition, gorgeous colors, well-balanced typography, intriguing ideas and more, much more!

I'm talking about Kareem Rizk and his splendid gallery, full of beautiful objects of art, the kind you can't get enough of. Do yourself a favor and don't forget his name. I sure won't and I'll keep on checking his work again and again.

Finding favorite designs was almost impossible with this artist! Kudos to him and, if you get hooked the way I did, be sure to check his awesome website too.


Fantasy in black

A fine tiny dragon makes a delightful mini bookmark for today's post.Young artist Teal Newcomb prefers fantasy and anime themes, uses a rich and vivid palette of colors and hues and creates interesting worlds and charming creatures.

Dragons, chimeras and other ethereal beings inhabit her imagination and are vividly and delicately put to paper and other products available in her gallery, Metal Kirin Illustration. Or, you might want to have a look at her website or her Etsy store.


Tesla strikes back

Being fascinated by the life and work of Nikola Tesla (the genius scientist and inventor who is described as having "invented the 20th century") I can't help falling for this great ringer shirt.
Tesla's known inventions -including alternating current, radio, remote control and, possibly, the loudspeaker- changed the world, but the surreality starts with his more obscure and even more intriguing studies on death-rays, extraterrestrial radio communications and flying machines! No wonder that scientists, geeks, occultists and eccentricity lovers alike admire this man. Well, now they have the t-shirt to prove it!
Brought to us by the Noveltees store, a place with countless novelty designs.


Beautiful mob

Sometimes describing and explaining gets me nowhere. There are things that can only be experienced. Rebecca S. Czosnek's art -as found in her gallery Peppers Polish Mafia - is one of them. I could try: original, surreal, odd, tender, wild, dashing... It's futile! I could talk about an explosion of colours, but then, what about her other exquisite designs?
Her imagination knows no end and that's Surreality Watch's final verdict. Seeing is believing, though. Check this lady's store but be careful, before you know it you could lose a month's salary in there.
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