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.


Life's odyssey

We may be standing in front of life's wonders with this very same expression. Is this the year we make contact? I recall Al Pacino in Frankie and Johnnie: "We have to connect". Fragile and full of questions, we have to connect. Maybe 2010 is the year to do it.
Happy New Year, everybody. Time to smell the roses.


Airship piracy

Two posts ago we visited the future with a trolley car. This time we'll use more grandiose means: would you like taking a trip to the (retro-)future by this marvelous airship?
I found this t-shirt in Evil Genius Tees, a gallery full of retro futurism, Victorian sci-fi, steampunk, pirates and -as promised by it's title- evil geniuses! Have a look at another favorite:
Steampunk Engineer button
Steampunk Engineer by MrsEvilGenius
Shop all buttons available at Zazzle
So, we have our vessel, we have our lady engineer...I guess we are ready to go, courtesy of the fine, imaginative designs of Mrs. Evil Genius herself!


Samurai lads

This here fellow won't let the lads come in... I'm not sure if it's an android keeping us out or someone who stands in the way of fearsome space-invaders. But I know surreal sci-fi when I see it, and this original and uniquely-styled artwork by Jonny Wan is a stunner! The highly-stylized forms and great sense of color are characteristic of his work, most often sprinkled with japanese elements like the one below:
This artist walks a thin line between modern design and traditional imagery -and the outcome is fresh, imaginative and utterly cool! In my opinion this is contemporary illustration at it's best. Those who care to find more about Jonny Wan should check his website, full of info and eye-candy.


To the future

There are many ways to envision a trip to the future and getting there by a trolley car is alright by me -especially with this cool retro design. Olden times walk hand in hand with sci-fi in Loki Times, a gallery that supplements the Loki Times website, where strange fact and fringe info happily dwell. Paranormal, UFO, sci-facts and strange theories are the cornerstone for every surreal-inclined person (yes, I'm mainly referring to me!). If they co-exist with great t-shirts -such as this one- so much the better!

[Plus, if you are into these strange aspects of human -and not so human...- experience, don't forget to visit the legendary Charles Fort Organization and the legendary-to-be Terra Incognita blog.]


The Internet and the phone

It sounds promising: a pretty girl, a sexy smile, a telephone conversation. Well, it looks even better! This black and white design is great on that gray-green destroyed t-shirt. I love the flow of the composition and the retro phone -and the stormy clouds are a nice touch. The happy-go-lucky feeling (yet, mischievous in a way) emanating from this artwork makes me smile. It's from the We Are The Internet folks, a group of creative people with a modern, offbeat and humorous streak. Their website is very interesting, as is their work.
The basic elements of their style are (i) simple, clean lines, (ii) designs that are not herded inside boxes, (iii) unpredictable humor. The recipe works like a charm!


Destiny's graffiti

Abandoned places cast a strange fascination over me. The ghosts of urban life sometimes interact with the living in strange, surprising ways. Outsider art, hobo symbols and graffiti give a dreamlike palimpsest look in secret and forgotten places. Such is the place captured in this splendid photograph by Blacqbook. The artwork on the wall is ready to ascend the forlorn staircase and this image takes a life of it's own. This is really a great poster, one of many by this Canadian artist.
Photography, nature's abstractions, urban decay, weird collages and beautiful graphic design, find their place in Blacqbook's work and create an enchanting world made from discarded pieces of our everyday life.


Step on it!

I don't know how many people are aware that there are many unique Keds Shoes at Zazzle. Some of them are great, one of a kind designs, that anyone (well... mainly ladies) would be proud to wear.This one, designed by Katie Vollan, is one of the best I've ever seen! An exquisite red paisley design, refined, elegant and playfull. I would love to see it worn with jeans, but I believe it would compliment anything that goes well with red. If you walk in these shoes, you walk in style!


Xmas mood II: Cards with a twist

Here is a second bunch of Christmas cards, hand-picked for being creative, original and crazy -the way we love things here, actually!
A card to make art lovers happy -inspired by the great Belgian surrealist René Magritte. Countless snowmen float (or just fall, like snow) and bring joy to the world -all wearing the famous black hat! J.L.Hill's Cornucopia, where this great card came from, is a great source of funny holiday designs.

Do you consider the whole Christmas deal a childish, religious set-back of mankind's logic? Well, being human, I'm sure you love holidays too. Atheism deserves his own saints, so to speak, and Charles Darwin, the English naturalist who changed the way we view the world, poses proudly as a non-believer's Santa in this great card from the Order of Saint Nick. A clever and funny design from a gallery that specializes in cards. Their surreal ideas for Xmas cards (including "I saw mommy eating Santa Clauss"!) are top-notch.

Happiness, warmth and friendship are the focus of this colorful beauty from Cheerful Madness. Nothing traditionall or boring in this card, just a glorious feeling. Plus, I want a scarf like this too (all men are pigs, as they say, so I fit the bill!).

I get an eerie, otherworldly feeling from this card. The contrast of holiday ornaments and those mannequins wearing bikinis in the shop's display makes me think of film-noir movies. An interesting photograph that makes a great card. It relies on the late-night mood it conveys rather than expressed jubilation. Created by RedDesignHead.

Lazy Christmas carolers know what this card is all about! A funny typographic design that's sure to bring joy to the world and blah, blah, blah. Short and full of attitude, created by Koncepts.

Nutcracker Suite Christmas Card card
Nutcracker Suite Christmas Card by ChristyDeKoning
Shop all other cards at
Last but not least: a fine artwork by Christy DeKoning based on the marvelous fairy tale-ballet The Nutcracker. Fantastic blue and red hues in this awesome and tender drawing (I particularly like the bluish tree) offered on a really beautiful card!


Naked truth

I'm revisiting illustration art once again, with this strong ink design by Jeff Hulligan. His work is intense and bold, especially in this anti-war creation that reminds me of the great Hugo Pratt. I love the way the soldier's figure disappears in the shadow and the darkness around his skull-face. Jeff's ability in black and white is great but his color work is of no lesser merit. Look at the following nude:
Such an expressive sketch... the look, the face, the elbow, the collage background! You would really enjoy taking a look at J.Hulligan's gallery. His artistic abilities are stunning and his choice of themes delightful and intriguing. I know I'll keep an eye on him in the future.



Big City 1 shirt
Big City 1 by artimatter
Make custom shirts at zazzle
Artimatter sends greetings from the big city in a grungy, urban-cool design that looks great in this lime ladies' t-shirt (you can customize it, of course, but I think it's great as it is). I like the rainbow over the monochromatic cityscape. The outcome is both fresh and strong.


Creepy sweet

Creeps can have a heart too, according to this funny design from Blonde Bomb Shelter. This quintessential image of lawlessness holds a red balloon, thus transforming a simple mousepad into a delightful paradox. All that and great colors too, in the gallery's trend of attitude, black humor and good taste.
[Mind you, this combination is hard to find in a world full of ugly "designs" consisting of bad typography and stupid jokes. Blonde Bomb Shelter is guaranteed to make a difference, offering humorous and well-designed stuff.]


Xmas mood

The holiday spirit is slowly bewitching us all and I think it's time to have a look at some exceptional Christmas cards, just to get all warmed up and ready:

Retro Snowman card
Retro Snowman by grnidlady
Design a picture note card with
This is an understated card from Reprise, a gallery specializing in retro and vintage designs. I like the '40s aesthetics and the lack of glittering embellishments. A warm, old-fashioned design that makes me nostalgic.

This approach, by Anjo Lafin's Talisbird store, is completely different. A surrealistic, humorous and bold design of a sad monster hoping for some merrymaking. Thumbs up from me, and may things work out for this little fellow!

LET IT SNOW by PerGis_NOSaints
Shop for another card at zazzle
It's snowing words on this unusual PerGis NOSaints card. Texture and typography combine to create an upbeat, fresh holiday design. Me likes!

An abstract, yet distinctly yuletide, card from FlyBella. I love the geometric forms (especially those great vertical lines) and the colors. This gallery offers many beautiful, richly-textured Christmas cards.

Thin Ice Khristmas Kard card
Thin Ice Khristmas Kard by chiodobros
Create a photo note card online at zazzle
I found this hilarious card, in the characteristic "spooky clown" style of Chiodo Bros. and I think it's a killer! Definitely a gallery worth checking for lots of outrageous weirdness of the most creative kind. These brothers deserve their fame and success!


Taking over the world

Ah, the guilty pleasures of conspiracy theories! The pure bliss that hides in talking about cabals that plot to govern the universe! Now, that's surrealism for you! Were would our paranoid world be without the impact of secret societies in our collective psyche?
[Don't answer that. You are being watched, right as you speak...]
So, this fine roundel from BoonNCpranks comes to fill a deep, crazy need: that of laughing at the -hidden- face of those who rule behind the curtains. Or, at ourselves, for contemplating such things out of fear for the unpredictable dangers and complexities of life. Overall, a marvelous t-shirt for weird-thinking people!


Nessie strikes back

If you are sick and tired of all the design-y, ultra cute and shiny monster shirts and looking for something more  traditional to express your monstery sensitivities, here is a shirt with a back to the roots approach.Classic and classy, in this green mint color that only real men can handle!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Nessie (the beloved Loch-Ness monster) is alive and kicking. If this is a statement you would care to make -as I sure would- go grab this retro gem in Bomb Threads store and revel in your pop nuttiness.


Olden times

That's it! Simple, stylish and sweet. A medieval design that looks like you tattooed your tee. Straight from the Body English headquarters, along with many fine designs -including some really interesting and eye-catching ones from the French Protests of 1968.

The time was May 1968. French students and workers staged some impressively huge protests against their government and the whole capitalistic viewpoint of the western world. Armed with surrealism, humor and zen-like slogans, they changed the way people express civilian disobey.Their posters and slogans are as relevant today as ever -and maybe more so!
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