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.


The past that never was

Ah, the beauty and the glory of old time travel posters! More often than not, they offer exquisite illustrations and superb lettering. But the charm lies mainly in the depiction of a world that's not only gone for ever but that never really existed in the first place. When traveling was difficult and expensive, television didn't exist and photographs of faraway places were rare, the imagination of those illustrators and graphic artists had to convey the very essence of a foreign land -as perceived by the clientele they had to reach.
I think there never was a Greece such as this one, or a Jamaica such as this next gem:
Both posters are excellent works of art, yet both are picturing a truth that lived only in the collective dreaming of their times! Both, and many as beautiful as these, can be found at Zazzle Vintage, alongside countless retro stuff.


Handmade 3D

I love this unique combination of sculpture and painting. Notice the details! The postures and the colors are excellent. A great poster by Anne Klar's Art Store, where Anne Klar exhibits some serious skill and artistic sensibilities in the creation of these unique designs.
Clay is the No1 material here, giving rich textures and creating a very unusual 3D sensation. Find more about this kind of work in Anne's great website.


Slippery love sign

Love is wild, dangerous, passionate.
Love is blind, crazy, a beast on the loose
Love is not cute and will get you in trouble.
Love is addictive.
And, yes, love is surreal.
The latest design from Surreality is about love, not bloody Valentine's day.


Black business

This creepy design takes us to dark territories again.A stylized demonic entity dressed like a businessman can be an otherworldly figure, the quintessential Man in Black (not the lovable movie characters). Then again, it could be just an ordinary corporate nightmare -and I can't decide what is worse!
What's more unsettling than the wings is the wide smile on this ominous fellow's face. Kudos to Babydoll Chic for this t-shirt, guaranteed to satisfy all the weird-minded people like me! This store's products stay focused on the strange, pulp and retro side of life, which is fine in my book, especially when there's lots of dark humor involved.


Striped lunacy

Some artists overdo it with patterns and textures. They seem to get carried away and lose their sense of composition, the one thing that makes a design tic. Sandy from Sandygrafik, doesn't! She knows what she's doing and why, and that's how she makes astonishing work such as this crazy, stripey character. Funny and wild, this postcard is sure unusual.
Do you want to see some of her other lunatiks? Thought so...:
She is great at making unique creatures from fairy tales, too, but I felt more at home with this particular product line. [Some times I wonder why... Naah!] You could also visit her interesting blog and see more of her work.


Bunnies dream of Victoriana

Bunny Dreams bag
Bunny Dreams by AnitaInverarity
Create your own personalized bag at
What a crazy bag! Bunnies flying over psychedelic flowers -and a mouse. I really love their expression. The artist is Anita Inverarity from Scotland, a lady that does wonders with pen and ink, mainly in a Neo-Victorian style. Her work is both tender and mysterious, evocative of a nostalgic past (yet, at times, full of dark undertones of Gothic doom, or maybe I'm seeing things...)
Queen of Hearts mug
Queen of Hearts by AnitaInverarity
Design travel coffee mugs online at
Either way, there are great things to see in her store. Me, I would be happy with this great mug, where masquerade meets great artistry!


Bourbon, bluegrass and beard

BBB print
BBB by jiveafro
See other prints & posters from
When it comes to music posters with a '60s flavor, nothing can beat psychedelic illustration and lettering. And in that game, it would be difficult to beat Jon Griffin Art. It's the store of Jon Griffin, a true master of crazy ideas and imaginative drawings, whose artistic skills and humor will drive you nuts -well... yes, actually I meant this in the best sort of way! He's got wild characters, superb coloring and top-notch lettering, mixing  an old-school style with his own refreshing modernity.
He's also great when he decides to go black and white:
Cash-bw shirt
Cash-bw by jiveafro
Buy a t-shirt online from Zazzle
His modern style is very good, too, but I can't get enough of his vintage-looking, cartoon-ish creations. Do yourself a favor and check out this great artist.


Sunday driver

It's kind of funny and nostalgic at the same time... An old car, an old couple, a slowish drive on a busy highway (or is it motorway in Australia?), a life that won't change it's pace. Aptly named Sunday Driver, this postcard can be found at Pip Pip Hooray, Pip Gerard's shop. Pip is a talented lady from Melbourne with a store full of various tasteful goodies -and a really keen eye for stylish business cards, if you ask me!
See? I told you she's good!


Helvetica love

The neutral clarity of the Helvetica typeface not only makes it one of the most widely used of all times but also one of the most loved and respected. It continues to inspire designs, art and documentaries, having such an impact over our view of the printed letter that obscures most -if not all- other typefaces when it comes to being iconic! Developed by Max Miedinger in 1957, it was rejuvenated in 1983 with the creation of Neue Helvetica.
It's a typeface I love and it sure feels nice to see it used in cool typography designs such as this one. The store is I'mJustCreative and the talented designer is Graham Smith, a man passionate enough to maintain a great website about Helvetica. Typophiles and design lovers take note!


Ice cream and cats

Luca Ionescu
Luca Ionescu "Ice Cream" by lucaionescu
Design a custom shirt with
The somehow hairy look makes this ice cream even more delicious! We may be in the middle of winter but such a great design cannot wait until summer to be properly appreciated. Made by the hands of Luca Ionescu (and found in his Zazzle store), designer, motion graphics director and overall creative man. His work is the ultimate proof that one color is enough to astonish people -provided you have Luca's talent, of course...
His Fat Cat poster is a study in simplicity. It reminds me of both the "fat cat in a top hat / thinks he's an aristocrat" verse from The Doors's Break on through (the Absolutely Live! version) and the Scat Cat from Disney's The Aristocats. Clear, well-thought lines make this design almost emblematic.
Luca Ionescu runs Like Minded Studio and publishes Refill magazine.


Poetry of human rights

There is no end to the elegance, fluidity and beauty of the ancient art of calligraphy. The forms created are like visual poetry. In this design, the poetry of Persian calligraphy (written in Farsi, I presume) comes to express the words of the Persian Sufi poet Saadi, the same words that adorn the entrance to the Hall of Nations of the UN building:
Of One Essence is the Human Race,
Thusly has Creation put the Base.
One Limb impacted is sufficient,
For all Others to feel the Mace.
The Unconcern'd with Others' Plight,
Are but Brutes with Human Face
 This deligthful calligraphy design is the sole offering of Art to Live By. It's enough.


Sunny city

Yes! A sunny, happy city, like a child's drawing. Simple lines, pretty yellow sun and (presto!) a feelgood t-shirt to drive the worries away. Found in Simple n'Art, where joyful designs and colors abound.


Cogito ergo... sum?

I won't try to guess what René Descartes would say about this quote, but I love it's doubtfulness.Maybe I'm sick and tired of people feeling they have to project authority and attitude all the time. Maybe it's the way it brings a playful and undermining look to a landmark of western philosophy.
This simple text design by Idea Designs really stands on a great idea -just like the gallery's name promises. And, altough I've said before that most simple quote "designs" don't do it for me, I really enjoy finding those smart exceptions to my rule. This one's great. I think.


... and a helmet New Year!

If you manage to be cool in the first days of 2010 you can expect the coolness to last all year round! Surreality Watch is here to help you achieve this noble goal and stay true to your new year's resolutions. Hence, this über-cool design (rich in surrealitines) celebrating... helmet hair. At the very least, you gotta love the mustache!
A fantastic vintage t-shirt, full of fun 70's weirdness, provided by CrownMoto, the ultimate source for motorcycle clothing and attitude.
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