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.


Call me irresponsible

In constant denial? Refusing to accept how things really are? (how are they, really?) Childish or even hypocritical? Maybe just plain sarcastic?
This weird typography design is the latest addition to The Word series. Ink splashes and text in bright green that simply proposes "Let's pretend none of this ever happened".
So, be optimistic and carry on avoiding the painful truth like the rest of us -or simply express your strange kind of humor! Brought to you by Surreality.


Smoking Lorenzo

Lorenzo is a funny, colorful 3D -or, rather, isometric- character that adorns this beautiful creme t-shirt made by Sauerkids (Mark Moget & Taco Sipma, an artistic duo from the Netherlands). This green, four-legged fellow is a smoker, a fact that gives him a hilariously adult attitude that contrasts with his playful design. One of the best t-shirts I've seen, actually!


Combat fatigue

Dan print
Dan by Visionsfromafoxhole
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Talking about grisly death: these tired and shocked eyes have seen more than anyone should have to put up with. This drawing does not serve fiction. It is a great poster with a painting drawn by William A. Foley Jr, a World War II veteran and renowned artist, whose craftsmanship gives a narrative of life on the front lines.

It's not often you see such a moving, expressive portrait. I do hope that the soldier depicted made it home and found someone to soothe away this heartbreaking glance. It's not just a work of art, it's a snapshot of mankind's painful march through destruction. Find out more about Mr.Foley and discover his work in his Visions from a Foxhole store. Such an artful documentary should not be missed.


Killville city limits

The recent Bad Taste post left me thinking about the dark and grisly side of life -and death. A side traveled by some strange, interesting folks that create art that's not easily accepted by the masses. The Surreality Watch believes that masses can be very bland and celebrates great artwork such as this bold poster found at Killville.

Angry Johnny, the artist behind Killville, draws feverish, violent and darkly humorous tales of murder, insanity, loneliness and pain. And he does it astonishingly well!


Mods and Rude Boys

Being interested in the '60s underground culture and music, I couldn't resist fiddling with the distinctive style, fashion and symbolism of the Mods. Blame it on The Who, The Yardbirds or the Small Faces, but there's something about that era I find irresistible.
So, I played around with Union Jack's colours, thought of the trilby hat (much loved by the Mods and the Rude Boys before them) and I came up with Mod Trilby, a design that encompasses the retro pop imagery of the time and captures the mod spirit.
If you are interested in old-school London scene, one of these products may be right for you. Or you may fancy this classic RAF roundel, whose iconic glory lived on through Punk, the neo-Mods and Brit Pop and stands as a landmark in pop symbolism:

But design, clothes and fashion are just games. Here's what it's really all  about:


Acquired taste

Long before Peter Jackson became the blockbuster/Lord of the Rings big shot that he is today, he was the master of a small but influential niche: crazy, over the top, splatter-covered comedy horror. With a surreal sense of humor, a DIY attitude and a relentless taste for gory situations, he created cult favorites that still carry quite a punch -if you are the right person, that is!

I believe that his masterpiece is Braindead (aka Dead Alive), a film that may be described as the goriest movie Monty Python never made. But it all started with Bad Taste, a 1987 film that exploded in the horror genre with all the lunacy, fun, and amateurish zeal his creator could muster. It's low-budget charm and intentional stupidity ensure that big audiences will always find it idiotic and revolting but one man's meat (hehe!) is another man's poison.

So, without further ado, I present you here with the most amazing story of mean extraterrestrial fast-food owners harvesting the population of a small town for their meat, and of the brave (and not so bright) young men who decide to stop them:

[DISCLAIMER: It's full of silly, ultra-graphic violence. The title should tell you something...]


Let it roll!

Recently I've become particularly interested in skateboard decks. They provide a wonderful format for edgy, unusual designs -and, yes, even surreal ones! Here's a selection of unique decks that stand out:

still listening ver. 2 skateboard
still listening ver. 2 by mad_king
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The first one is from Mad King and I believe that the radio telescopes looking for strange frequencies under this red, grungy-textured sky, give it an ominous intensity. A fine work of art by Jake Johanson, Denver, USA.

This one, by Designalicious, is a totally different approach. Playful, with funny and wild monochromatic characters, yet not overdone. The artist is Maaike Boot from the Netherlands and she has done a wonderful job.

The knot work on this deck makes it look like it was carved in stone. This intricate, medieval look is, actually, a great piece of fractal art by Scott Ferman and you may find it in his store Avandas.

Back to Netherlands, with a minimal, modern and, somehow, futuristic design.A great dystopian piece of an unwired mechanism. I love it's simplicity and the hidden darkness that contrasts with the white background. Found in SIT''s store.

Last but not least, this extravagant beauty from DECKDOM, a place with a marvelous taste for strange, surreal decks. I do wish they put up more designs because the ones I found there were absolutely magnificent!


Punk mail

Do you remember snail mail? Well, you should, because there is nothing like the feeling you get when receiving a letter. It's instant proof that someone likes you enough to actually spend some time and effort writing and sending it. Plus, if the envelope is something like this crazy punk bird (complete with the dark eyeglasses, mohawk, boots and all!) you're off to a smiling day!
I found this gem in Edition Handdruck and the artwork was made by Martin Stankewitz. The glorious doodling in the text balloon is customizable so you can put your name and address. Let the bird carry your message to your loved ones!

[Martin is a draughtsman and artist printer specializing in monotype prints. His squidoo lense on monotype printing is very interesting and informative. A really great place to start learning about monotypes, full of valuable resources and advice from this experienced artist.]


Life reused

Reinventing. reusing, combining fragments to form a new, meaningful whole is an enchanting process. I have a soft spot for artwork that finds exciting ways to deal with the past and the mundane. This poster - a collage created from found objects- by Akayo was an instant favorite.
441803119_31302392f1_o button
441803119_31302392f1_o by akayo1
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You don't need big surfaces to get a wonderful piece of art. Akayo's talent impresses even in the tiniest format of this fine pin button. His sense of colors and the graffiti character and slogan is delicious! From stickers to city walls, from galleries to skateboards: this artist from San Francisco Bay Area knows no boundaries.
If his store isn't enough for you, there's more beauty to explore in his website.


Art deco pop

An art deco floral motif provides inspiration for this colorful roundel. It's great both as a standalone design and combined with this fine, discreet gray background.
Flora Deco shirt
Flora Deco by surrealitee
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I like the way the vintage elements blend in a contemporary, pop-ish way. The color combination is great, too!
Flora Deco apron
Flora Deco by surrealitee
Design a cooking apron on zazzle
It's been a long time since I added a retropop design and I'm really satisfied with this one. I believe you'll see more artwork along these lines in the future, quite possibly with a more surreal touch. Look for more products with the Flora Deco design in Surreality.


Shoes aplenty

One color is enough to bring a smile on your face! This great t-shirt found in Kev Munday's store is the proof that talent and a fresh look can make art out of anything. And I do mean anything:
Dirty Dishes card
Dirty Dishes by kevmunday
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Don't get me wrong, here. Kev is a great artist that doesn't stop on black and white. He has the enviable ability to create funny characters from whatever strikes his fancy. Bowling pins, slices of pizza or just plain brush strokes.
He finds inspiration in the strangest places and the designs he delivers are alive with the fervor of street art and graffiti. Urban spirit has seldom been as vibrant as it is in his art.



Good vs. Evil 1st print
Good vs. Evil 1st by diftype
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I admire the beauty and elegance of this print from Diftype store. It's rich in details and textures yet minimalistic. The artist is Niklas Lundberg, a graphic designer from Sweden. He is a very talented guy who excels in abstracts.
1-2 Another print
1-2 Another by diftype
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I find his way of balancing and deconstructing circles particularly interesting. I also enjoy his philosophical inspirations and his effort on giving form to abstract thought. Beautiful artwork, indeed!
For a full taste of his abilities have a look at his fine personal website.


Mischief in art

This raglan shirt bears the mark of Puzoichi's love for graffiti and street art. It celebrates, in bold black and white, the joy of creating right on the skin of the city. Some may prefer the pristine sight of an untouched, sterile surface but... there are always people like that, aren't they?
Puzo, the multi-talented artist behind this design, votes in favor of the hand holding the marker. His hand finds happiness in strong lines, ink drips and chaotic -yet solid and expressive- composition. I wish I could see his work on my street. Well, at least there's always the internet!



Cubismo dark shirt
Cubismo dark by surrealitee
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I've been playing around with minimal designs based on cubes for sometime now. The results weren't what I had expected and I was about to give up when I stumbled upon a great font created by Svetoslav Simov and redesigned by Victor Saygin. I used it to make my Cubismo design. The letters spell "cubismo" but the outcome is almost abstract geometric art.
I believe it's great, whether in white background or in black and, by concentrating on the forms, I also came up with a rather good stationery! You can find Cubismo on a variety of products in my Surreality store.


Raider of the Lost Premakes

What if famous blockbusters, such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars or Forest Gump, were filmed much earlier than they did? What would their trailers look like?
This is the question asked -and promptly answered!- by a film enthusiast with a great knowledge of Hollywood's golden era. Painstakingly researched and created, I present you with some pseudo-vintage genius from whoiseyevan's channel!
The premakes are fake, of course, but his unique idea, humor and hard work is real and very entertaining.
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