About Shabby Shirts


One day, sitting around with my pals drinking beer and telling each other how good we are, one of us suggested that we have a drawing exhibition.

Why not? We thought. What a splendid idea. Since we met at art school we’d done heaps of things together, we started a band, we were on television. Once we even painted a house.

Onward ever onward we all cheered as we toasted our future endeavours and gulped another mouthful of cleansing ale. Let’s get going. Braced with pencil, pad and all other miscellaneous items we set to our task, heedless of all hurdles that we may encounter.

Years passed without one frustrating hour spent framing. Not one picture being hung and in some cases, hardly a pencil touching paper. Except for me. The idiot. I had a whole collection of drawings.

Later, in all innocence, it was suggested that my drawings would look good on t-shirts.

And this is where the journey begins. A journey that would see me and my illustrious crew sailing through uncharted seas. A sea full of under currents, hidden reefs and monsters of epic proportions. A sea full of dilemmas. What type of printing to use? What type of neck line should the shirts have? Should they be tapered at the waist? What weight should they be? Should they be 120gsm or 140gsm? What colour: black, white, perhaps a grunge colour, or a neutral colour? Who knew?

We all agreed that the shirts would be 100% cotton.

And here we are. Am I going to be a portrait of misery, languishing in creative frustration and bankruptcy, or wallowing in self-satisfaction and smugness? That, my dear friends, is entirely up to you. And remember, you can wear one of my pieces of art or you or could get one of the prints. Or if you don’t like any of these please feel free to revisit for new designs.

Who knows, if things work out, I could attempt tea towels, table clothes, canvas bags, aprons, even mugs and coasters. The world would be my oyster… Hey, that sounds like another t-shirt.

— Billy White