February 7th marked the anniversary of the passing of legendary Hip-Hop producer J-Dilla. His life is celebrated internationally on this day throughout the Hip-Hop community. I was asked to design a T-shirt for Dilla day in Hawaii by the Lightsleepers crew. J-Dilla is responsible for so many of my favorite tracks in Hip-Hop, so I was super excited to jump into this tribute piece.
All I needed was some reference and some Dilla beats to dictate the direction and mood.
Once the line started taking form, I simply had to guide it. As a character designer who always has to stay within a said style, there is no greater pleasure then when I get free range to design something in my own style, without restriction of an animation production pipeline.
Once I was happy with the design, I brought the image into Adobe Illustrator, vectorized it and did the color separations for the 3 color silk screen. The color scheme was inspired by those classic Rawkus records T-shirts that I wish I held on to.
Emailed the file to the homies in Hawaii, and VIOLA! the shirts came out super fresh!!!
The shirts where packaged with a "Donuts Are Forever" record tote bag and Free stickers. A portion of the proceeds went to the J-Dilla Foundation to help fight against Lupus. A huge shout out to Truest, sneaker and street wear boutique for holding down the event.
Thank you to all the Dilla fans and to TRUEST for supported the release, I wish I could of been in town for it, but there's always next year, Mahalos!!!