NZ illustrator Glenn Jones is a prolific creator. Every day, he churns out clever ideas and colourful, quirky illustrations for his now internationally-known T-shirt label, Glennz Tees; for projects commissioned by the likes of Google, McDonalds, and Budweiser; and now, for his range of art prints and posters available at endemicworld. We had a chat to Glenn to see what makes this humble design heavyweight tick.
Glenn busy in his studio
You’re now very well-known for your unique tee designs, which are sold all over the world from the Glennz Tees base in America.
Ever seen/heard of any one famous wearing a Glennz Tee?
Glennz Tees has been going almost 6 years now and we often have people letting us know about sightings around the web. Rhys Darby and Simon Pegg have worn our tees in the past but the most notable for us has been our Melting Rubiks T-Shirt which has appeared in four episodes of the Big Bang Theory, worn by the character Sheldon. Its not something we knew about until it happened, but it resulted in a huge spike of awareness of that shirt design and our brand.
Glenn’s been putting his quirky, cool designs on t-shirts for years… and now you can get them as art prints!
You’re also in-demand by brands as an illustrator for their products and marketing. Tell us a highlights in terms of a past commission?
Yeah, the Tshirts have been an ongoing advertisement for my work, especially on portfolio sites like Behance & Dribbble, so Ive had the chance to work with some great brands.
The highlight so far has been working as the lead illustrator for the 2012 & 2013 Google Santa Tracker. Both projects took about 3 months of a pretty intensive process to get it all ready with daily video conferencing. In the lead up to the tracking of Santa on Christmas Eve users could make their way through an interactive village with games and scenes that I worked on creating and executing.
I was able to work with some really talented creatives and developers from all over the world, so although they are really hard projects it’s definitely a great experience.
Some of Glenn’s artwork for Google’s Santa tracker
Fave music to create by?
I really like it nice and quiet when I’m working on designs….
What’s your favourite item in your studio/work space?
Not sure, probably my formway chair! I spend a long time on it some times so its nice and comfortable.
You’re so prolific, and all your work seems to be driven by an idea. Do you have a sketchbook filled with loose concepts? What percentage of your ideas end up getting made into finished artwork?
Yeah, lots of ideas all the time, but no notebook, they’re all just in my head so I forget about a few of them too. I try to just draw them as soon as I think about them.
Some I’ll leave for while and come back to sometimes months later if I think I have a better way to visualise it, but mostly I go from brain to screen to internet within a couple of hours.
A lot of Glennz Tees’ success is due to the viral activity we get from my designs, so it’s all about feeding the machine. Not every concept will make it to a T-shirt but we can soon see what resonates with our consumers, and then the favourite designs join the queue to be printed.
Of the Glenn Jones’ art print range on endemicworld, which one is your fave and why?
It’s hard to choose one, I think at the moment maybe Motor Moa.
I just have a thing about Moas so I’m sure it won’t be my last Moa design. It’s just one of those ideas I had in my head for years and I like the way it turned out.
Glenn’s Motor Moa art print design
Best way to get inspired?
Do something else. have coffee, spend time with my daughters, go for a drive. I’ve always found my best ideas are the ones I weren’t trying to think of.
What’s coming up for Glenn Jones?
More T-shirts, Some more great commissioned project in the pipeline and adding to my prints on endemicworld.
Just lots more drawing, thats what I love doing!