Carlos Arines goes by the name Arinesart in the t-shirt world. I can’t imagine how he managed to come up with such a creative nickname. The mind of an artist is a mysterious thing.
Carlos comes from Spain. He likes to create art, drink beer and keep his beard trimmed. Not necessarily in that order. In fact, it’s probably not such a good idea to do beard maintenance after partaking of alcoholic beverages. He lives a nomadic, bohemian existence, moving around Spain whenever he gets the urge. He’s a free spirit. At least that’s the impression he’s trying to give. I suspect that he’s a modern-day Richard Kimble, simultaneously on the run from the police while searching for inspiration for his next t-shirt art.
Some things we can be sure about though is that Carlos Arines is a talented and prolific artist. At the time of this interview, there are
278 281 Carlos Arines t-shirts on the Shirt List.
Now: 320 Arinesart t-shirts.
Hardly a week (day?) goes by without seeing another Arinesart t-shirt so it was very surprising to find that it took 10 months of submitting before he got a t-shirt printed on a daily t-shirt site. Lucky for us, his perseverance paid off and now readers, your perseverance has paid off too because my tedious introduction is coming to an end and you can finally read the Arinesart interview!
I saw on your RedBubble page that you are based in Yuncler, Spain. Born and raised?
Not actually. I was born and raised in Madrid, and I moved to Yuncler (a small town 50 km from Madrid) like 4 years ago, running away from the big city stress. And now I’m moving once again, to Galicia, in the north of Spain. One of the perks of working at home is that you can move pretty much whenever you want :).
What do you like to do in your free time?
Hang out with friends, watch movies, play some basketball, listen to music… I guess I’m a pretty regular guy when it comes to hobbies.
Do you work full-time in art and design?
Yes! I’m a lucky guy!
How is your fight against the evil forces of boredom coming along?
Not bad, not bad, always on the fight, as they seem to never surrender!
About the Artist
When did you know that you wanted to be an artist?
I really didn’t know that I wanted to be an artist at all, lol. I’ve been drawing since I can remember because I love it, but I really never thought that it would eventually become a full-time thing or my way of making a living. I studied journalism and worked as a journalist for years, and that was my life plan. But then life doesn’t care about your plans and it gives you these funny surprises, I guess.
Apart from t-shirts, are you involved in other art/design projects?
T-shirts are like 80% of my production now, but I’m always looking for other projects. I love to do art prints and movie posters. I love packaging too, I’m doing some of that now. You might see some book covers in the not so distant future, too.
Where do you usually get your inspiration?
Everywhere. Sometimes watching a movie, sometimes when shopping in the market, sometimes walking the street… The tiniest of details or the dumbest of things can give you a nice idea, so I always keep my cell phone Notes app open and ready to roll (because I suck at remembering my own ideas if I don’t write them down, lol).
Could you describe your typical design process from concept to completion?
It’s a very direct process, as I usually don’t make sketches or anything like that, I start directly in the ‘inking’ step. Sometimes, especially for my crest designs, I’ll do a very (and I mean VERY) rough composition sketch if the crest is going to have a lot of stuff.
A while back, I would do the full line art, then color it, and then do the shadows, which was kind of a painful coloring process sometimes. Now I find that it’s easier to draw and color every item of the crest one by one. Takes a bit more time, but the process feels more organic to me.
If it’s a ‘brushy’ design, I just go and play with the brushes until I get close to the image in my head.
This is a sort of crappy working process for a super full crest design. From a composition “sketch” to the colored thing to the final design with some shadows to add volume.
What is your favorite non-digital medium?
A ballpen and a blank piece of paper. Tables were fantastic canvases when in school and college too… lol
About the Tees
I thought I might have been wasting my time asking you for an interview as you seem to be incredibly busy. Would you be surprised to know that there are more Arinesart t-shirts on the Shirt List than any other artist?
Not only am I surprised, but I’m stoked! 😀 I guess I’m doing something right, lol. It’s an honor, seriously. It’s amazing to see your own work connecting with people around the world.
See 320 Arinesart t-shirts on the Shirt List.
How many designs do you create in a day?
Depends on the day (the laziness I’m feeling that day, to be precise, lol) and the type of design I’m doing. If I’m in the right mood, I can do a couple of more complex designs in a day, or a full set (8 to 12) of simpler designs.
How did you first hear about daily t-shirt sites like TeeFury and RIPT?
I think I was searching for tees or something like that on the internet, and I came across Threadless. Starting from there, I found Shirt.Woot and then TeeFury, RIPT, Qwertee, etc. It was a nice find, considering at that time I was kinda out of job ideas, lol
Do you remember your first print? If so, what was it and how did you feel?
When I started submitting designs, I spent the first 10 months or so without a single print, so when the first came up, it was like a crazy party happiness ‘drinks on me!’ moment, lol. I think the very first print in a daily site was ‘Adventurer’s Crest‘, my Indiana Jones crest, at TeeFury, which was also my very first submission to TeeFury, I think, which made it all even cooler than it already was.
You have had t-shirts printed by TeeFury, RIPT and ShirtPunch. Do you have a favorite site to work with?
I’ve been super lucky to get prints at almost every site out there (except for Threadless, which was the first place I ever submitted, and the only place I never got a print, lol), and I couldn’t really pick one, because it would be a little unfair for the rest. Also, I have a friendly and close relationship with people at almost every site I work with, and chat with them in a regular basis (I hassle Jason from Once upon a Tee and Carlos from ShirtPunch, via Facebook chat, on a very steady basis of ‘every day’, lol), so I would say it’s a pleasure to get printed in every one of them 🙂
Of the tees that you designed which is your favorite?
That’s a hard one! Probably ‘Serenity Valley Memorial‘, my Browncoats/Serenity crest, or ‘A Hero’s Legend‘, the first one in my Zelda series, would be my picks.
Do you wear the t-shirts that you have designed
Not usually, lol. I know it sucks, but I’m more into all over, artsy prints when it comes to wearing tees myself. I wear my stuff only from time to time. But I wear it proudly, lol.
Have you seen somebody wearing one of your tees in the real world?
Yeah, a bunch of times. I even signed some of them once at a comic convention, when a friend of mine told the guys wearing the tees that I was the designer. It was a super cool moment, but totally bizarre at the same time. Everybody looked at me like “who the frak is this dude??”, and my face almost bursted in red, in a moment of total embarrassment, lol.
About the World
Do you have any role models?
Not much. Probably my dads.
What is the most exotic location you have been to?
In a kinda lost island in the Dominican Republic. I’m not much of a beach guy myself, but that was just frakkin’ paradise.
Where would you most like to visit? Why?
Japan. I’m in love with Japanese folklore and traditional art.
About Other Designers
Which tee designer(s) do you admire the most?
That list could be never ending, lol.
To name a few: Tony Centeno, Biticol, Naolito, Ingkong, Medusa Dollmaker, Zerobriant, Dan Fajardo, Typhoonic (David Bear), Studio M6, Niel Quisaba, Ben Chen, Monekers, Jalop, Emilie Boisvert, Matheus Lopes, Budi Satria Kwan, Saqman, Castelló… the list goes on and on and on…
Also, I’m lucky to be friends with a lot of the super talented Spanish tee artists, we have a ton of talent over here. And we like to drink a lot of beer, too, so you’re all invited to one of our meetings! 😀
Have you done any collaborations for t-shirts? If so, who and what did you design? If not, who would you like to collaborate with?
I suck at it, lol. Seriously, I’m a terrible person to collaborate with. Until this day, I only finished a bunch of collabs with Tony Centeno and Biticol, and I have a bunch of pending collabs with some Spanish pals. I guess I get to immerse in my own (ever growing) list of ideas. I’m trying to get better at it. I promise to.
I also have a bunch of collabs with my brother Nacho (He’s a designer also, but he’s not into the tee thing that much) out there, and we’re preparing now a couple of collections together.
Who would you like to see featured on the Shirt List next?
I’m gonna say Tony Centeno! He’s a superb artist and a better person 🙂
About Tee Design
What design trends have made you go WTF?
The color changing dress, lol. And Minions!! I can understand why they got that popular, but you’ll never see a Minions design by me (I think…).
Any advice for other designers/artists?
I don’t think I’m suited to give much advice to anyone, but I’d say “Keep on working”.
Photoshop or Illustrator?
Photoshop! I’m really terrible at Illustrator, can’t do a damn thing with that tool of the devil!
Star Wars or Star Trek?
May the force be with you, dude!