The Loot Crate Capsule Collections are limited run crates that focus on pop culture favorite games, shows, and movies that include Avatar the Last Airbender and Fallout. The recently launched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Hesher Capsule Collection is a set of four heavy metal inspired T-shirts that let Ninja Turtle fans show off their headbanging TMNT love through these exclusive and specially designed works of mosh pit ready wearable art.
We spoke with talented designer Austin James about his work on the TMNT Hesher collection, his design process, his love of the Ninja Turtles and his personal favorite piece from the collection.
What was your process in creating a line like this?
I typically love working traditionally but in the case of working with licensed designs I lean toward drawing digitally so I can adapt easily to potential feedback from the licensor. I balance this out by using a lot of great brushes in Adobe Photoshop that emulate traditional tools. The actual concept of the line was inspired by a “Shredhead” shirt design I had an idea for a while back involving Shredder shredding on a guitar with the “Shredhead” title treatment. That concept bloomed into a line of metal-inspired band shirt designs representing various subgenres mostly established in the 80’s.
What was the appeal about working on TMNT for you?
As most babies born from the 80’s I was – and am – a huge TMNT fan. Somehow in my many years of doing various licensed geek products I had never done anything for the Turtles. I jumped at the opportunity.
Why do you think TMNT continues to have a lasting appeal all these years later?
TMNT has always been pretty fantastic and light hearted while occasionally balancing darker themes. It’s a fun, unique, and adaptable property that is nested in a group of goofy likeable reptile siblings. That familial core keeps all the weirdness grounded. Oh yeah and ninjas, mutants, robots. What’s not to love?
What is your personal favorite piece from the collection and who is your favorite turtle?
My personal favorite is probably the “Metalhead” shirt. It was fun to draw and I was able to see it through without changing anything from the original pitch, thanks to our benevolent licensors in the clouds. I love overindulging in illustration and cramming as much as I can into one space, it’s satisfying when that inclination actually works for the design. Raphael is my ride or die:
Get your hands on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Hesher Capsule Collection today! These are very limited, so grab yours now before they sell out!