Recently I was tasked with devel­op­ing a more or less per­ma­nent design that would be used, indef­i­nitely, on the T-​​shirts we do for our annual Route 66 5K/​10K run.

In pok­ing around for some decent south­west­ern designs, I stum­bled across (was reminded of, actu­ally) art­work by the Mimbres cul­ture, an off­shoot of the Mogollon.

I was able to do some surf­ing around for some really strik­ing designs, and real­ized that I loved all of it. So I’ve been toy­ing about in AI and see­ing what I could come up with that works as an homage, of sorts, but is also regional enough to apply to our par­tic­u­lar ter­ri­tory.

We have lots of sun­light. This is one ele­ment of what will be a much larger design.

Same for this one. We have lots and lots and lots of ocotillo around here.

The nifty bit is (1) being all vec­tor art, this stuff is infi­nitely scal­able; and (2) once I get the other ele­ments put together, I’ll be able to over­lap them and reverse col­ors (black/​white, vice-​​versa) so they’ll keep their orig­i­nal detail, remain dis­tinct — and still silkscreen well.

Originally I’d had it in mind to sketch out the final design, scan it, and trace over it in AI — but that wouldn’t let me use the pathfinder magic as well as oth­er­wise, and I think it’ll work bet­ter devel­oped as indi­vid­ual com­po­nents which can then be com­bined for a final image. So I’m doing this as all-​​vector with­out any­thing but hard­copied ref­er­ence images, which is a first for me in work­ing with AI. (At least, with any­thing this com­plex.) It’s pretty neat, really, and rather empowering.

More ele­ments later as I keep devel­op­ing them.

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