Q&A with T-Shirt Artist Terry Fan

Canadian resident and t-shirt artist Terry Fan has 16 designs featured on T-Shirts.com for men and women. Some of his top-selling designs include “A Beautiful Death” and “The Ice Age Sucked.” He’s been drawing since he was a kid and continues to do so today- as you can see from his beautiful designs. Terry was able to answer some questions for us about his work, how he gets his inspiration and what he loves about his art. Check out our interview to learn more about T-Shirts.com featured t-shirt designer Terry Fan.


T-Shirt designer Terry Fan


1. When did you first become interested in art and what has kept you interested?

I’ve been interested in art for as long as I can remember. Even before I could talk I was apparently drawing airplanes all over the walls. As far as what keeps me interested, well, that’s not too hard because I’m an innately creative person and I think it’s essential for me to express it in some way. Not necessarily through illustration, either. It could be anything else creative, like writing, film or music.


2. What are your favorite medias to work with and why?

Graphite has become my favorite media because I like the soft look it gives and the subtle shading techniques I can get with it. Occasionally I use pen-and-ink depending on the design. I also love water color and have been trying to get more into that lately.


Terry Fan Art


3. What has been your greatest accomplishment with your art?

As a self-employed, freelance artist I would say just being able to make a living at it is my greatest accomplishment! It has been quite a struggle and it’s only been in the past year or so that I’ve really earned enough to get by.


4. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from basically everything around me and sometimes it can come from some unusual and unexpected places. I’m constantly trying to think of new ideas so whenever I see something that sparks my imagination I usually write it down in my iPhone.


5. What is your favorite T-Shirts.com t-shirt design and what can you tell us about it?

“A Beautiful Death”.  I think that particular design works really well as a t-shirt because it’s a simple, striking image. With that design I wanted to do something surreal, yet familiar and to play around with contrasts.


A Beautiful Death t-shirt design

Available for both men and women on Terry's artist page.


6. What is your process for starting a new design?

It usually involves opening a bottle of red and cranking up the music. Making art is sometimes a lonely business so these things help a lot!


7. What messages do you like to convey through your style?

My style is kind of nostalgic and whimsical, at times humorous and sometimes sad; it really depends on the particular piece and my mood at the time.


Terry Fan drawing


8. If you could design a collaboration with any on person dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I think Maurice Sendak because he had such a big influence on me growing up and “Where the Wild Things Are” has always been my favorite children’s book.


9. What advice do you have for aspiring designers?

It’s pretty simple advice - that if you’re disciplined and work hard at something for long enough good things will eventually come your way.  I think the biggest challenge is to stay positive even when things aren’t going well.  There were many times I felt like giving up and the only reason I’ve had any kind of success is really just due to sheer stubbornness.