Behind the Scenes of Joey’s Dreamland

Joey’s Dreamland was birthed out of the desire to continue an idea I had five years ago.

Joeys Dreamland Full Shirt

During my first run at Sotare back in 2007 I had an idea to do a four shirt series based around the “Patterns” shirt. The idea was to do one shirt for each of the four patterns used in the shirt. Since I knew that the rebirthing Sotare would include a new version of the “Patterns“ shirt, I wanted to see if there was a creative way to fulfill this idea.

Joey’s Dreamland was originally started as the argyle shirt in the pattern’s series. However, before Joey came into the scene I already had a design. This first design of the argyle shirt was very basic and straightforward. So much that it was lifeless and boring.


I then figured that I could take the argyle and use it as the pattern for Joey’s shirt, which gave me a really cool design. The only problem was that it didn’t feel complete.


I liked Joey with the argyle pattern, but he needed to be put into some sort of world. A mixed media painting I did a few years ago had the perfect background of flowers and a cloud.


So I snapped a quick picture with my phone and then digitally edited out everything but the black paint. I took that into Inkscape and created a digital version of the flowers.  Once this was done, it was simply a matter of coloring in the flowers and cloud. I figured that Joey must have fallen asleep after getting a new blanket or new set of pajamas that had some of these checkered and argyle patterns on them. This in turn caused him to have a real psychedelic dream.

Flower Detail

Once the file was done it was emailed to the printers. And once the shirts arrived, it was time to add some hem tags. I was torn between either pink or blue, but upon seeing the shirts in person the blue tags just seemed to fit. They also added a nice balance of blue from the cloud.

What are your thoughts on the design? Any questions or comments about the design process? Shoot me an email, comment, or message me!

-Adrian Black