The rise of the art inspired graphic tee – words Alexa Wang

T-shirts are becoming an increasingly popular way for individuals to express themselves – whether by wearing their favourite band’s most recent tour shirt or by wearing a garment that boasts a slogan that holds a meaning for the individual – a shirt is a great way of conveying a message and showing your own unique personality.

The graphic tee is an especially popular choice, with gothic style pieces proving to be especially appealing. By using bold black and white images with tattoo inspired designs, artistic animal prints which are taken from tribal symbology are an effective way to express meaning through clothing.

 

The Tribal Symbology of Animals

Ancient tribes have long used animal imagery to convey meaning and to symbolise certain characteristics. This is embodied in the form of the iconic totem pole, which uses carved animals to represent key events, to tell stories, to show respect for the dead and to represent individuals and their families and their traits.

The snake, for example, represents a deep spirituality and healing while also evoking a sense of mystery and secretiveness. In tribal symbology the snake represents passion, humour and inspiration, but with a violent and moody side if handled incorrectly.

The bear is another common image used in tribal imagery and which conveys a deeper meaning. A bear image depicts level-headedness and practicality – a voice of reason – but with a little modesty and shyness thrown into the mix.

An image of a fox indicates quick wits and cunning with a touch of wildness, but at the same time evoking ideas of feminine magic and the power of shape shifting, while the crow is a magical symbol indicating creativity, energy and spiritual strength.

Two animals which appear frequently in Native American symbology are the owl and the wolf, and both have deep meanings of their own. The owl represents adventure and changeability as well as enthusiasm and versatility. The wolf, meanwhile, represents passion and deep-running emotions with love and independence at its very heart. The lone wolf is the epitome of this symbol, with its need for freedom paired with its compassionate, gentle nature.

There are some more unusual creatures too which have their own symbolic meaning. The elephant, for example, holds a meaning of loyalty, wisdom, pride and power, with deep affection at its centre. The moth indicates attraction yet vulnerability, concealment, yet determination, and a strong sense of intuition, and the tiger is a powerful symbol which conveys strength, potency and invincibility.

All of these animals can be found depicted in dramatic and artistic style on The Killing Tree’s art inspired clothing.

Black and White – The Duality of Life

Not only are these tribal animal images a strong representation of the wearer’s character, but their bold depiction in black and white is a dramatic expression of the duality of life.

White – with its message of purity, light and goodness, is the perfect partner to black, with its message of darkness, mystery and power. This powerful contrast creates an expressive statement, and when worn in the form of an art-inspired t-shirt, it conveys that message as a reflection of the wearer’s own personality and character traits – an expression of the duality that is inside all of us, and the light and dark in the individual’s own self.

The Killing Tree is committed to bringing art and its power of expression within easy reach of a wider audience. Helping individuals to express themselves through art inspired prints, their alternative clothing range enables its customers to speak volumes about themselves through their fashion choices.

The rise of the art inspired graphic tee – words Alexa Wang

 

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