Looking back on the past year and all the art that was seen on lot, online, on Etsy, Facebook, Expressobeans and PhanArt, it has been great to see the Phish art community expanding as Phish continues to tour. Fans are finding the art inspired by Phish to not only help them get from show to show, but to also make it through the tough economic times in the country today. Fans are industrious to say the least while at the same time creative and seek to help each other out, something that Phish fans do unlike fans of any other band out there. Relatedly, the products that were once more difficult to make are now done with ease. In the past (1.0 and 2.0) it took talent and ability to design phanart, then you had to find a company to make the art (pre-internet) and then sell them, making a small profit with luck so that we could get to the next show.
Now, fans can make pins, the most popular form of phanart, and also a mildly profitable venture when done right. There are designs pouring out of the woodworks, with multiple pins DAILY put up for sale. They aren’t shirts (where it takes a design and a screenprinter) and this isn’t posters (where it takes a great amount of money and significant talent to make a sought after piece of art); this is pins – small, simple pieces of art that DO take time to create but are very easily created when compared to shirts or posters or any other version of art.
This year, the Best of 2011 was selected from fan reactions to art on tour, requests for art online, popular posts on Facebook and PhanArt.net, creativity put into the work, as well as fan and artist input in recent weeks on their favorite pieces of art. There were so many to choose from, we have some honorable mentions and an official 11 for 2011! Simply put: all PhanArt made in the last year has been amazing, and the following is some of the best. If you don’t agree, share what was missed below in the comments section
The Top 11 from 2011
JDub Allstars can be found at virtually every Phish show selling an extensive selection of shirts, hats and other designs. These shirts covered the bases for all nine of Phish’s festivals and highlighted an image corresponding to each of the previous festivals. Pick up one of the limited selection of sizes left at Doctor Fluff Tees.
#10. Jennifer Kahn’s NYE MSG token pendant Jennifer has been making some great unique, handcrafted art for a couple years now and this year’s NYE pendant showed her creativity and design skills, incorporating ‘Occupy MSG’ and the dates into a very stylish piece of jewelry. Jennifer has a couple left in her Etsy Store, 5 Silver and 2 Brass.
#9. Bug pin created by Ryan Kerrigan and Noah Phence - There have been dozens, if not over 100 pins made this year from various artists, but one of the most creative was done by tour vet and lot artist Noah Phence. Bug + butterfly + lyrics on the wings = a big seller and #9 on the list. Pick one up at zenster.net
#8. Jiggs’ MFMF shirt - Combining Iron Maiden and Phish is no easy task but Jiggs took the idea to fruition and resulted in a quickly sold out shirt.
#7. Bruce Horan’s UIC poster and shirt Playing off NICU and UIC with a bit of visual imagery tests the eyes with Bruce Horan’s poster and shirt design from UIC this summer. Bruce has three shirts and a few posters left on his site
#6. Angry Birds of a Feather shirt by Phil Hoffman These shirts were a hit on PT then made their way to UIC where Phil agreed to put these on the site. The Angry Birds of a Feather shirt combines two things that made for a great shirt design – an easily recognizable original image and an immediate reference to Phish that only Phish fans would get. The birds have the dates of the three UIC shows inside them as well. Phil has only a couple left
#4. AJ Masthay’s MSG Rapture AJ continues as one of the preeminent Phish poster artists and has made official prints for both Umphrey’s McGee and Widespread Panic as well as great prints for select shows for Phish each tour. This quadtych catches the panic of 2012 arriving set inside midtown Manhattan with the Garden taking center stage, as it should. This print sold out shortly after release, as many of AJ’s classic posters do.
#3. TRiPP’s Tahoe set of prints TRiPP had alot of prints to choose from this year, including MSG, Gorge, Merriweather and practically every show since Bethel, but the Tahoe prints stand out for their vibrancy and design, complete with a fish bubbling at the bottom of the sold out prints.
#2. Kuroda Light Rig shirts from Jonathan Lamb The most creative hand drawn shirt design of the year, Jon Lamb’s ‘Kuroda Light Rig’ shirts. Vibrant in detail and capturing the 5th member of the band, Lamb’s shirt bounces off three different color shirts and draws you into the light.
and the #1 piece of Fan made Phish Art for 2011 is………………….
Ortiz’s ‘Da Blue Line’ sold out in less than an hour at Da Mock Show at UIC on 8/16/11 and makes the list at #1. Capturing a classic Chicago image with the EL train blue line covered in the iconic cheerio design and headed straight to UIC, Ortiz’s print is no less than 5 colors and a giclee print on 220 gram fine art paper. The only remaining prints after UIC are his are Artist Proof prints which can be picked up by contacting Michael at ortiz (at) likemindedproductions.net and check out more great art by Ortiz on his site www.michaelortizart.com