Well, 2012 was an incredible year for PhanArt, with more art than ever before, plus the addition of five staff members to the site – Taylor, Kelley, Chris, Jim and Chris. Fans have been submitting more and more art to PhanArt for sharing on the site, which led to a record number of posts as well as a record amount of money raised for The Mockingbird Foundation – over $3700!
What was popular this year? Well, shirts and posters as usual, but anything that had that Cheerio/Henrietta design took top honors for the most common piece of phanart. It seemed that every bit of clothing and all sorts of art were seeing this design, any why not? It’s iconic, only Phish fans know what it is, making it a silent calling card for other fans whether at a show or in real life. There was at least one wedding party with Fishman ties for the groomsmen!
Then of course, there are pins, which has basically become a flooded market. Everyone is making them, few are buying and many are trading for them. Some of them are truly amazing and we are likely only a few days away from the first ‘Golf Ball’ themed pin of 2013. There are a reported 1700-1800 pins total made already, according to Fred Hosman, who would know, because he collected pretty much every single one up to date. That number of pins is more than the number of individual pieces of art in PhanArt: The Art of the Fans of Phish!
So, here we are with more art being made, Phish being at the top of their game and the 30th anniversary likely to shed a great deal of art, especially if there are more shows than the last two years. Without further rambling, I present the Best of PhanArt, 2012 edition. This list of 12 was compiled with input from fans on the website, Facebook, Twitter, as well as reported sales from artists and feedback on lot. Some of these pieces of art are still available for sale, while some sold out a long time ago. Click the links to see what you can still get and support the Phish Art Community! Remember, the Phanart made in 2012 was amazing and the following is just some of the best. If you think something was overlooked, share what was missed below in the comments section below.
Otto NYE print
AJ Masthay Kansas City
Tim Ripley Colorado
Michael Ortiz San Francisco/Colorado/NYC series
Ceramic Pheesh from Matt Pace
And now for the Best PhanArt of 2012…
12. My Other Vehicle is a Second Set Tweezer
A simple Tweet led to an incredibly popular sticker, so much so that it was sold in bulk to a few fans during Summer Tour. Andy Cary’s wit led to a sticker that was begged for at shows, Jiggs’ design made it the perfect bumper sticker for a car, and led to some nice donations for The Mockingbird Foundation, as Andy deferred any profit to them. In keeping with that, all sales of this sticker through the month of January will go to The Mockingbird Foundation, after shipping and handling.
11. Split Open and Melt pin
You couldn’t make a more literal pin, but Jeff from My Phavorite Things did, and succeeded. It doesn’t look like there are any pins left for sale, but if you can get one, this is a well through out and produced pin.
10. Kerrigan summer print
The return of the Happy Fish in one incredible print! Ryan Kerrigan continues to create incredible Phish posters for each show and tour, and this one stood out as one of the best of the Summer!
9. Life is Hood shirt
Life is Good < Life is Hood. Brian Kushner of PhanBadge made a great shirt with a familiar guitar sticking out, and the response was incredible. Many shirts were out of stock by the time SPAC rolled around. Brian graciously donated a few shirts to benefit The Mockingbird Foundation, all of which were snapped up quickly. The crossover aspect is huge with this shirt, since you can wear it to a show or just in daily life, getting more than a few heads to turn when they notice the slight difference in this now classic shirt.
8. Party Time/Playboy shirts
Seen on the lots of Bader Field in June, this is a great shirt, hands down. The Playboy brand has an aura of epic parties in the grotto, and ‘Party Time’ is the perfect way to to tie the two together. This shirt was only seen briefly on tour, so we have no purchasing info, so if you know who made this shirt, contact PhanArt (at) gmail and we will do our best to have it up on the site. Again, great shirt to the creators!
7. Otto summer leg 2
Branden Otto has been making posters since 2010 and in 2012, he found his groove, creating incredible work from start to finish. Fans sold out one edition, leading to a second variant being produced. Stacking the vehicles, adding in tour dates and some subtle Phish references, as well as great creativity and color schemes showed that Otto is moving on up among his fellow artists.
6. Jam Jars
The “Jam Jar” series by Tweezburger
creator Jon Weber and Cactus Bomb Designs
doesn’t just look great on bread, all 6 jump out as genius spins on different jams Phish has done over the years. Funny, small and a set = classic Phish pins.
5. Summer Tour Pac-Man shirts
These were seen through much of Summer Tour, although the creators never got in touch with us to get on the site. Based on the number of fans wearing them, it’s likely they sold well on tour, if not sold out. Using the one and two-stops on tour as general pellets to eat, and the four 3-day runs the Power pellets is just smart designing. This was well thought out and a great design. It would even be higher on the list, but black isn’t a great color shirt for the summer. But being in the top half of the Best of 2012 isn’t too shabby. Big ups to the four levels at the bottom, one for each tour to date in the 3.0 era.
4. TRiPP Atlantic City triptych
Try saying THAT five times fast. This set has been sought after by fans and sold quickly, making for yet another classic TRiPP trio of prints that connect to form gorgeous imagery.
3. Jiggs Oklahoma City Zoo
Jiggs has branched out from his earlier designs and t-shirts and delved into some great posters in the past year, starting with NYE 2011 and going through 2012 with Bader Field, OKC Zoo and Dick’s prints. This one stands out among them all, capturing the song that would cap off the band’s first show in Oklahoma, in a most unique fashion.
2. Ties from stuPINdous Creations
Never in a million years did I think that Phish-themed ties would be a thing, let alone a well produced thing. Well, Adrian from stuPINdous Creations proved that one wrong, a few times over. First there was the Henrietta tie, then the Cactus and Big Red ties (seen below) and most recently, a Henrietta Bow Tie. Many of these ties sold out quickly, especially the Henrietta tie. These ties are stylish, they are great for work or play and speaking from experience, get compliments nearly every time. That’s a great tie – when they don’t realize there’s a Phish theme to it, but you do. Adrian, nice work on these. Can’t wait to see the Page tie! Here’s to hoping it involves sandwiches!
And the best of PhanArt 2012 is…….
1. Ben Whitesell’s NYE
The intricate detail of this limited edition print from Ben Whitesell and the overwhelming response from Phish fans made this a runaway #1 choice for 2012. Ben has made great prints in the past and this one is the culmination of his growing skills in making great posters. Examine the way in which Ben detailed Trey’s guitar, going deeper with a mechanical angle and creating one of the best posters of 2012. Ben, here’s to hoping you can keep making art of this caliber in 2013!
So, did we miss something? Was there some art that should have made the list? If so, tell us what you think we missed in the comments below. Art is all around us on Phish tour and this is just a small slice of the great art out there this past year. With greater input from fans taken into greater account this year, we feel this is a great representation of the Best PhanArt of 2012. If this past year is any hint, 2013 will be even better.
– PhanArt Pete and the PhanArt Crew