Yamabushi Designs the Psychedelic T-shirt Part: 01

The psychedelic t-shirt as soul armor…

blue hood 1The psychedelic t-shirt has been with us since the sixties, the format is generally similar insomuch as the goal is to display some reference visually to the psychedelic experience. The com-modification of the culture with a certain knowing wink. The look of trippiness or something that would look cool if you looked at it while tripping. The visualization of the psychedelic experience has always existed, but the specifics of the visual hallucinations never influenced modern popular culture to the degree until L.S.D was widely used. You had huge swaths of the population tuning in and dropping out. This in turn influenced the way all rt was made. New ways of perceiving reality emerged and influenced all forms of artistic expression. The most signature aspect in visual terms was an attempt to capture the hallucinatory look. The rainbow trails of color, the foreshortening and scale reversals, as well as the inverted day glow colors all became radically common place with this new movement. Stoner art is born, stuff to look at while stoned has a new revolutionary value. Peter Max and his early work and popularity changed the way consumers viewed the aesthetic value of everyday items. Through the seventies psychedelic became the mainstream. In popular culture the colors and design of almost everything was altered to represent the new collective head space.

You had the drug culture influencing popular culture and the natural personal statement of what clothing you wore showed what side you may be on. The psychedelic t-shirt became an outward manifestation of where your head was at. Are you head or fed? The degree of the shirts psychedelicness could also measure the degree of commitment to the psychedelic cause, of the shirts wearer. Clothing as protest for personal freedom versus probable cause for a search of your personal belongings. You wore your hair long with your heart on your sleeve with a shirt that implied you like to get stoned. Then, as now, you get pulled over and your car searched easy prey for the boys in blue. The more you waved your freak flag the more you were{are}, thought of as easy pickings for law enforcement.

The symbol on your shirt tells the world how you feel. The freedom of self expression had never been as championed as it needs to be, but the era of the sixties began a slow process of change. Freedom is what visually the colors represent, the hope and dreams of a better future. To face the hidden truths with a smile instead of reactionary fear. To go to the beyond to find out more about yourself , to see the world from different angles and learn from the experience. To not be afraid to think for yourself instead of a steady diet of dogma.

dab hoody and hat detail 5The psychedelic t-shirt as soul armor. The shaman’s favorite t-shirt showcases the beauty of the journey. How do you show what can’t be seen? How do you share the intensity of the psychedelic experience and the value of it to others? You wear the outward trappings and those that know the code will nod in silent solidarity. The t-shirt becomes tribal markings, identifying your belief system. It is sharing the cool visuals through the individual artist’s interpretation of the mystical experience. The artist is sharing they’re personal take on capturing the uncapturable. The pallet the artist uses is universal and readily identifiable. The style knows no borders or age and will only continue to develop and evolve. One only has to view the visuals at a Phish show or DJ Tipper to see the style lives on mutating magnificently. From jam bands to electronic music the psychedelic t-shirt lives on. There will always be a merch table with clothing to help you immortalize your experience with your mind integrating with the music in a psychedelic style. The t-shirt designers job is to visually equate the scenario in a universally acceptable manner for those that have eyes to see.