10 Questions with John.

We only know John is the guy behind the original, popular and uber famous FUCKTARD Bush Head Tee at strk3.com.

[1] Paul: First, describe to us John in 5 words.
John: Common F*cking Sense Uber Alles.

Paul: Ok, but we hardly know you still, care to describe to us John in more than 5 words?
John: I don't like to pigeonhole my views, since it's an easy way to strawman oneself right out of the gate, but if I had to self-describe with a label, I suppose I would be a Secular-Progressive-Constitutionalist.

[2] Paul: Which is your best design at strk3.com? Why?
John: Best design? I guess that begs the meaning of the word 'Best'. I think the best artwork is on the 'Comrade Stalin' shirt. The best humor would be on the Lenin designs, where he's dressed up like a pimp, or placed alongside the palm trees and the muscle car. I think those are really in the spirit of Warhol or Lichtenstein. The best current-events shirt would be the 'Viva La Evolucion' shirt - it makes a statement about the whole Intelligent Design discussion, but it's also a kick-ass Planet of the Apes reference.

[3] Paul: Which is your best selling design so far?
John: Surprisingly, the best-selling design right now is the Bush head cutaway with the tiny brain. People love getting that on a totebag. The Federal Reserve shirt sells quite a bit too. Mostly on the organic cotton tees.

Funny enough, this store in my neighborhood has recently started carrying a version of the 'Bush & Crossbones' shirt. I usually don't get too bent if I see someone using the same ideas that I have - If there's one thing I've learned in art, no matter how original you think you are, there's always some other person out there with the same ideas.

[4] Paul: We are starting to get the feeling that you do not really like President Bush here? Is it true? Why?
John: With most political figures, you really need to separate the person from the policy. As anyone with a modicum of common sense can see, Bush has terrible policy. He's not fiscally conservative. His foreign policy is completely grab-ass. Separation of church and state under his administration is a farce. The portions of his policy that aren't hastily thrown together, or drawn up with the help of Jesus, are handed to him pre-written by large corporate interests.

His 'energy policy' which allows you a 100% tax write-off if you buy a HUMMER (or similar-size SUV), while only allowing a $3,000 tax credit for a hybrid vehicle, was mostly put together by energy-industry insiders. He wants to open up the Alaskan Wilderness for irrevocable damage and destruction so we can extract a paltry 30-months worth of oil. (Annual US consumption is 7 billion bbl., the Alaskan Wilderness holds a maimum of 18 billion bbl.)

His judgement of personal ability isn't much better. While I accept the winning candidate may reward certain key players in his campaign with cushy jobs, Bush goes far beyond that. His administration as a whole can be described in two words: rampant cronyism. It's one thing to appoint an incompetent as, say, ambassador to Luxembourg - or maybe as deputy assistant to the secretary of the interior. It's another thing entirely to be appointing these imbeciles to the Supreme Court (Harriet Miers), or placing them in charge of FEMA (Mike Brown).

I think it's really sad that you see working-class Americans voting against their interests in support of Bush/Cheney because they feel like he's their friend when they see him on TV wearing a cowboy hat. Or voting against their interests because they want to 'teach those libruls a lesson.' You know what? When gas is $3.20 a gallon, your kids are dying in Iraq for no reason, the country is falling apart, your uncle is dying of Parkinson's because we can't properly research stem cells, and your elderly parents have their nest egg legally stolen out from under them, I don't think 'teaching those libruls a lesson' should really be your top priority. Hell, even if you have a mental block against voting Democrat, at least pick a Republican that actually wants to be President, like McCain. If McCain were president, we'd be in a far better place as a nation.

When it really comes down to it, a President's role as steward of the nation is best judged by the experience of the little guy. And at every turn in the road, Bush has allowed (or encouraged) the little guy to get screwed. Enron wasn't a one-time occurrence. There's Worldcom. There's Delta and Northwest ditching their pension obligations (you'll see a lot more of that coming up-- note the fiscal condition of the PBGC). These people lost their retirement. They lost what they've worked for their entire lives. He'd completely gut Social Security if he could. I think Bush said it best himself when speaking to a room full of wealthy 'haves and have mores.' He said 'some call you the elite, i call you my base.'

I mentioned before a separation of the person from the policy when discussing political figures. I'd like to say that I really don't dislike Bush as a person; that I just disagree with his policy. I really would. I'd like to say that if he were a regular joe co-worker, he and I could get along. But then, when you look at what he does privately, you realize he's kind of a dick as a regular person.

Bush has no respect for the law (ref: his 1976 DUI). He's a man that has no respect for personal property rights (ref: the eminent domain seizure of the Mathes family land in Texas for personal profit). He's a man that will dress up in a flight suit at a staged media event, making a complete mockery of the brave servicemembers who have died in Iraq. He's a man that covets Saddam's pistol as a personal trophy-- as if he went over there and got it himself.

Bush as President is maladroit at best. Bush the person is the dictionary-definition example of a sociopath. That pretty much sums it up.

[5] Paul: Alright enough about President Bush, now where else can we go to buy your design?
John: They're on spreadshirt.com, and on cafepress. I'm working on getting a screenprinter set up, possibly something like Cinderblock.

[6] Paul: Your illustrations are quite unique really, where did you pick your illustration skills?
John: There's plenty of people that really blow me away. Jenn Borton's stuff for example is really good.

I've always drawn stuff, or enjoyed making things with my hands. I picked up a copy of Illustrator about 13 years ago, and started tinkering with that. I picked up Photoshop around the same time ('92-'93). I used to run Photoshop on a 486dx with 16 megs of RAM. With the new Adobe CS2, I now do about 90% of my work in Illustrator. I can't recommend a class or a book really, since I've learned everything piecemeal as I went along. The trick with learning anything is to do it every day, and you'll constantly improve.

[7] Paul: So what do you really do for a living?
John: I work in an undisclosed capacity in the Marketing Group for an undisclosed company. Kind of a non-answer, isn't it? What matters is that I get to mess around in Illustrator and Photoshop all day, and they pay me for it. Getting paid to do what you like to do is the best kind of job to have.

[8] Paul: Do you really make money from online stores selling tees? Which online stores do you recommend us if we are to start a online store?
John: Well, the main bulk of the money on the CafePressshirts goes to CafePress. Markup is only a couple dollars or so per item. I make enough to cover the CafePress store fee, hosting, and bandwidth costs, which add up because I'm pretty lax about allowing people to hotlink the images on the site. If someone likes my designs enough to post them places, or use them in their sig on a forum, I think that's great. It gets the ideas out there, and the humorous ones make people laugh. My main goal for this is that it's a personal playground for ideas, since I don't get to explore these types of ideas and imagery at work.

If I sat down and set up a site with CC processing, shopping cart, and had a screenprinter print up batches of shirts, the volume of shirts at $19 would be an okay amount compared to the overhead. The thing is, with my day-job obligations, I don't think it would work on the customer-side of things. I travel a lot for what I do, so if I have to be out of the state for a month to work on a project, that's a month where I wouldn't be able to take orders and mail shirts.

I've been shopping online enough to know that when people order something, they want it as quickly as possible, with as little hassle as possible. That's why I stick with services like Spreadshirt.

[9] Paul: Any new designs we can expect from you in the coming weeks?
John: I've got a few things in the works. I have to finish up a Bruce Lee shirt, and a Mr. T. Shirt. There's also a lot of stuff going up on Spreadshirt. They've got great product, and really kickass customer service. Further than that, I'll be doing a lot more posters and stickers on both Spreadshirt and Cafepress.

[10] Paul: Finally, any favorite websites of yours?
John: I've read boingboing.net since its inception. I also read Slashdot on a daily basis, Penny Arcade is a kickass online comic, I read Fark, and AnandTech. Pretty much your standard techie website list.