Design team ThoughtCo recently debuted a new T-shirt series that takes seven local artists' work off the canvas and puts it on costumers' chests.

Design team ThoughtCo recently debuted a new T-shirt series that takes seven local artists' work off the canvas and puts it on costumers' chests.

Looks include screen prints of a wolf in a businessman's clothing by painter Stephanie Rond; a honeycomb boom box by Bandito Design Co.'s Ryan Brinkerhoff; a cool bull's head by Mr. Fahrenheit & the Loverboys' bassist Jack Huston; and a baby deer that looks like it survived a nuclear attack, created by comic book artist Tom Williams.

"There are a gazillion artists in this town," said Doug Fordyce, who co-founded ThoughtCo. with Kris Howell last year. "This line is just another way to give young artists a chance to get their work out there."

Fordyce has experience in that regard. He owned the now-closed Studio 16, an artist co-op that thrived on giving local young artists a place to create and show new pieces.

"This is a pretty clear extension of what he was doing there," Howell said.

The guys value the idea that T-shirt designs are a way for the public to experience up-and-coming artists and for those artists to make a paycheck.

It helps that Fordyce and Howell are big fans of the local art scene. Canvases by Amandda Tirey and Cyrus Fire, two other artists with designs in the new series, decorate the walls of Fordyce's apartment.

"We give them a deadline, which helps them push themselves," Howell said. "Then we do the printing and set it free."

Translating a design from canvas to T-shirt, the guys learned, is an art form itself. For example, they had to replicate through screen printing the lighter variation and tone of a watercolor painting, and they collaborated with painter Larry Doyle to make one of his works pop on a T-shirt by adding a bit of color to the background.

Both ThoughtCo guys, who met while bartending at Surly Girl, are designers themselves. They crafted the line's popular "Ohio Grown" tees and have had their hand in designing branding concepts for places like Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails and Lucky 13 Salon. That rockabilly zombie mural behind the Shrunken Head stage? That's a ThoughtCo.

Find the new artist series T-shirts at thoughtco.com for $18-$22. They'll soon also be available at Wholly Craft. ThoughtCo will introduce new artist designs quarterly and is accepting submissions online.

"We love working with artists," Fordyce said. "We work to promote them. And them us."