Make Believe Monsters designs shirts featuring far-from-scary creatures.

Make Believe Monsters designs shirts featuring far-from-scary creatures.

The goofy-looking, screen-printed monsters were dreamed up by Richard Rayburn, who was inspired by childhood experiences.

"I was always just off in a world of my own," Rayburn said.

A shirt called "Nerd Monster," picturing a round, one-eyed guy reminiscent of Mike Wazowski from "Monsters, Inc," is Make Believe Monsters' bestseller so far.

Dustin Kuhn, one of the Make Believe Monsters organizers, calls people's reactions to the bold, quirky tees "unbelievable."

"Everyone says the shirts are so eye-catching," Kuhn said. The unisex tees have been available since early June. "And the diversity of the people buying the shirts - it's so cool to see that people of any age are interested."

Expect to see even more people donning the designs after a line of onesies, hoodies, boy shorts and tote bags comes out this fall.

The tees are available online and at Wholly Craft in Clintonville, and Kuhn and Rayburn hope to open a storefront next spring.

In the meantime, the creators have been planting roots in the local music and arts scenes by linking up with bands to promote shows and setting up shop at many of the festivals this summer.

Coming up next, you'll find them for sale Sept. 18 at Independents' Day (the group will produce this year's event T-shirt) and Sept. 25 at Fall-N-2-Fashion, a show of work from six local designers at Wild Goose Creative.

In October, Kuhn and Rayburn are taking Make Believe Monsters on tour with Karate Coyote. They also promote Twenty One Pilots and the Wet Darlings, among others.

"One goal of ours is to bring together music and fashion," Kuhn said. "Giving T-shirts away to local bands, we'd start seeing pictures of them up online, and now will be walking down High Street or somewhere Downtown and see someone we've never met wearing our stuff."