Airbrushing identities onto T-shirts
Jack Acharya has been airbrushing ‘customised’ images onto T-shirts for more than ten years. The half Nepalese/Thai young man explains that its popularity has increased tenfold recently and that he has two main markets; Australians and Kuwaitis.
Monday 4 June 2012, 09:55AM
“We can put whatever image customers want on their T-shirts. Most people want a caricature of their faces put on them, for example.”
Jack added that there were cultural differences in what his two main markets asked for though.
“Kuwaitis tend to want intricate designs of religious iconography, symbols and characters,” Jack said, “Whereas a lot of Australians like to have genitals on their T-shirts.”
Jack can draw anything, and along with his Thai partner Boy, they quite often do.
The process is easy, at least for them; first they take a picture of the image or draw it on the spot completely freehand. Then they impress the image on the T-shirt using a standard compressor machine.
Then comes the tricky bit, they add a range of vibrant or moody, dark colours on the image and ink the rest of the T-shirt; again completely customised. The T-shirts sell for around B600-800, depending on the intricacy and size of the image.
“It takes around two hours to do the picture and slightly less if customers want an image on the bonnet of a car or the body of a bike.”
So the next time you see a motorcycle with purple flames licking the body, a T-shirt with a ‘krazy’ message on it or even an Arabic symbol, it will have likely come from the Patong shop of the ever-smiling Jack and Boy.
Jack and Boy’s stall is located opposite the Beach Road in Patong.