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  • Sisi Mereness

My Tasty Tomato Shirt?

A crucial aspect of creative thinking is our ability to think outside the box and our capacity to imagine. Albert Einstein said that “imagination is more powerful than knowledge”. Creating this clever tomato shirt was a wonderful opportunity to showcase how ones imaginative idea can come to life with a little photoshop magic.

A few years back I was tasked to launch an ad campaign for my clients organic line of cotton shirts. At the time organically grown food was all the rage and my client wanted to let everyone know that their shirts were grown on organic cotton fields in order to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack. The idea was to bring organic to mind as soon as the customer saw the shirts. And the Tasty Tomato Shirt was born. My idea was simply an attempt to make the shirt look like some sort of healthy organic edible fruit or vegetable and the Tomato Shirt was born.

My first attempt was to make the shirt look like a head of lettuce but after some trial and errors the tomato came out looking the best. So you are now wondering how did I ever make a shirt into a tomato. Well I began with a plain white t-shirt, simply rolled it up into a ball and photographed it with my little ole Apple iPhone on the counter behind my desk. No special effects, fancy lighting or green screen, I didn't even iron the shirt.

These images are the actual initial shots with out any retouching. As you can see I didn't even bother to move the tape dispenser out of the way.

It took me about a minute to roll the shirt up and then a couple of more minutes to shoot it at various angles. I remember a few individuals laughing at what I was attempting to accomplish on the table next to their desk but as an artist I have learned to take criticism well and let those snarky remarks just roll off my shoulder for the sake of my art and vision.

Then came the MAGIC! With a little technical know how, I photoshopped the $@#% out of it. I have to admit that the effect did take more than a few hours and more than a few days of revisions. In the end the client was besides themselves and the ad campaign launched with great success. You can see the full campaign in my portfolio here.

To innovate one must perceive the world in new ways and to make creative connections between seemingly unrelated things. The more out of the ordinary the better the creative results and most importantly don't let anyone stop or block your vision.

Years later a co-worker sent me a sample out of a magazine where Fruit of the Loom had created a very similar ad campaign using an Orange. I guess the saying is true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

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