August 19th, 2014 | By | 1 Comment

How It’s Made… In The Shade Brother-Sister Design Duo Collab on Tropical Billabong Graphic Art


SWELL took a quick trip to the Billabong Merchandise & Design dept to meet the Brother-Sister team behind this radical new of tropical tee in the August  SWELL Catalog

SWELL: Ryan, what’s your role in the Billabong M&D team?

RM: I’m a Senior In-House Artist for Billabong USA. Among various creative duties, I primarily design graphics and artwork for the Men’s tee shirt line, working everyday with type, illustration and graphic design. It’s always pumping and each day is a new adventure in a fast paced creative atmosphere–I love it!

SWELL: Lauren, What’s your current pursuits in this beachy wonderland we call home?

LM: I’m currently a freelancing photographer living in Encinitas, CA. Being a lover of all things surf, adventures are my passion and I’ll climb, jump, run, and do whatever to get the shot.

SWELL: What brought about your collaboration for the Made in the Shade design?

RM: My sister Lauren has always been a mega shred head with a keen creative eye. I’d catch her photos on Instagram and Facebook and they’d blow my mind! I suggested she send over some of her favorite shots and see what we could cook up for some tees. It was awesome getting to combine her photos with my illustrations to tell the Billabong story!


SWELL: A Brother and Sister working together…Did you guys get along ok?

RM: We worked together great! We’ve always had a awesome synergy and her shots made my job easy. She’d set the stage with an awesome pic and I’d get to come in and draw all over it up with a bunch of goofy doodles :)

LM: I loved working with Ryan! We both take pride in our finished product and won’t rest until its just right. It can drive some people up the wall, but he is always patient with me, and I am the same with him–It was blast!

SWELL: Any special techniques you use to achieve a final product?

RM: In the case of collaboration you always want to workout what balances best with the styling of the piece. For my contribution, I didn’t want the illustration or designs to overpower the beauty of the photo, rather build a scene that helps create a narrative within the existing elements.


Putting the skeleton in the boat was the photo’s initial gift of inspiration and the rest grew from there. Using graphite, I worked creating simple line art to overlay on top the image. I think it gave a fun contrast, doodle like scrawls over a peaceful photo real scene, almost like someone doodling in their history book or magazine.

SWELL: Looks awesome! How do you feel about the end result?

RM: Dig it. Can’t express how pumped and proud I’am creating work with my lil’ Sis that resonates with people. It’s a huge privilege giving back to such an amazing sport and lifestyle through the creative passions we share!

LM: I love it! Ryan surprised me with a few of the tees before they came out in stores. It is truly amazing and such a blessing to see your work in a tangible form, especially as part of the Billabong story! I hope everyone enjoys it as much as we do, It’s great to create art together and I think our parents are pretty proud.


SWELL: So what can we expect from Billabong in the near future?

RM: Def have some amazing things in the works and some epic product hitting the shelves–This is our best season yet–Be sure to check it out!

LM: Billabong rocks! Stoked to see it all on SWELL’s shelves!!

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