Embrace your ordinariness

Warning, this image contains irony

In a hype-obsessed world, where everything is ‘awesome’ or ‘special’, everyone who displays a speck of talent a ‘star’, and even weather and paying bills are talked up (think rain events, banking experiences), I like the everyday, the ordinary. Continue reading “Embrace your ordinariness”


Frozen into action: postscript

I realise I forgot to mention in my original piece on Bell’s Palsy that within a week or so of my visit to D I had full movement back in my face.

A few years later I was sitting at the computer again (no coincidence I reckon, given these were old cathode-ray tube computer screens and pumping out all kinds of electromagnetic radiation) when I could feel the palsy beginning again. This time I was more ready for it. Continue reading “Frozen into action: postscript”

Frozen into action


My writing began with a slight flicker of my right eyelid.

I was working at home on the computer one afternoon 15 years ago when it started. I thought it was just a tiredness-induced tick, but within half an hour my eye was watering and I couldn’t close my eyelid properly.

My housemates looked at me and spoke in concerned tones about a stroke and told me to get myself quickly to the emergency ward at the local hospital, where the nurse at the counter said reassuringly: “Looks like Bell’s Palsy to me – you’ll be fine.” Continue reading “Frozen into action”

How to come up with an idea

orchid-fishing-line-womensThat heading is only slightly flippant. When I am sitting at my market stall and someone expresses an interest in our ‘Backyard Fishing’ tee, I enjoy telling the story of how that design came about – and it is how most of our t-shirt ideas are formed. By thinking for a while, sometimes years, about things, and trying to make meaningful connections to and between them. Continue reading “How to come up with an idea”

Second cotton coming

Clothes never shut up.’
Susan Brownmiller

Smith and Brown t-shirts started in Geraldton, WA, back in the noughties as an offshoot of Smith and Brown Graphic Design: Ms Smith and I transferred our minimalist approach to t-shirts and began experimenting with text-based and other designs. The creative part of making t-shirts was exciting, but we deserted the nuts-and-bolts side of running a t-shirt business, i.e. selling them, because we had too many other design projects going on.

We have returned to designing t-shirts because we wear them a lot and reckon they’re a comfortable, wonderful way to express yourself (and more versatile than tattoos). Since clothes are the first thing you think about when you get up each morning in a non-nudist world and t-shirts can be worn for the majority of the year, it makes sense to try and sell our ideas this way.

We love literature, language, art, studying the way people think and interact with each other and the world. We hope our t-shirts make wearers and viewers stop and smile for a moment, think slightly to the side, look at themselves – and that they feel comfortable while doing so.

Mr Brown

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What is the plural of rebus?

Best not to get too clever – it’s just ‘rebuses’. Not many people know what a rebus is, and since Smith and Brown tshirts is about to start using them on our tees, we probably should explain.

Here’s the dictionary definition:
‘A puzzle in which words are represented by combinations of pictures and individual letters; for instance, apex might be represented by a picture of an ape followed by a letter X’.

So the following:


is ‘try to understand’. You get the drift.


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