Bowie snuffed it, George Michael’s dead and your man Alan Rickman’s 6 feet under. But fear not! For as this shit-heap of a year we’ve grown to call 2016 comes to an end, we’ve decided to round up a selection of the greatest treats to come out of The Killing Tree! Yea, all your childhood idols are dropping like flies but hey! Member Forces Of Nature collection?… Course you do! So turn that frown upside down or Trump-Stank-Lips into a grin and let’s count down some of the sickest, gnarliest, bone-tingling drops from the TKT crew this year! Oh and I bothered the TKT King too… Cos I’m a dick like that!
Early September, there was a drop so heavy that it wouldn’t even be allowed in an elevator by itself as it would’ve exceeded the weight limit! I’m talking about The Forces Of Nature Collection. With a tasty restock of some of the year’s faves along with some new designs by the gentleman I compared to Mr. Kipling or as we would call him, Tom Gilmour. Look at all dem tees!
Yea, we know, he snuffed it. BUT he may live forever inside a frame, upon your wall and always in your heart. But mainly a frame. The pots & pans man of Heaven’s Basement – Chris Rivers Nutall – was the boy behind the brush with this collection of limited edition prints available via The Killing Tree. Also, if you’ve got a spare £975 sitting in your pocket, why not pick one of the original oil paintings the man done did?
You know when shit starts to get real when the folk behind the scenes need an actual office! Not that we ever hear about any work actually getting done. It’s mainly playing foosball, Street Fighter and hanging all their cracking artwork up. 2016 marks the year that The Killing Tree King had to put more than just his skiddy pants on and dress like an adult to go into an office for the first time in a long while. He’s just like the rest of us apparently…
Lest we forget the limited edition range of Engraved Wall Art that dropped at the later part of the year. These are on sale RIGHT NOW so if you haven’t got one already, what are you still doing reading this? Have you bought one yet?… It’s fine I can wait.
Seriously I’ve got all day…
Well now you’ve got one, looking at one or simply confused. That’s called subliminal marketing. I think. I’m probably wrong. 2016’s been shit I’m still recovering! Please note, the Circle Of Death is not intended to be used as a frisbee.
If you were smart enough to buy any clothing from TKT as of September, you would’ve gotten yourself a shiny piece of artwork to go with it! With all other indie clothing labels scratching their heads as to what else they could offer with their products, TKT just flew right in there and gave you the artwork for free! You can frame them, colour them in, paper aeroplanes!!! I mean hey, the possibilities are endless! Why not check out my mantlepiece for inspiration…
Picture the scene… It’s the first week of April. You’re clicking away at random ads, pointless memes and the like. And then… From afar… You see the first blog post from what we all lovingly call TKT//words. Yea not only was 2016 a big steaming pile of crap for the majority of us, the big guns decided to start a blog! Nah I’m just kidding. What started off with a team of collaborators has now sadly dwindled down to myself, the bearded one known as my Co-Editor Pete and the occasional contributor. But here we are! We made it peeps! Roll on 2017 yo!
Last but not least, TKT decided to team up with a marketing company known as Thoughtshift. A company whose office has foiled yours truly by letting me relentlessly push a pull door leaving me feeling trapped and confused in front of a crowd of people. They also happen to be a pretty sweet company and have helped TKT through the shitstorm that was Black Friday. That just means they encouraged you all to throw money at your computer screen until the clothes came out!
So there you have it! 7 things you may have missed this year to think about and mull over. Plus, I thought it only fitting to interview the big boss man ‘Karlos Fandango’ to talk about art, bears and sharks. Enjoy!
E. So… That was a fun year. How was it for you?
K. Yeah, 2016 was an interesting year for me personally and from a business point of view. We saw the launch of our very first pop-up store we attended a couple of tradeshows. From a business point of view, we had our best turnover ever; we had some of the best months we have seen particularly throughout November and December this year. We’ve also faced new challenges. These have come in the shape of knowing how to grow the business, employing staff, getting business premises manoeuvring red tape and also remembering not to work a hundred hours a week. All in all a very good business year, I should mention it’s been a very good personally year for me as well having got married in June so yeah very happy with everybody involved!
E. You’ve worked with some new artists this year. How do you think the TKT style has changed since the early days?
K. I think 2016 has been the year of getting down to our core values of the business. We have always understood the importance of our link with the artwork we use, however, I think this year we’ve cemented that in ways we would never have expected. As you know, we now give away an art print with every T-shirt we sell. This has cemented our passion for the artwork and we’re also trying to get people to engage with art who might not normally do that. From a stylistic point of view, I think we’ve come a long way with the help of artists including Tom Gilmour, Rhys Ware and a few cameo appearances from myself! The challenge of course in this industry is to stay fresh and original. We have had a number of competitors using artists we’ve used in the past so that’s something we have to be aware of from a self-preservation point of view, however, we are continuing to use our current crop of artists for the foreseeable future and continue to be blown away by their work.
E. What do you reckon your standout piece of 2016 has been?
K. I think there have been – from a sales point of view – two successful products that stand out. The first being the amazing ‘The Killing Tree’ from Tom Gilmour. This is something that took a while in conception to get right. However, I think the time spent on it was very well used and has been very very successful. Another standout piece has been one of my designs which is the Death’s Head Moth. I was very happy to allow Instagram in on the progress of this piece of artwork, and we have lots of feedback on it and what colour, garment, etc. it should go on. It has also reignited a passion for me to draw more which is excellent because it means I can spend more time trying to draw unicorns rather than looking at accounts!
E. Who’d win in a fight between a shark on roller skates vs. a bear with a jetpack and a snorkel?
K. Good question. My money would be on the bear because of its ability to spend time outside of water, saying that if the battle were under water, the bear would still have a snorkel so would have a slight advantage. From a strict manoeuvrability point of view, the shark would probably get it underwater. The real question is where’s the fight at?
E. What should folks be excited about from TKT in the new year?
K. 2017 will be a good year for us. We are looking to develop some of our exciting product ranges online including; Beard care, homeware, and of course making all of our amazing designs available on a constant basis. This essentially means we’re trying to improve our stock levels as we keep growing. We know that’s not a bad thing. However, we know how annoying is when you can’t get that shirt you want in the right size. We are also hoping to get into some large online sites to help with availability or some form of specialist products. So keep a look out for us on notonthehighstreet and some other specialist websites.
There it is peeps! 2016, done, dusted. Now go out and spend all your hard-earned dollar on some booze. You deserve it! See ya’ll next year!!
Words by Elliott Stubbings