Ewan Tallentire has experimented with various products for displaying his art. While this site is especially for those who want art sans t-shirts, it is surprising how many people prefer t-shirts to any other kind of clothing, and want something with a nice design on it. Here in Colorado, in fact, a neat, clean, colorful t-shirt with a classy design, along with new jeans and cowboy boots, can be considered "dressed up."
Ewan started designing more for t-shirts after noticing that there are only so many mugs anyone can keep in a cupboard. One would think the same would apply to t-shirts, but somehow there is always room for another t-shirt. And there are more days of the year to wear a favorite piece of art on a t-shirt than there are walls of any normal person's house. Besides, the t-shirt gets seen by more people.
Museums are among Ewan's favorite places to be, and he saw that a lot of small museums had gift shops that couldn't afford items unique to their own museum. So, for instance, a museum with an SR-71 would sell F-15 t-shirts, or generic aviation toys. (Okay, any museum that holds an SR-71 isn't a small museum. But you get the idea.) Ewan started talking to individual museums, finding out what was their favorite story to present, and turning that story into a t-shirt design. Then (1) the museum gift shop could raise money by selling the t-shirts, (2) the museum's story would get outside the museum on walking visual aids, and (3) the visual aids also talked; in fact, someone who would buy a t-shirt about something in a museum would probably tell anybody and everybody what was so great about visiting the museum, and would tell them to go see it themselves.
In the process of designing for museums, Ewan came up with many designs which for one reason or another were never used on a t-shirt, or are not currently being used on a t-shirt, or which are being used in a significantly different design. And, after spending all that time presenting the story in a design, it would be a waste not to get it out there. Besides, print can do so much more detail than screenprinting.
That's how History on a Shirt came to be presenting art that's not on a shirt.