I'm wondering where people get retro 50's style illustrations like the ones on these t-shirts http://www.orbwear.com/retro-tshirts/
Do they get them from some public domain clip art source or do they draw them themselves?
Most of these look like royalty-free illustrations, and you can use royalty-free stuff however you wish. Your best bet is to look in the commercial art section of Borders or Barnes and Noble. You'll find books ranging from $5 to $150 that come with disks of the art. I'm sure there are online sites that have this stuff as well.
The only drawback to royalty free is that you'll see the same illustrations used over and over again -- not just on shirts, but in every commercial medium. Lots of people just manipulate or change the art to keep it fresh -- after purchasing the original art, of course...
i have found many of those types of illustrations in dingbat fonts. You can find them pretty quickly and easily by searching for dingbats in google, or refine the search to something like retro or 50's dingbats
These can be found at acidfonts.com or fontfreak.com. They are called 'Retrobats'. But I guess it depends on what kind of items you're selling. As was mentioned, these are overused big time! If you want to offer cheap and quick t-shirts, use the royalty free images. However, if you're after creating unique, one of a kind t-shirts, you may need to find some art that no one else is using. Granted, you will pay more for it.
Here are some fantastic retro illustrators and clip art sites:
Make sure you ALWAYS read the user agreement before using any clip art. Most of it is not liscensed to be used on items such as T-shirts. Contact the owners of the art if you're unsure. It's better to be safe than sorry.
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