Friday, September 14, 2012

Flint Expatriates T-Shirts Still Available

There's a whole new batch of Flint Expatriates t-shirts available in a new color — dark brown and aqua.


At long last, Flint Expatriates has official t-shirts, thanks to artist extraordinaire Jessica Lynch at Slow Loris Designs. They feature the infamous Genesee Towers, the Mott Foundation Building, the historic Vehicle City arch, the Citizens Bank Weather Ball, and my Grandma McFarlane's Buick Electra 225 all lovingly rendered on a slate gray American Apparel shirt in deep blue ink. The original art for the shirt is hand drawn by Jessica.

Click here to order your shirt now. Just click on the "For the Love of Flint" shirt.

Please note that I don't make a dime off these shirts. Jessica generously waived all her usual fees to create them, and she covered all the costs for materials and labor herself. That means she needs Flintoids to buy shirts to make her costs back and turn a small profit.

Umm, I sort of implied that she had absolutely nothing to worry about, proclaiming that Flint types were a proud and generous lot who would certainly reward an artist who took such a strong interest in the Vehicle City. I also mentioned that people who log a lot of time in bars tend to be free spenders. So don't let me down.

I first noticed Jessica's work when I was visiting my girlfriend's hometown of Anacortes in Washington state's San Juan Islands. Her drawings immediately reminded me of Flint, and I've bought several of her shirts over the years. I was even wearing one in a photo of me at Angelos that ended up The Flint Journal. (Very slow news day.)

Then I just happened to meet Jeanne Lynch, Jessica's sister, in San Francisco. We got to talking about Flint, and she suggested I contact Jessica about making a shirt. And, well, here we are.

How about a little more info on Slow Loris.
Slow Loris came to life in Oakland California in the spring of 1997. Inside a very small storage room (located in the back of a parking garage) of an old cannery building, the very first shirts were printed.

After graduating from CCA(C) in 1998, Slow Loris founder Jessica Lynch left Oakland and returned home to Washington state. Re-locating to Guemes island, Slow Loris continued to thrive, screen printing drawings onto shirts, paper and clothing for people around the world, and for touring bands like "Tv on the Radio" and " my Brightest Diamond." While keeping true to the hand made quality (no computers are ever used for design making)

Jessica had her "hands" full and in 2007 teamed up with good friend Arlo Rumpff. Arlo had been a fisherman in the Bering sea, and brought his hard working enthusiasm to Slow Loris just in time. He learned how to screen print, (he's better than Jessica now) models most of the shirts on the web site, and deals with a lot of the business side of Slow Loris, a part of the job Jessica was NEVER good at. Team Slow was now complete.

Any average workday in the studio consists of drawing, singing, printing, and beach walks with a bunch of dogs. There's also a pig named Marnie-biddles who likes to observe through the windows and get into things, (this makes Jessica somewhat crazy, but she still loves him). The adopted motto "feeling strong and not in a hurry" reflects the pride Team Slow feels standing behind a quality hand made product .

We screen print on Alternative apparel organic cotton clothing and American Apparel sweatshop free clothing, as well as various FLA (fair labor association) brands.

Click to enlarge all images.


  1. And they're up!

    The original drawing you've posted here was altered a bit, street cars were added on the ground and the arch and signs were made bigger!

  2. Seeing these shirts actually got me a little choked up, but that often happens when I've had a few. Seriously, these are amazing.

  3. Thanks for the kind words Gordon! I think i'm going to "lift" a little of your description and add it to the shirt listing description, if you don't mind? I like the part about it being your Grandma McFarlane's Buick Electra 225.

  4. The Genesee Bank building will no doubt be coming down here in the next few years, making these shirts a collector's item.

  5. T-shirt looks cool. I also like the photo of you gorging on one-up with onions and mustard at Angelo's, even though I haven't frequented that place, which was the dining room of my childhood and adolescence, since the family first sold the joint.

  6. Tim, I enjoyed the vitriol in the comment section of the Journal article. You can always count on the support of your hometown.

  7. Hey Gordie, Wow, I wasn't sure what you were referring to because I didn't see the comments under your photo in the Journal article. But I figured it out and had a look. That's vitriol, alright. Some good feedback, too.

  8. Interestingly, the two supporting towers on the Mott Foundation Building that originally supported the WFDF transmitting antenna used from about 1930 to about 1940 are still there and are on the T shirt.

    The following picture at this link is retouched and has the actual WFDF antenna drawn in between the towers, as it would otherwise not be clearly seen.

    Just another irony of the T shirt is that Flint's finest AM signal has been removed from the community, and puts only a small fraction of the signal it did over the area from its old transmitter site in Burton used between 1940 and 2006, and has a satellite based format catering to the under 16 demographic.

  9. I wish I could by a print for my studio.

  10. Love this shirt! Didn't catch it the first time around, but I wish it was sold in a woman's shirt. I would totally buy it if it were. Jessica's other designs are also great, so I may just have to browse through the rest of her designs and see if anything catches my eye. But, yes, if this shirt were sold in a women's shirt, I would buy it in a second. :)


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at