Casey Uhelski combined a love of black cats (specifically, her own 17-years-old-and-still-going-strong black cat) and illustration to come up with her Yetee-exclusive Amaro line, a collection of beautifully illustrated cat t-shirts, stickers, pins and prints.
The Tennessee-based artist, who goes by the name Miski, is a freelance illustrator, graphic designer and kids’ book illustrator for the series KeeKee’s Big Adventures. Not to mention a kick-ass t-shirt designer who has created over a dozen designs for The Yetee, including stickers, pins, and even coffee.
What—besides black cats of course—inspired Miski to become an illustrator? “Probably the same story as most artists—I drew a lot as a kid. But in high school I decided I couldn't imagine doing anything else and I was lucky enough to have parents that supported me.”
Miski was introduced to The Yetee while doing fan art for a speed runner around five years ago. “I posted it in Twitch chat and Kari Fry, another artist who happened to be in chat at the time, asked if I ever considered shirt design,” says Miski. “She gave me a 101 on shirt design and Yetee seemed pretty chill to work with so off I went. I just never thought it would be so accessible.”
The Amaro line was born out of her previously-mentioned love for black cats. “I had one growing up (he's 17 now and still doing great) who was just the sweetest little dude. I just started drawing this cute black cat dealing with bad luck as a theme to get out of an art slump, and Amaro was born.”
Besides whimsical, flowery cat t-shirts, the line includes something you may not expect: coffee beans. “Amaro” is an Italian surname that means unlucky or bitter. Miski came up with the idea of designing an Amaro coffee label based on that “bitter” concept. “I then remembered that the Yetee at some point had sent me some custom coffee. I asked if it was possible for me to sell it. Turns out they know a roaster in Chicago, and they made it happen.”
Miski says she is very proud of the charity designs she has made for both GDQ and Zeldathon via The Yetee. She is requested by name to design shirts for indie game developers as well. “But,” she says, “my big personal victory has been being able to build up my own personal line of merchandise. People loving your original art enough to wear it is pretty amazing.”
Check out Miski on The Yetee: https://theyetee.com/collections/miski