Last year, I begged a core group of my teammates to let me oversee our next kit design. They'd been involved in previous kit designs and understood how much of a pain in the ass the process can be. "Sure," they said. "All you, bud."

The kit I'd be in charge of was our 2016 cyclocross skinsuit. My goal was to one-up our zany 2014 "cat suit."

Crude illustrations in MS Paint are dead-center in my artistic wheelhouse, so I got to work on some funny doodles of objects central to the Ruckus Test Team story. I tried a few things, but ended up settling on a reworked version of a Keith Haring-ripoff pattern I'd made months before.

I reached out to actual-graphic designer Gritchelle Fallesgon to help translate my bad illustrations into a real design. She helped steer me toward a functional concept, re-squiggled by lines to everything fit together, and solidified the design with the yellow color blocks and negative black space on the legs.

It was indeed a lot of work, but seeing my MS Paint drawings printed onto lycra was an experience I'll never forget!

That might have been the happy ending of the story, but Gritchelle wasn't done yet! She's also a professional photographer, and wanted to do a big shoot for the kit. So we got to collaborate a second time! Gritchelle and I came up with a concept inspired by the design. I painted a big backdrop and styled my teammates Paul Valentine and Marayah Deese. Our friend and photographer Dan Steinle (Yung Pine Photography) helped assist, and Gritchelle shot.

Did we outdo our cat suits? You be the judge!

Graphic Design, Photography and Set Design: Gritchelle Fallesgon
Illustration and Styling: Me
Models: Paul Valentine and Marayah Deese