Last April, we launched an epic print celebrating the most exciting two minutes in sports – the motha freakin' Kentucky Derby. We collaborated with Louisville artist Rachael Sinclair on this decadent and depraved print. Not just any print, an infographic of kick-ass Kentuckian Hunter S. Thompson's famous essay on the 1970 Kentucky Derby – The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved. Gonzo journalism's original gangsta essay that appeared in Scanlon's Monthly in June of that year.
You'll notice, each silk on this print is symbolic of something from Hunter S. Thompson's essay – Colonel Quick, Nekkid Horses, Whiskey Gentry, Dust Commander, Old Fitz, Chemical Billy, Inbred Horses and all other gonzo observations.
It didn't take long for word to get out about Rachael's epic tribute to Hunter S. Thompson's 'The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved". The print was featured on Deadspin, Laughing Squid, Paste Magazine, Bleacher Report, Neatorama, and Buzzfeed. The first running of 100 prints got hot like Jennifer Lawrence and sold out in 15 minutes. The second running of 500 prints got hot like Vicco, Kentucky and sold out in one hour. Since selling out, these amazing prints have been fetching around $300-$400 on eBay. A year later and we're still receiving emails daily asking if we'll be dropping a third running. It's been by far our most popular print we've ever offered.
With that said, we've got great news. Some kick-ass news. In celebration of this year's Kentucky Derby, we're excited to announce we've committed to a third running of Rachael's famous 'The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent And Depraved' print. Hell yes.
Purchase Information: A limited run of 500 prints will be available on Friday, April 25th at 10:00am on this here website. Printed on French Paper Co. 80# speckle tone paper by Thoroughbred Printing in Lexington Kentucky. Print is 20 x 25. Huge like a racehorse. Signed by Rachael. At just $30 each, these are a safer bet than the ones you'll make from the infield after a few too many mint juleps.
As we unveil our third running of 'The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,' we also bring you the story of the talented artist behind so many of our designs, including the classic Kentucky Toile. Rachael Sinclair, a native of Ohio County – which is fittingly known as a place that's "a little bit country and a little bit rock n' roll" – is a designer and illustrator now based out of Louisville. We talked to her a bit more about what pushes her to spin out such kick-ass designs for and about our fine Commonwealth.
It's not just the land, the culture, or the people of this place – it's the variety across the whole of the state that inspires her creativity. For Rachael, making art is also about listening to the many stories of the state, enjoying the process of listening and responding through images. As Sinclair elaborates, "The rich history and culture of Kentucky is a great influence in my work. There's so many amazing bits of trivia, so many famous (and infamous) people. And the not-so-famous, their stories are breathtaking and priceless. There's so much to learn from the wise eyes of a farmer or the calloused hands of a coal miner. The world knows Kentucky via the Derby and that's nice, but Kentucky is more than a horse race. I love racing and adore horses, but I don't want to just sing one song for my old Kentucky home!"
Now a freelance artist, Rachael worked as an in-house graphic designer nearly a decade. She currently spends more of her time on illustration, which, she says, brings her back to her roots as a studio art major. Her work with Kentucky for Kentucky brings together both worlds. Rachael started creating art from an early age, encouraged by her mother and the world around her.
As she explains, "I always had a desire to create; something my mother and I share. She kept me in supply of crayons and paper, taught me to sew, cook, garden and how to use a hammer without murdering my thumb. Everything I learned growing up has shaped my life as an illustrator and designer, from the colors of fresh vegetables to the patterns of hand-crafted quilts. When I need inspiration, I look to nature, heritage, and to legends like Norman Rockwell, Edward Hopper, Charley Harper, and Saul Bass."
Rachael explains that our 'Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved' print provided an opportunity to create a design with a story. As she tells us, researching and brainstorming the silks moved her work in a different direction that was a bit of a different process. Rachael explains, "I like to be challenged, see how far I can push myself. It was interesting, researching the 'mayblossom' and the composition of that era's 'Chemical Billy'."
As is evident in her work for Kentucky for Kentucky, Rachael has a wide range of talents – and, as she confides, and has even done a painting of a Heinz bottle for a friend who really loved ketchup!
Rachael has one question for Loretta Lynn: "Are those dresses uncomfortable?"