Bad Moon Print Press: From Landscape Architect to SOF to Veteran Artist

February 2, 2024Coffee or Die
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Tyler Anderson, a special forces veteran and the owner of Bad Moon Print Press, has teamed up with Black Rifle Coffee to create a badass, exclusive, limited edition T-shirt that’s only available to BRCC Shirt Club members. We caught up with Anderson to get the story behind Bad Moon and learn a little more about the artist behind the shirt.  

“I had always wanted to be Special Forces,” Anderson said. “I just didn’t really see it fitting into my life.” 

Anderson married his high school sweetheart and went to college for landscape architecture. During his five years of higher education, he spent a lot of time drawing and creating his own designs. After graduating, he went to work at a landscape firm, as was the plan. 

Meanwhile, a friend of his from home had joined the US Army and was sending Anderson videos of his training and, later, on deployment. Those videos, combined with the already-present dream of serving, was enough to spur Anderson to leave everything in Minnesota behind — including his wife who was in medical school. In 2016 he joined the Army and went straight through training to become Special Forces. 

“I left everything behind to pursue this career,” he said.

His passion for drawing and design was put on pause while Anderson continued training and prepared for deployment. He didn’t start drawing again until 2020 when he was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. 

“I started drawing on [the trip to Afghanistan],” he said. “I began trying out a bunch of different mediums, and testing things out in Photoshop again.” 

Between Afghanistan and a number of deployments to Africa in 2022, Anderson began to collect a lot of inspiration. He created drawings based on his experiences during those deployments and fell back in love with art.

“I take a lot of inspiration from the German Renaissance print-making style,” he continued. “I studied it in college a lot, and I’ve always loved Albrecht Durer-style etchings, so a lot of my artwork is based off of that early-1500’s art. This explains why my artwork and the Black Rifle Coffee T-shirt design have the linework that they have. Realism was never my style, it's more loosely based on conflict.” 

In the last year of Anderson’s active duty contract, he started honing in on art pieces based on conflict experiences and pain, he wanted the designs to be based on real feelings. 

“I was doing this all on my own, I didn’t have a platform to show anyone. 

Then, Anderson said, a company reached out to him asking for an original design. They found him despite the fact that he had no social media presence and no company — just word-of-mouth advertising. Creating that commissioned design got Anderson pumped to continue drawing.

With his active duty service ending in 2022, he joined 20th Group, but that still left plenty more time for Anderson to pursue his passion for art, and people began to notice his work. 

“I didn’t want to go back to architecture and didn’t want to work under someone else,” Anderson said. “I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do; I wanted to draw and design and do it on my own terms. 

“It’s not that I hated the architecture world, it just wasn’t where I was meant to be.” 

While the form of his own company started to come into view, Anderson did some woodworking with his father-in-law. Then, in May 2023, he got the LLC for Bad Moon Print Press and went all-in on his own company. 

Anderson’s designs, and everything featured on the Bad Moon website, pull from what he experienced during his time in service, as well as his friends’ stories. The company started out just on commissioned prints and then evolved; today it sells a variety of merchandise and prints.

“I never realized art full-time was an option,” Anderson said. “The support and feedback from my community made it work and turned it into my full-time ‘thing.’”

Anderson noticed a collaboration between Black Rifle and Phaseline for a Shirt Club exclusive design and the coffee company’s mission to partner with veteran-affiliated companies and organizations. He decided to make contact. 

“I reached out to BRCC after I saw them working with Phaseline and figured it couldn’t hurt to see if they would be interested in working with me. I had no idea that initial outreach would turn into my being a part of the Shirt Club.”

“I wanted to tie the design to BRCC but also keep it abstract and not necessarily super tactical,” he said of his line drawing on a white tee featuring a wild-eyed hare labeled “The Drippin’ Jackrabbit,” like a vintage souvenir shirt from a roadhouse on some US highway. 

“You see so many tactical designs in the community and there’s so many of us that just aren’t into skulls and nods, I like different and dark,” he said. The design, Anderson explained, is clearly inspired by Alice in Wonderland with the use of a rabbit, which is white because the shirt is white. 

“With my art, there’s always a deeper meaning but I don’t like to overthink it,” said Anderson. “In this case, it’s all about coffee.”

Sign up to be a member of the BRCC Shirt Club today and get access to this design collab with Bad Moon and all the other awesome upcoming exclusive shirt designs from Black Rifle and veteran organizations and artists!

Coffee or Die
Coffee or Die

Coffee or Die is Black Rifle Coffee Company’s online lifestyle magazine. Launched in June 2018, the magazine covers a variety of topics that generally focus on the people, places, or things that are interesting, entertaining, or informative to America’s coffee drinkers — often going to dangerous or austere locations to report those stories.

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