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OKC artist Dustin Oswald and his Bombs Away T-shirt line a hit in Oklahoma

Dustin Oswald is the artist behind the Bombs Away line of T-shirts, many of which are designed with Oklahoma themes.
BY HEATHER WARLICK MOORE hwarlick@opubco.com Modified: July 12, 2011 at 10:35 pm •  Published: July 11, 2011
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Oklahoma City artist Dustin Oswald is humble about the success he has found with his Bombs Away line of original T-shirts. The shirts, he said, are a means to continue working at his real passion: painting.

“That's what pays the bills,” he said of his Bombs Away line.

Oswald spends much of his workday at his small studio, 2921 W Wilshire, hand-pulling T-shirts at his four-color manual press. His designs are hand-drawn, and he uses silk screens for producing the shirts. He has so many orders, he said he hardly has time to do anything else.

The thing about Bombs Away shirts that makes them special to Oklahomans is that many have Oklahoma-themed designs. Oswald's most popular and recognizable design is Osage Shield, from the Oklahoma flag. Also Oklahoma-themed are his Scissortail design and an American Indian image called The Warrior.

“I like the fact that Dustin's line is all hand-drawn and not just tweaked in Photoshop,” said Amanda Bradway, owner of DNA Galleries, a Plaza District boutique that specializes in art, crafts and other items from Oklahoma artists and crafters and carries many of Oswald's shirts.

“It's inspiring for the public to see artists in Oklahoma truly make a living and growing right in front of them,” Bradway said. “Dustin is really making a huge impact on our state's culture.”

A sense of pride

Like many artists, Oswald admitted he didn't always feel like he fit into his local society, especially while growing up in small-town Apache. Oswald was into punk rock music as a teen and said he always felt a bit alienated from the rest of the community.

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Where to buy clothing from the Bombs Away photo shoot

For Mood's Bombs Away photo shoot, we borrowed clothing and jewelry from Gil's Clothing & Denim Bar, 7644 N Western. Shown with the Heart Paper T-shirt are Rowan straight-leg jeans and a woven belt by Diesel. With the Scissortail shirt, we paired a pair of cutoff denim shorts embellished with floral embroidery by Artisan De Luxe. With the Skull Paper shirt, we paired short denim cutoffs by Hudson and a studded leather belt with oversize eagle buckle by Robbie French. With the Vintage Anchor shirt (this week's giveaway!), we opted for a pair of white flowing gauze pants by Elan and a red polka-dot scarf. With The Warrior and the Osage Shield shirts, we went with a short white bohemian skirt with floral patterns by Magazine. Thanks to Gil's for loaning us these items!

Scissortail is one of Bombs Away designer Dustin Oswald's most popular Oklahoma-themed designs.

Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman.

— Heather Warlick Moore

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