MKULTRATIEDYE has been making brain-melting dyes officially for three years, but he has been working on his craft for over 10 years. “My first time ever making my own clothes was in 2011, sophomore year of high school. I was laughed at for stenciling designs all over my jeans. I’ve since picked up a few gimmicks over the years but MK Ultra Tie Dye really came about when I found out Online Ceramics tees were $80 each and thought I could dye better for cheaper.” Deciding not to go the side hustle route, MK quit his job at a call center, ordered dye online, and became immersed in YouTube tutorials learning as much as he could before his equipment arrived. Very little has changed from his setup, except now he has a larger collection of different dyes. “Tie dye can really only be done by hand,” he says.
For the start of his process, MK will just lay down a blank tee. Then as he says: “It just happens. There’s really no right or wrong way to tie dye a shirt. Obviously there’s specific ways to do specific designs, but Tie Dye is mostly about having fun and seeing what happens.” While creating a new piece, MK perfers the musical stylings of Playboi Carti or Folk-Rock artists like John Denver. Sometimes people will request a certain color pallette, but 90% of the time its up to his own free choice. Artists that Mkultra finds inspiration in include Alex Coxen, Been Shill, Star Shields, Will Gaynor, Michael Rios and anyone who ever followed The Grateful Dead on tour selling t-shirts in the lot.
Lately, MK has also been getting into hand-painting t-shirts and original screen-printed designs in addition to his dyes. One thing I’ve learned from following him for years is that he is very ambitious and always the next step ahead. One of his more popular design was a tribute to Edmund Leighton’s painting “The Accolade” which featured a full color graphic of the artwork, which he then dyed around like the most beautful frame you have ever seen. While waiting for the shirts to fully dye in, he will learn his favorite classic rock songs on guitar to build finger strength.
While talking with MKUltraTieDye, his parting words were “Spay and neuter your pets, tell those you love that you love them, and follow me on IG @mkultratiedye” I’ll add in to make sure you visit his website where you can order your own tie-dye masterpiece now at mkultratiedye.com