I’m Kyle and I make tees and hoodies that tell tales. Que Terror is an exploration of life’s subtle contradictions, confusions and heartbreaks. The seemingly terrifying aspects of life inspire every single design. My illustrations are an attempt to capture the calm amongst the chaos, the beauty in life’s more warped edges. A truly rich life is about appreciating the sublime and the terrifying as part of one great story to share. Que Terror was born out of a love for exploring life, travelling without a plan and being okay with being a little lost.
La Noche, my second release, is the story of children kidnapped by the night sky. It’s inspired by the confusion of big cities, being lost in life and most of all the mysteries of the night.
I’m from Sydney Australia and Que Terror was conceived in South America.
All my t-shirt and hoodies are screen-printed by partners who treat printing like an art, rather than a process. Screen-printing, where each colour is printed layer by layer, results in the longest-lasting, best-looking and most vivid designs possible. I don’t settle for anything less than vibrant prints that you can barely feel. I only use 100% cotton, premium quality garments. They’re also sweatshop free and made in the USA.
Every order comes with a little something special. It might be a sketch, a note or even a graffiti’d postcard from my travels. It’s my way of saying thanks for your support.
Que Terror (“keh terror”) is an expression for horror and surprise in Spanish.
I stumbled upon the name while travelling through Bolivia in 2011. Through a peculiar set of circumstances I become part of a close-knit crew of locals and travelers in Sucre. Unexpectedly this eclectic group became some of my closest friends. Whenever we came across a strange cultural difference the locals would whisper in a dramatic tone ¡Que Terror! The phrase stuck and it was soon being uttered whenever we’d come across something confronting, bizarre and yet exciting.
The phrase followed me throughout the rest of my 6-month journey. It summed up South America for me; a surreal place full of excitement but also confusion and sadness. It captured that feeling of anxious excitement that only exploration can bring. It fitted perfectly with my ideas and I couldn’t have named my next adventure anything else.
Que Terror was born out of a bunch of ideas scribbled in a sketchbook while traveling through South America. It was 2011 and I had just finished university. That milestone had left me feeling unsettled and after my last exams I set off. I’d always had an intense fascination with South America ever since reading the dark epic 100 Years of Solitude many years earlier.
South America felt as if years of living were compressed into mere months. It proved to be a surreally beautiful, yet hauntingly confronting place. From Peru, to Bolivia, to Colombia and through to Brazil I met twisted characters, walked through broken cities, saw unintelligible landscapes, fell in love, shared some heartbreak, saw the best and worst I’ve seen in people, made real friends, learnt a language and completely fell out of the flow of what I thought was a sensible life. It was equal measures fulfilling and unravelling.
I learnt to appreciate life as having many sides, some of them beautiful, some of them grotesque and some of them utterly confusing. Yet all of them were necessary to know or experience anything with real weight. To feel anything at all, I needed to explore not only what excited me but also what scared me or even confounded me. I felt these overlapping contrasts so much while I was in South America. It left a mark on me I still feel today.
I wanted to capture what I felt there as a way to remind myself to always explore. Que Terror became that outlet. It was maybe also a way to say goodbye to a place I’d never be able to experience in the same way again.
Upon returning to Australia I started working on the imagery that my trip had inspired in me. I’d always had an obsession with tees as a canvas, wearable art with arms and legs that could be shared. I did most of the work myself. I put out my first release of 5 tees at the end of 2011. It was inspired by the phrase “beautifully terrifying” and it delved into some of life’s inseparable opposites. I wanted each design to tell a story.
Since then I’ve been lucky enough to have people in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Italy, Spain, Lithuania, Dominican Republic, Brazil and the US wearing my tees.
During that time I also moved to Sydney, into the city and away from the small town I grew up in. I continued to explore life, to continue what I’d started while travelling. I pushed this idea to the extremes. I’d never met so many new people in such a short span of time. I stumbled around and learnt a lot along the way, including some really confronting things about myself. I got a bit lost in the city, the lights and the night.
This feeling of being a bit lost, of giving yourself over to the confusion of the night and the abstraction of big cities inspired my second release La Noche; a collection that tells the story of children kidnapped by the night sky.
Que Terror is brought to you by Kyle Freeman. I’m an artist and illustrator living in Glebe, Sydney Australia.
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel all over the world and I’ve learnt a lot from meeting all kinds of people. I love nothing more than being in a new place and trying to unravel what life is like there. I love to explore, to learn from others and to feel completely out of place. I hope to see even more in the future.
I’m obsessive about music, particularly hip-hop, and consume everything from abrasive city-inspired beats to druggy jazz grooves. My tastes are almost always a little melancholy. I’m drawn to emcees that can tell gripping stories and warp everyday words into poetry. Nothing else quite affects me like music. I’m also an avid reader and adore great fiction that’s grounded in life’s absurdities. A single passage from a novel can haunt you your whole life.
I’ve loved tee design for years, I’ve always been drawn to the idea of a canvas that people cared enough about to carry around with them all day. It’s art with legs. I always get a smile on my face when I think about people wearing my tees. I hope my slightly twisted illustrations make people think and smile.
I’m so chuffed to have had so many people support Que Terror already. I really appreciate being able to put out something so personal and have people get behind it. So thank you to anyone who’s supported me, even if it means just reading to the bottom of this page.
So please, have a look around or just say hi.
“Motherfucker did that sound abstract? I hope it sounded more confusing than that” – El-p