January 27, 2021

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

Military T-Shirts Morale Apparel for the Introspective Fighter

9 min read

If you’re not familiar with our brand called Spotter Up we hope you will be motivated by our message and interested in our designs. Spotterup promotes the idea of the Classical Greek “whole” man found in ancient texts. For our modern day he is the GUNFIGHTER, WRITER,  WILDMAN, MONK: Man of Action, Man of Intellect, Man of Emotion, Man of Spirit. This is the thinking man’s apparel brand.

Consider the Athenian ideal of a balanced education. From the book Greek Realities: Life and Thought in Ancient Greece, By Finley Hooper “They could play some flute but should not neglect wrestling.” They avoided the excesses of life. They might focus on music or philosophy but spent enough time so that their bodies did not become soft.” Every shirt purchase comes with a sticker.

WAR BUDDHA- I Brought War to Nirvana

The Warrior Monk. The designs were inspired by Herman Hesse’s novel Siddhartha. In Hesse’s story the protagonist feels disconnected from society and he is in search of meaning. This design has nothing to do with Buddhism. The symbol of a peaceful character (Buddha) was specifically chosen to contrast with our view that we must stand up for ourselves against evil, even using weapons if there are no other options. There shouldn’t be an internal conflict nor a social disconnection. Our gunfighter knows what he needs to do and he gets it done. Life has purposehe has a mission and he is going to fight. He must not live life passively.

WAR BUDDHA-Nirvana War and Rifles


The world is a strange and beautiful place. From any high tower a man can look out into a sea of lights that pepper the dying darkness and the hills full of eyes stare back out at him. People wonder, “is there more to life then this?”

Many die in darkness, alone without a soul to die with. The mind wanders back to the past where the same man hurtled across the blackest night in a metal bird over heaths of stone and empty space. A drink in hand, music playing, a thousand people swaying to songs that mean nothing to him because they don’t sing his story. His heart and mind are on other men, in another time, at another place. He would die with them but they are gone.

Lights sparkle in big cities, lights crackle in old homes, like an old cat darkness climbs down rickety stairs. The bustling activity in these honeycombs of homes clustered round him are too much to handle. Vast night and old memories are dying magic that no longer thrill him. He loses his purpose. There are lights that will never go out. There are stars that will never go out. There is a good hunger that will never be filled. There are men who will live forever.

In the saddest of nights he must find his stride and run a little faster and step a lot longer and find his footsteps again. He must run ahead of the man he used to be. In war one man enters an arena and its inevitable that another man leaves. His spirit must tunnel out and let light be the food he lives upon and not bad memories. Treasure isn’t found in the darkest hole but above if he searches for it.

There are lights that will never go out. There are stars that will never go out. There is a good hunger that will never be filled. There are men who will live forever. He must find them again…He is a fighter. He will be a fighter until the day he dies.



Our artwork is is a modern look inspired by William Blake’s poem The Tyger. Our tyger represents power, beauty, fierceness, revolution, unpredictability, and we ask modern men to challenge conformity just as Blake did against the soul crushing workings of the Industrial Revolution and human labor that stifles man. Release your inner energy against it. Fight against being a cliche and that means not being earth bound with your thinking.

The Tyger” poem was published in 1794 as part of the Songs of Experience collection. “The Tyger” is the sister poem to “The Lamb” (from “Songs of Innocence”), a reflection of similar ideas from a different perspective (Blake’s concept of “contraries”), with “The Lamb” bringing attention to innocence. “The Tyger” presents a duality between aesthetic beauty and primal ferocity, and Blake believes that to see one, the hand that created “The Lamb”, one must also see the other, the hand that created “The Tyger”: “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?”

Our illustration has a sword, tiger, moth, olive branch and M4 Rifles. What can you make of this symbolism?


“Swords from Plowshares, Wolves from Sheep, Eyes Wide Open, We are Not Asleep”. Quote is ours.

This drawing is loosely based on Herman Hesse’s book called Steppenwolf where the protagonist Harry Haller goes through a profound crisis during the 1920s and lives away from the public. There are two warring souls fighting within him, one is the beast known as the wolf and the other is the law abiding man. Haller is disgusted with modern European culture. He loses everything: his family, his home, his job.  This artwork represents the protagonist’s split between his humanity and his wolf-like aggression.

Our take on it is modern man’s conflict between being too much of a “sheep” and not enough of the “wolf.” The wolf carries a rifle and a grenade. He is ready to battle and he has no desire to capitulate and become soft and without standards like the culture around him. Our Steppenwolf is a fighter. The sheep represents mindless man and culture too willing to please everyone instead of drawing a line in the sand and defending his ground. The sheep holds a sickle and an olive branch. Man is too willing to be humane when he should be more aggressive. He needs to be a wolf!


“A voice spoke to me in the darkness and whispered, “you will die. You will die.” I answered back, “that I know. Please show me how to live.” But the answer never came. I ran everywhere looking for the source of the voice. I held my lantern high and searched and searched and searched but I found nothing. I ran along the river, I ran down the glens. I crept through an empty town. I shouted, “who are you?!” But I knew. And in the darkness I sat against a wall and wept.”

~Michael  Kurcina

Trust in the Lord with all your might but do the work, or get out of the way and let the gunfighters do it for you.


“It should be every man’s hope to hear at least once in his early life a voice from the darkness telling him that he will die. In his little round skull let the thought sit with him, in his little beating heart let the feeling of fear eat at him, let fear cut down all of his falsehoods so that he can do something of greatness with his new found truth and time.”~Michael Kurcina


This illustration is based off the Greek Hydra and the Hercules myth. Some deep subject matter to wrestle with this “python”: PTSD, physical injuries, loss of friends, lovers etc. Maybe you’re a Marine who did a lot of deployments and lost some friends, maybe you’re a cop who spends time seeing hard stuff on the streets. Man has an internal struggle after he’s battled a beast, and he must battle the beast within himself. He isn’t a demigod. He’s a regular Joe who is a hero to many. This shirt illustration symbolizes the brotherhood of man, men and women, that seek out and battle bad things.

“WE FIGHT MONSTERS. I’m not afraid of anything in this world that’s been seen. I have scars on the inside. My badges of honor. There’s a light inside my heart; it’s for others to see. I live to show the way to those lost and in pain. And you? Walk with magnificence. Cock of the walk. Lead the way or follow those who use their pain to fight monsters and the injustices in this world”~Michael Kurcina.

The hydra is a crafty monster with many heads. The placement of each sword on the circle represents Hercules anticipating the monster’s movements and then striking those heads where they attack. He cuts each head off.

Every piece of Spotterup art represents something deep and powerful! This art represents the cop, the soldier, the mother, the person that fights back against a screwed up world.

We don’t care if you have scars from the battlefield, child abuse or divorce. Everyone has a story to tell and they can either follow that long line of men and women who state “woe is me” or they can break from the path and find a new track to follow. Spotterup simply pushes the idea of being your own person, finding solutions to problems, and not being a drag on the world. Learn new things, impart wisdom, build friendships, and learn to not be a slave. There are lots of great sites and communities out there. Well, this one is ours.

Note: Hercules, who subdued and destroyed monsters, bandits, and criminals, was justly famous and renowned for his great courage. His great and glorious reputation was worldwide, and so firmly entrenched that he’ll always be remembered. In fact the ancients honored him with his own temples, altars, ceremonies, and priests. But it was his wisdom and great soul that earned those honors; noble blood, physical strength, and political power just aren’t good enough.


“And just like that our summer died. She took with it youth, and twenty, and her dying magic this sad belief that we could live forever…”~Michael Kurcina

Many great songs capture heartache and the loss of innocence however I believe The Boys of Summer is one that captures loss best. Sure the song is slick and was perhaps produced with the intention of making lots of bucks but it works regardless what we think of corporate driven rock. The synth, the guitar dolling out righteous melancholic chords, and Henley’s soft singing make this song superb for playing while cruising down the freeway before the world starts stirring. If any song richly captured atmosphere and left us with the realization that summer died and youth slipped away well this song is it.

The jangly guitar solo, the simple effective lyrics leaves us wondering about lovers now gone. Youth ends, and the people we love go away but longing continues forever. Youthful invincibility extinguishes and the burden of that knowledge is carried into maturity. Life must have loss for us to appreciate what will never come back. Penetrating thinkers, and introspective loveless romantics can likely imagine what the world looks and feels like where heroes go in Tolkien’s Undying Lands. Writers and tellers of heroic tales such as Beowulf, and King Arthur no doubt felt like us, and considered how much of the world was changing, and how they couldn’t control fate. No matter how frequently we feel loss it will alway feel like a foreign thing. Songs shared round the fireside in ancient Greece, or Saigon, Vietnam are different from each other but the longing for another time is the same.

Arthur’s men searched the ancient world for the Holy Grail and a way to end pain. Some feel that ‘future’ knowledge is a burden while others believe obtaining more of it liberates us from the past. How do we escape the past? We don’t and shouldn’t. Instead of wallowing in some deep funk when those injurious memories come, why not be grateful for those wounds? “Leave your troubles behind. Yield to the joy of living, yield to the possibility of dying, yield to the discovery of smiling and see with spirited eyes what your earthly eyes cannot see; the deepest, blackest midnights and the clearest, bluest skies; still, green blades of grass and sand the color of white wine. Live in awe.”  yes, we grow older but don’t let that dampen your spirit. We lived, we loved, and we need to STAY ENGAGED with the world. Don’t disconnect. Don’t stop living the dream in the greatest country in the world. Stay connected.

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