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Welcome to Compete-tee-tion! This site tracks all the biggest news in the t-shirt design competition world, from reviews of new releases to information on new contest opportunities.

19 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s A Dull Boy and more new this week

A Dull Boy by mingku (mingku) is my favorite Threadless print this week. I’ve seen (and made) a lot of venn diagram pieces, but the approach this design takes stands out in a big way. Here, the circles are an obstacle being smashed through by the axe that takes the center portion. That sense of dimension makes the art feel dynamic and more real than the usual diagram, and that use of the axe immediately connects the viewer to the scene in the movie. There’s also a fun moment in the type, where the Y in the word PLAY falls at an awkward angle. It sets an unhinged tone for the piece and also implies the force of the axe knocking everything around. Really smart work.

Witch Crafts by Joel Robinson (obinsun) is a fun take on Halloween. The pun is great, but what really makes it work is how intrinsically crafty Halloween tends to be. From homemade costumes to carving up pumpkins and making your own decorations, most people who enjoy the holiday will be doing at least a bit of crafting. That makes it even more appealing to see one of the season’s trademark monsters enjoying the day in the same way, with some scissors, a bit of Elmer’s glue, and an idea. The broom’s presence is especially good at blurring the line between spooky and crafty, existing in a limbo between method of transportation and craft clean up.

G.I. Poe by kooky love (kooky love) mixes childhood nostalgia with literature. The name similarity is enough to hang a parody on, but it’s made even better by how opposite the characters are. G.I. Joes are action figures, heavily armed and always ready to bravely march into battle with their comrades. Poe, on the other hand, is a solitary writer whose weapons are words and whose only companion is an annoying bird. There’s a neat comparison to be made between battling outside forces and battling your own inner demons, and Poe’s haunted look certainly seems to put him in the latter category. Still, in his own way, Poe was often on the attack- as the “Code Name: Tomahawk Man” text points out, his sharp words made him a feared critic by many in his era.

Palm-Plants by Micaela Podrzaj (micpod) immediately caught my eye with its explosion of color and shape. These are the flowers of the imagination, sprouting unique combinations of color and pattern in forms inspired by, but not precisely imitating, those found in nature. Some blooms let loose rains of pollen, others wave leaves in invisible breezes, and confetti-like shapes scatter through the piece for even more visual variety. It’s exciting and fresh, and it’s all emanating from a solitary hand. This is the dream of the gardener, and of the artist- to use your hands, energy, and creativity to create something beautiful.

Pure Bread by Vincent Trinidad (vptrinidad021) is a simple pun, but illustrated extremely well and with the funniest pose possible. The awkward positioning of the horse’s limbs gives the impression of an animal running fast, but also clumsily and perhaps poised to take a tumble. In other words, exactly what you’d expect for a creature without a head. The bread section is nicely done too, with loose spacing where slices connect that adds to the sense of motion. By not including a slice of crust at the front end, there’s even a sense that a few slices may have already fallen off. So smart!

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

18 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Derby Editor’s Choice: Pair of Shirts collection

Good things come in twos with Shirt.Woot’s Derby Editor’s Choice: Pair of Shirts plus sale. From pop culture to original cartoons and from detailed illustrations to snappy slogans, artists found a variety of ways to have customers seeing double this week. Here’s what caught my eye…

Best of the Bunch: Walmazan’s Guac & Mole and Mole & Guac playfully alternate possession of the avocado pit in a way reminiscent of a game of catch.

Nicest Surprise: BooA’s I Prefer Blondes and I Prefer Brunettes first won me over in voting with their silly concept and simple but sophisticated style.

This promotion will only last until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. So if there’s something you like, grab it fast!

17 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Falltoberfest derby voting highlights

Shirt.Woot‘s Falltoberfest derby features fall leaves in great abundance, with a smattering of Oktoberfest beer and other imagery. So if you like the warm reds, cozy oranges, and harvest golds of autumn, you’re sure to find a lot to like this week. Here’s a look at two current voting underdogs that I think could use some more attention…

One for the Road by nicebleed captures a gorgeous landscape within a mug of beer. I suspect it’d do better in voting without the van silhouette, however, since it mars the look with some unfortunate drunk driving connotations.

Winter is Coming by wirdou makes every decaying fall leaf a warning of worse weather to come. I love how grizzled this character looks, right down to the faded colors and holes.

This derby continues through Thursday at noon. The top three designs (determined by votes and editor input) will each earn $1000 cash and $2 per item sold. Additionally, other designs will be selected and sold for $2 per item each. Both top vote-getters and selected designs will be sold in a future Plus sale.

16 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Grandma’s House design contest

It’s time for some good, old-fashioned art in Threadless‘s Grandma’s House design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Welcome, whippersnapper. Mind the rugs, take a seat on the yellowed plastic couch cover, and dust off a Werther’s from one of many candy dishes. Here, the smell of soap and roses commingle with Folgers and stacks of old newspaper to create a pleasant perfume that could only mean one thing: Grandma’s house. Where the attic’s full of surprises, the basement stairs creak, and the garden’s really a jungle.

This senior-inspired design challenge will make you mind your manners as you create fresh art that might be found in, or based on experiences at, Grandma’s house. Do doilies and coasters protect all surfaces from the tchotchkes that line them? Is the radio frequency always set to AM? Give us lace-lined designs, featuring hand towels that aren’t actually for drying your hands (they’re for decoration). Craft designs of antique filled rooms, dated decor, or typography of your Grandma’s favorite sayings. Get designing and make somebody’s Grandma very proud.

This contest opens to entries on September 20th and ends on October 4th 2019. One winner will earn $1000 cash and a $500 Threadless gift code. Also, all designers printed will earn up to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

14 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #726: Heroes!

Shirt.Woot‘s superpower is releasing new derby themes, like this one…

Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #726: Heroes!

This derby is all about the heros. Honoring those people or things that save us, inspire us and are just all around good! Who or what is your hero?

There is no hero without a bad guy, and that bad guy is me! Get ready for a surprise twist in this derby to be released on Saturday September 21st at noon CST. Sub your designs as normal and check back here for the surprise announcement and all will be revealed!

This derby begins Thursday at noon and continues through next Thursday at noon. The top three designs (determined by votes and editor input) will each earn $1000 and $2 per item sold after the first day of sales. Those winners will be sold on Friday (1st), Saturday (2nd), and Sunday (3rd). Additionally, other designs may be selected for a Plus sale on the following Monday, with each selected design earning $2 per item sold.

13 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Pampling’s For Sale

For Sale by Nesk keeps things simple for an unexpected icy gag. I love how aspirational it is, taking the everyday object of the refrigerator and turning it into a real estate status symbol. Igloos are regularly used as symbols of cold, but this design makes that connection feel more fresh by spotlighting its small size as well. With the fridge towering far over the heads of both the character and his home, it’s much bigger than it would be in reality, but is the perfect proportion to imply two floors of living space (and each with their own door!). It’s funny that the rectangular shape of the fridge makes it read as modernist architecture in this context, another factor differentiating the two properties. The subtle heart, just barely visible, is a nice way to indicate the protagonist’s feelings even though we’re not able to see his face. Really great work, simple in style but rich in storytelling.

Pampling has multiple prizes available. XPress Prize winners earn 1 euro for each product sold in the presale and XPress sale (with a guaranteed minimum of 500 euros). Shot Prize winners earn 1 euro per product sold (with a guaranteed minimum of 200 euros). Classic Prize winners get 300 euros. All designers are also potentially eligible for the 1000 euro Designer of the Month Prize (selected by the Pampling team taking into consideration sales success, priority, and participation).

12 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s -1UP and more new this week

-1UP by Pedro Josue Carvajal Ramirez (MadKobra) is my favorite Threadless print this week. I like the angle it takes on the famous piranha plant, picking a perspective from above that makes the creature almost feel like an ordinary plant in a pot being explained in a biology textbook. Of course, prominently featured where the grass and pot meet, bright white in a sea of green, we can see the thing that makes this plant unique- two skeletons in colored caps, helpfully labelled as Unlucky Fellows but immediately recognizable as plumber brothers Mario and Luigi. Other labels, cutouts, and texture zooms flesh out the scene and add to the scientific feel of the art. All in all, a great tee for gamers with a scientific mind.

Pick Your Poison Kobra by Fernando Adorneti (Caveman_dg) definitely looks gorgeous, with impeccable illustration skills, soft textures, and a red/green color palette that both looks great and feels like a warning. It has the sense of a propaganda poster about it, like a relic from a wall in Cuba resurrected to tackle a more modern vice. A companion piece replaces the bong with a bottle of booze, and I can’t help but think it might have been the more sellable of the two- although marijuana is legal in more places than it used to be, I’m not sure that this approach of broadcasting it as a dangerous recreational vice is all that publicly wearable, especially since much of legalization is dependent on medical uses. A well-done piece, but one that may struggle finding a paying audience.

Tropical Ice by Miguel Espinoza (migfunk) shows a penguin attempting to embrace her new climate reality by adopting a more tropical costume. With her leafy, patterned skirt and pineapple headdress, she wouldn’t look out of place at a beach luau. Plus, the outfit angle for telling a story makes sense because audiences are used to think of penguins as dressed in tuxedos. But it’s not all fun and games- from the small sliver of iceberg under her feet and the shower of sweat beads cascading down her face, we can see that this is a veery stressed bird, and one who is struggling with the heat. Even the shading style of thin lines looks tense. Great to see a humorous piece with such a strong message, especially since its done with so few elements.

Dark Lord’s Pet by Yannick Bouchard (Moutchy) has a deliciously spooky ambiance, a sea of dim, grey tones only interrupted by a dash of bright orange. With that orange as a beacon, you can’t help but want to investigate further, and as you do you’ll discover there, in the well-muscled arms of a massive demon, a small fuzzy cat. The cat is definitely a charmer, and stares out at the viewer as though he’s annoyed to have had this cuddle disturbed. You can almost hear the purrs. Meanwhile, the warrior’s state of mind is more difficult to discern- he might be angry, surprised, or even bored, but surrounded as he is by that enormous horned throne, you’d best stay on your best behavior. I really like the way the jagged shading of the throne adds to the sense of menace present in this piece.

Badass Rabbit by Diego Fonseca (dfonseca) has a real sense of joy about it, you can just tell that this bunny loves violence. His smile is infectious, his cheeks glow warmly, and there’s even a heart! The thrown-back posture of his head suggests a mischievous cackle, and although his knife is sharp and his wounds are apparent (the eyepatch), he’s a character you can’t help but root for. Aft all, as the flowers suggest, life and death are all part of the same cycle- who are we to criticize a sweet little bunny just because he’s on a murder spree?

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.