Archive | threadless

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.

Continue Reading

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).

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

09 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Analog design contest

Get back to basics with Threadless‘s new Analog design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Remember the satisfying click of your typewriter keys as you pounded out an interoffice memo? Or spending entire car rides untangling the magnetic tape of your cassettes? What about calculating statistics with your abacus? Or the pleasant smell of ink from a freshly delivered newspaper? Ahhh yes, the good old days. When vinyl wasn’t the hipster way to listen to music, it was the only way.

Let’s harken back to simpler times, before this whole digital trend (we’re pretty sure it’s a fad). Back when waves, like sound, were recorded and physically translated, perhaps onto vinyl or tape. We want your best, outmoded art of anachronistic devices in our analog design challenge. Give us designs inspired by old-school audio recording, cuckoo clocks, wristwatches, record players, and more. So, flip the album, drop the needle, and design away!

This contest opens to entries on September 13th and ends on September 27th 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).

Continue Reading

05 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Even a Gentleman Rides and more new this week

Even a Gentleman Rides by Mike Koubou (mikekoubou) is my favorite Threadless shirt this week. It’s a soft, serene illustration that imagines a deer taking a bike ride, and that mixture of nature with a peaceful human pastime is very enticing. It’s exactly the outcome a bike rider hopes for when taking a quiet ride in the park, that you’d feel not just in the wild, but actually a part of the forest. The deer’s gentle spirit, shown in his dapper outfit and the birds who stow away in his antlers, is another aspect making this design very sweet and (excuse the pun) endearing.

Schrödinger’s Venn Diagram by Nathan Joyce (Nathan Joyce) cleverly transforms a typical Venn diagram’s overlapping circles into a pair of boxes, meeting at the middle to envelope a very confused-looking cat. The cat’s very awkward, nearly upside-down posture and wide, worried eyes are the focal point of the piece, and immediately draw the viewer in. The poor cat seems to be contemplating his own existence just as much as science is. It’s a strong concept, and a lot cuter than the average science shirt.

Vaguely Aware of Social Norms by Fox Shiver (FoxShiver) might be simple, but every bit of the doodle is doing good work to establish the concept. That tilted posture is immediately recognizable to anyone who has spent time with pets, the lean of an animal that can’t figure out what you’re doing or why… but also doesn’t really care enough to find out. There’s a blankness in the flat eyes, straight whiskers, and expressionless mouth that back up that idea, and the doodle style reinforces a lack of effort being expended. It all adds up into a piece for people who relate to awkward animals more than confident humans, and I think that’s a popular geeky sentiment.

Star Fish by Kelsey (KelseyRobinson) has a fun premise, with the helmet of a spacesuit replaced by a fishbowl. The bowl’s positioning at an angle threatens to splash water out at any moment, and that precarious placement grabs the eye. What really impresses me with this piece, though, is the style. While the art looks fairly ordinary at a distance, a closeup reveals a very interesting technique. All the grey-looking shading has been accomplished with mechanically placed diagonal lines and crosshatches, an effect that looks both busy and surprisingly alien. It’s almost like seeing something through the eyes of an extraterrestrial, with even ordinary things (like a standard spacesuit) made to feel strange, and a creepy-crawly effect induced by the barrage of too close together lines. Very interesting stuff.

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.

Continue Reading

02 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s I Put a Spell on You design contest

Magic is in the air with Threadless‘s new I Put a Spell on You design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

A powerful form of divination, spell-casting is the ancient practice of harnessing energy with magickal intention. Like making a wish and throwing a coin in a fountain, but with more cosmic umph! Abracadabra and hocus-pocus are mainstream hexes. And who could forget Shakespeare’s three witches chanting, “double, double toil and trouble…” over a steaming cauldron?

Though spell-casting is often verbal or mental, we’re asking you to conjure your best invocations in art. No wands or potions needed, just your pens, pencils, and illustration software. Channel designs that feature mystical typography or enchanting scenes of witchcraft. Summon supernatural forces to make hauntingly good art (and win this bewitching design challenge). Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!

This contest opens to entries on September 6th and ends on September 20th 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).

Continue Reading

29 August 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Tropical Skies and more new this week

Tropical Skies by John Fishback (thechild) is my favorite Threadless print this week. I love the way it feels as much an abstract piece as it does a landscape, breaking a sunset sky into rectangles of color. With shades ranging from salmon to lavender and even dark cornflower blue, it feels a bit like looking at cut up snapshots of the sky at different hours, sometimes crossed by clouds or dotted with misty breezes, but always pristine, natural, and enticing. The simple hilly island scene at the bottom sets the mood well, and hints at adventure with its minimal shard of a waterfall.

Built for Speed by v_calahan (v_calahan) took me by surprise- from the thumbnail image, I had assumed it to be a straightforward motorcycle illustration, the kind of one color, mechanical piece that appeals to a sense of nostalgia and evokes images of freedom on the open road. But while the skill with which it is made is definitely of that ilk, feeling very accurate to the construction of the bike and hitting angles that imply speed and strength, the reality of the design is a lot more fun. There’s a sloth sitting on that bike, looking serious and ready for action as he careens around the track. The “Built for Speed” message painted on the motorcycle’s side further spells out the concept, making this an excellent piece for anyone who likes to challenge their limits.

Same. by Luis Romero (lxromero) explores the modern reality that for many people, everything seems like a bit of a dumpster fire these days. Politics, the environment, the economy… it all seems to be trending in the same negative direction, so it’s not surprising that folks will see their personal circumstances in the same light. But instead of feeling like a depressing observation, the text’s appeal to the shared experience makes it funny and a kind of solidarity emerges. It’s a neat angle on a relatable feeling, and I think the sharp, explosive look of the dumpster fire helps amp up the drama for extra comedy.

Fuck Everything by Miguel Espinoza (migfunk) feels very in tune with the 80s California skateboarding and underground comics scene. The hand protagonist and large mouth feel like an ode to the Santa Cruz screaming hand graphic, while the style of mouth plays into Rat Fink hot rod comics. If you’re someone who appreciates this style of art and that era in general, it’s going to be a tough design to resist because the looks are meshed together well and the colors feel accurate to the bright, in-your-face palettes of the time.

Sound Ness by kooky love (kooky love) is definitely quirky, likening the long stem of a music note to the long neck of the Loch Ness Monster. I think the intention is to link the “Listen to Yourself” text to a kind of “Believe in Yourself” message from an imaginary creature, but for me it doesn’t quite connect. Part of the problem is that there’s not a strong association between Nessie and sound, and another is that the music note shape doesn’t mimic the monster’s body well, which is known for its long body, long tail, and flippers. Still, the loose, almost doodled style of the art is indicative of a design that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that makes the silliness of the concept more acceptable.

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.

Continue Reading