Archive | threadless

04 June 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Great Vaporwave and more new this week

Great Vaporwave by Vincent Trinidad (vptrinidad021) is my favorite Threadless print this week. The balance in this piece is fantastic, using the curve of the Great Wave off Kanagawa to complete the top half of the statue’s head. Even better, a sun with a line gradient fills in the negative space of the face. The head is, then, a nearly equal amalgamation of three artistic traditions from different eras and different parts of the globe, a tribute to the joy of art that celebrates both high and low culture, from the statues of European antiquity to mass produced prints from Edo Japan and even digital creations of the recent past. So slick!

Nope by Dann Teres (dannteres) imagines a crystal ball being a bit of a downer.  I think the funniest part of this is the casual language, such a contrast to the usually arcane and formal messages presented as from the great beyond. Spirits: they’re just like us! There’s a neat retro quality to both the wavy text and the pink color palette that helps the wording to feel even more incongruous. What I can’t quite get past, though, is the hand positioning- is it meant to be a weird, subtle goatse thing?

Identified by Kevin Mamforte (halfgotten) uses a venn diagram in a unique way, using the central segment to form the bulk of a flying saucer. The white ink of the UFO also provides the detail in the other two sections, with a black starscape above and a red landscape below. The red section is the most active and immediately grabs attention with a speeding plane (are we at war with the aliens?) and a city skyline blocked by mountains and a curving road. This mix of elements makes it seem like urban and rural areas are both under threat of these invaders, and the way the mountains and road are so empty starts to feel unsettling. Have some people already been abducted?

I’m Good by Airic keeps things simple with a rough, doodled style. It’s an effective choice because it makes the cube seem even more cramped and ramshackle, as though the walls might literally be caving in. The character’s posture emphasizes a hunched back and legs pressed tight, like there’s no room to stretch out. Even the thumbs up seems thrust forward for lack of anywhere else to put that arm. While the text says “I’m good,” everything else communicates that this situation is unsustainable. It’s very timely, and gets to the heart of how a lot of people are feeling right now.

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.

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01 June 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Welllness design contest

Stay healthy and happy with Threadless‘s new Wellness design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

How do you define wellness? It’s relative, for sure. As a concept it can be any mix of many things, whether the usual suspects like exercise, healthy eating, yoga, and vitamins, or the new up and comers like Animal Crossing, nachos, pizza, sleeping in for 3 to 5 extra hours a day… or looking out the window at a bird wondering what it would be like to fly. But we digress. It’s entirely up to you, and what speaks to your creative spirit. Let’s visualize wellness in the way we best see fit – whether fit in the typical sense or completely and perfectly redefined – and share it with the world.

This contest opens to entries on June 5th, 2020 and ends on June 19th. One winner will earn a $500 Threadless gift code. All designers printed will earn up to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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27 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Gandalf the Gangsta and more new this week

Gandalf the Gangsta by Gulshan Kishor (Shadyjibes) is my favorite Threadless print this week. It’s a great pun, with an execution that suits the joke well. A highlight for me is the shifted sizes and baselines of the text, which indicates emphasis in a way that will have most viewers reading the phrase in their best DeNiro voice. I also enjoy how heavily wrinkled the character looks, with thick creases in his skin, beard, robes, and even staff- it’s accurate to Gandalf, but also suits the put-upon, tired-of-this attitude of the Taxi Driver moment as well. An unexpected, but very apt combination of pop culture.

Cat Tree by Tobe Fonseca (tobiasfonseca) is a fun repurposing of a familiar phrase, turning the tower-shaped cat toy into a literal tree full of cats. It’s an excellent fit because of the trope of cats needing to be rescued from trees, and the illustration smartly also references the classic “hang in there” poster with a dangling cat. The autumn palette of golds, tans, and oranges suits both cats and leaves well, and even better that allusion to fall (and the cat slumbering on the ground) makes the scenario seem more precarious by implying things will be falling.

Nature’s Embrace by Fil Gouvea (filgouvea) is a gorgeous illustration. At first glance, it looks like aa whimsically-colored green bear clinging to a large bouquet. But the scene opens up further with a closer look, revealing that the clumps of greenery are actually full-grown trees, complete with tiny birds flitting from branch to branch. I love this because it also makes you see the bear in a new light- perhaps what you thought was green fur is actually grass covering a bear-shaped hill? Either way, it’s a sweet concept that should appeal to anyone who likes wildlife and the outdoors.

Ex-Condiments by Ryder Doty (Ryder) makes no sense, and that’s exactly what makes it so great. There’s a line up of familiarly packaged sauces, with all the branding on their labels minimized and broken down into simple geometric shapes. Most viewers will easily recognize most from their own fridges, with mustard, hot sauce, and barbecue sauce among the gang. What makes it magic, though, is that these foods are not just characters, they’re dangerous fellows! Each bottle grasps a distinctive weapon, and some even sport scars or tough guy accessories. It mades everyday objects into something special and interesting, with a whole story suggested by their strange appearance.

Embrace the Pain by Airic (bewarethevipers) uses doodle style well, with a silly joke that benefits in humor from the slapdash look of the art. The loose drawing makes it feel as though the idea hasn’t been fully thought-out, and that reflects the “this is fine” nature of the bad situation being depicted. Hugging a cactus is bad enough, but this poor guy has made it even worse by doing it in the nude. Even the cactus looks uncomfortable with its lumpy stalk and too-high arm. The artificial cheer of the bubble letters sets up the scenario well, and the use of bright pink very appropriately makes the word pain a bit difficult to look at.

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.

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25 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Modern Classics design contest

Refresh something familiar in Threadless‘s new Modern Classics design contest. Here’s what they’re looking for…

Classics are revered. Classics are timeless. Classics are meant to be completely reinterpreted by your brilliant creative mind. But how exactly? Look at the most memorable and iconic works of the past and draw inspiration from them, while also referencing counter culture to inform what you might reshape visually to make them modern. Is it as simple as a bit of graffiti mixed with Whistler? Or maybe it’s time to turn the Renaissance into a Renai-seance? Maybe Mona Lisa needs some accessorizing? Or conversely, you could even take that wonderful weirdo Warhol down a few notches! However you do it, look to redefine classic works of art, design, and popular culture, and breathe some contemporary life into them.

This contest opens to entries on May 27th, 2020 and ends on June 12th. One winner will earn a $500 Threadless gift code. All designers printed will earn up to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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21 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Design and Sell Your Own Face Masks

Now that face masks are becoming commonplace in the USA and across the globe, there’s a huge range of creative possibilities for artists to explore with this new accessory. From funny jokes that lighten the mood to abstract patterns or even important messages, there are a lot of ways for people to use masks to communicate their beliefs, interests, or aspects of their personality.

If you want to get started with your own masks, here are three sites that will have your art up and available for sale within minutes! Note that all of these masks are intended for non-medical use.


Pictured: Rainbow Smile Mask by Alice Carroll

Here’s what you need to know about these masks:

  • Two layers of 100% brushed polyester with a sublimation print on the outside layer
  • 7.25″ x 4.6″ with over-the-ear elastic straps
  • For every mask sold, Redbubble will make a donation to Heart to Heart International
  • Prices vary, starting at about $12 each (with a discount for purchases of 4+ masks)

See the full RedBubble mask catalog.


Pictured: Vote QR Code Election Mask by fishbiscuit

Here’s what you need to know about these masks:

  • Basic (single-layer) masks are sublimated polyester, while Double-Layer masks are polyester exterior with microfiber lining
  • Basic masks have over-the-ear fabric loops, Double-Layer masks have over-the-ear elastic loops
  • Double-Layer masks include an area where a filter (not included) may be added
  • For every mask sold, TeePublic donates one medical-grade mask to Direct Relief
  • Basic masks are currently priced at $10 each, while Double-Layer masks are $15 each

See the full TeePublic mask catalog.


Pictured: Pink Oh No Face Mask by Oh No Face Masks and MedshareDonate

Here’s what you need to know about these masks:

  • 2 ply polyester with print on one side and reversible to black on the other side
  • 7.5″ x 4.5″ with over-the-ear elastic loops
  • A portion of proceeds from each mask is donated to Medshare, up to a $500K maximum donation
  • Masks are priced at $17

See the full Threadless mask catalog.

Bonus – Masks that require some crafting at Spoonflower

Pictured: Spectacular Cats DIY Face Mask Kit by cynthia_arre

Here’s what you need to know about these masks:

  • Each kit makes two double-layer cotton masks
  • 9″ x 3″ finished masks with elastic or twill tape to secure the mask around the head
  • Kits cost $10, with each kit making two masks

See the full Spoonflower DIY Mask Kit catalog.

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20 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Thinking of You and more new this week

Thinking of You by Jesus Velazquez (artofvelazquez) is my favorite Threadless print this week. It does a good job of evoking both comic book style and the sort of panel selected in the creation of comic-based pop art. I like how much emotion the artist manages to evoke in the woman’s face- regret, longing, unease, even wistfulness. Her barely connected hands reinforce the idea of not being fully committed to this embrace. And with its crispy orange crust and gently dripping cheese, that pizza could not look more enticing. It’s an appealing piece for anyone who has ever wished more of life was as simple and fulfilling as pizza.

Dinosaur Dynasty by Adena (AdenaJ) uses the sumi-e style of Japanese ink painting in a new way by illustrating not scenes of traditional Japan, but something much more ancient- the prehistoric world of dinosaurs. I love this combination of style and subject because it’s so unexpected- the style prepares you for something a bit historical, and then the dinosaur shocks you by being dramatically more old than anticipated. Even better, using a style so associated with the soft touch of a human artist, along with the detail of the landscape, seems to imply that this scene was observed by an artist, with human and dinosaur existing side by side. It’s the sort of scene that sparks the imagination.

Wired to be Weird by Jake Edward Lange (JakeEdwardLange) centers around a catchy phrase, and the slogan hangs together well because of the similarity in letters between “wired” and “weird.” The retro look of the robot gives him a geeky spirit, not the sort of robot that is an advanced product of science and engineering, but instead the kind of metal contraption that inexpertly apes human behavior, always destined to be a few sprockets short of success. But his mouth reads as an attempt at a big smile, and his stance suggests a strut, so you have to believe that this bot owns his weirdness and thoroughly enjoys it. The lightning bolts give a bit extra pizzazz, hyping him up further.

Classic Blues by Peter Kramar (badbasilisk) is a really unexpected design, turning the Smurfs into a hip music group. I like the way this new vocation makes sense of their weird outfits- they’re matching to be a cohesive band, and the silly hats don’t look quite as strange here when they’re part of a stage costume. Even Papa Smurf, with his red clothes and thick beard, feels quite believable as the elder statesman of the group, and you can picture him regaling his younger band mates with tales of the good ol’ days. In the cartoon, Smurfette seemed very out of place as the group’s sole woman. But in a band context, it’s not an unusual configuration for a female singer to be backed by an all-male band. Dare I say that this shirt feels more logical than the actual cartoon? And the artwork is well-done, with just enough detail to make the concept come to life.

Void of All Feelings by John Tibbott (quick-brown-fox) feels iconic. It keeps things simple, but every choice is impactful. The basic human figure is made to feel liquid, without substance. Drips at the end of each limb might resemble fingers and toes, but they also feel like a creature fading into the nothingness of the background. Even his shoulders are barely suggested, just a wide pour of white ink streaming from head to arms with no interruption. Two dots indicate eyes, but the figure’s main feature is a black heart, a shape punched through the body and showing a speckling of stars from that sparse celestial background. Memorable, 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.

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18 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Endless Summer design contest

Threadless dreams of beaches and warm, sunny days with their new Endless Summer design competition. Here’s what they’re looking for…

As we understand this new normal, we also look to warmer temps, cool dips, and those endless summer nights. However we’ll celebrate it, let’s draw inspiration from our memories or maybe even future hot takes on the season of the sun. The heat, the cooler full of drinks, the road trips, the pool hangs – even if that pool is small and plastic in your own backyard. Is it a celestial celebration? Or is it a dark, hot summer night in the woods with absolutely no sights or sounds, save the moon hanging high in the sky and crickets chirping nearby? Think about summer, and how we hope it never ends, and submit your Endless Summer designs.

This contest opens to entries on May 22nd, 2020 and ends on June 5th. One winner will earn a $500 Threadless gift code. All designers printed will earn up to $7 per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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