13 March 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Great Outdoors and more new this week

threadless great outdoors

Great Indoors by radiomode (radiomode) is my favorite shirt this week because it’s a design I’ve liked for a long time on other sites, and I’m very pleased to see it at Threadless with a triblend shirt option. It’s a shirt that checks a lot of popular boxes- nature, geometry, and bright colors- which makes it a design that appeals to a very wide range of buyers. And best of all, it’s extremely well done. I love the way the bear’s shape is simplified with sharp, angular edges that help him suit his triangular environment. And there’s a lovely, soft texture that ensures the shapes don’t feel flat and boring. There’s even an element of transparency to the shapes, changing their color as they overlap, which gives the scene depth. Definitely a t-shirt classic.

threadless dragon priestessthreadless susheep

Dragon Priestess by Yannick Bouchard (Moutchy) is an extremely well-crafted piece, so let’s get that out of the way up front. The glowing, gold-drenched color palette speaks of warmth and mystery, while the priestess’s headdress and the dragon’s ornate perch provide hints about the world they exist in. I like the dragon character a lot, especially the way his horns and mane set him apart from a traditional fantasy dragon. And yet, for all those positives, my first reaction on this design was a negative one. The problem for me is that between the throwback art style and the highlighting of a scantily-clad female protagonist, this design feels like it’s valorizing exactly the kind of backwards, boring fantasy that used women as eye candy and sexualized prizes rather than as intelligent, interesting and motivated characters in their own right. I think it’s the priestess’s pose that cemented that feeling for me, the way she’s sort of languidly draped over the scene rather than looking ready to attack or explore. I doubt any of this was the intention of the artist, it just goes to show that when you’re working with imagery and subject matter that’s been used in that manner in the past (cultural ephemera like painted vans come to mind), then at least some of the audience will be predisposed to see your art in that context and it’s something you have to actively counter if that’s not your goal.

Susheep! by Darel Seow (darel) is a lot of fun, using the similarity between a pile of white rice and a sheep’s wool to build a cute sushi joke. The comparison is smart (the two textures really do tend to be drawn in the same way), and the humor is heightened by having the sheep snacking on grass (essentially snacking while being a snack). It’s a neat twist on the food with faces trend, and it’s refreshing to see food characters so cheerful rather than horrified by their impending demise.

threadless the great indoorsthreadless rabbit wrestler

The Great Indoors by Katie Lukes (k_lukes) is a nice counterpoint to the usual extortions to explore the outdoors, and skillfully done. I like that it clearly showcases the indoor equivalents of nature, with a housecat standing in for majestic animals and a houseplant taking the place of forests. It’s a very cozy arrangement, and gets at the heart of why a lot of people would rather stay inside- it’s just so comfortable! I think the half circles at the bottom are a bit of a misstep (I can’t tell if it’s meant to be purely decorative or look like a rug- if the latter, the angle feels wrong), but other than that it’s very solid work.

Rabbit Wrestler by Florent Bodart (speakerine) is delightfully absurd. This technique of drawing over a photograph (or an image made to look like a photograph, maybe?) is very effective in creating surreal imagery, especially because of the vintage look of the rabbit with its rough, harsh shadows. And he’s such a great little character, looking very determined and dignified with the way he holds his head high even in his somewhat silly costume. I like the level of detail in the outfit, which has little star shapes helping to make its stripe pattern feel more fancy. Good stuff!

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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