01 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Birds With Arms and more new this week

Birds With Arms by Nicholas Ginty (Gintron) is my favorite Threadless print this week. It’s a great concept because it takes something every day and with a simple edit makes it strange and extraordinary. Those drawn little arms take things present in each photograph and emphasize it in a comical way, turning a sullen bird into one throwing out a vulgar hand gesture, making a timid bird seem to fret with anxiety, and making an ordinary squawk into a rock n’ roll sing-along. It’s the kind of imagery that captures the imagination, and for most viewers should make them look at the next bird they see in a new light.

Pickle Metamorphosis by Alex Solis (alexmdc) takes the process of a cucumber becoming a pickle and likens it to a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, with hilarious results. Part of the reason the gag works is because there is some physical similarity between the caterpillar and vegetable, with the pickle looking like an especially plump and uncoordinated specimen. That makes the image of the winged pickle feel almost right, but also wholly ridiculous. The choice of illustrating the concept so realistically (right down to the metallic sheen of the jar’s lid!) helps to amplify the humor of the situation, and somehow the murkiness of the pickle’s brine makes this wing transformation feel… kind of possible? Like a weird superhero power from falling into the wrong vat. I’m rooting for this pickle’s dream to come true!

Projecting Calm by Fox Shiver (FoxShiver) owes a lot of its style to internet rage face memes, but I haven’t seen the look applied to a dog before and it’s a combination that really works. It builds on the way dogs tend to be so incapable of hiding their emotions, so even when your pet tries to be good and calm down, odds are they’re still wagging their tail like a maniac and making intense eye contact, probably with some kind of goofy grin. Seeing this roughly drawn pup trying to figure things out not only reminds me of times I’ve seen dogs have similar looks, it’s also really relatable- everyone feels like that sometimes (we just hope we hide it better than dogs do). The uneven scrawl of the text reinforces the uneasy, harried feel of the art.

Alpine by Rick Crane (ThePaperCrane) takes the style of minimal, outdoorsy art defined by smooth, even lines, geometric shapes and solid colors and applies it in a refreshing, instantly recognizable way- inside a pinecone. Fans of the style will immediately understand the design’s aim, quickly parsing the scales as layers rounded hills and beams of sunset light emanating from a round, red sun. While I enjoy the peaceful subtlety of the piece, part of me wonders how it looks to people who might not be as familiar with the current style of minimal landscape art. Do they still see the landscape and the pinecone, or maybe just one of the two? I think the color choices and angles would still make the design valuable even if some of the details were glossed over by some, but it’s interesting to think about how much what we’ve already seen might shape how we view things in the future.

Believe by Perry Beane (BeanePod) turns a usually sinister symbol into a cutesy, fun-loving jumble of bright colors and smiling faces. Like another Threadless shirt, Heavy Metal, a lot of the humor comes from the unexpected juxtaposition of the sweet and frivolous with a genre better known for skulls, death, and hardcore imagery. It’s even more effective here because of the messaging, taking the self-help mantra Believe and applying it towards believing in witchcraft rather than believing in oneself. This is black magic, but drawn up in rainbows. And because of that, the design is enticing in a way that more gritty renditions never could be. Who wouldn’t risk a deal with some demons to bring this rainbow funland into existence?

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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