29 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Kitsch Never Killed Anyone and more new this week

Kitsch Never Killed Anyone by Florent Bodart (speakerine) is my favorite Threadless print this week. Like all of this week’s new releases, its intended medium was as a shoe design (part of Threadless’s Bucketfeet line). Some designs were more well-suited for application to t-shirts than others, and in my opinion this piece was one of the ones to manage that transition the most successfully. The art feels old-fashioned, replicating a traditional burst of flowers in a cross-stitch pattern. But what makes the piece fresh is the specific way those stitches are shown- instead of tight, precise vector X’s, these lines are loose and haphazard, like the work of a stitcher who has gotten careless. That variation adds interest, making this piece reveal something up close that a viewer wouldn’t have guessed from further away. Plus, the imperfection makes the design more relatable.

Mojo Jungle by v_calahan (v_calahan) is the only piece in this group that I think arguably works better as a shirt than as a shoe. The canvas is incredibly packed with elements, many of which have unexpected twists. For instance, one flower blossoms into an open mouth, while in another area what appears to be a vine at first is revealed to be an extremely long arm with the addition of a human hand. These moments would likely be lost on a shoe, with its smaller size and usual distance from the eye. But on a shirt the strangeness is allowed to really sing. It ends up feeling like an especially crazy coloring book, the kind of detail-rich illustration that naturally draws the eye.

Oregon by Florent Bodart (speakerine) does a lot with a single shape, using size, positioning, and color to make a series of triangles feel exciting and new. Colored triangles are very uniform in appearance, each shown in the same way with the point aiming upwards like a pyramid. But things really get interesting with the occasional introduction of downward pointing grey triangles, whose presence call attention to the triangle-shaped negative space that exists between the colored shapes. The one thing that bothers me about the art is that it isn’t always precise- there are sometimes small gaps between triangles where it looks as though they’re meant to connect. It’s not a choice that is obvious enough to feel deliberate, so I would have preferred if it were cleaned up a bit.

Golden Paper Ships by sebastian (sebasebi) captures the feeling of the ocean in its smooth lines, segmenting a field of waves into a series of dramatic curves. While its a scene that could feel chaotic, the smooth blue tones of the art help it to feel exciting and vibrant instead, like the beginning of an adventure. And cutting their way through the sea you can also spot a series of orange origami boats, looking particularly fragile next to those massive, elemental waves. My only wish is that the shade of orange used was brighter, to make the journey feel even more optimistic.

Sakura Butterflies by Adena (AdenaJ) makes for a pretty great shirt, creating the illusion that the wearer is wrapped in series of cherry blossom branches. The flowers have warmth cooked into their petals with a watercolor technique that leaves each flower feeling unique. I also like the way the black and white of the butterflies serves as a contrast for the bright colors of the blossom, a decision that gives each element an equal balance with each other. It’s a cool look, and the organic winding of the branches helps to hide the repetition of forms for a more handcrafted appearance.

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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