09 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s The Great Kanagawa Tee and more new this week

The Great Kanagawa Tee by Vincent Trinidad (vptrinidad021) is my favorite Threadless print this week. It’s a fun and beautiful tribute to the famous Great Wave art that succeeds in part because the designer added so much to in instead of resting on the original’s greatness to carry the piece. There’s a real freshness to the way the wave is used as a symbol of refreshment, in the cup with the tea but not using its original blue color palette so as not to be truly a part of it. I love that Mount Fuji is still present, just relocated to the printing on the cup instead of hiding behind the waves. It’s a piece that nods towards and generously borrows from tradition, but still feels quite modern.

Van Rainbow by Florent Bodart (speakerine) keeps things simple by applying a rainbow stripe motif to an antique van. The look is very realistic, even with some roughness on the tires that lets you wonder where this vehicle might have travelled. Also, by not showing the van’s environment, it feels more personal- this is your van, which you’ll take on your own adventure, not someone else’s exotic old car. Kind of makes you wonder what other old things could be made new and exciting with a few colorful stripes…

Tentacle Attack by Pedro Josue Carvajal Ramirez (MadKobra) stars one of the squids from the Mario series as a Godzilla-style city destroyer. Since they’re typically underwater minions about the size of Mario himself, it feels fun and exciting to see this nostalgic character blown up to such gigantic proportions. The amount of detail in the city (which includes things like powerlines and crumbling concrete) gives some realism to the scene, while the use of only lines for the building ensures that the flames and squid are the focus of all attention. Plus, I love the pop of those brightly colored fires against the blue background.

Alegria, Alegria… by DracoImagem.com (DracoImagem.com) definitely grabs attention with its tasty color palette, a set of sunset gradients that give the art a warm glow. The woman in the piece is drawn accurately, but also with a soft touch- her face and posture portray a sunny personality that feels magnetic. It’s all very attractive, though I think the design is slightly let down by the narrative. It feels like there’s meant to be a story being told, I just can’t put together what it’s meant to be. The woman is wearing flowers and the guitar is also a flower? But also the guitar fades into a starry space scene? Why is there a stool, and why is this lady’s skin a whole rainbow of colors? It’s a perplexing mix of ideas, almost feeling like two concepts (flowers and space) in one.

Stay Woke by Evan Ferstenfeld (FRICKINAWESOME) uses a retro look to illustrate a modern phrase. The smiling sun, with his massive grin, long nose, and tall, oval eyes scream 1950s advertising art, to the point where I half-expect him to sell me some cereal. The mug in his hand reinforces the idea of waking up in the morning. Text is also very important to the design, using a playful, cartoon style that supports the 50s influence as well as some transparency that makes the sun feel even more glowing. It’s very complete, and very effective.

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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