04 July 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless’s Ramen Dragon and more new this week

Ramen Dragon by Ilustrata (Ilustrata) is my favorite Threadless print this week. The combination of the noodles and dragon shape is extremely expressive, with smooth lengths forming a curved body while fronds extend to create whiskers and spikes. A mass of mushrooms gives the dragon’s back the appearance of plates, while seaweed, spring onions, and chopsticks hit dramatic angles to emphasize the action. The soup’s broth bears a strong resemblance to the famous Great Wave off Kanagawa piece, and its scale (along with the clouds below the bowl) sets the scene for an epically huge creature (despite ramen’s normally small size). Extremely well conceived and illustrated.

Hello Darkness by RJ Artworks (rjartworks) feels deliciously vintage, with its illustration so heavy on shadows and backed with bright colors. There’s a hypnotic sense to the wavy lines on red that make the raven feel like a powerful, mystic figure, and his skull perch tilts the balance towards evil. The text seems to be drawn rather than based on a font, which gives the artist the opportunity to both make each letter unique and also to add lots of ornate serifs, a choice that leaves the wording feeling like it might be plucked directly from a book on magic or alchemy. The design’s nicest moment, though, has to be that strange, smokey background- it sets a creepy ambiance for the piece, and the lack of symmetry in that area makes everything seem sinister, uneasy.

Street Cat by movepencilmove (pluskin) has doodle-style charm with its black ink on white and consistent line width. The amount of detail, which gives the fish board scales and adds a fur texture to the cat’s shadows, helps the design to come alive, though, and elevates it from its sketchy brethren. The cat’s very odd pose is so awkward you can’t avoid seeing the motion in it, and the effort it took to flip the board. I’m not too up on skateboard terminology and Google wasn’t terribly helpful, but if it turns out that the cat or dead fish are references to a real skateboard trick, that makes the design even more clever (although I also enjoy it as pleasant nonsense).

Baucycle by sebastian (sebasebi) won Threadless’s Baauhaus challenge, and it’s an excellent choice. The bike naturally lends itself towards becoming a series of geometric figures like lines and circles, and the fresh not quite primary color palette hits a nostalgic note that suits both the art style and machine portrayed. In particular, I like the recurring motif of parallel lines which serves to strengthen the Bauhaus influence. I have to say, though, that I’m torn about the inclusion of the red curved lines around the seat- while it speaks to the idea of motion, the largest red circle doesn’t seem to actually represent anything in the way the bike functions or how it is used.

A N I M E W A V E by Ilustrata (Ilustrata) feels like if the jungle got an anime-themed virus. The leaves are bountiful, but behind them lurks familiar faces peering back in bright magenta- Totoro, Astro Boy, Sailor Moon and more, blank-eyed and flushed. It’s already feeling a bit sickly, made only more so by the error message windows peppered through the background. It’s almost like a mashup made self-aware, recognizing its own mutant nature but powerless to do anything but grow. Surreal and 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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