04 December 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Orange Cat and more new this week

Orange Cat by kooky love (kooky love) is my favorite Threadless print this week. I love the pure nonsense of it, combining a cat and a peeling orange for no other reason than that it’s fun and silly. Even better, the unraveling of the creature references Escher’s Rind piece and employs a level of detail and skill that is up to the challenge that imitating the optical illusion master invites. With a cheerful sprig of green leaf resting on its head like a hat and clear, beautiful eyes, the cat even manages to convey a demure, innocent personality. If you like a weird shirt, I can’t recommend this one enough.

My Little Submarine by Zhao Xiang (micronisus) creates a classic sight gag by placing a giraffe, neck and all, in the periscope of a submarine. It makes a strong connection between two similarly-shaped objects, and employs its lines smartly to do it. The giraffe is solid white (with just a scattering of light blue shapes on its neck to confirm its species), while the rest of the design plays out in white lines on blue fabric like a blueprint. This style allows the artist to give the submarine’s exterior a thick line (making it the second focal point after the giraffe), and also to full in some technical-looking detail at a lighter line weight that gives the vehicle the feeling of a real, working environment. If you look closely you’ll even spot a scarf and little cap on this submariner- the giraffe is in uniform!

Space Fungi by Joey Klarenbeek (joey_klarenbeek) strikes me as a design that is countering expectations to make an impact. Mushrooms are usually small, white or brown, and like to cover the forest floor like a sheet. So it feels interesting, even a bit shocking, to see them behaving so differently here- stock-straight in stem, blue in color, and visibly towering over the scene in a strong vertical line. It’s an alien experience, made even more so when you notice that these strangely acting shrooms are bursting out of an actual space helmet. Did they learn this from whatever poor soul wore the helmet before it ended up here, or have they merely been inspired? Either way, they’re headed for the sun. My one disappointment with this design is the placement- I think an off-center, side print would have emphasized the art’s oddball qualities and made an even bigger statement.

Eat the Rich by Rodrigo Leonardo Batista Ferreira (rodrigobhz) takes a popular anti-capitalist slogan and takes it to an amusing comic conclusion, slicing Scrooge McDuck like a Christmas ham. By using a cartoon character, and a famously miserly and ill-tempered one at that, the slogan remains playful and amusing, the kind of joke that would resonate with people of a wide variety of political persuasions. In addition to the strong concept, color is used very effectively. The red of the slogan is only used as the head interior and for dripping blood, a grisly choice that helps the art to read clearly and quickly even from a distance.

Plants are Friends by Sanja (odsanyu) pairs handwritten text and doodle style for a very sweet result. In a lot of artists’ hands, a slogan like “plants are friends” would have lead to faces on every blossom and leaves holding hands with stems. But I’m very charmed by the restraint shown here, which invites us to appreciate plants as they really are, not how we imagine them to be. I also like that the illustrations remain white and grey, letting the various green tones of the garments imply the plants’ full color. It feels like bits of a nature-lover’s sketchbook transferred to a tee.

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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