24 December 2007 ~ 0 Comments

New Shirt Monday at Threadless

I Tried To Hold Your Hand by Joshua Agerstrand (ladrones) resembles a doodle-tattooed Freddy Krueger. It has the effect of creating a mysterious, almost gentle creature, whose hot breath lingers in the air. A highly unique piece, this is definitely a worthy winner of the Ferraby Lionheart Loves Threadless contest- I just wish I could see a picture of the guitar based on this design (which is part of the winning prize package).

The Earie Mine of Crayon Canyon by Cameron McEwan (Ronin60) is the week’s Select. For me, the concept (of a mine shaped like an ear, with miners carrying out crayon bits) doesn’t quite work. The connection between ear wax and the wax that makes crayons is a bit labored- it took me a minute of puzzling though it to even figure that out (I briefly thought it might refer to some epidemic of kids putting crayons in their ears that had somehow escaped my notice). The art itself is nice, with the exception of the halftone edges. I wish the edges had been done as rough, crayoned lines instead to connect better to the concept, as the halftones don’t relate to the rest of the image for me.

Mr. Brown by Joshua Agerstrand (ladrones) is a great one-color piece. I love the characterization of Mr. Brown, who seems exceptionally harried and fearful (this is enhanced by the illustrative call-out of his intestines, which is a really neat touch). The thin lines are alternately vague and textural, adding to the sense of motion and ambiguity in the design.

Aristocrat by Chow Hon Lam (Feishu) depicts two fancy birds riding atop an owl. I love the idea that high-class birds no longer bother to do their own flying (what a chore!) and prefer instead to take in the view from an owl-mounted bench. It’s all very nicely rendered, but I think what really makes this such a great shirt are the decorative looping lines in the background- they establish an otherworldly environment for the scene, and also imply the movement of wind. Really nice work.

I Hate Packing by Adam Benjamin White reimagines the packing experience as a three dimensional game of Tetris. Socks, pants and shirts are transformed into the signature puzzle pieces, which looks so natural that I almost can’t believe it hasn’t been done before. Beyond the great idea of the design, the details are nice as well- there’s a nice lining on the suitcase and traveling ephemera are packed in the pockets. Very well thought out.

Sing To The Tune Of Nature by Shuyi Chong is the only print this week that I’m not crazy about. The concept, showing a sheet of music as being constructed out of nature, is a neat idea. However, I feel that the execution is far too busy- the notes seem to be splattered with color willy-nilly, and the notes are fat to evenly distributed. It has the effect of looking more like a bulky mish-mash of elements than the music sheets I’ve seen. But if you want to wear a large and vaguely floral rectangle, this is a great choice.

Dulces Vacaciones by Adrian Serralta Chorro (adriserralta) is one of this week’s reprints, and it’s not a terrible choice. The idea of vacationing bears is pretty cute, I’m just feeling burned out on cartoon panda shirts. Plus, I associate them really strongly with Pandaluna’s work at La Fraise, which is what I always think this one is at first. The shirt itself is fine, the market is just over-saturated.

Ballad Of The Birds by Daniel J Jacobs (DJakes979) is the other reprint, and similarly to another shirt printed this week it uses nature (this time birds) to show music. This one works better for me both because the bird/music connection is so clear and because the design is much less cluttered. My only gripe here is that the distressed grungy-ness is so dated-looking. I’d have preferred a more original visual take on this idea.

But overall, this is my favorite week of shirts at Threadless in quite some time. Too bad for me that the sale just ended!

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