12 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: New this week

The Fox Confessor by Lindsey Carr (lindseycarr) is absolutely jaw dropping, a tee that really caught me by surprise this week. It’s like a weird collage of nature, but I mean that in the best way possible- like a biologist carefully carving into the environment itself, and leaving only a mash of the best and most interesting that land and life in that area had to offer. You get it all in one blast- fur, flower, leaf, and motion. It feels like all the disparate parts make one creature, one amazing thing that we’re watching about to spread its wings. This gives the design a decidedly surreal vibe, and a kind of mad scientist appeal. I’m really impressed with how the print looks- I would have guessed it to be too detailed and too many colors to print, but the photographs show that it maintained its vibrancy and shading very well.

The Boy & the Iron Whale by Malo Tocquer (malo and the whale) is a design that I absolutely love as an illustration, though I’m less strong about it as printed on the shirt. I think it tells a great story, constructing this massive animal out of gears all run by a top-hatted gentleman. It gets the imagination excited, and you find yourself creating adventures for them in your head. To me, though, the printing doesn’t really play to its strengths. I think placing the whale so low that almost all people who see the shirt will miss the boy inside entirely, which greatly diminishes the story aspect. While this is a very skilled drawing, it doesn’t feel made for the medium and the shirt isn’t as effective as a print would have been.

Peacock at Night by Trevor Mark Farnell Ede (Farnell) takes one of the most colorful animals in the world and turns those trademark feathers into black and white. Now instead of color, patterns create interest. While the premise is solid, I have to admit that I’m not quite seeing the appeal of this one. The patterns are capable, but not inherently interesting or innovative, and the white of the peacock’s body seems to be putting the emphasis of the design on the least appealing part of it. It’s not a bad shirt, it just feels very average to me.

The Curse of the Care Were by Sean Anton Husbands (Winter the artist) posits that humans aren’t the only creatures that can become lycanthropes, transforming a lovable Carebear into a ferocious werewolf. It certainly gives the famous Carebear stare a new feel! Anyway, mixing monstrousness with cuteness is almost always a winning combination, and this is no exception. The pure skill of the portrayal makes it stand out- just look at the hulking action and bulging muscles in the pose, contrasting so nicely with the flat glee of the sun. Excellent work.

A Captain’s Memory by Alex Solis (alexmdc) shows an old sea captain lost in thought as he puffs on his pipe. In its smoke, we see the very event he can’t get off his mind- the attack of his ship by a huge kraken. What makes this interesting to me is that we can’t tell why it’s what he’s thinking. Maybe he’s reliving a dangerous event, preparing a tale to tell on the docks back home, or remembering a legend. It feels like even though we’re seeing a slice of his mind, there’s still plenty of mystery. And that’s how it should be any time we’re dealing with stories of the ocean- the unknown is a big part of what makes it seem so vital. That restraint is also visible in the colors- there’s just the slightest yellow glow in the fire of the pipe, and no where else. Very nice.

Optimust by Phil Jones (murraymullet) is based on the phrase “more than meets the eye,” and with that in mind, what could be more perfect to see in an inkblot than a transformer? It makes perfect comedy sense, though for me the execution hampers the humor. Transformers are just so slabby and blocky that they don’t mesh easily with the freeness of a real blot. To me, that leaves the design looking… well, not really that much like an ink blot. I think it’s an inescapable problem, which means that mileage on this design will vary pretty strongly based on two factors: 1) inherent liking of Transformers, and 2) belief that this is close to what ink blot tests look like. I’m finding myself outside both camps, but it wouldn’t surprise me if most people disagreed.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Winners get $2000 cash and $500 in Threadless credit, with the possibility to earn more through Bestee awards, poster prints, and reprints.

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