Insight by Mathiole (mathiole) is my pick for the week’s best shirt. I love the surreal concept, which transforms the head into a strange, layered place packed with light. The lightbulb in the center attracts a host of insects, their wings thin and flitting as they reflect back the brightness. There’s also something really lovely about the milky white shades of the ink and the way they slowly fade into the shirt color. That said, a couple of anatomical choices make me question the art a bit- the mouth doesn’t feel centered over the chin, and the apple of the cheeks appears to rest really low on the face. Maybe it’s a trick of the lighting?
Big Chew by Aneeshvini (anivini) treads some very familiar territory, showing a dog in search of a truly great bone and endeavoring to obtain it from a dinosaur skeleton. Definitely not a new gag, but usually when I see it done the dinosaur (or dinosaur skeleton) is unaware of the dog’s efforts and part of the humor comes from seeing how ineffective the dog is. This design heads in a slightly different direction, making the T-Rex’s structure whip around to see what the dog is doing, mouth open in a primal roar and the threat of retribution looming. So I do like that there’s at least some point of difference between this piece and what I’ve seen before, although the more realistic art style doesn’t get me laughing quite as much as a more stylized, cartoon shirt might have.
Ministry of Silly Portal by Marco Pedrazzoli (maped) feels oddly timed, coming as it does seven years after the game was released and referencing something even older. At this point, doesn’t everyone who wants a straightforward Portal shirt already have one? I mean, I guess the joke here is about the repetitive nature of a silly walk, but it doesn’t really come together for me. Maybe the references would land better if there was more integration, with the walker toting a portal gun instead of the briefcase. But as-is, they just don’t feel right together.
Radicat by Marcela Londono (marcelava) is a nice big print of a skateboarding cat, drawn in 3D style for extra awesomeness. It’s also the kind of shirt that’s tough to review, because there’s no deeper meaning or risky illustration choice- it’s exactly what it looks like, and you either like it or you don’t. And for me, it’s definitely enjoyable- I like seeing the traditional risk-taking and “don’t care” attitude of a house cat translated into human behavior.
Luella by Soffronia (Soffronia) is probably the week’s most artistic print. It’s extremely well-crafted, particularly with the realistic shading of the raincloud (possessing all the splotches and heaviness of the real thing). The girl’s anatomy makes sense, and there are even interesting style choices being made (how about those pink cheeks and the striped shirt?). All in all, excellent work. In fact, there’s only one thing that stopped this from being my favorite design of the week- the shape of the art. For all the design’s success, its proportions and abrupt ending at the bottom make this a piece that doesn’t feel as though it was made with the shape of the shirt in mind. And that’s too bad, because with this idea, skill and style taking advantage of the shirt’s entire canvas and possibilities, I think we could have been looking at something truly exceptional.
Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn 20% royalties based on net profit (paid monthly) and a $250 Threadless Gift Certificate.