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14 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Happiness is a Warm Blanket and more new this week

threadless happiness is a warm blanket

Happiness is a Warm Blanket by Rodrigo Leonardo Batista Ferreira (rodrigobhz) is my favorite of this week’s new Peanuts tees at Threadless. What I love most about this design is the way it’s so perfectly suited to the t-shirt format- it’s a concept that works infinitely better on fabric than any other medium, and the look of comfortable contentment on Linus’s face feels similar to the relaxed feeling of wearing a classic cotton shirt. Making the shirt’s folds stand in for the curves of his blanket is also one heck of a fun and smart optical illusion. Slam dunk!

threadless puzzledthreadless fresh peanuts daily

Puzzled by aparaat (aparaat) is a nice gag about the unusual shape of Charlie Brown’s head, but what’s great about this design is that it goes farther than that. Charlie’s zigzag shirt is easy to pick out, and it’s also a clue to what’s happening on the rest of the pieces. Each of those patterns corresponds to the clothing of another Peanuts character, from Linus’s red and black stripes to a tiny Woodstock piece on top. So it’s not just a joke about his round face and ears, it’s also a fun trivia challenge.

Fresh Peanuts Daily by Randall6917 (Randall6917) has a look that appeals to me a lot because this early Peanuts style (when Snoopy was at his most puppy-like) is the one I’ve always liked best. And of course anyone who likes dogs or who has had a pet will find Charlie’s proud face and Snoopy’s beaming, eager-to-please expression pretty tough to resist. It feels classic and timeless, especially the vintage touch of having the ink colors not quite line up.

threadless the perfect comics formulathreadless happy bone

The Perfect Comics Formula by aparaat (aparaat) combines Charlie Brown and math, but somehow this unlikely pairing works. Part of the art’s success is that these mathematical markings really do bear a strong resemblance to Chuck (especially the squiggle of his shirt). But I think the larger reason why it works is because Charlie is so often a character full of anxiety and confusion, and those are also feelings a lot of people associate with complicated math problems. Somehow, despite knowing the basics, tackling something so complex can leave you feeling a bit like Charlie Brown trying to kick that football and missing again. There’s an emotional resonance to it.

Happy Bone by barton anton (samalope) tackles Snoopy’s iconic happy dance. And indeed, there’s something pretty neat about drawing an animal who’d be so excited to get a bone… as a collection of bones. I even like the two-color technique used, which is a beautifully graphic approach to creating an x-ray effect. But despite the logic of the concept, this design kind of freaks me out. I don’t want to think of wonderful, imaginative, clever Snoopy as a real dog, with all the fragility and mortality that implies. I want him to transcend that, so seeing him in a creepy, skeletal context feels really disturbing to me. I don’t want to see what his bones look like, I want to read his weird novels and see him fly fighter planes. Despite the skill involved, the design falls flat for me because of that.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

13 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #441: Tank Tops

shirt.woot logo

Shirt.Woot gets ready for the hot summer days with their latest derby…

Starting Thursday at noon: Derby #441: Tank Tops

Tank colors available: Red, Lapis, Grass, Navy, White, Asphalt, New Silver, Black. A set of tank top templates (.ai, .psd, .pdf…) is available here.

This derby starts on Thursday at noon and continues through Monday at noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $200 cash and $2 per item sold. Additionally, other designs will be selected and sold for $2 per item each. Both top vote-getters and selected designs will be sold in a future Plus sale.


There’s still some time left for new entries and voting in Woot’s current Bad Guys derby, which continues through Thursday at noon. Here are two underrated entries that could use some more attention:

shirt.woot menagerie of malevolent machinesshirt.woot cooking something up

Menagerie of Malevolent Machines by artguyaaron collects classic evil robots, and does it with a nicely foreboding grey palette livened up with harsh punches of red.

Cooking Something Up by chumpmagic achieves some really nice textures with its halftones, and there’s something very cool about a mad scientist working the grill.

The top three vote-getters will each earn $1000 and $2 per item sold after the first day of sales. Those winners will be sold on Friday (1st), Saturday (2nd), and Sunday (3rd). Additionally, other designs may be selected for a Plus sale on the following Monday, with each selected design earning $2 per item sold.

12 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot’s Movie Poster Tees & Unpopular States collection

shirt.woot movie poster tees and unpopular states

Shirt.Woot pairs popular culture with unpopular regions in their Movie Poster Tees & Unpopular States plus sale. While I think the states shirts show some theme exhaustion (it’s probably for the best that this was the last week of that!), the movie posters are packed with creativity, skill and variety.

Best of the Movie Poster Tees: Incredible levels of detail made The Neighbor a winner.

Best of the Unpopular States: The voters definitely got it right when they pushed DC‘s charming presidential cartoons into the first place spot.

This promotion will only last until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. So if there’s something you like, grab it fast!

11 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Monsieur Poulet’s Cat Crew

monsieur poulet cat crew

Cat Crew by Willy OHM fist caught my eye because that central orange cat feels so much like a stylized Garfield. I’m not quite familiar enough with the world of famous cats to know if the rest are references as well, but the good news is that it honestly doesn’t matter- regardless of whether you recognize the patterns, each cat has a different look and distinct personality that makes this gang add up into a really interesting group. Some are silly, others enthusiastic, surly, or even hostile (and for his part, the Garfield clone just looks hungry). The difference in the way they’re portrayed makes the situation with the mouse even funnier because you’re left wondering who will claim the prize, if they’ll work together, or even if they’ll somehow be outsmarted. Personally, my money’s on Garfield taking that mouse out with a well-aimed throw.

Winners at Monsieur Poulet earn 2 Euros per item sold, for a total of up to 2000 Euros.

10 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Camiseteria’s Picnic Time

camiseteria picnic time

Picnic Time by Rhodrigo Maia feels to me like Yogi and Ranger Smith as a buddy cop team, which is a pretty amazing setup. From the cartoons it’s easy to imagine Yogi taking the role of Good Cop, cajoling suspects and bribing them with picnic lunches while his by-the-books partner Smith cracks down on criminals. Half serious, half ridiculous- that’s both the concept of the art, and the style it’s drawn in. By making the bike and the bear so realistically illustrated, Yogi looks even more silly with his little cap and tie (not to mention picturing how he must have had to wedge himself into that sidecar to begin with). I love the inclusion of the butterfly next to Yogi, a great way to outsource some of his personality and show it infecting the area around him. That makes it even more fun to think of what might happen on this road trip next!

Camiseteria winners earn R$800 cash and R$500 in Camiseteria products.

09 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Shirt.Woot Derby #440: Bad Guys

shirt.woot logo

Brainstorm your most villainous thoughts for Shirt.Woot’s latest derby…

Starting Monday at noon: Derby #440: Bad Guys

They are more than just people. Think classic, or a twist on a modern villain. What DO they get up to in their spare time? hmmm.

This derby starts on Monday at noon and continues through Thursday at noon. The top three vote-getters will each earn $1000 and $2 per item sold after the first day of sales. Those winners will be sold on Friday (1st), Saturday (2nd), and Sunday (3rd). Additionally, other designs may be selected for a Plus sale on the following Monday, with each selected design earning $2 per item sold.


Meanwhile, Woot’s 3D Tees contest is still in progress (open to voting and new entries until Monday at noon). The difficulty level of the 3D challenge seems to be scaring some artists away, though, since the total number of entries remains fairly low. Still, there’s some really nice work in the mix, including these two designs:

shirt.woot space chaseshirt.woot pork-d

Space Chase by oakenspirit gets my nod for best of the week- the wacky space theme is a good fit for the 3D style (looking great even without glasses), and the 3D effect works really well at giving multiple levels of depth.

Pork-D by mecos really impressed me with how dimensional the pig becomes- even more of a feat since the artist apparently created it without the benefit of 3D glasses!

The top three vote-getters will each earn $300 cash and $2 per item sold. Additionally, other designs will be selected and sold for $2 per item each. Both top vote-getters and selected designs will be sold in a future Plus sale.

 

08 May 2015 ~ 2 Comments

Threadless: Le Beer and more new this week

threadless le beer elixir of life

Le Beer (Elixir of Life) by Enkel Dika (buko) is my favorite print this week, a drawing that that shows a scientific take on beer in a style that makes it feel like a page out of da Vinci’s notebooks. The sketchy style used is both accurate to the diagram look the piece aims for and a nice excuse to make everything glow a bit, so it’s a choice that both makes sense and enhances the overall look. The best bit, of course, is that lovely infinity swirl of beer in the center- it’s gorgeously fluid, and gravity defying in a way that immediately grabs your attention and holds it. It feels magical, like you’re glimpsing a thing that shouldn’t be possible but somehow is.

threadless taco eclipse of the heartthreadless crash boom bang

Taco Eclipse of the Heart by David Oleynik (DRO72) won Threadless’s Fast Food Challenge, and it’s easy to see why. There’s something so effortless about the style, but its simplicity is deceiving- it takes a lot of skill to achieve this kind of look of casual messiness. But it’s essential to the success of the design as well, because that first impression of minimalism is part of what lets the humor come to the forefront and the disarray evident on a closer look is a big part of how the character of the taco comes into focus. Since his eyes aren’t quite so regular and his ingredients begin to fray and chip, he reads as a harried fellow on the verge of a nervous breakdown. You get the sense that when he falls apart, he won’t just be losing a clump of taco meat or two, he’ll also be fully losing his marbles. It’s easy to imagine this dramatic little guy getting way too into the song he references at karaoke, too, which is a testament to how well his personality has been sketched in despite minimal elements.

Crash Boom Bang by Peter Kramar (badbasilisk) tackles the alphabet by giving each letter a comic book inspired text treatment. So there’s this amazing, cacophonous array of words drawn to look the way they sound, literally exploding from their panel confines to invade their neighbors. Dramatic, colorful, and full of movement, it’s packed with angles and ebbs that move the eye from frame to frame. In other words, seriously cool art. But what’s disappointing for me is how it actually looks on the shirt- like a tight rectangle. The fun of the design is in that feeling of wacky chaos, and because the print is so small on the shirt (and so surrounded by white space), you end up losing the effect once it’s on a tee. I can’t help but think a sublimated all-over print of this image repeating might have been a nicer solution if a larger traditional print wasn’t possible.

threadless no wi fithreadless i love you this much

No Wi-Fi by Trevor Ede (Farnell) leaves me feeling like there’s a joke I’m not quite getting. Because, here’s the thing- would people who like reading really appreciate the sentiment that not having wi-fi sucks because then you’re stuck with books? And would people who dislike reading enough to agree with the message really want to wear an image of a person reading? So to me it feels a bit weird in terms of audience, like who exactly is this for? That said, I do like the character- his neatness, big glasses and polka dot socks make him a pretty relatable little guy. And there’s something subtle about the way his frown interacts with the angle of the book that suggests the shape of the wifi symbol (showing one bar). I just don’t understand who will be buying it.

I Love You This Much by Jonathan Dockery (PolySciGuy) correctly identifies that the catbus from My Neighbor Totoro would be one heck of a good hugger. I like that instead of his many limbs helping him to get around more quickly, he’s using them to demonstrate his affection. Love instead of practicality. It’s a fun sentiment, made even more endearing by the slightly nervous, eager-to-please expression of the cat. Good stuff, although I’d have liked to see a little more space between the text and the cat to give each some extra room to breathe.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).