Thursday, June 4, 2009

Contest Watch: Week of May 28

HOLY FREAKING LATE! Let's get right into this shindig! We might keep things a bit short this week. Deadlines Deadlines Deadlines.

We start at Uneetee. This is The Vinyl Frontier, by Againstbound. In many ways, it feels like a sequel to his awesome Kleptonaut, but I love both. This seems like the negative version: Klepto was bold reds and dark blacks, while this is on white, with faded, "transparent" reds and a purplish "black"... it's like the entire scheme was reversed. Also, while the former was built solely on the concept of space, this only uses the look of an astronaut... the subject matter is clearly all about rocking, rolling, plugging in and blissing out. I love a good music tee, especially when it's abstract and odd. That it's done in AB's distinctive style (one the tee world needs more of) is icing on the cake.

Past Uneetee, Threadless dominated in subs this week, as if designers anticipated the extra traffic of a sale while submitting. There were LOTS of great pieces, and shame I could not include more, but I feel I culled an interesting foursome of more overlooked pieces. Hopefully despite my delay, you will still have time to score things like cmdixon2's "Eureka!" Eureka is right! I have to quote opifan64 on this one: "I like how it implies an entire crazy world with its own internal logic and back story." It really does, and I couldn't sum it up better. To be honest, what makes this so great is that the story ends here. You know there's more to it, but this is all we get, and it's so cryptic and weird but charming and wonderful. The flip-top heads, the mountain of hair, the triumph of finding scissors... it's all its own odd little world. But story isn't all this has: it's got a unique style to go with its unique world, and a super bright, bold color scheme. To me, missing out on this for a print would be a shame... I can think of nothing else like it that I've come across, and so many reasons why something like this SHOULD come to pass. I would buy pretty much anything based in this world.
One piece that stood out to me for the sheer surprise I got upon viewing it was Earth Worm, by mstein05. It has what comes across as a "street" feel, to me. Please feel free to email me about my ignorance if I used the term incorrectly. Either way, the big, thick vectors and distinct cartoon style on this make it a simple wonder. The thing that sent me over the moon, however, was the texture on the "linework". The colors and texture are fresh and add a shine to the piece, but just the idea of texturing the linework made my eyes smile. It's different, at least to me, and simple, and has potential to be iconic. It's a long shot for a print, but I'm pretty sure I'd buy the hell out of it if it made that long shot.

A piece that SHOULDN'T be a long shot, but just isn't making the splash (no pun) it should, is Charybdis, by Dxtr. Setting aside for a second my love for ridiculous marine fauna, let's cite some awesome things about this art. The somewhat diagonal flow, for example, which sets it intriguingly on the tee. The shades of blue and red and gray are eyecatching and combine wonderfully. All that, and the layout is just totally visceral... it conveys the power of the subjects and of the sea... the ruthlessness and beauty of nature, especially in an environment where man is still totally foreign. The colors help that feel as well. But all that said, um, hello, crap load of awesome sea creatures! Whales! Squids! Sharks! I mean, guys, look at that sweet Hammerhead right up there as a focal point. That alone is worth the price of admission. But the skilled lines and wild waves of colors definitely don't hurt anything.

We end similarly to how we began: with another amazing music tee. Not that one expects less than amazing from Buko, who gives us this piece, Cacophony. There's a lot of obvious greatness here: anyone should be able to appreciate the amazing execution, the bold placement, and the wisdom of using the popular watercolor shading technique. So why talk about the obvious? There are three elements I'm digging most. First, the colors... the antiquated ink look of the main character is great, but the purple glow the whole piece has is wonderful and bold and different from anything I can think of in my wardrobe. Getting a tee that has both a new addition to the lineup AND awesome art I can relate to is not to be undervalued. The other two bits are secondary illustration pieces. While the main focus of the music man is his head, I personally love the more modern Compact Discyness around his midsection, which is severed and seperated for no reason. Frequent readers will know I love illogical details like this, especially when they're executed so well. Finally, though, check out that bat. Yeah, there's a lot of stuff in that clutter of noise, making the art worth multiple perusals, but the bat counteracts the bird on the other side in a way nothing else does. It's a distinct reminder that this is not just beautiful music. Some is noise. Some is challenging. And you have to take the good and the bad together. It's rare to get something out there that shows off the beauty of even less delicate tunes. I feel that detail helps take this to that level.

Awesome. That wasn't so bad. Again, sorry for the lateness. Get some votes in, guys. This stuff deserves it.

No comments: