Thursday, August 13, 2009

Contest Watch: Week of August 6

Contest Watch Faithful will likely note right off the bat that I have a sub up at Tilteed, which is linked in our sidebar as always. If you so choose, I'd love your vote. More importantly, don't forget Umibozu, which has made it to the top 10 and absolutely must print next week. Your vote is welcome for either. As for the new stuff? Well, read on!

We start this week at Teextile with TobiasFonseca's "Binary Song". Tobias has been pretty damn prolific there this week, uploading what seems like over 10 new designs at the site, and most of them should have a solid chance at printing. What I like most about this is pure inanity. I mean, sure, there's a link between bird and music, but there's so much that doesn't make sense. Still, I love the blissful bird-face on the monitor-head of the body, the flow of the music and, ergo, design, and the skill in bringing this weird picture to life. I'm also in love with the colour choices, and truly torn... while I feel the piece works best against the yellow, that aqua looks gorgeous just on its own.

If I'm denied a yellow from the last piece, though, perhaps Threadless can offer me something on a similar blank. I believe the tee is officially called "dijon", and I'll accept that, since it looks delicious. It doesn't hurt, of course, that the piece I'm looking at, Kra Shaon, is brought to life by the always amazing valorandvellum. She's at her dreamy and ornate best here, creating enough whimsical creatures to make Dr. Seuss bow in defeat (my children's lit mind puts this somewhere between On Beyond Zebra and Aardvarks Disembark). I don't think there's a single critter here that doesn't wow me, from the accordion birds to the many-faced gumdrop creatures... not only for the trademark linework, but for the sheer creative beauty in their imagining. Evolution had better get crackin'! Personally, I'm in love with the mindset of combining music with nature that arises in many of these new breeds, which increases my appreciation. All that, and amazing colors... the black on yellow already has almost a Grecian urn type of effect, but those strong splashes of pink make everything very bold and a bit psychedelic. This'll make a great print, if Threadless starts considering putting some of their most wall-worthy pieces on prints, but it is no less wearable as a shirt. And I hope to be wearable-ing it sooner than later.

Still at Threadless, we see shades of DBH in YONIL's "Center of the Universe (Heart is Where the Home Is)." I'm pretty certain I've even seen this at DBH before, and that begs the question: how did it not print? It fits their print style to a tee! It's incredibly bold, and incredibly big. It takes on their love for splatter, but does it in a sensible way, as though debris and detritus was erupting from the ground as the hands burst through. It makes for a haunting, creepy image, with the hands articulated dramatically, almost grotesquely, but in a way more detailed than your average silhouette work. The house that the demonic hands are encircling is detailed in a more conventional way, standing as a smart study of a building. My favorite touch is the semicircle around the house, though... those colors cut through the stark black that makes up the majority of the print like dish-soap through grease. They're fresh and vibrant and juicy (cmon, you can't not associate them with fruit), making them powerful enough to draw the eye and lessen the overall dominance of black. Overall, the piece is just very well composed, to me, and as always, I hope one site's oversight is another site's huge gain.

Leave it to Threadless superstar Laser Bread to bring us one of the most interesting photo-collage pieces I've seen in recent memory this week, showing off the sort of out-of-the-box thinking that has garnered him so many Threadless prints. The piece is "Hawk & Lion," and technically that's exactly what we're getting, except we're being presented with a deconstructed version. The execution becomes almost an optical illusion due to the black-and-white photography, especially with the resized and rotated images. Each circle looks like it's culled from the same photograph (with the possible exception of the very center of the hawk piece), but the variations in sizes and specific locations make it hard to get more than a vague image of the two predators, even with extended examination. Besides being a total eye-ruiner, though, it just looks... way attractive. Especially on a nice white blank, the photographic imagery would shine simply, and the way the core samples were taken and then re-arranged shows a very keen eye for design... so much is done so simply, much as how blog favorite "Cornerstone" takes simple sampled texture strips and combines them with such an eye that makes it much more than the sum of its parts. It's photo-manipulation done right.

We close this week much as we opened. It's from Teextile. And it's from TobiasFonseca. It's rare we'll post the same damn artist twice in the same week, but as I said above, the dude submit like 100 designs this week. This one is also an oddity, but is far more focused on the illustration than the former. It's called Bunny Key, appropriately enough, since it involves those two very things. The bunny, to be fair, is more of a jackalope than anything. It's antlers form the key part, with vintage looking keys hanging on them. For some odd reason, the bunny's eye is even a keyhole. I shudder to think what sort of insanity one would unlock with the right key combo. It's still a bit adorable... well drawn bunnies always are... and inhabits the shirt wonderfully. And again, I'm torn on the colors, though here I definitely have a much stronger preference for that lavender.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a run down of that "plus" part of last week's Contest Watch... we've got some great woot updates for a change!

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