Thursday, September 3, 2009

Contest Watch: Week of August 27

We at Singularitee would like to congratulate Mecha-Labaw for doing the impossible and taking the 10K title from CollisionTheory. It's well deserved. We'd also like to point you to some former CW favorites now fighting for homes elsewhere. Robbielee is looking for a well-deserved second Threadless print with "Battle of the Ironclads II," and Omnitarian's "Float On" is up for voting and floating at Tilteed. These are two utter classics for me, so go give 'em some lovin'.

Going with the idea of classic, Design By Humans is currently hosting "In Gastropodous Fashion" by Slaterock. It's third in a series of designs featuring humans clad in animal-inspired regalia, and half the fun of the pieces is viewing these new fashions, like a runway challenge meant to jumpstart a designer's imagination. In this case, I don't know if I'm gonna run out and buy the helmets and puffy vest (though the long cloak on the leading figure looks pretty awesome), but seeing it makes one wonder how it would come across in real life. Also aiding this piece is the sci-fi, almost apocalyptic feel. The humans are either tiny or the snail is huge, which makes the piece seem otherworldly, and the palette is dark and earthy, which makes the fashionistas seem alone except for their giant pet. A gorgeous illustration and a thought-provoking one, as well.

More frequently in fashion than snails and slugs are flowers. There are a million directions you can go with flora of all sorts, which should make it more surprising that shirt.woot's derby of that theme would be so bland, but frequent readers likely have no such shock. A few standouts, of course, languished in non-printable range, one of which being Lucky1988's "A Delicate Floral Bouquet," arguably a "tea-shirt." But while I'm busy cracking myself up with bad puns, you can easily see things such as the wonderful color choices popping out. I enjoy how the otherwise nonsensical elements flow together... the idea of a floral tee, through to the proper bunny gentleman drinking tea, and back to the idea of a bunny in the wild... where better to imagine one than a flower-filled meadow? As always, the designer brings us a piece with skilled linework and somehow, as always, incorporates a smile into his work. There's always a bit of that joy mixed in with all the other totally awesome elements.

This week, Threadless is going for simple, it seems, so my reviews feel like they will be equally simple. After all, what can one truly say about ekirkdesign's "Guess Again" that isn't readily evident? It's not complex, nor is it expertly executed. Still, it feels like it fits perfectly in Threadless' humor catalog. It actually got an audible laugh out of me, and that in and of itself is a lot. The piece does what so many other pieces do, in twisting a nostalgia into something further (and often darker). What I love here, though, is it is nostalgia we all own, not a copyrighted character or registered trademark. Anyone growing up with the old standard joke books will get what's going on in this otherwise morbid scene. The twist on the joke is enough to carry this... indeed, making this anything more than it is, imperfect though the art is, would overload it.

On the other hand, jameses.x benefits from adding more depth-of-concept into his "Nobody Wants to Be a Lonely Gingerbread: Reloaded." The title leads me to presume I missed an original version, but that makes no sense to me, because I cannot see how an original version would not have been printed immediately. It is beautiful and sad all in one, the sort of piece that you might feel guilty wearing because it might fill someone's heart with the weight of loneliness. It definitely straddles that line of endearing and exhausting for some of the hopeless romantics out there. Again, though, the concept is what shines here. The art is also skilled, but remains simple, to not overpower that concept. I like that there is enough here to make it quite clear what's going on, but it doesn't make it a no-brainer or insult intelligence like an explicit caption would. I also, for reasons unknown, rather like the cracked egg and leftover dry ingredients behind the pan... it gives a feeling that the gingerbread man was very eager to get through his task... the loneliness was too much to bear. Threadless has a few designs that touch on this sort of theme, but none quite so elegantly and beautifully.

We end off with more bug-riding, this time a Rhinoceros Beetle, in Aphte's simply named "Rhinoceros Beetle Knight." It's a knight on a rhinoceros beetle, and that alone is weird and wonderful enough, but the style makes it twice as fun. The accents are pretty great also, with the fly buzzing behind with the knight's colors, and the villagers running behind, praising the knight's return. The entire story is pretty much encapsulated right there, but there is so much background we'll never know that makes the piece dreamy. I'd also recommend checking out more of the designer's work... he's got an insane amount of work in the running currently, and almost all of it is great.

1 comment:

Slaterock said...

Hey, thanks man! Great stuff here.