Thursday, October 8, 2009

Contest Watch: Week of October 1

Things to vote for: First, Robbie Lee's apparently had The Post-Apocalyptic Blues up at Scopial for a while. You should probably go vote for it. Second, Againstbound's Dark Matter is at Design by Humans, so all you little boys should throw away your action toys and get that to print, because it so deserves it (I promise, it will look hothothot). Finally, over at Threadless, littleclyde has resurrected an oldie from the Chimpogo voting pile: High Tea, High Seas. You may not remember it, but it's worth a vote. All these were former CW mentions, and all of them deserve your continued support.

We'll start this week at Threadless, where one other person who needs your support (besides all those people at the start) is theinfinityloop... she's had some epicness go clinically under-appreciated over there, and we'd hate to see Painted With Water suffer a similar fate. Besides the statistical pros to her printing (first female wooter to turn Threadless alum is not a bad title), this is some glorious texturing... the water drips look amazing, and the bleed of color along the paper is very reminiscent of those old books that aimed to level the artistic playing field. It's a very artistic rendering of a memory that any budding artist can remember, since literally anyone could do it. The water colors (as opposed to watercolors) are nice, but it is made still better by the charming linework. It's a tribute to water as life, but it's also a tribute to all of us who can only wish we were so artistic.

Next, we go to the graciously finally ended Threadless Loves Geeks contest. There is seriously not a whole lot that could leave me colder than 3000 entries of taped glasses, computers, and videogames. I don't care that Geek is the New Black, or the New Sexy, or whatever. There are sites to buy horrible tees to proclaim your sheltered computer-nerdity. Threadless? Threadless is a place to buy a hilarious joke tee that plays off the geek concept without only being geek-wearable. Something like herky's RAM. The design is sharp and clean, but also, quite literally stuffed with his charming cartooning. It's a great and easy pun, sure, but the characters playing out their roles are so fun and brimming with life that even without that, it could get wear simply as a charming absurdity. The colors on the rams pop wonderfully against the otherwise dull blues of the tee, and the sheer overcrowding not only makes it all the more geeky and punny (what geek WOULDN'T have a computer jam-packed with plenty of RAM?) but also lends a great visual that makes it all the more stand-alone without the admittedly simple pun. Even in a contest decidedly geared toward anyone but me, this can't help but make you smile.

It's nice to see some work from Design By Humans this week, namely In The Forest Where You Sleep, a collab between Sublevel and J3Concepts. What I love about this is how it's so spare and vibrant at once. It melds nature with the synthetic. The piece feels wire-frame, then paint-by-numbers, then topographic map, until finally it settles as simply a unique rendering of a fox. The text, looking part logo, part scientific, and all obscure, is an addition I actually quite like. Most text kills a design for me, but this seems so unnecessary as to become the design as well. There's a playfulness here that bursts out even though the rigidity of the structure, and helps makt this one of the more unique pieces I've seen.

At shirt.woot, the site known for selling shirts from woot, Bootsboots gives us Redundancy National Park, by Bootsboots. It's about a national park full of redundancy. As I said above, I don't usually like text-heavy work, because I feel it is too heavy with text, but the humor in this makes me appreciate the humor in this. It's surreal and absurd, which is the sort of thing I like, from the surreal and absurd creatures to the overall concept, which feels like it's taken straight from a Monty Python sketch. The concept is totally Pythonian, and the colors are highly attractive, especially the way the cranberry blank works against the blue background, which simply pops off the cranberry. It's a humor shirt I appreciate a lot, since I'm into surreal and absurd humor, and when people say they like woot for its humor shirts, it makes me wonder why this didn't do better, because it is definitely a humor shirt. I wish it had done better, because it didn't do well enough, in my estimation, but if it ever prints, I want to buy it, so a buy will be inevitable if it prints.

Finally, over to Uneetee, for one of those "seriously, it hasn't printed yet?" tees. Caesium-137, by ninthWHEEL, has made the rounds, for sure, and yet has never fully gained a print. I've seen it enough that I had to check to make sure I hadn't blogged it before... if I missed it, oh well! I'm not 100% sure how an apparent elemental isotope relates to an eagle and some lines, but the eagle is well drawn, while the lines draw the eyes well. It just FEELS scientific, given the rigid structures and simple concept and odd juxtapositions... maybe as if a laser is being shined against the bird, searching for its chemical properties? At least that's what I get out of it. It comes down to being an attractive shirt, and one that sits well on its canvas. We wish it luck somewhere, eventually.