Friday, December 11, 2009

Mini Contest Watch (Late Edition): Week of 12/3

Not only is this week another "In Miniature," but it's late. Busy Week was Busy. For starters, though, let's talk about the resubmission brigade. At SwishSwosh, jameses' charming Gentlemen are looking for support, first in votes and, if it scores well, in sales next. Over at Design by Humans, TheInfinityLoop's Nightsong is up for voting, and really deserves your love... it's a stunning piece which has been repeatedly neglected. Then there's Tilteed, which has a metric ton of good stuff in this week, but the most important of which is MJs Crabs I Have Known, which I have always had a soft spot for, and really needs a good print.

On to the new batch, starting at shirt.woot. ChrisRisse's Finchievous fits the bill for last week's derby, "Naughty and Nice," which is probably why it was so neglected. I like the subtlety of the mix of styles... the "characters" are distinct, but all the danger is subtle, almost a phantom vision. Even the limb the cat is hanging onto seems to be ephemeral. I'm enjoying how this looks, but also the deviousness implicit in having all these instruments of destruction represented as if they are air. Either the finches are hiding their true nature, or the cat is helpless enough to imagine a reason to fear even these small birds. It adds a lot to the piece's dialogue as well as being a interesting artistic choice.

Of course, most cat people will prefer their feline friends to be making out well for themselves, not about to be mauled, so perhaps a jaunt over to Threadless would be ideal. Randyotter3000 helps the blog's recent transition into VoteForCats.org with The Fish Van, which is pretty adorable even if it is yet more cattiness. I love the shape of the huge cat, snaking through the buildings following the tiny little van full of fish. Something about the scene makes the perspective take a while to set in... I can picture my own cats taking this winding route just walking across a room, but especially snaking around chair legs or whatever else is in their way, so when the buildings come into your view around the main character, and you notice the tiny vehicle the cat is in pursuit of, the concept becomes its own sort of magical ride. Also, I've noticed that I've slowly become very fond of grayscale pieces. Perhaps it is partly due to how much "sketchier" the art looks that way, giving it a more honest feel, like a sketchbook page, but whatever the reason, it makes this look really classy along with its cuter tendencies. I love pieces like this because they highlight that you can make cute work and still have it speak to your own style and talent. This is the sort of cute we need more of.

We also need more of EdgarRMcHerly's personal style of charming and endearing characters, such as we see in Old Man Winter is at it again. The jolly happy soul is up for voting just in time to sneak in as a print before spring comes 'round, and hopefully we'll get to see it happen. The design captures the sheer joy of winter. I know, it seems like an oxymoron, but when you're walking outside on a crisp but not bitter cold day, with a light coat of snow making the ground shine, and the scent of clean, cold air mingling with hints of smoke from chimneys or the leftover fall leaves being burned, there really is a decided peace that comes over one, even ignoring the holidays themselves. This big old dude is the embodiment of that, reveling in the snow, his (presumably corn-cob) pipe billowing smoke through the cool air, and presumably quite warm in his jumpsuit despite the chill. He seems to thrill in the season like a child, while the village getting the brunt of his excitement seems cozy and peaceful under their new blanket of snow. The reality can be far more brutal, as anyone up north can tell you, but it really sums up the best feelings about the season perfectly. If Threadless ever wants to rush something to print when it's most relevant, this design is a perfect candidate, and should hopefully bring the designer's brilliance back to the forefront by becoming his second print.


Julie said...

My mom thought "Finchevious" was "not original" because it reminded her of Sylvester and Tweety.

My mom is kind of weird. (She did learn her lesson about the Wonder Twins and promised not to vote for them again, though.)

Adder said...

Conceptually, most "naughty but nice" juxtapositions have been done to death, which is why it was a horrible theme with a foregone conclusion of trash winning. It's the style here, as I said, that I think really sets this apart.