Friday, January 29, 2010

Beep/Boop 2

Level 1-2: we get a view of the majestic knight astride his steed. His lance straight ahead, he charges toward his opponent, gaining speed, hoping against hope that he will strike the felling blow and not be knocked off his... ostrich?

What I love about Sokowa's renaissance etching of Joust is that it captures a moment of absurdity in a stately crest. Joust itself, as a game, is one that has maintained its cult status largely for that absurdity... you're a knight riding an ostrich? Sounds awesome to me! It is less loyalty to the game, and more to the amusing concept, which is why Tilteed is bringing you this little gem.
I've never played Joust, which should be it's own explanation of why this towers above similar work in and of itself. For me, it is that image of a knight on an ostrich which is so wonderful. It's an image that seduces the imagination... you don't need to know anything about the game itself to appreciate it, especially in the capable hands of the artist. The piece is more about that imagery of the knight-errant than 8-bits of gameplay. Again, the designer picks a smart style to attach the images to an art form that corresponds and compliments it, and that makes the whole shebang feel more inspired by Don Quixote than Shigeru Miyamoto. Which is probably good, since Miyamoto didn't even create Joust.
If you're an artist who wants to send your design knights careening down curation lane, feel free to approach me at Adder (at) Tilteed (dot) com. We're not in the business of printing a million videogame references, but we ARE in the market of awesome shirts. Hopefully that's your bag, too. And don't forget guys, this tee will only be around until noon pacific on Monday, so grab yours now!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Beep/Boop 1

I'm not a big fan of pop-culture without anything further added. It's like McDonalds... fast, cheap, and easy, yet incredibly profitable. That said, today I'm going to have to eat my words. Twice.

Well, not totally. I mean, Travis Gentry's "Dangerous Creature" is simply brilliant stylistically. It takes on the work of Durer spot-on, especially his fantastical woodcut of a rhinoceros. The choice is smart, because to those of Durer's time, the rhino would be no less fake than a koopa paratrooper, but the immediately recognizable style is enough... it takes our modern, marketed art, and turns it into something classic. The tee, however, will sadly not be around as long as Durer's woodcuts... RIPT'll only be selling this classy bit of 80s kitsch until midnight central tomorrow. Grab it before it's game is over.

Contest Watch: Week of January 21

Hello, boys and girls.

Besides working for Tilteed these days (see the last post, not to mention tomorrow's, for more), I'm still busy bringing the best of the contest world to light for your voting pleasure. But before we get to this, let us be sure to remind y'all to head on over and vote for Salt and Pepper by Radscoolian over at Threadless. It got totally robbed over at woot in a particularly ludicrous voting week, and deserves its day in the sun.

While we're on Ludicrous Robbery At Shirt.Woot, welcome to Palindrome Week. It's hard to secure a real design based on a palindrome, yet many entries managed to pull off something appealing even with the forced inspirational constraints, and inevitably get robbed by work that is questionable even from a woot perspective. Enter Taco Cat, which ended right outside the fog. By friend-of-the-blog Omnitarian, it's a great absurd character in the first place, which is the sort of work which really makes the most sense to go with if you're working in the constraints of palindrome. It's also the sort of character work that you need to do if you're thinking in terms of t-shirts. Something striking, charming, appealing and interesting (I mean, what about a taco isn't appealing, right?) and this is all four, no question. I'm not sure if I'd rather own or feast upon the character itself, but as a shirt, it'd be everything a simple graphic tee should be.

But really, what would life be if we only went for the simple graphic tees, right? As appealing as a charming, simple, well conceptualized character can be, we should never forget the tee's ability to act as artistic canvas. Threadless pulls this off regularly, in submissions such as Nature's Embrace. This piece, by thechild, channels any number of brilliant designers while creating a final product that nevertheless avoids aping any of them. The designer plays all the right cards in just the right amounts. The colors are warm, yet soft (the palette really is wonderful as far as I'm concerned), with repeating motifs that don't feel repetitive. The detail is charming and attractive, yet not so heavy as to distract. There's abstraction here, but it is not truly challenging, just a pleasant designing "noise" about the piece's natural imagery. Then there's the style: again, it's right on balance, with clear skill showing through amid a simple execution. The term "wearable" comes to mind, and I cannot see how this piece could be seen as anything but. It's a graphic that goes beyond the tired status quo, but remains very accessible, with colors that are smart and flow that intrigues without confusing. Definitely worthy as a future tee.

Taking the concept a bit further is againstbound's Leader of the Pack. This was originally at Threadless as a style-swap piece with B7, but is now being tried over at Design By Humans. It's no secret we at Singularitee love againstbound's style, but I've especially enjoyed seeing him in Threadless alumni contests like this. Actually, Styleswaps have done pretty well for themselves in this blog in general. But especially for againstbound, there always seems to be more of his own style coming forth in any given piece than other swappers might allow, so we get a final product that feels more like a brilliant one-man collaboration. Oh, yeah, and the piece itself is worth talking about on its own, too. The colors are killer, for starters... color usage is absolutely HUGE on this piece's appeal, especially if it finds itself on that deep purple. The flow, as well, is great... I love the downward "S"-curve the eye takes. The overall piece is hip, bold, but even potentially powerful. There's some non-denominational spirituality going on somewhere in here, intentional or not, with that wise wolf staring out at us, up in the clouds, and it makes the image arresting. Great piece.

Another arresting and powerful image comes from one of igo2cairo's latest pieces: "I Know You Called..." While the againstbound piece takes the unknown and draws you into the mystery of what it all means, here we're quite familiar with the base of the design. It's a telephone, and an old one at that... nothing special on the surface. The texturing done here, however, is what is so alluring. We have no idea if the phone is melting, or leaking, or covered in goop. I probably don't want to answer it, that's certain, yet if it rang, it might almost be irresistible to find out what was on the other end. This is the sort of design that keeps us thinking, because we really cannot be sure what the meaning is. Is the phone represented as oppressive, with it's sooty, oozing covering driving us away from it? Is it rotting away in its obsolescence? Surely a rotary phone is something young people will start marveling at as a relic. Whatever the case, I know two things: good art makes you think and discuss, and good shirts need to be wearable. This passes muster on the first for me easily... this image could easily spur on an intellectual dialogue, given its puzzling nature and the depth of its possible translations. As for a shirt? By itself, a phone is perhaps not ideal as a tee graphic, but the intrigue here helps a lot. The phone itself is well composed, the textures are hypnotizing, and the grayscale of the palette makes it an easy wear as well. I'd put it on my chest, at least. Hopefully I'm not alone.

Finally, we palindrome right back to shirt.woot, where theinfinityloop gives us the saddest little gravity-defying dog ever. "I'm, Alas, a Salami" takes a different angle of approaching the palindrome concept, but knocks it out of the park on execution. The first and best thing here is that the design hinges less on the palindrome itself, and more on how to illustrate it, which makes it stand on its own. It's no secret that dachshunds look like deli meat, and having the poor little guy standing there, tied like a sausage and sliced in the middle (with that perfect salami marbling inside) is a concept that stands up to the test of wear... you have no title when you're rocking a tee, and this will still convey it's ideas perfectly. But easily the best part of this is the dog's face... the emotion conveyed is perfect, and sums up the "alas" in the title to a "T". There's really no reason a piece like this should be in my contest watch and not on a shirt. More power to the site that mans up and prints it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Brave New Era

Today marks a big departure for Tilteed. The contest site is launching the first of an ongoing set of curated pieces. The move is being made concurrently with their contest; the site will still be taking entries, allowing votes, and awarding prizes. With curations, however, the site will return to its original 72-hour cycle, and is hoping to bring more eyes, more excitement, and more diversity to the mix. Frequent readers will know I've long praised Tilteed for any number of reasons, but their diversity and willingness to take a risk for amazing work is probably the part I've been most impressed with. Changes can always be worrisome, but given the site's strengths, it is also a change which excites me.
It is also a departure for me, though, because I can no longer be fully impartial to the site: I've been selected as part of their curator team. It's kinda a huge honor, since these guys are a company I've totally been impressed with and feel 100% comfortable standing behind. I will continue my blogging, of course, across the board of sites offering high-quality wares to the world, but you'll likely be seeing a decided bent toward awesome Tilteed curations. Speaking of which, if you're a designer who wants to be brought in, feel free to contact me at Adder (at) tilteed (dot) com. I'll be happy to discuss getting curated with us, so long as you realize it's all about having solid, printable work. You've read the blog, I don't promote just -anything-.

We're easing into the switchover naturally instead of going for a grand reopening, though certainly things will be different. The first tee, available now until Friday (noon pacific), is Leigh Farrior (studioelle)'s "The Gift." The style is simple yet charming, almost with a degree of Keith Haring in the characters. It's also something that could be quite powerful or inspirational to the right person: it's a message of love lifting us up, whether intimate love or the love of a friend, but it's not heavy-handed in that message. Leigh suggests that the piece "could be a rockin' Valentine's Day gift for your sweetie." It certainly could (tis the season). But to me, the way the executional choices diffuse the message of hope into something whimsical and wearable as well as potentially powerful is what really sets the piece apart. We, of course, hope you like it, and hope you keep tuning in to see what's next.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sporty New Tees

There are lots of things you probably won't see us talk about here. Places like Snorg are simply begging for us to pass them over. We probably won't ever be praising new threads at the Gaia Online shop. And no matter how cute your grandmother's cat sweaters may be, you can't convince me to chat up her etsy site.

Up til now, I would have been CERTAIN a site devoted to the sporting life would be among those things, but I have so far been more intrigued than I would ever have expected by newcomers Inkblitz, a site that is walking the fine line between athletics and art. Far from the "sports art" I see in my area (sorry, guys, but "A-Rod Takes it up the..." is not a slogan which endears your intellect to anyone), Inkblitz is here to celebrate the hard work and determination that may not be found immediately in common between art and sport, but still exists in both.

It is perhaps not shocking to see Wotto pop up at the site's launch. Those of us familiar with the t-shirt world know that Wotto is a huge name and always ready and willing to help a start-up... but what is exciting to me is that they were able to get one of my favorites of his. Nature's Playground was once-upon-a-time branded out for DBH's Quiksilver contest, but the whimsical charm of the piece was enough to make me want to talk about it in Contest Watch. I'd have bought this even WITH Quiksilver branding all over it, but as it stands now, nothing is lost without the heavily integrated logos, and everything, for me at least, is gained. It's got all the action and joy of the original, with a simple, effective palette. It really does illustrate the fun of staying active without hammering home some tired "in it to win it" maxim, and if they continue on a trend of printing sporty designs instead of Designs For Sports, that is what is going to make Inkblitz a site worth watching, even if you're a lazy blogger like me.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dem Ol' Kozmic Bots


Robbie Lee and the Robots are coming to the Scopial arena this week for a special unplugged tour. It's their first Indian show, and they'll be sure to bust out plenty of The Post Apocalyptic Blues. "We've been trying to get this special showing booked for a while now," says bandleader XR-2094, but despite changing their lineup a number of times and seeking out diverse venues, the search was a bust until now.

We here at SingulariTee don't know what the issue was, to be honest. The vintage style of the outfit is attractive enough to garner plenty of support from all sides. "These blues are for humans, robots, and anything in between" cites Robbie (born RB-129 in an undisclosed basement lab), and really, the juxtaposition between the electronic soul and acoustic sound is something that is not only unlike anything you've ever heard, but is appreciable by all comers. We've been chatting up the band's work for a while here, and we're excited to see it finally find a home.

As for Scopial? Hey, we've talked them up too! They get solid marks across the board, so one should be able to secure a ticket to this one in a million bluesfest with confidence. Hell, you can even pick up the tour shirt ;)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Contest Watch: Week of January 14

We start tonight at Design By Humans, where there's a bit of an oddity for us. We love brilliant, moving, flowing artwork around these parts, or brilliant conceptual pieces. By contrast, RobotTiger's The Sun Is Always Rising Somewhere is rigid, simple, and almost clinical. However, it also has what to me is an undeniable attraction in its limited colors, hard-edged graphics and scientific diagrams. The resulting piece is bold in its simplicity, and looks ready-made for a hip indie label, which makes DBH's eventual print or pass an intriguing decision to look forward to... either way could be an equally bold statement.

We go from indie brands at DBH to DBH-work at Threadless. NiNTHWHEEL's "Reticent" looks like it would fit in perfectly in the annals of DBH designs. It's about pure design more than concept, and this is designed gorgeously. The colors are retrofuturistic (which is to say, this is what the future looked like in the past), and the way they weave in and out of the spacey-looking helmet in the middle really keeps that flavor strong in the piece. It's submitted for the Threadless loves 2k10 contest, in which Threadless seeks out the next big trend. As Threadless goes, more artistic and abstract tees would be an INCREDIBLY welcome trend. Much more so than the numerous designers who seem drawn to a trend of more and more pieces using appropriated public domain images without meaningful alteration. This piece is what it is, but it is all the work of one original artist's hand and creativity. In a climate where art is being shunned even by artists in favor of the quick sell, the pander, the rip-off, that's the sort of trend I want to be behind and seen as supporting. Believing the hype and giving up on what makes creative, original, attractive work for the sake of selling out does not an artist make. Smart design choices like those made here, on the other hand, do make an artist.

I have no real certainty as to what the new trend is in tolagunestro's Off the Air, another 2k10 design, but I'm presuming it is "cybernetic animals and/or not watching TV", and if so, I am for it! The designer is a master with cyber-spacepunk work (or at least, that's the style name I'd dub it), but this brings that skill into our own natural world, with stunning results. The illustration is gorgeous, slick and detailed, with the tangle of wires and robotics linking to a number of broken tv screens, showcasing the old off-air rainbows. It's an interesting juxtaposition with the chameleon built up here... the shade-shifter is a blank canvas of color except for those screens, implying the lizard itself is unplugged from its best defense (though it could also be argued that the chameleon is indeed still well hidden against the shirt). Regardless, the piece is wonderfully done with a graphic that lends itself to discussion and thought, and perhaps getting some good discussion and thought in when it comes to artistry could be its own reward as far as a new trend goes.

Our final potential new trend of the year comes from the ever exciting Opifan64. If I had to make a guess, the trend would be going from t-shirts being canvasses for graphic art to graphics making t-shirts art in and of themselves. Surely this is the case with Interstellar Pimento Theory, which not only sounds like a ridiculous B-movie about space olives, but also is an amazing little tee. The design is all about how said design melts into the shirt. The ink colors are all incredibly weathered, making the design look worn in, like your most comfortable pair of jeans, or a well-washed print fabric. It feels way more like a print piece such as that than a screenprinted graphic tee, and I think that's part of what makes it so impressive. On its own, the design wouldn't be so impressive, but one with its canvas, inhabiting the body instead of exposed by itself, the shirt becomes its own wearable art. The graphic makes the shirt transcent normal graphic tees. It shows a true understanding of just how a tee can be more than just utilitarian. Many designers have long utilized the tee canvas to put forth superior, amazing works of graphic art, but this is one of the rare pieces that exists to be not shirt art, but shirt as art. It feels like a brilliant nose-thumb at the people out there who believe great work doesn't belong on a shirt... there is no other canvas where this will look as stunning.

After so much more abstract work, we're ending at shirt.woot, where abstract certainly doesn't reign. In this case it's a good thing to break up the rest of our discussion today. Not to say Jewelwing's Honeysickle is the most straightforward of pieces out there, which is a good part of why I like it. It marries the cute and the bizarre into one big ursine acid trip, which makes it feel Alice in Wonderland-y... certainly more so than the numerous designs I've seen around hoping to capitalize on Tim Burton's particular brand of mallcore gothic failbranding. But I digress. The design here is pretty disturbing if you think about it. Angry bees, bear-ghosts, honey and death blended at every turn, and what is with that little dude in front of the door? Creepy stuff, dudes! I seem to recall this from a long-ago Shirtfight contest, during which it was on black. I'd argue that's still how it looks best, but the oddness going on here, and the flow up the chest of the tee, makes it one hell of a weird design, and we all know I'm in love with weird.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We Salute You

Today, I will be rocking out.

If I could, I'd have that as my slogan daily. Today up in the city, tomorrow at the small dive down the road. Local acts and national, friends and strangers, all playing music specially formulated for me to rock out to. If only there were time and money enough in the world.

And, were I living the rock and roll lifestyle 24/7 like that, Metal on Metal by aziritt would probably be the shirt with the quickest turnaround time from chest to laundry back to chest. Design By Humans just selected it Friday, which means I'd never have had time to get it for the show tonight, but in another place and time, it'll be the no-brainer selection. The tee's title is implicitly metal, and certainly the imagery backs it up with the skull right atop the breastbone and the smoke billowing out from where the guitarist's head should be, but it's not your glam metal, your over-the-top cheese, your ludicrous facepainted goth warrior metal... it's about rocking out and rocking out loud. It's Sabbath over Dragonforce, and Maiden over Emperor, but it's nothing so much as those unsung bands that I am not educated enough in the genre to even know... the no frills, no gimmick thrash and sludge. It'll have a special connection for those of the metal persuasion, but anyone with a passion for a great rock tune will be able to relate to this tee. And unlike the average concert tee, this one will be on a blank that feels amazing. No more scratchy $25 Anvils for you!

We love to see awesome things printing at DBH, especially former contest watch pieces, and since we know damn well how poorly being a rock god pays (music, like art, seems to be all about passionless formula these days), grab 10% off this, or any DBH purchase til the 29th, with code A8BK7M

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fly Me To The Moon

At one point, we were quite insistent on keeping on top of the Flying Mouse 365 project. As a refresher, if you don't recall, ol' FM spent 2009 creating a new design every day, releasing many to Threadless, getting a number printed in various locations, and then, to ice the cake, he opened his own shop to sell the rest. Seven at a time, for one week only. The diversity, range, and talent behind these pieces made it a no-brainer to focus in weekly. Of course, y'all know I got a bit flaky there for a while with the updates. Hopefully you guys have remained on top of that without me: there's likely a shirt for everyone in the catalog, so long as you hit it up while it's on sale.

This week heralds my own personal first purchase. There have been a few I've waffled on, but as soon as I saw Lunar Escape, I hit the buy button. Not only is it a Contest Watch feature from a while back, but it's probably my favorite of the numerous high-quality designs the project has given birth to. I loved the progression here, the lunar waxing from new to full and beyond. It's dreamlike, and the flow of the moon as it begins its escape path attracts the eye even with the grid-like layout. Not convinced it's t-shirt weather? It's on a hoodie too! Still, keep an eye on the clock: it's only available til next Thursday, so if you've been pining for this one as long as I have, you should get on it. Hell, go in with some friends: FM has discounts available if you order 3 or more tees in one order, so if you're eying a couple pieces (I personally almost bit on Solo as well), or know some peeps who might be interested, you really can't go wrong.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Contest Watch: Week of Jan. 7

I can't even begin to describe how out of it I've been the last few weeks, and sadly, so too has the contest world been. There have been good shirts, but not really enough that was great enough to blog. Today, we have some solid work from some old and new friends. First thing's first, tho: fans of Omnitarian's Cactus With a Fez (a predicted print at woot's last doubletake) can go support it at Cameesa, while those of you signed up at Design By Humans should definitely go give your love to Caesium-137 by ninthWHEEL, as well as ginette's stellar and must-print Tipi Man.

Design By Humans has actually had a handful of strong pieces come through lately, and one of them is BootsBoots' Transcendental Tourist. There's a lot I love about this, from the colors (which are subdued and consistent, yet clash just enough to create a spacey haze around the piece) to the composition, which is just symmetrical enough to feel right in place without being identical. The character here is pretty much the winning element to me, some sort of elephant squid umbrella mummy robot, apparently. That he (it?) is so distinctive lends a lot of appeal, making a design chock full of attractive weirdness. Good enough for me. To me, this feels like I'm getting to see what the designer is really capable of. It's interesting how different sites will get the gears turning differently. Definitely one to shop around if DBH passes it up.

Threadless is, unsurprisingly, the site with the might as usual. It shouldn't be very surprising, I suppose: when you're the biggest contest site out there, you get the most quality being submit on any given day, which is good and bad for us. It's good in cases like The Zombie and the Butterfly, because the size and prize of the site brings us such diverse work. rcaldwell70 brings us a wonderful piece with this, a little elegant, a little creepy, and all awesome. Here, size definitely matters. The full-shirt print makes a huge impact to start with, but it also highlights the intricate linework on the hand. Smaller, and all those amazing strips and swirls would be lost. It also helps highlight the delicateness of the butterfly. The overall illustration is big enough that the butterfly is ever visible, yet still dwarfed on the fingertip of the zombie. The spare palette creates a lot of interest, as well. With only two colors, the design needs to really carry itself, and this one truly does. With all the detail, you don't feel remotely cheated on color, especially with the splash of it given by the butterfly. To me, the one "thing" about the piece is that this doesn't really scream zombie: it's a bit more mummified looking. Still, that is to its benefit. The zombie tee has grown passe, and this is well crafted enough that a generic decaying hand would come across as almost insulting to the viewer and the design itself. You still get the juxtaposition of horror and beauty, of death and life, but it's not hammering you over the head, and that's where the art lies here. People love to argue that "it's just a shirt," but a viewing a piece like this, with its strong wearability and impeccable execution, it is sheer foolishness to not assert that a tee can, and arguably should, be its own form of artistic canvas.

For all the good mentioned above, though, Here Comes the Rain highlights the bad. Which should not be taken to state that the shirt is bad... quite the opposite. Still, the flipside of getting such unique, skilled, printable work is that you also get plenty of work which, by virtue of having so much stellar competition, simply has a low shot at ever seeing fabric. Especially in a case like this: this piece by newcomer same.same.different has a great, unique style, is hip and wearable and indeed, as their handle suggests, it is a bit different while also looking totally classic. I love the fact that each man lined up, umbrella at the ready, is just slightly different... they look cloned at first, but they seem individually rendered at a closer glance. The issue, though, is that this is far too unique to have a great shot at printing. That's the bittersweetness of the Threadless factor: you get so much great stuff to talk about, yet for some of the best, you'll never get to talk about it again, because it simply won't be a voting powerhouse, nor will it make waves against so many other high-quality designs. Still, it should remain to be noted that this piece, in its one-color, hand-drawn style, simple yet slightly oddball concept glory, is deserving of garnering that elusive print. It is all I can do, readers, to alert you to this awesomeness and try to alter the inevitability of the print cycle. If nothing else, it should pique your interest if it ever appears elsewhere, and in the business of printing awesome shirts, that is certainly a step in the correct direction.

Sitting somewhere in the middle of the two is Drowning out the Sun, by designosaurus text (which, if I may, guys, start thinking about your handles before you create them. It doesn't effect my vote, but hoo boy). Like our previous piece, this thrives on the concept of rain, yet in a totally different style. Unlike the previous pieces, the design does not utilize a limited color scheme, but the color scheme it DOES go for feels much more conservative than it is. The colors are soft, which probably goes a long way toward that illusion, as does the excellent use of negative space. I love the style here, completely different from the others: the thick lines convey the cartoony whimsy of the scene (I love how the cloud arms are constructed). It's topically a bit dark... rain is always a gloomy subject, even without trying to commit solicide, yet the palette and style makes this an eminently sunny tee. That aforementioned negative space usage also makes it incredibly wearable, breaking up the full front print. You almost believe the ludicrous claims the designer makes on his comp: why certainly you'll have fun times in this shirt! It's a fun shirt! Not only that, it could be a great spring and summer shirt, with its palette and style and topicality. And again, that's a great thing about Threadless... you get such a diversity, and some of the best there is in any given style.

We finish off this week at shirt.woot, which had a pretty ludicrous derby theme of ancient egypt. That said, I see no reason why Drakxxx and Draike's Rise of the Scarab King shouldn't be on the forefront of being picked up elsewhere. The linework, as always, is solid, and the coloring was quite worth the wait. It shines with regal blues and golds, and the piece overall looks just perfect for a clothing line. I could see it fitting in at just about any emptees-style indie line, and being a big hit. There's not a lot more one can say there: excellent work well done.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different

It's hard to say what this blog's aesthetic is, but generally, it shies away from what I'd call "Emptees fare". There's a certain aesthetic the guys over there largely subscribe to that regularly fails to click with me, despite much of the execution being simply top-notch. Which I think is part of why I was tentative when I received an email from Emptees god Dan Mumford, and part of why I am consequently stoked to be bringing you this particular post. I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Today, we're talking about his newest brainchild, Submit and Remix, which operates on one of the most intriguing ideas I've seen in a while. Take two solid designers. Commission a design from each. Then let them loose remixing the other's design. The result is a quartet of tees that truly highlight how similar ideas can influence different minds dramatically. It's about finding inspiration without copying (hey now, there's a lesson MANY people could profit from), and pushing your own creativity. It's possibly the epitome of selling the fundamentals of art: creativity and inspiration, as opposed to whatever crap might sell hottest today.

Of course, all this is meaningless if it's not also coming with awesome shirts, but you probably knew that I wouldn't bother featuring a site that didn't. Series one brings us Horsebites (creator of one of my favorite Threadless selects) and Keaton Henson, whose remix is my easy favorite of series one. I've decided to dub this "The Pink Monstrosity," which seems like a fair title given the art. That bubblegum-pink is certainly a selling point... it's a bold choice, which plays perfectly with the otherwise basic colors... it provides a bright counterpoint to the blacks, and a loud counterpoint to the timidness of white. The flowing black bands shine like vinyl records, and the skulls are attractively rendered and, in a way, embedded in the pink, visceral mound herein, they become powerful. It seems to be, all in all, a unique circle-of-life piece. But above all that, c'mon, it's simply killer. If future rollouts can keep up this level of inspiration, this'll definitely be an indie to watch.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mea Culpa

Singularitee would like to apologize to all y'all viewing on a widescreen monitor. I just got a lappy with one, and did not notice how horrific my blog looks to you. Thank you for sticking with me anyway... I'll be working to optimize things for the new generation.


It's been way too long, guys. Hope you didn't miss me too badly, but I've had other things to take care of, like "relaxing," "seeing friends," and "being generally unreliable." While I love y'all and my duties as this here blog's headmaster, I enjoyed every second of it. Deal.

We do have a bunch of awesome to come this year, though. In the near future, we'll begin a series of "resolution" posts... 'tis the season, and we always think the big boys could use a little help. As for the "little guys," we're going to try and "resolve" to make a more concerted effort to cover the smaller sites. We're a big fan of what they do, but it's sometimes hard to find the real gems (especially being that I'm not really huge on "branding"... make me some wearable art, but I probably don't want your name on my chest). And of course, there are some secrets in the pipeline... there are a couple updates I'm excited to tell you about when they come through, and hey, isn't it about time for another contest?

Let's get immediate, though: we're out of the woods on the big holiday sale season, which means a lot of sites are getting back to printing new tees. For Threadless, of course, the end of sale time generally signals fewer prints per week (I've always loved how they're one of the few to embrace the idea that a sale works best and motivates most with new product), but they've made up for less product by offering the awesome Spaghetti Western, a former Contest Watch entry from Laser Bread. This looks pretty much amazing, from its simple, iconic graphic to it's subtle yet classic punchline, and not to mention colors to ensnare an Adder's heart at first sight. We're hoping this is a great sign of things to come for Threadless this year, because there are a whole bucketload of great tees to release, and we can't wait to see it happen. We will, of course, be sure to keep you updated as we go. We are all about the rare occasions when quality is rewarded.