Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tweet tee, Daddy-O

This post will be about a contest. But first it'll be about a shirt: another Tilteed Limited, to be exact.

The shirt is an igo2cairo joint, but not your standard piece from him. Instead of the dreamy, detailed animals and dragons that come with the territory with the designer, Beaknik is far simpler, more iconic, and just hip. The graphic style is still executed slickly in its simplicity, the colors look amazing together, and the whole thing feels as classic as the mod stylings of Allen Gins-bird here. Wear it under your black turtleneck for a secret burst of sunnyness, or prove you're not some square and be bold in gold. Just be sure to pick it up before it disappears on April 2nd, Noon Pacific.

But you stuck around for contests, didn't you? Greedy bastards. I hope you won't be disappointed, because I've got two for you. So pay attention to the rules. That is how you win things 'round these parts: you follow the rules.

Firstly, let's get you guys suited up with one of these gold beauties. Singularitee is going beatnik itself, and what could be more appropriate than a poetry slam? We'll make it easy on you tho... give us your best haiku, post it in the comment thread below, and win a copy of Beaknik. I'll be picking a winner on Thursday, Midnight Central (that would be between Weds and Thurs, if you're not up on your clocks).

Secondly, though, I've been doing the Tilteed thing for a little while now, and I want to know what you guys think of the curated pieces, and reward y'all for being loyal customers. Send me a photo of yourself sporting your favorite Tilteed Limited design, and you'll be in the running for a free Tilteed tee. That's any catalog tee or currently running Limited. Entries should be emailed to me: 5songsinc (at) gmail (dot) com (put "Tilteed contest" in the subject line), or else tweet a twitpic at me, with the tag #LimitedContest. This contest will be a far longer one, extending until mid-May (I'll post an exact date later), so if you haven't picked up a limited yet, you have at least all April to fall in love with a tee for your personal entry into the contest. Censor bars are accepted if you don't want to show your face, but the tee must be clear.

We've got a little more unrelated contest info in store for you through April, but you'll just have to wait on that. For now, keep checking us out for the return of actual updates, more awesome curations, and all manner of sweet tees.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Preaching to the Choir

Today came with a very important revelation, brethren, which I must share with you.

The lord did cometh to me, and he spake "Adder, thou hast curated a tee which doth make me pleased. For Blake B's Outside the Cathedral showeth how one can use but one color to create beauty and depth, ornament and simplicity. This is an artist who doth not ignore my words, to not bury ones talents, but to invest them." And verily, the lord is correct, being the lord and all. I do pretty much love this tee because of the single color starkness, and the contrast between the detail of the cathedral in the background and the amorphous humanoid shape of the spirit outside it. It offers a spiritual conundrum and a haunting presence as an image, but it also is a harmony of opposing aspects.

I'm always a bit worried on pieces like this, though. I've seen Blake's work around for a while now, so I've been Jonesin' for this design all that time, but I also know Blake isn't a huge designer, and so many of you dear readers might be getting your first look now. But that worry is one of my favorite parts of curating at Tilteed. I can't think of many places that would be willing to take the risk of quality vs. quantity. Of course, quantity does help too, but we hope you absolutely love this tee first off. And if you love it enough, hey, it wouldn't hurt if you wanted to tweet it out as well. We want people to see the awesome we're printing.

Friday, March 12, 2010

a tee of note

Want to see something awesome?

Of course you do. You came to this blog. You're practically ITCHING to see something awesome.

And today's awesome offering comes from, once again, Tilteed. Seriously, I have lots of other things I want to talk about, but funny enough, I just am not finding the time. But I always have time for limited tees, and this weekend we've got a great one.

We're talkin' Drakxxx's "The Last Song," a former contest watch piece, and a totally sweet one at that. I love pretty much everything about this piece. For starters, it's one of Drakxxx's most accessible, wearable pieces. The art doesn't skimp on gorgeous detail and flow (seriously, click to see it larger. It's lovely), but it also doesn't overflow with detail. The placement, also, is absolutely brilliant to me... I love how it sits at the side. And while much of the artists (albeit brilliant) work is all about the creepy, this also has a softer side. I mean, sure, death is totally surrounding this pianist here, but it feels like a comforting embrace... the player seems tired and ready for the inevitable, and death is simply allowing him to finish his final performance before taking him in to eternal rest. It has a sort of beauty to it for that reason, so I'm excited to be a part of bringing it to the world through Tilteed. If you're in agreement that this is greatness, go pick one up for $12 before it's gone on Monday, Noon Pacific. Like the pianist here, it's not long before the tee is ushered into the afterlife.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rock-it Man

A little late, but I wanted to make sure you all knew all about Mr. Againstbound's stellar new tee "Vinyl Frontier" at Tilteed. You might remember it from our contest watches, but hopefully soon you'll remember it from your closet. It's a great, oddball, simple-colored, wearable piece, perfect to rock out whether indie or harder-edged. It's something we're excited to have in the catalog.

Yeah, catalog. I know it seems a little weird, since the curation thing is by and large all about limited editions, but a lucky opportunity and timing landed it in our full catalog instead of simply limited as we'd originally intended. I personally find anything catalog to be exciting (and I'll tell you more about why next week), but more than that I'm excited that such opportunities as this are coming up. And while it certainly won't apply to most tees we bring in, we do want to be able to bring you awesome designs in myriad ways.

The easiest way for us to do that? If you're an artist interested in our limited run curations, send me an email, as always, to Adder (at) tilteed (dot) com. For the rest of you, we can't bring you awesome designs unless you're checking us out, so check this one out, and while you're at it, pick it up now. Like all pieces, it's $12 for it's featured run, but while this one will stick around later, it won't at this price. Don't miss out! But then, why would you miss out on an Againstbound piece anyway?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Corn Artists

Today was a gorgeous day. The sort of day my lazy ass actually went out of my way to walk more. The sort of day I regret bringing a winter coat, even with a chilly morning. The sort of day where one starts thinking about summer. And grilling. And corn.

Ok, so maybe not corn, but Goodjoe is certainly ahead of the curve if you are the sort that loves the sweet stuff. Ansharp's The Corn Family is their shirt of the week, and it's absurdist, intelligent humor with a charming illustration style. It's really a bit unexpected, that so much pun can be pulled out of one veggie and/or grain, but the characters are ones I've long found to be pretty damn amusing. Buy it for Dog, if nothing else, and you'll be happy you did. But get it fast. Not because it's limited, but because it's $10 for its debut week.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

10 Reasons to Visit The T-Shirt Vault

This post, in its original form, was meant to highlight some of the cream of the crop at The T-Shirt Vault. Sadly, the site closed not 24 hours after this guide posted. I apologize to anyone who might have lost money on my suggestion to "not waffle" on buying these: as far as I know there have never and will never be refunds. Good luck if you did. I present the rest of the post in hopes that some awesome tee company swings in and picks up the remainder of these tees. They all deserve ink, some doubly so due to the site's failure to make good on any of their promises.

URban DECAY - theJCW: Now THIS is what DTG is best at. This restructured piece, reminiscent of JCW's Flying Contraption of Waste, makes perfect use of the print method's unlimited colors, and really sings out with grungy shades, details, and a print size worthy of all the greatness going on here. Without a doubt my pick for most worthy of the grand prize.

Clip! - Matthew Laznicka: This guy has about half of the 300 designs up for your votes, and while some are really weak, others are simply wonderful character design. This guy is a perfect example. Simple vectors creating a unique character tee... sometimes that's all you need.

The Wooden Boy's Nightmare - Walmazan: Walmazan is the sort of easy-going, positive guy that is incredibly easy to root for. Thankfully, his creativity, unique style, and continual quality of output make it even easier. We all know Pinocchio's dream, but here, we get a glimpse into the absolute worst case scenario.

3.14 - MJ: Once again truly utilizing the full-color capacities of the DTG printers, this piece is probably the most attractive and creative take on an overdone topic I've seen. The photo use and mirror-imagery makes this subtle, wearable, and delicious, and makes for a pi joke actual humans can appreciate the cleverness of.

Apetown - a.mar.illo: At this point, any tee site worth its weight in cotton should presume it to be a foregone conclusion... someday, they will print a.mar.illo. The wacky, angular design, full of trademark textures and colors, looks like as likely a winner as anything, and also looks like it'd be totally sweet on a tee.

The Sun - RobotTiger: A former contest-watch piece, this is definitely deserving of your buys. It's really clinical, almost scientific and textbook, but that makes the style really intriguing to me... it's unlike anything I've bought, or received, and that alone makes it worth checking out. It looks hip and streetwearable for some reason, while also seeming alien and diagram-esque.

Seven Seas - AtomicChild: AtomicChild is a king of brilliant abstracts, yet clinically ignored in prints. This is probably one of his most wearable and lovable pieces. Simple theme, unique style, and great flow. Definitely deserves the support.

Robot King - Matthew Laznicka: When you have enough irons in the fire, at least one is bound to get hot, and again, while Matt's work is hardly all winning material, this is just a killer little character collage, with some great colors, still more simple slick vectors, and a definite unexpected dose of fun from a source I'd never seen before.

Sangria - Recycledwax: RW, of course, is a totally EXPECTED source of fun, and he delivers with his offerings here. This is one of his most charming critter collages ever. Sangria is all about mixing fresh, delicious things together, and that's also what much of Wax's work is about too, so it's a great theme with appropriate colors and infinite charm. And now I am thirsty.

Red Hawk - Griggitee: Finally, while this is not the sort of work I'm the biggest fan of, one cannot deny the sheer awesome of this tee. The colors are, to quote Frost, "lovely, dark, and deep," and the scene is really about as epic as you can get. Skulls and snakes and hawks... if this is your style, you can do little better than this, and even if it isn't, you can't deny the artistry behind it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dual Updates - They're "Da Bomb"

This week has been a bit of a busy one, and I've been unable to make good blogging time except for the most important and time-sensitive of posts. As such, astute and seasoned readers may well have believed me to have forgotten a pair of required updates. Rest assured, I have not, and it was only a matter of time that I would make it to them. Specifically, now.

Our dual-update comes courtesy of Threadless, which is one of my favorite places to update from, since it is not subject to the brief lifespans that so many other sites have. Though in these cases, we may be seeing some artificially created limited-time runs. Boom Box, for example, is already selling quickly. It's not too surprising why: from a pure popularity standpoint, anything with anything Mario on it will sell well. The populace is unable to appreciate anything unfamiliar. But we've already gone over this: the piece is far more than its reference, and is a model for how to work with a reference and still create something original and artful. Alexmdc sells himself here, where most people just sell a popular product and reap the rewards. Not only is the art itself skillful and slick, but everything works together. The bomb with the boom box makes sense. The sheer 80s glory in every element works perfectly (consider the high-tops, the boom box, the Say Anything pose). The colors are brilliant (I'd buy almost anything on this shirt blank). It is a complete concept. A "lesser" character from a popular universe is used here, meaning it was selected for its appropriateness in the concept, not for its saleability, as well as making it far more wearable to the uninitiated viewer. This is more than just a gaming shirt, and that's why it works so well.

In stark contrast, we see joaolauro's
"The Cat Who Mistook His Wife (and the Kids, and the Furniture and Even the Parrot) for a Hat." While the title is its own reference, classic psychology texts don't often reap the same rewards as pop culture. It's further hindered by a lilac blank: I'd argue it looks hot as hell, but I'm sure plenty of people will be tentative anyway. And while cuteness is always a good sales mechanism, the sheer oddness of this piece makes it less apt to be effective: if people love the familiar, the odd is far too difficult for them to even try and appreciate. It seems Threadless knows this, as it seems to be a bit less stocked than the average tee would debut at, but the smaller stock will likely mean a speedy depletion as well. The elements that make this a harder sell for the sheep will almost certainly make it a must own for others, and considering the spring sale looming ahead of us sometime in the coming month or so, it could be a smart investment to grab one now now now anyway. It's certainly worth it: the concept is pretty hilarious and adorable all in one, and the style is no less charming. It's an overall great tee and in many ways very unique among the masses, so if you're interested, I'd definitely keep tabs on it just as closely as the far more populist Boom Box.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Contest Watch: Week of February 25

We're back again with some contesty goodness. Before we continue on, I'd like to ask for a couple favors. For starters, The Fish Van, by RandyOtter, is up for voting at Tilteed. We love this piece (it was a former CW highlight), this designer (see this entry for more details), and the site it's at (big ol' Duh there), so don't hesitate to give it some love. But I also have a personal request for you in the form of my old piece "You Can Dance If You Want To". I don't have a whole bunch of designs I'm totally happy with, but this is certainly one of them, and I'm trying it over at Inkblitz. If you like it, give it some love. I could use the help. Thank you for letting me beg. You know I don't do it for myself often. As always, you can support current Adder projects in our sidebar. But you don't want my promotion. You want the goods. And goods you shall get.

We start this week at shirt.woot, with a somewhat infuriating piece from geekfactor12. Now, I know what you're thinking: why would I talk about an infuriating piece, and first no less? Well, Impatient Dan, this is why. I love Rock and Roll, as a genre and a shirt. That's not frustrating at all. To be honest, this design in and of itself made me not hate woot's fake vintage derby as soon as I saw it. It really hammered home the theme in all the best ways... the colors feel totally vintage in their soft, faint shades and retro combination. The brief slogan makes it look like you could find it anywhere. But the frustrating thing is that it is a videogame reference, and one I'm not really qualified to wear. Miss MJ has done this to me twice now: I bought her woot classic "The Cake is a Liar" without even knowing Portal, because it was so well done as a joke tee that it was something even a non-gamer could appreciate. I don't know if I could buy a second shirt from a game I've never played. I'm already scared of meeting gamers on the street with my few related tees, though this is likely unfounded since most gamers I know don't go outside. So if this went on sale, I'd be conflicted. But it's a conflict I think I want to have. The tee is too smartly executed for anyone to be able to wear with confidence for it not to exist.

The rest of the week belongs to Threadless, starting with a woot piece from early this year. Breath of Life is just one of many pieces theinfinityloop has been reworking and resubbing from her lengthy back-catalog of unprinted designs, but it's also one of the better ones. She really revamped this one, too, from it's original state. The finished product is far crisper than before, which serves the entire piece well, since the color scheme demands crispness. The one-color aspect really doesn't harm this at all, though. We still have plenty of motion in the waves, shine in the horn, expression in the moon... everything just looks wonderful. The illustration is even a bit magical: the moon is always a bit haunting to me, and seeing it in a life-giving mode is interesting. The piece plays on the tides, and the necessity of water to life, but it also considers that a lunar hand in the process of vitality would make things a bit different. Moonlight is in contrast to the darkness that surrounds us when it reflects back at us, and similarly the moon here blows life into its subjects, but does it juxtaposed with the darkness of its being. The creatures are being re-fleshed from their skeletal structure, giving a creepy feel more suited to the moon itself. I personally love that choice... it adds a lot of visual intrigue, even though for me, it's still the moon and its horn that I focus in on. I also love how this sits on the shirt. It's all around a creative and unique piece, and I hope to get to rock this on my chest sooner than later.

Switching gears to something much more sunny, we have the aforementioned Randyotter3000, bringing us "Rise and Shine". This is a total Threadless tee, to me... simple style and colors, a little out there, but endlessly charming. I love the big lazy mountain (I relate possibly a little too well), slouched over so long trees have grown on him, while the sun warms him and shines morning down, and the cloud blows wind, or snow, or rain. It's almost like they're getting him showered and ready for a long day of sitting around being imposing. The thing I like best here is how damn happy the elements are, eager to help their mountain friend get ready for the day ahead, compared to how completely uninterested, exhausted, lazy, disgusted, etc the mountain seems. He's not having any part of it. Most people shouldn't mess with mountains, but the scene here is all the more amusing and fun with them spewing forth their joy. I'm shocked RO3K doesn't seem to have like 20 prints in the pipeline at T-less, but this one would definitely have a chance of changing that.

One thing that really struck me this week was joaolauro's "Deadly River Sneaking Along." It's certainly not only because it appears inspired by Heart of Darkness (In the description, the artist includes the quote: "And the river was there - fascinating - deadly - like a snake.") though certainly I appreciate that people are still able to gain inspiration like this from literature. While I'm also all for a good snake tee (gotta represent the fellow snakeys, I suppose) that's only a smidge of it also. The real winning element here is the texture. The texture that makes the snake snakey and the water watery. The texture that makes the trees and landscape look weathered and barren. The texture that keeps the scene looking ominous while also feeling vintage and classic, like an old print. The texture that adds impressive depth to very few colors. I also love this blue. It's a perfect shade (I do believe my likelihood of liking a tee increases exponentially when it contains this blue). And really, by now we should all know that I'm into any design with a good degree of oddity in it... the morph of the snake is a lovely feature of this, but the canoeing deer makes it almost impossible to pass over. It hits all the right notes for a great, unique, distinctive shirt, especially if you happen to be me. And if you can't be that lucky, you should be hoping doubly for this shirt to print, because it could be the next best thing.

Finally, amarillo wants a few things. Mainly, I imagine he wants a Threadless shield. The multitude of prints the man has had throughout the tee world stops short at the reason internet graphic tee shops became so popular. Which seems like a travesty. He also wants to tell us "fuck you, I'm an anteater." Which is pretty powerful language from an anteater. (M)Anteater is the logical intersection of these desires. Nothing gives an "up yours" attitude like being taller than a building and eating humans. Take that, guys! All this fits in well with amarillo's normal style, though. The buildings are an easy reference point (and I love how they're sort of bending away from the giant Antzilla going all Cristo Redentor on this city), as is the texturing on the anteater itself. And as is often the case when a piece like this makes it into our round-up, it may be ostensibly linked to a memetic reference, but the level of extra concept and detail and style added make this far more than that. It's far more a tribute to classic monsters, and the odd elements all but force it to feel unique anyway. It could be just the right combo to secure amarillo his rightful shield, but more importantly, it's a fun, crazy piece that lives up to both his style and his reference.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sole Plane

Just a brief one on this busy busy week: Today, Hermes, by BadBasilisk, has gone up for sale over at, where else, Tilteed. This piece was originally featured stunning in Gold Foils, but the newer palette is looking sweet, too, casting it almost in a silver. I still love the intricacies of detail, the modernized vision of the god, flying not on winged feet but in a bit of a shoe-plane, yet the retention of a classic, vintage style in the ornamentation of the shoe chosen, something which looks older and more elegant... a shoe of antiquity, to go with a modern Hermes. Definitely a piece worthy of picking up, but as always, this will be a limited time piece. Time, like gods, will fly, and you'll only have until Noon on Saturday the 6th to swoop in and grab this. Don't miss out.