You never know what life may throw your way, so sometimes you gotta ask the big stuff: If you had to choose, would you rather draw with your toes for the rest of eternity, or eat paintbrushes everyday for life? Yea, we know, it’s a tough one. Thankfully, the artists behind next week’s new tees shared with us their preferences, so finally we’re getting some clarity. Check ‘em out below, and come back to shop their awesome new designs next Monday!
“I would say drawing with my toes would be best, being that eating paintbrushes every day could possibly kill me. And I’m already pretty skilled with doing toe stuff.”
“I would choose to eat paintbrushes for lunch, as long as I can have other food that’s more chewable. Drawing with my toes would definitely give me cramps and I would end up contracted.”
“I’d rather eat paintbrushes for lunch every day, as long as they comes with a side of nacho cheese!”
“I would use the way I learned to draw with my hand to start to draw with my feet (I think I’ll need a bit more practice… and more time. LOL!), so as not to give up a huge, giant plate of spaghetti with a good glass of Valpolicella wine. They say that in Italy the food is good… it’s true!”
“I heard paintbrushes are very nutritive, but I would rather draw with my toes. It ain’t that hard.” :p
“I would prefer drawing with my toes.”
#DO52 WEEK 35: REDESIGN YOUR NAME!
#DO52 is a weekly project to inspire you to create more art! We’ll announce a new theme each week. Post your submission in the blog comments. We’ll feature our favorites in this blog the following Friday.
#DO52week35: Illustrate your name in a new, creative way.
- Use your creative power to write out your name in a new and exciting way! You can illustrate each letter of your name as a different animal, write you name in cursive with a piece of rope, or even redesign your name through a collage of found items!
Here’s an example from Threadstaffer Jillian Fisher:
Once you’ve completed this week’s #DO52, add this badge to your Threadless profile:
Don’t forget to head over to last week’s #DO52 to check out everyone’s Newspaper Blackout Poems!
MEET STREET ARTIST JAKE MERTEN!
After three years in Los Angeles, street artist Jake Merten, otherwise known as lookatart, returned to his native city of Chicago, where he’s been blowing up the art scene ever since. Thankfully for us over here at Threadless, he expressed some of that good ‘ole Midwestern charm and stopped by to spread the wealth. Now one of our once gross, bland, and basically altogether unappealing garage doors features Merten’s spray paint interpretation of a Saga comic book cover, and heck, we’re super pumped about it. Oh, and he also took some time to answer our questions, because he’s awesome. Therefore, read on to learn more about this very cool dude and his very cool work!
Merten’s interpretation of a Saga comic book cover makes our garage door look 100% cooler.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Lincoln Park, Chicago.
How did you get into street art?
I was working in the film industry in LA, and hated my job. I had been getting interested in the art scene out there and met a few artists that encouraged me to start painting. So, one Monday morning when I was fed up at work I quit, and started messing around with “street art-like” paste-ups, tags, and stencils. That was spring 2012. Later that summer I picked up spray painting and have been hooked ever since.
Merten’s work in Hollywood, California drives color into an otherwise uninspired street side (Image courtesy of Jake Merten)
Some of your work seems to be influenced by comic books while others are very realistic. How would you describe your artistic style?
Ha, I’ve been trying to figure that one out for a while. My love for comic books stems from childhood. I grew up idolizing the images and drew replications a lot as a kid. So, I think that aspect of my style just comes out naturally, but I’ve been working on photo-realism as sort of a study. I never went to art school so I feel like I have a lot to learn and absorb.
How do you decide what style to go with for each individual piece?
It kind of depends on what I’m into at the moment, and what has inspired me lately. But, at the same time I like to try to imagine what would be best received by people that look at that particular wall everyday. They’re the ones that have to live with it.
This LA building reveals a hidden personality due to Merten’s mark (Image courtesy of Jake Merten)
Your website has “indoor” and “outdoor” works separated. Do you find the two environments that different to work with?
The work I do indoors tends to be more acrylic and brush based, with some aerosol, whereas my outdoor work is strictly spray paint.
How does your extensive traveling affect the work that you do?
Traveling always humbles me. Suddenly you’re in a city where no one knows you and you have to prove to everyone, most importantly to yourself, that there’s a reason you’re there. Even more so, you’re restricted on time and materials, and you have to deal with whatever the weather is like for that trip. I’ve painted in frigid, snowy conditions because I only had three days to do it, so I did it. Absorbing the culture and interacting with the community wherever I paint is one of my favorite aspects to doing murals. It’s amazing to feel like you’ve given something inspirational to an area, hopefully leaving it better than when you arrived.
Merten stakes his claim in Denver (Image courtesy of Jake Merten)
How did you hear about Threadless?
I started shopping on the website in college, probably around 2007.
What made you decide to paint a cover from the Image Comics series Saga on the Threadless garage door?
Someone recently turned me onto the series and I instantly fell in love with the imagery. I had been wanting to paint that cover image, and it was a cool coincidence to find additional Saga fans working at Threadless. Plus, the space was a perfect fit.
The original Saga comic book series cover that inspired Merten’s work
How does your aesthetic align with Threadless?
It seems we share an appreciation for the power of design.
We saw that you’ve been working with Hollywood based artist MDMN. How did that collaboration begin and how is it working with him?
MDMN was one of the first artists I met in the LA scene. He and I began painting around the same time and quickly became friends based on similar interests and goals. We’ve been able to keep the creative relationship going since I relocated from LA to Chicago by working on collaborative digital projects, as well as meeting up to paint in various cities in the upcoming months.
A Jake Merten and MDMN collab in LA (Image courtesy of Jake Merten)
Do you work in any mediums besides paint?
I dabble in carpentry. I’m really into interior design and building furniture
Do you have any big projects coming up?
I have a few projects lined up in Chicago for the fall; one or two larger walls to look out for. I’ll be traveling to Denver and Miami for mural festivals before the end of the year, and am planning a solo show in Chicago for 2015.
Merten’s work waits to be discovered in an LA parking garage (Image courtesy of Jake Merten)
THE 8TH ANNUAL THREADLESS FAMILY REUNION WAS BEYOND FAR OUT!
We had a blast (off) this weekend at the 8th Annual Threadless Family Reunion. Threadless truly is made up of the best community and artists in the universe! It was so good to see familiar faces and meet new pals while we played games, bounced in the bounce house and watch Wolf Waffles create awesome, goofy GIFs.
A major highlight of the day was announcing the Bestees!
Our first award went to our Community Member of the year, Christina Moore aka christina.a.art, who will receive $2,000! Christina diligently participates in every single weekly #DO52, contributing awesome art, no matter how wacky our theme is. She’s been a member since 2013, and has casted her vote on 43,146 designs. Congrats Christina!
Our second award, Collab of the Year, went to Daniel Arzola, aka goliath72 and Chris Phillips, aka cpdesign! Chris and Dan will split $2,000 for their collaborative awesomeness. Together, these dudes created a design called Training Day, which earned an average submission score of 3.71 and was really the cat’s pajamas.
Our third award went to Stacy Eyles aka mechanicalrobotpower for Design of the Year! The super rad artist behind the year’s most super rad design has been a member since 2008 and has racked up 51 submissions this year. With a submission score of 3.58, his design “It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This” means that if anything, Stacy will be taking home $2,000!
Our fourth and final award, Designer of the Year, went to Francis and Lawrence Minoza, aka nicebleed! Proving that two heads are better than one by working together under a single username, this designing duo have been members since 2009. Racking up 40 submissions and 22 printed designs this past year, these brothers have certainly made their mother proud - especially when we send them $2,000!
Congrats to all 6 winners!
The fun didn’t end after the day portion. At night, Ezra Furman’s performance was, to say the least, out of this world…
Thanks to all our pals that came out and helped make it extra fantastic: Adler Planetarium, Pretzel Crisps, Dark Matter Coffee, Chubby Wieners food truck, Defy Bags, Paper Crown Gallery, and Culture Studio!
For those that joined us or just want to check out the awesomeness that transpired, check out the photobooth pics in the Facebook album.
And check out this Facebook album, as well as the #ThreadlessFR14 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram for even more photos.
Thanks everybody! See ya next year!