Trying something new can be tough, but Threadless artists seem to be pretty darn good at it! We asked our community to explore their artistic horizons with our latest Try A New Style design challenge, and we got to see how contributing artists experimented with their art. Our winning submission comes from Narniaz who created an X-Acto knife masterpiece, “Fixing a Broken Heart”. Keep reading to get to know Narniaz a little better, and pick up his new tee here.

Congrats on your winning design “Fixing a Broken Heart”! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Firstly, thanks to the voters and Threadless for this win! I quit advertising in 1996 after five years in the workforce. Now I’m self-employed and have been creating jobs for myself ever since. I don’t have a specific style in my work; I think I’m quite versatile. Besides artwork I like interior design as well. I do some carpentry work whenever I have the chance.

Explain the new style that you tried and why you chose it.

It’s a cut and paste method. The elevated layers of paper are the main thing. Once we put lights on it, nature does the rest. I simply wanted this piece to be different from the others and to get away from my comfort zone.

Did you find it challenging to try a new style, or more inspiring? Why?

It was quite challenging at first, but after the second day it all came into place. One can get better and better if they focus. I enjoyed doing it; I wanted to do more but the deadline was nearing. It’’s been very inspiring.

Describe to us the process of creating this design in particular.

It’s about creating shadows. Without shadows the whole thing wouldn’t work. There were three layers: the robot and gadgets cut on thick ten-year-old watercolor paper, the supporter that elevates the robot made from a 50mm thick foam board (without this thickness the depth will not work), and the base made from a gray cardboard.

How did you work to create such an intricate, detailed design?

As the deadline drew near I realized I didn’t have much time. I roughly sketched on watercolor paper then started cutting it, not knowing exactly what I wanted except that the robot would be the hero. Things fell into it place as I went about it. Most important, when doing this sort of design, you must know how to occupy the gaps. You don’t need a steady hand, but definitely a steady brain.

What inspired the concept of the actual design itself - a robot getting his heart fixed?

Haha well, I wanted a robot at first, but it’s quite meaningless without anything happening around him. I also wanted to make this robot wearable for both male and female, so I couldn’t make him fierce or destructive which I normally do when I make metal CD covers - this time I felt he should be a little more adorable, or at least more mainstream. The broken heart speaks for my designs which have not been selected by Threadless. (Hahaha, I don’t mean that seriously!)

Why do you believe this design stood out from the competition?

Good question! Honestly, before I started the job, I studied your store. The style seemed perfect for the challenge. It’s an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. I thought “Threadless might be hungry for this… please accept my offerings!”

Did this challenge inspire you to try other new styles? If so, what styles might you explore?

Oh yes! Sure it does. I have another thing in mind. I can’t tell you now… let’s wait until the need arises!

What advice do you have for other artists curious about experimenting with styles outside of their comfort zone?

 Just do it. Do what you like to do. Nature isn’t that cruel. You will get better each day, whether it be doing your job or your hobby. You will find that the canvas for creativity is far wider than you think if you keep on doing… it’s unbelievable! But if you think a single style is better for you, then so be it. I have seen many successful artists doing a single style. However, if you are hungry for a new style, you better eat!

Any other shout-outs?

Thanks for this! To be selected is like a dream come true. Those who have never been selected - don’t you ever give up. Everyone has their day. Best wishes to all artist out there. Mega thanks to all friends, relatives, and Threadless… you people rock! Last but not least, I hope the Netherlands wins the World Cup 2014 (is this outta topic?)… haha! Yeah!!!