A FLAVORFUL INTERVIEW WITH THE MIXED MEDIA WINNER, FLORENT BODART!
Congratulations to Florent Bodart aka speakerine on his Mixed Media design challenge win! Since it was Mixed Media, Kyle and Jeff took a non-traditional route and wrote the questions in…. condiments! This included soy sauce (who writes in soy sauce?), mustard, strawberry jam, ketchup, and honey! We hope you guys enjoy our tasty interview!
Hi! I’m a half French half Dutch graphic electro carpenter designer. I love beautiful things (and cats).
I was with my girlfriend when I learned of the win. We did a dance of joy! I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe any time I receive a “You won!” mail. I have to read it twice.
The hardest part about doing my Mixed Media design was choosing elements that fit together. Arranging the tapes and records was hard too. I think I must have restarted 10 or 15 times before I was satisfied with the composition.
I began by selecting objects that went with the idea of “data” at home (old tapes, records, floppy disks…) and took photos of them. I collected pictures of data storages and browsed commons medias websites to add in my collection. I retouched them in Photoshop (and faked the trademarks), and printed them in half size of their real scale.
I cut each piece separately, then arranged them on a A2 white sheet (see picture attached). When I was happy with the composition, I glued them, and then took a photo. I took the picture into Photoshop to erase the borders of the paper cuts and correct last details. Then, I added this weird blue on small places. That was really fun to do!
Long live data storage and Threadless!
CHECK OUT THE INCREDIBLE PAPER-CUT ART BY EELUS!
We had the pleasure of corresponding with artist Lee Pennington, AKA Eelus, about his process behind the mind-blowing paper-cut artwork that we’ve been admiring over here at Threadless HQ. Below, Eelus goes into depth about his background, creative process, working with Death Waltz Records, and his sources of inspiration. Enjoy!About Eelus:My name is Lee Pennington, but I make art under the name Eelus. I’m from a small town called Wigan in the north of the UK. After ending a career in ‘new media design’ after leaving university with a degree in graphic design, I’ve since crafted myself a new path in the strange world of art.I’ve spent the last 10 years cutting and painting stencils in my studio, in galleries, and on the street all across the world, and have had a jolly old time in the process. I also release a lot of limited edition screen-printed posters, a process and medium that I think I’ll always find exciting and will be involved in.More recently, my focus has moved away from stencils and I’m now putting the majority of my time into establishing myself as a paper-cut artist. I create images from hand cutting smalls holes into single sheets of paper, or by layering many many separate pieces of painted paper together to create more of a 3-D effect that has a lot of depth.About the process:Everything starts with an idea. It may not always be my idea, sometimes I’ll take someone else’s idea and take it to a new place and turn it into something of my own. My 3-D paper pieces evolve over a number of stages. The early stages involve a lot of drawing. Once I’m happy with the pencil work I’ll scan it in and then trace everything in Adobe Illustrator. I’ll give every single piece a unique code so that once everything is printed and cut, I know where it’s all meant to go. Some of my pieces have over 100 pieces of paper, so this allows me to remember where everything is meant to be. After giving everything a code, I’ll then dismantle the vector version of my drawing and print all the separate elements onto sheets of acid free paper. I’m using a Fabriano at the moment, and will use different weights for different pieces depending on where they’ll be placed. So for example, if I know a certain piece will be at the back and will end up having quite a lot of other bits attached, I’ll use a thicker stock to help support everything.Once everything is printed, I’ll hand cut everything with a Swann Morton scalpel using a 10A blade. As soon as the blade loses it’s lovely razor sharpness, I’ll swap it for a new one. Once everything is cut, I’ll place all the paper together and see how everything is looking. This helps me get my head around the next stage, which is the painting. I use spray paint and paint everything in a large fume extractor which is located in a different, much colder part of he building where my studio is. I’ll start with the bottom layers and work my way up, sometimes going back and re-doing pieces if they’re not fitting well.Once everything is dried, I go back to my nice warm room, sit my a** down, stick on a podcast and start assembling everything. I use various types of acid-free adhesives, the most important parts are these sticky foam squares that I’l buy in different sizes and depths. If I want something to have a subtle effect, I’ll attach it using a 1mm deep square, if I want something more dramatic that will cast more shadow, I’ll use a 3mm, or will stick a number of 2 or 3mm square together. That’s pretty much it for that particular style of work, which I’ll be exploring much more from now on.On working with Death Waltz Records:I became involved with DWR as Spencer, the rotting brains behind the company, has bought work from me in the past and so we would email now and then about various horror related weirdness. After he set up the company, he very kindly asked if I’d be up for designing the artwork for their first Hammer Horror soundtrack release, which would be Twins of Evil. I spat my goblet of goat’s blood all over my keyboard and said yes immediately.On inspiration:I like to take inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. My main loves are films and books, especially when they fall into the categories of sci-fi and horror. I grew up surrounding myself with work from Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo and HR Giger, and I’m still madly in love with all three. But all kinds of art inspires me. A lot of classical and contemporary, in all kinds of different mediums. I adopted a dog just over a year ago, which has forced me to take a lot more walks and that gives me some good time to think. I also meditate once or twice a day to help my mind get some clarity and to help keep me calm and focused. I think it definitely helps me ‘catch the big fish’ as David Lynch, a big advocate of meditation wrote about in his book on meditation and creativity ‘Catching the Big Fish’.I like comics. I creep around online. I’m a bit of a nature lover and find the natural world incredible. I’m fascinated by the microcosm and macrocosm. I’m intrigued by multiple dimensions. I believe the current understanding of the history of Earth is wrong and I day dream about extra-terrestrial intelligence. I’m convinced Bigfoot exists but I don’t think the Queen is a reptile. I own some fragments of meteorites which I hold in my hand and stare at until my mind starts to ache knowing that their age could be countless and they’ve travelled across the gulf of space. I also find it impossible to look at a penguin without smiling.A HUGE thanks to Eelus for taking the time to let us in on all of his little secrets. Check out more of his artwork right here!
BEHIND THE SCENES ON DANILO CINTRA’S FIRST PRINT, LIBERTY SOUL!
Hi Danilo! How about a quick introduction?
I work as a graphic designer and when I am not working I usually go out with my wife, friends and family and drink a lot of beers. I like very much to travel, as well (beach, country, etc)…I was born to live in the nature…ha ha ha!!!
Congratulations on your first print, Liberty Soul! How did you celebrate your win?
Thank you again! I celebrated with my wife and my friends and we went out to drink in a bar. Can you believe that my brother-in-law got drunk and got naked in the the bar?? It was crazy, dude!
Do you have any plans with your winnings?
My plans are to pay my bills and to get better with my drawings.
What inspired this design? Do you have any ties to the Native American culture and community?
For this specific drawing, I wanted to show a little bit of Brazilian culture and the Native Americans - one of the most important things of our history.
Did you draw any inspiration from your home country, Brazil?
Not only things related to my country - I like to draw everything that inspire me (music, nature, people, etc).
Have you ever spotted any Threadless shirts in Brazil?
Yes, I have!
What do you hope people take away from this design?
Something about Brazilian culture and the natives around the country.
What’s your favorite type of environment to work in?
Listening to a good music (reggae!) in a quiet place.
Can we expect more submissions from you in the future?
Yes, sure! Pretty soon!
Any last words or shout outs?
I am very happy to join to the Threadless family - that really inspired me to continue with my drawings and thanks for the opportunity!
Thanks Danilo! You can pick up Liberty Soul and a bunch of other fresh new designs today!
GET TO KNOW MATTHEW JOCELYN, CREATOR OF WOLF WAFFLES!
Hey dudes, Jillian here! I stumbled onto Matthew’s Wolf Waffles blog through the Tumblr Radar a while back and was instantly hooked. Look at them! They run! They jump! They ride horses and I love them! Through a little bit of magic and a self-awarded Masters in Lurking, I was able to track Matthew down and ask him some questions. Check out his answers, get to know him a little bit, and keep an eye out for his first ever Threadless submission!
Hey, Matthew. Tell us about yourself.
Well, I’m originally from California but I’ve been living in Brooklyn for the past 5 years. I work at a digital agency as a production designer and I’m the weirdo that makes the stuff on WolfWaffles.com.
How did these animations come to be? What inspired them?
I’d been trying to turn my characters into a comic book or a cartoon, but it turns out that stuff is hard! Then one day I fell into a Tumblr hole. After a few hours of staring at GIFs I thought, “Hey, I’ll make one of those thingies.”
Do you consider yourself an “artist”?
No way! I think of myself as someone who knows Photoshop and has internet access. Sometimes right after I post a new GIF I think, “Well, I’ve done my part to make the internet more bottomless.” Which, now that I think of it, seems like some weird kind of performance art. Maybe I’ll change my answer to yes?
Is this your “art” or do you make other “art” too?
I think the stuff I make is pretty much like a good fart joke. It takes a tiny bit of skill and creativity but in the grand scheme of things it probably wouldn’t be considered art. Plus, I don’t know if MOMA would ever show a GIF of a puking cyclops…
Do you have any favorite artists, makers, or doers?
Oh that’s hard question… I want to say OutKast but I also want to say Bill Murray. There’s also this homeless guy I see on the subway that plays Rolling Stones songs on a banjo. He seems pretty cool.
What do you do when you’re not making funny little animations?
Well, Grand Theft Auto V just came out so that’s gonna be my life now.
If the creatures in your GIFs could talk, what would they say?
They would probably jump out from behind a dumpster and say, “Gimme all your money and maple syrup.” Then they would give you a hug, whisper an insult in your ear and scamper off into the night.
What is a question that you always wished someone would ask you so you could answer it? What’s the answer to that question?
Q: Would you like some ice cream? A: Yes, please.
Any parting words?
Nope! This was fun. Thank you!
PLUG INTO JESSICA ROUSCH’S LIFE AND HER WINNING NPR DESIGN!
Hi Jessica! How about a quick introduction?
Hello! I grew up in North Carolina and went to NC State for a double major in Textile Technology and Art & Design. Now, I’m a textile artist at Kohl’s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I do hand-painted and vector art for all sorts of home product - table linens, dinnerware, bedding, bath stuff, decor, etc. I also like to do some illustration at home too.
Congratulations on your winning design, NPR: Plugged In! What was it like to receive the notification that you won?
Thanks!! A few excited expletives may have escaped my mouth. And I was at work at the time, so I drew a little crowd around my cubicle when I started yelling. It was a wonderful surprise. I still half-thought it was some sort of elaborate hoax until I got the prize box in the mail a few days ago.
I see you’re a textile designer by trade, was making this design outside of your comfort zone?
Yeah, I’d say so - I’ve done quite a bit more illustration-y stuff in the last few years after college, but I’d say I’m more of a Jack-of-all-trades (and master of hopefully a couple, at least?). I really didn’t do any sort of illustration in school. I did strictly textile application (weaving, knitting, jacquard) and fine art (painting, classical drawing, installation, etc etc) so getting into something fresh and new to me has been a blast.
Could you tell us more about how your design came about? What about NPR influenced your design? Can you share any process photos with us?
This one was a challenge. Not only is it about SOUND, which isn’t easily expressed visually, but also about NPR, which has a scope so broad that it would be impossible to illustrate all of the topics that it covers. I decided to illustrate instead its effect on me, in that I get lost in thought and imagination and wonder when I listen. I’m absorbed by the current events stories, and feel closer to the world around me. I tried to include country, suburban, and cityscapes (along with a little capitol building!), and the NPR colors (red, black and blue).
What’s your favorite medium to work in?
Watercolors. I love how unexpected and dramatic it is when I add pigment to the wet paper - like magic! I kind of “grew up” with acrylics and oil colors, which is predictable, but watercolor makes me think ahead, work fast, and also go with the flow (pun intended).
When did you first start listening to NPR?
I really can’t remember! Ever since I was a little kid, my parents have listened to NPR in the car, so I did too. We would listen to it on the way back from my grandparents house, and now I listen on the way back from work.
As part of your grand prize, you’re getting a private tour of NPR HQ. First, who are you taking with you? Second, is there anyone you’re especially hoping to run into during your visit?
My dad and my boyfriend both really want to go. Maybe I’ll make them compete by arm wrestling or rock-paper-scissors or something. When we (whoever we ends up being) get there, I would love to see Steve Inskeep, Renee Montagne, or Bob Boilen. A girl can dream.
Do you have any favorite NPR shows?
Not having cable and being slightly addicted to Netflix can be a nuisance when you try to keep up with current events. I most often listen to NPR on the way to and from work for news, but I also like to catch This America Life, Car Talk, Tiny Desk Concerts, and RadioLab.
Shout out time! Want to show some love for your #1 NPR station?
Since I grew up in North Carolina, my first NPR love was the Raleigh, NC station - WUNC 91.5 - but I also love the Milwaukee station, WUWM 89.7.
Given your design, are headphones your favorite way to listen?
At work they definitely are. Sometimes that’s the only way I can get work done, with an open cubicle and lots of foot traffic. I have the over-the-ear headphones, and I can just tune out everything and get stuff done.
What’s it like to be able to design for an organization like NPR on Threadless?
I LOVED IT. I don’t think I would ever have had a chance to design for them otherwise, so Threadless gave me the perfect opportunity. Getting a design on Threadless was awesome enough, then add NPR on top of it…. I seriously lucked out.
Are you currently working on any new projects?
I’m working on some typographic illustrations for a daily calendar coming out in 2014, called “Today is Going to be a Great Day”. Super stoked about that opportunity. And, I’m working on a fun illustrated spanish language chart. No real reason, just because I miss having to speak in Spanish everyday (I studied in Spain for a little while in 2010).
Can we expect more submissions from you in the future?
YES. It’s on.
Any last words or shout outs?
Thanks to Threadless and NPR - You’ve made my year!
You can pick up Jessica’s winning design, NPR: Plugged In today!
CHECK OUT ALEX SOLIS’ CREEPY MONSTER ILLUSTRATIONS FOR ALL OF OCTOBER!
October is in full swing, and just about everyone has Halloween on their braaaaaaaaains. That’s why, over here at Threadless HQ, Threadstaffer Alex Solis has taken on the perfect art project to put you in the spooky spirit. For the entire month of October, Alex will be (beautifully) illustrating some of your favorite creepy creatures. Check out some of his illustrations from earlier this month:
We sat down with Alex to ask him a few questions about how he prepares for All Hallows’ Eve:
What are some of your favorite horror movies?
I grew up watching A Nightmare on Elm Street. Not sure why, but my mom would let me watch those movies and I was only like 6 years old, haha!
Do you have any yearly traditions for Halloween?
My daughter and I like to make our own Halloween decorations, and we watch The Nightmare Before Christmas.
What is your favorite classic horror movie monster and why?
I love Frankenstein. My favorite part is when he throws the girl into the lake.
What was your favorite Halloween costume and what are you going as this year?
My favorite was for a bboy competition. The whole crew dressed up as greasers. Not sure what I will be this year… still thinking.
Best Halloween candy? Most overrated Halloween candy?
Candy corn is the best, until I eat more then three - then it’s the worst and most overrated.
What are your Halloween plans for this year?
The Halloween party at Threadless HQ, and then trick or treat with my daughter the next day!
DINA AND WAGNER HAMMERED THE THOR COMPETITION! CHECK OUT THEIR WINNING DESIGN!
Hi Dina and Wagner! How about a quick introduction?
W: Hi Buddies! I’m from Brazil, I live in a very warm state called Rio Grande do Norte (something like Big River of North) and in this moment I work with editorial illustration and designs for shirts. I say this because my creativity and passion for what is new always leads me to new paths.
D: I’m a graphic designer for kids apparel in Indonesia and a freelance artist. I’m just an ordinary man with a wife and two little daughters. I’ve always known I would be an artist or a designer since I was a little kid. I’m a self-taught artist. I don’t have a degree in art.
Out of 387 designs, your collaboration Thor: A God Among Worlds hammered the competition and won! What was it like to receive that notification?
W: Honestly, it was a big surprise . At the moment I didn’t believe! Haha! I literally raised my hand to the sky and felt thunder coming up in my fingers. There were so many good designs in this challenge, and our design had been done in a short time, because Dina and I were pretty busy. So when I saw that wonderful email in my inbox, it was kind of unbelievable.
D: Excited and very happy! Do not think! Beyond expectations! I got the idea and the concept from Wagner five days before the deadline. We had to work very fast. But luckily, we were able to finish on time.
How did your collaboration process work? Could you share some photos with us?
W: Well, for me, every collaboration has to be done differently. I’ve done a collaboration where a friend worked only with the idea and I did all the artwork. The collaboration with Dina for the Thor challenge was totally different, I developed the idea and did ??the sketch, Dina made ??the lineart and colors.
You both have pretty distinct styles. To see them mesh into one solid design is amazing. What did each of you bring to the collaboration skillwise? Do you think it’s important for artists to collaborate with each other?
W: I really think that collaborating with another artist is a process enriching and challenging. Do it! D:Wagner is a good comic illustrator. I really admire his artwork, so when he asked me to collaborate, I was surprised! I think maybe he was interested in the way I draw superheroes. When collaborating, it is important to understand that the concept that we offer will suit to the style of our collaborative partners.
Are there any artists on Threadless that you guys would love to collaborate with?
W: Oh yeah! For sure! I love to work with some of the other masters who inspired me to enter this world of t-shirts like Budi Satria Kwan, Matheus Lopes, Ross Zietz, Alice X. Zhang, Hafaell, Alex Solis, Ralph Pykee, Ben Chen, and many others. Just call me! Haha!
D: Jimiyo, Mathiole, Studio Verso, Alexmdc, the Fan brothers, Spykee, and Dzeri.
How do you guys stay creative?
W: Well, I watch movies and TV series (Breaking Bad FTW!), I read comics, I stay updated and aware of everything that happens around me. I talk nonsense with my friends and with my wife and at some point in the mix of it all, new ideas appear.
D: I’m constantly thinking of a cool t-shirt design. Almost every day I am directing my mind to think of t-shirt design ideas.
Are you guys fans of Thor? Do you have a favorite character in the series?
W: I’m a fan of mythology in general. As a child, I liked various mythologies such as Egyptian, the Greek and Norse. I’m also a fan of comic books since I was a kid (I was a comic artist for some time), so I always liked Thor. I love giant monsters, so the Frost Giants are my favorite characters.
D: Yes I am! In my parents’’ house, you can still see the Thor sticker in my closet I put there when I was little. Isn’t that enough to prove that I’m a fan of Thor? LOL
If you could possess at Mjölnir for a day, what would be the first thing you’d do?
W: Well, if only for a day I would fly to Chicago, enter Threadless and say “Hey! Let me work here forever - I have a Mjölnir and I’m not afraid to use it!”. To celebrate, I would drink mead in Asgard with the other gods. \o/
D: I will cool down this earth.
What’s it feel like to be able to design for a comic as big as Thor?
W: Very, very Great! I would say it resembles the feeling of defeating Hulk in arm wrestling! D: Very nice and I am proud.
Do you guys ever spot any Threadless shirts in your country?
W: Yes, i see! Unfortunately the high taxes of Brazilian import prevent it becoming even more evident, but several of my friends use Threadless Tees and I usually see too many Threadless tees in videos on the largest pop culture Brazilians websites.
D: I rarely see Threadless shirts in my country.
Can we expect more collaborations from you two in the future?
W: Yes! I want and I really hope so!
D: Based on this success, we certainly will collab again in the future.
Do you have any last words or shoutouts?
W: Thank you Threadless for choosing our design , thank you very much for the opportunity. Work, even indirectly with you, it is a great happiness! Until next time and remember: Stay Hungry, stay Foolish!
D: Never give up! But keep it up. Maybe your next submission is your winning design.
Pick up Dina & Wagner’s amazing collaboration as well as many others in our Thor collection!