MEET OUR BIG LEBOWSKI WINNER, DUDES!
After 300 submissions, 80,548 scores, and a couple White Russians, we’ve got the winning design from our Big Lebowski design challenge! Inspired by the patterned sweater worn by The Dude, Leo Canham’s “Knitted Dude” design was chosen to be the winning tee. We sat down with Leo and picked his brain to uncover the source of his inspiration, his love for The Big Lebowski, and what he thinks The Dude would have to say about his design. Before you bowl straight into the new Big Lebowski collection, learn a little more about Leo and his design below!
Congratulations on your big win! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Thank you! My name is Leo Canham and I’m an Illustrator/Designer from York, England.
Why did you feel compelled to create a design for the Big Lebowski?
I just had to have a go at this challenge; I have been a big fan of the movie for a long time now. I remember watching it for the first time on VHS tape!
Of all the things you could have focused on from the Big Lebowski, how did you land on this particular design?
Whenever I think of The Dude, I always think of him wearing his scraggy knitted sweater. So I wanted to try and recreate that iconic sweater but in a t-shirt format. A homage of sorts, but with elements of the movie mixed into the pattern.
Describe the process of creating this design. (Please feel free to include any WIP photos!)
I produced the whole design in vector. I started off making a list of items I wanted to include and sketching out some layout options. I then created a knitted pattern grid in Illustrator to help me work on the final layout. I slowly worked my way towards incorporating those objects into the grid. It was the first time I had created artwork in this pixel-like style, so it look a little time to adapt but it was an enjoyable learning experience. For those that are interested, the items included in the design are : a bowling ball, bowling pins, strike symbols, spare symbols, the Dude’s car, shapes from the original sweater, In-and-Out burgers, alcohol bottles / White Russian drinks, dollar symbols (ransom), hearts for his special lady friend, and even some discreet ‘Johnsons’ at the bottom!
Why did you decide to keep the design in mostly neutral colors?
It just seemed fitting for the movie and tied in well with the sweater parody. I think anything bright and outlandish wouldn’t have suited the film’s style or the Dude’s persona.
How would you describe your aesthetic as an artist?
I wouldn’t really say I have a definitive style. I usually start off with a concept and then explore different ways to execute it. Sometimes it leads to new methods of working, like with this design.
What do you think The Dude would say about your design?
Hopefully something like “far out, man”. But he would probably just peer over the top of his shades and then take a sip of his White Russian.
If you could be reincarnated as any character from the Big Lebowski, who would it be?
An obvious choice, but it has to be The Dude. He may be seen as a bum, but he’s just a laid back guy with decent moral values and a love for rugs.
How many times have you seen the movie?
Maybe six or seven times. With the quality of the script and cast, It never really gets old. It would definitely make my all-time top 10 movies list.
Any other shout-outs?
Big shout out to the Threadless community and of course, my special lady friend.