MEET THE ZIP HOODIES CHALLENGE WINNER!
Welp, it’s officially September, meaning the inevitable is upon us: cooler weather. Thankfully, there is a certain something that makes chilly weather bearable: majorly awesome hoodies. With that in mind, we launched our Zip Hoodies challenge, and after zippin’ our way through a whole bunch of super sweet submissions, we’ve landed on a winner: “Ninja vs. Ninja” by Brooklyn artist Daniel Stevens. Read on to learn more about Daniel, and if you want a totally badass hoody (‘cuz obviously you do), snag his new design here!
Congrats on your winning design “Ninja vs. Ninja” for our Zip Hoodies challenge! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a Graphic Designer/Illustrator based in Brooklyn, NY. During the day I create graphics and prints for a sleepwear company and at night I work on personal projects, freelance, and of course, Threadless stuff. I watch cartoons, collect comics, and love procrastinating.
What inspired the concept behind your design?
My inspiration for this comp was actually through research. While I was at work, not working, I checked out all the hoodies Threadless sold. By the time I got home, the idea just popped into my head.
You mentioned that you wanted to “create a design that told a story”. What exactly is the story behind this design?
The story is just a simple interaction between the two characters.
Why were these badass ninjas fighting in the first place?
Shhh… I can’t say or I’m next.
How was designing for a hoody different than a typical tee?
I think when you design for a hoody, what works best is minimal color and a clean design. There’s so much going on with a hoody between the hood, pockets, and the zipper, that less is more when it comes down to graphics.
Did the idea of integrating a zipper play a part in creating your design?
Using the zipper was the biggest part of the concept. I needed that fun interaction.
Please walk us through the process of creating this design.
For this particular design there wasn’t much of a process, more like design freestyle. The visual was so clear in my mind that all I needed was a few ninja references to get started in Illustrator. I didn’t even sketch the concept.
What do you think fellow ninjas on the street will think of your new hoody?
Ninjas will probably feel like i’m exploiting their careers to sell products and send their best men after me.
If you so decide to enter the dark arts of the ninja world, do you think this hoody will give you special powers?
Ummm… I hope it gives me some kind of power so I can defend myself for when they come for me. They will come!!!
Any other shout-outs?
I want to give a shouts to my mom and dad for the excellent creative genes, my lady for being so supportive, and my job for being soooo lenient with what websites we can go on at work. I would also like to thank Threadless for choosing my design. Being printed has been my dream for awhile and to finally achieve this goal makes me feel truly honored.
GET TO KNOW THE WINNER OF OUR SURREALISM DESIGN CHALLENGE!
We turned Threadless upside down with our Surrealism Design Challenge and got to take a peek at the backwards, law-defying designs of our artists. Like a melting clock or a rain cloud in your living room, surrealism riddles the mind with the illogical. Brazilian artist Mathiole won the Surrealism Design Challenge with a spacey creation that has some inspiring words of wisdom attached. Read on to learn a little about Mathiole and to grab his new tee, “Great Idea.”
Congrats on your winning design “Great Idea” for our Surrealism challenge! Why don’t you share one interesting and unknown fact about yourself to kick off this interview?
Thanks! My fascination with art started when I was just a boy, about 11. I was at the school’s library, and a picture of one of the paintings by Salvador Dali, a Surrealism master.
Do you consider yourself a surrealistic type of artist? Or did you tap into unknown territory to create this design?
I think I’m pretty versatile. I like almost all art movements, and have been trying to recreate stuff based on my favorite ones, but I think it’s fair to say surrealism is the one I like most. I did tap into an unknown territory aesthetically; it was the first time I tried to make a full hatching design. I’m pretty satisfied with the result. :D
How did you arrive at “Great Idea” for a concept?
The idea changed a little bit from what I had in the beginning. I thought I would make a man on a bulb-shaped balloon, but then I saw the same concept so I had to try something else. I still wanted to make the “idea” the focus of the concept, so I researched quotes to enlighten me. That’s when I came out with the moon balloon idea!
What inspired the concept’s specific design execution?
Part of my process is to make a mood board for each concept. During this visual research, I found some old/vintage pictures of all kinds of balloons, and they were all made with hatching. I’m also a big fan of a crazy talented guy named Nicholas Delort, who makes insane realistic illustrations with this same technique. I knew it would fit the concept so I decided I should try this!
Tell us a bit about the process of creating this design. Feel free to share WIP’s if possible!
You can see WIP’s here!
Why does “Great Idea” capture a strong sense of surrealism?
I guess it’s the fact that the man is using the moon as a balloon, as well as the mood I managed to create. It makes it look like a pictured dream (at least one of my dreams!).
What surrealist artists do you admire and why?
Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte are definitely my favorite ones, for being pioneers and ultra-creatives. I guess the essence of surrealism is to picture dreams, and to me they do it like no one else. Nowadays, Jeremy Geddes is doing a superb work!
What is the most dangerous idea you’ve ever had?
I don’t even want to share this with you because I’m sure I’ll gather a lot of haters, haha. What I can say is that half of the people got the idea and thought it was very funny, and the other half thought it was offensive and wanted to kill me for doing it.
What in the world are you going to do with all these awesome new art books from the Art Institute!?
What else? I’m going to read and study all of them. :D (I’m a book addict!)
Any other shout-outs?
I’ve embraced surrealism as one of the main characteristics of my work, so winning this competition means that I succeeded somehow, and that’s huge for me! So, I want to thank you all who voted and commented on my design, and also to Threadless for picking it up! Thanks!