MEET THE VIDEO GAMES THAT DON’T EXIST DESIGN CHALLENGE WINNER!
What’s better than soaking in a bright summer day, frolicking under the sun’s golden rays, rolling in the fresh green grass, licking popsicles seaside, and skipping along the beach like a giddy little child without a care in the world? Hunkering down in the dark dank basement to play video games, that’s what. We knew a whole bunch of you are on par with us here, so when we powered up the Video Games That Don’t Exist design challenge, we knew we’d get some real winners. Turns out there a bajillion amazing video games yet to be invented, yet, for this challenge, there is one true champ: Nate Christenson of Roseville, MN, for his design “The Floor is Lava”. Read on to learn more about the artist and his winning design, then try to get out and enjoy the last days of warmth, dangit!
Congrats on your winning design, “The Floor is Lava”, for our Video Games That Don’t Exist design challenge! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in China and recently moved to Minnesota to attend Bethel University as an art major. I’m hoping to get a job as an animator or an illustrator for children’s books. It would also be pretty awesome to move to Chicago and work for Threadless.
What drew you to this challenge? Are you a big video game fan yourself?
I love playing video games with my friends and have also worked on a few small scale video games myself. This challenge was a perfect way to come up with a concept for an awesome game without actually having to create it.
How did you come up with the awesome idea to create a video game based on the “lava game” a jillion of us played when we were kids?
I wanted to come up with a concept that a lot of people could relate to, so I talked with some of my friends and found out that this game is a classic for many of us.
Once you came up with the general idea, how did you decide exactly how to execute the concept in a design?
Since all the average, unimaginative adult sees is a kid jumping across furniture, I wanted to show what it is really like from the perspective of the kid. To do this, I chose to create a dramatic piece of old video game cover art to illustrate how dangerous this game really is.
Tell us a bit about the process of creating this design. Feel free to share WIP pics if possible!
I like to start all my ideas for Threadless designs in my trusty moleskin that I carry around with me all the time. I sketched this one while I was waiting in IKEA, which was the perfect setting since there was plenty of furniture on display to hop around on in case I got really inspired.
What are the official rules for “The Floor Is Lava” video game?
What happens if the unthinkable occurs: your player touches the lava?
The video game will self destruct and melt your gaming system.
Approximately how many hours did you spend playing “The Floor Is Lava” (non-video game version) as a kid?
All day everyday two days a week.
What’s your favorite video game of all time - that already exists?
That would have to be Super Smash Brothers Melee for the GameCube.
Any other shout-outs?
Thank you Threadless for making a dream of mine come true. I feel honored to be a part of something as epic as this.
Life’s pretty great, but it’s not always a big bed of roses. Even our uber talented artists know that, many facing their own road bumps here and there. If we were a popular gossip magazine, we might just say: “Artists! They’re just like us!” So, to remind us all of that fact, we asked the folks behind this week’s awesome new batch of tees to name the biggest challenge they’ve faced as an artist, and how they overcame it. Next time you’re hitting a rough patch, remember their salient words of wisdom. And come Monday, don’t forget to stop in to check out the new tees!
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an artist?
“My biggest challenge was putting what was in my head onto paper. An HB pencil seemed to do the trick.” Buy this tee now!
"Design school wasn’t easy. Once, I had an art history exam the morning after a very strenuous workout. I’d never been so sorely tested." Buy this tee now!
“Creative blocks are a huge challenge that I occasionally deal with as an artist. To overcome them, I step away from my studio/creative space and put my focus elsewhere. I usually go for a bike ride or watch TV. It helps me relax and clear my mind.” Buy this tee now!
“Recovering my childhood imagination may be the biggest challenge for me as for an artist and illustrator. Trying to free up my mind from adult-world constraints and grabbing at least a tiny part of the poetry and amazement of my childhood. When I get to this state of mind, even if I’m touching it only with my fingertips, my illustrations are better immediately. That is challenging. How do we overcome adult brain limitations? Everyday practice?” Buy this tee now!
“The biggest challenge? The notorious and dreadful C.B.B. (Creative Block Blackhole)! Aaaaaaaaarg! Is there a cure? Most of the time, ideas start popping back without notice and the engine starts again after one of the following: A: a few days, B: weeks, C: months, D:it’s f*cking hopeless… I’m getting wasted!” Buy this tee now!
“My biggest challenge has been getting to the point where I can create t-shirt designs for some of the biggest names in heavy metal. I have always been a fan of heavy rock and metal, and have always played in bands, but I never planned to “make it” as a musician. So, I set about working for the bands I love, which has taken many years, lots of patience, some rejection, and a good amount of pestering the right people. It also helps to have a few lucky breaks. But if you want something, and are willing to work hard, it is possible. I can now count bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Rage Against The Machine, Pantera, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains as clients.” Buy this tee now!
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!
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!