GET NOSTALGIC WITH OUR NICKELODEON WINNER!
The time has come. The winning design from our Nick Retro design challenge is here. Can we get a “Happy, happy, joy, joy” up in here?! Out of 499 slime-a-riffic submissions, Mitch Loidolt’s Ren & Stimpy-inspired ”Through Stink and Thin" design is our winner! Before you head over to browse the five other tees in our Nickelodeon collection, check out this interview with Mitch!
Congrats on your winning design! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Mitch and I come from Minnesota originally, but now I live in California with my wife and make video games during the day. When I’m not working, I’m drawing, eating burritos, and watching cartoons and action movies.
What about the Nick Retro challenge made you think “I must, I must, I must submit!!”
Nickelodeon has a permanent spot in my heart and I can credit their shows in ‘90’s with helping shape me into the person I am today. I had so much fun watching and drawing these characters as a kid that I really didn’t have a choice; I had to submit something.
Of all the Nick shows you could have focused on, why did Ren & Stimpy steal your designing heart?
They are so weird and gross and they were different from anything else I had watched up to that point… for whatever reason. I felt like I could relate to them, like they were my best pals. Also, my favorite shirts as a kid were my Ren & Stimpy shirts and I severely needed to wear a good one again. So for myself and for my inner child, it was imperative that I try to win.
What inspired this specific design in particular?
This was inspired mostly by how Ren & Stimpy are strange buddies with a special bond. The specific poses and everything came together sort of naturally as I was drawing.
The faces you’ve created in the “fumes” are a great hidden detail - do they represent anyone in particular?
Yep. There’s Mr. Horse, Powdered Toast Man, Svën Höek, Muddy Mudskipper, Stimpy’s son Stinky, and then a few knee warmers tossed in for good measure.
Would you mind taking us through your process?
It started out as just a few random sketches to warm up. I liked Stimpy with his back to the viewer a bit better than something straight on, and I liked Ren being squeezed. I knew I had to give that fart in there a reason rather than just being gross. Originally it was a heart fart to show that Ren wasn’t being squeezed out of malice, but out of love, even though if Stimpy pressed any harder on his chest cavity, it would probably pop like a zit. That fart evolved into an opportunity to show a bunch of characters I loved, so then I went back to making Stimpy look crazy. I don’t really plan things before I draw them; stuff just sort of happens.
When you were a kid watching Ren & Stimpy, did you ever in your life imagine you’d one day create a winning design based on the cartoon?
No, never. My big goal as a kid was to get a Nicktoons drawing on T.V. during the Thanksgiving specials. I still swear one was flashed for a brief second… but I could never be sure. I was extremely shocked and overjoyed to find out that I had won this. It would have been more than enough to be one of the few winners, but a whole prize pack from Nickelodeon for drawing my two favorite cartoon characters is literally a childhood dream come true.
Obviously, Ren and Stimpy would have very differing opinions of your design. What do you think each character would say if they came across it?
If I had to take a stab at writing the characters (please forgive me, John Kricfalusi), Stimpy would probably have one of his starry eyed monologues, like, “Golly! What a fine pair of gentlemen are we, surrounded by dreamlike memories of our dearest friends, and like hot breath on a frosty window pa-” then Ren would slap him and bark, “Snap out of it, man! We’ve been VIOLATED! Here we’ve been photographed at our most private, with you covered in a haze of your own filth, and you’re prancing around like you’re Clark Gable! You eediot! We oughtta SUE!”
We gotta know: at the end of the day, are you a Ren guy, or a Stimpy guy?
Apologies, but I could never have one without the other - I’d rather die than choose a favorite. But if you’re asking who I’m most like: Stimpy all the way.
Any other shout-outs?
I’d like to thank my Mom and Dad for letting me watch Nickelodeon as a kid and encouraging me to be an artist. I’d like to thank Mrs. Maus for being my only grade school teacher to not yell at me for drawing in class. I’d like to thank Laura and Jeff at Threadless for telling me I won this awesome contest. I’d like to thank Nickelodeon for being the best network for kids, and I’d like to th- *play off music starts*.
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