Poor Charlie Brown. Whether playing football, carving pumpkins, or simply trying to figure out life, our ‘ole buddy always seems to find himself a bit bewildered. Artist aparaat from the Czech Republic picked up on Charlie’s puzzled spirit and depicted it in the most literal way possible. The result? A grand prize winning design from our Peanuts challenge! Introducing aparaat’s design “Puzzled”, which finally finds Charlie victorious. Read on to learn more about aparaat, and shop his brand new design here!
Congrats on your winning “Puzzled” design for the Peanuts challenge! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Haha, I’m sooo not good at these things. This is definitely going to be the most boring interview you ever get to read here on Threadless :-). I’m as ordinary as ordinary can get really. I’m all about the usual stuff like music, art, movies, food, gym, running, pencil nibbling, beer drinking, and taking care of my pet dolphin. Yes, a poor attempt at making myself a bit more interesting.
How does it feel to be the very first winner of our 3 month Peanuts challenge?
It feels absolutely amazing. However, I wish I hadn’t found out the great news right before I went to bed. I got so excited I couldn’t sleep for three days straight. I never knew my body was capable of producing all these happiness hormones in such quantities. They’re still way above the usual level and I’m still catching on the lost sleep :-).
What are your first memories of Peanuts, and why did you become a fan?
To be honest, I don’t really know. I just know them! It’s similar to when you grow up on a street and know everyone around, but you have no clear memory of when you first met them or how long you’ve known them, as you were too little to remember. That kind of “know”!
Since this challenge required you to reinvent an iconic cartoon, did you find it intimidating or exciting?
Utterly exciting. I’m not sure if I’m really entitled to say this as I’m still relatively new here and haven’t participated in many of the challenges, but for me, this has been the most enjoyable challenge yet. It allowed me to treat the whole theme very “minimalistically” and do things from a completely different perspective, two things I love. It spoke to me on many different levels.
What inspired your ultimate concept for “Puzzled”?
I was just mindlessly doodling and sketching all things Peanuts when the idea literally popped out at me from the paper. Something I drew reminded of a puzzle piece and then it somehow connected and then boom, “Puzzled” was born.
Would you mind going over your process of creating the design?
I was so eager to see how the concept would look on a tee that I did a super quick sketch in Illustrator using only a mouse (I was away from home and it was the only “drawing” device available). I thought I would redraw the whole thing later, but to my surprise I liked it the way it was already, especially its loose feel. When I got home, I ironed out a few bits here and there, then inked in the face and other little details with my ancient Intuos tablet.
Why do you think Charlie Brown is such a memorable character?
Apart from his trademark attire of course, I’d say it’s his character. He is so memorable, because he is just like one us. He could be me, you, or the guy next door. He’s just so beautifully average – in a good way! Does that make any sense? :-)
Of all the things that bewilder poor ole’ Charlie Brown, what do you think he finds the most puzzling?
**See the next question!
If you could rewind time and have lunch with Charles Schulz, what’s the first thing you’d ask him?
I’d ask him if he would be kind enough to answer the above question for me! (I really can’t decide; these are the things that are puzzling me for a change! :-))
Any other shout-outs?
Apart from you guys at Threadless and Peanuts for giving us this great challenge and keeping alive the legacy of Schulz’s lifetime of work, I’d like to thank everyone who scored, commented, and otherwise appreciated my entries. I feel truly honored and almost guilty as so many people did such a great job at this challenge. I have so many favorites in this competition already, and I can’t wait to see all of them printed. Well done, everyone! And if you got this far, thanks for reading!
…oh, almost forgot to mention John Spilsbury (the inventor of the jigsaw puzzle!) :-)