You don’t even have to be a ’90s kid to appreciate the awesomeness that those glorious 10 years brought us: little neon beads for your bike spokes, Tamagotchis, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, yadda yadda yadda (which is both part of this list and a way of saying, “etc. forever“) It’s hard to pick just one thing that truly embodies the last decade of the 20th century, but Perry Beane (@BeanePod) managed to create a design that would’ve had Kelly Kapowski and Clarissa like, “oh snap!”
We talked to Perry about his bitchin’ winning design for our ’90s challenge, about some of his favorite ’90s shows (we ask the tough questions), and about his amazing style. Check it out!
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First things first, tell us a little about yourself! Do you do art for a living?
I’m pretty much just your normal, average, everyday socially awkward oddball weirdo dad guy with an overactive imagination. That’s me in a nutshell, I think.
I work with a friend in a small print/sign shop. We mostly handle marketing for a large pool of commercial realtors in our area (*yawn*). It’s pretty mundane, but sometimes I get to make cool stuff, like a 20’ x 90’ wall mural I did for one of our clients a year or so ago. There’s a few WIP pics in a blog I posted about it.
How do you find time to balance doing design for a living and designing tees for fun? How long does a typical design take?
Making designs for tees is what keeps me sane. It’s totally my daily meditation. Challenges keep things fresh because they force me to try new things or revisit styles that I haven’t explored in a long time. It’s a great way to break out of the comfort zone.
I usually try to start and finish designs in a single sitting. Partly because of an extremely short attention span and partly because I have very limited time to spend on shirt designs. I don’t start designing until everyone is in bed at home, so I usually don’t get started until around 9 PM and try to wrap things up and submit the design by 11:30 PM – 12 AM. Then I’ll spend the next 10 minutes posting links on social media. Then it’s time to crash…5:30 in the morning comes early!
You have such a unique style! How did you develop this? Who are some of your influences?
Thanks! Honestly, I tried lots of things over the years and just kept what I felt worked and focused on that. I’m a huge fan of the ’70s era Sesame Street and Electric Company cartoons and artwork…Schoolhouse Rocks, also. Another influence was definitely The Far Side. One of my first Threadless influences would have to be Mitch Loidolt (@BurritoGoblin) because he made me realize that you could be as weird as you want to be here. Nathan Pyle as well because his work was so simple yet brilliant. And the list could go on and on…
Tell me a little bit about this design! It’s pretty bitchin’.
I just wanted to make the most absurdly ’90s thing I could imagine. I wanted it to encompass the shapes, confetti, patterns, colors, slang, and cheesy fonts that were ‘all the rage’ in the ’90s. I also have an affinity for vintage vacation tees, so I wanted to play off of that vibe as well.
Where did you look for inspiration while brainstorming ’90s designs?
I did a lot of Google searches to reacquaint myself with ’90s fashion trends and slang. My eyes are still burning from it all.
Top three ’90s TV shows and why, GO!
OMG…SO MANY!! Okay, I’ll start with Kids in the Hall mainly for the sheer absurdity of everything they did whether it be crushing your head or horrifying souls with the chicken lady.
Another absurd sketch show I loved watching (sensing a pattern yet?) was In Living Color. The entire cast brought it every show and they held no punches.
This is so hard that I’m going to have to end with Mr. Show, Beavis & Butt-head and Mystery Science Theater 3000. I can’t even…sooo many great shows (*head explodes*).
What’s your favorite ’90s memory or some of your favorite things from the ’90s?
Skateboarding, tattoos, and concerts make up most of my favorite ’90s memories. Oh yeah…and frosted tips! Yep, there’s a pic floating around somewhere in which I have them…for reals.
You have an Artist Shop as well! Do you have a favorite design in there?
Absolutely I do. “Stay Weird” is my baby and hands down my favorite tee design ever. It’s so simple, happy, dumb, weird, and was one of the most fun times I’ve had making a tee design. I wish every design I make could be that much fun.
You’ve done a few collaborations as well! What have you learned through collaborating with fellow artists?
I’ve done tons of collabs but not as many recently due to time or lack thereof. I’d like to do more but I just don’t have as much time as I used to, which blows. I can’t even keep up with my own ideas these days. I’d advise everyone to try it at some point. It’s a great way to meet folks, make new friends, do something different, and maybe learn a thing or two while having fun. It can also help during those times you’re having severe mental blocks.
What’s been your favorite challenge to win?
Winning the Pride challenge was great because of what it meant to so many people. It was a great thing to be a part of. Winning this challenge is also really special because I did it solo, which is one personal goal I had set for myself a few years ago.
What’s your art and design philosophy?
First and foremost is to have fun and love what you do. If you don’t, then it just becomes another job. The second thing for me is to keep things simple. It’s important for me to have immediate reactions when it comes to designs, whether it be “wtf is that?” to “that’s awesome!” I don’t care. I just want the impact to be immediate. Life’s too short to sit around pondering what someone’s shirt means.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Just thanks to everyone at Threadless and the Threadless community. There are way too many awesome people to mention but they are all equally awesome in their own ways. Keep making, everyone, and STAY WEIRD!