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Say “Oh Hay” to Our Ludicrous Challenge Winner

Oh hay. Didn’t see ya there. Sometimes the best designs are the ones that just make you chuckle. And Joel Robinson (@Obinsun) created a design that made us ask “but why tho?” in a way that made it impossible to say ‘neigh’ over yea to as the winner of our ‘Ludicrous’ challenge (not to be confused with Ludacris the man).

We talked to Joel about the world surrounding this wondrously weird design, about whether this is a part human horse or if the neighbor is just seeing things, and about his style which, if you aren’t already, you will be addicted to by the end of this post. Check out what he had to say below!

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“Magical Wizard Cat”

First things first, tell us a little about yourself!

Hi, I’m Joel. I live in the pacific northwest and enjoy drawing, reading and D&D.

Do you do art for a living?

As of 2016, art has become my livelihood. I stumbled upon the POD platform around two years ago and feel extremely fortunate to have found an audience that enjoys my work.

Oh hi, horse. “Hi, Horse” in action.

Tell me a little bit about this design. Is this a part human horse, a part horse human, or is the neighbor seeing things?

I like to think this horse lives on the friendliest farm in the world where all the barn animals have hands so they can wave to their neighbors.

Joel drew us a friendly chicken who also lives on this amazing farm of imagination.

You have an earlier version of the “Hay Neighbor” design too! What made you revisit it?

I thought the first version of my “Hay Neighbor” design just wasn’t living up to its potential, so I gave it another shot and made it weirder.

“Hi Horse” on just a few products. Top row: Women’s Dolman, shower curtain, and men’s sweatshirt | Bottom row: rug, kid’s tee, and standard mug.

Did you have any other wild designs for the ‘Ludicrous’ challenge? 

The other design I made for this challenge was called “High Flyve”. It’s a duck and a rocket ship sharing a high five high in the sky. I find that when trying to create something wonky and weird it’s best to just start drawing and see what happens.

The original “Hay Neighbor” submission on the left and “High Flyve” on the right.

I love your art style – how did you develop it? What artists are you inspired by?

I think years of doodling and reading comic strips like Garfield and The Far Side when I was a kid influenced my work a lot. Other Threadless artists are my greatest source of inspiration these days. Seeing all the great puns and quirky characters in the work of artists like @randyotter3000, @BeanePod and @ilovedoodle inspired me most when I started designing for tees.

“Cat Got Your Soul?” in Joel’s Artist Shop!

You feature a lot of cats in your art. Do you have a cat of your own?

I’m very much a cat person and currently live with three: Fluffy, Beth and Maple. Fluffy and Beth are sweethearts, so the inspiration behind most of my evil cat designs is Maple because she is literally the antichrist.

I find that when trying to create something wonky and weird it’s best to just start drawing and see what happens.

– Joel

What’s your design philosophy?

“Dogtor”

I try to keep things simple. Whenever I attempt to force something creatively, it never turns out right.

Sitting back and going with the flow is probably the most core aspect of my design process.

Anything else?

A big thanks to everyone at Threadless for keep’n it real!

 

Shop the winning design here!

Carlyn Hill

Dad joke aficionado, cartoonist, & contributor for sites like HelloGiggles and The Mary Sue by night. When I'm not writing or drawing, you can find me in my cave of a room hanging out with my boyfriend, Netflix.