The Ninja Surprise You’ll Never Expect…

For one of our recent challenges, we thought we’d double the fun: instead of requesting only one design, we uppedfrontback_smallbanner the ante and requested two. How would this work? By submitting both a front AND back design for a tee! Aptly, we named the challenge “Front & Back”, and were endlessly impressed by our community’s ability to “think twice” – especially when it came to creative concepts. In the end, the winning award goes to Yannick Bouchard, otherwise known as Moutchy, for his design Ninja Gifter! Read on to learn a little more about Yannick and his design, and don’t forget to snag the new tee here!


Congrats on your winning “Ninja Gifter” design for our Front & Back challenge! Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thank you! I’m from Quebec, Canada, and work as a freelance illustrator. I love heavy metal, horror, fantasy, surrealism, comic book stuff, vintage stuff, and other stuff, too!

How did you originally become involved with Threadless?

I started doing t-shirt designs on another website. When I heard about 636x460shirt_guys_01Threadless, I thought I’d give it a try; especially because of the awesome
cash prizes and cool contests. The second and third entries I submitted were chosen to be printed (Spider-Man vs Green Goblin and Zombie Romance). After that, I was hooked!

What artists in the community do you especially admire?

That is a tough one – I never thought about it before! After browsing through all the artists I follow, I’d go with carbine. I own a few of his shirts and love his drawing style. Beautiful illustrations!

Why were you intrigued to enter the “Front and Back” design challenge?

It’s a beautiful challenge. On one hand, it allows more possibilities in terms of what you can do and where you can go with the concept. On the other, there must be a reason for a print to appear on both sides. You want to have a connection between the two; they must complete one another.

636x460shirt_guys_02How did considering both the front and back of a tee affect your design concepting process?

When you create a design that involves two parts, yet you can only view one side at a time, each part needs to be interesting on it’s own. At the same time, both designs should be connected and make sense as a whole. That’s why I decided to go with something very simple and recognizable, no matter what side you see first.

What inspired your ultimate design?

Creating a concept in two parts was just perfect for something comedic. The fact that I could hide something momentarily from the viewer allowed me to play with expectations and create a “surprise”. More specifically, with a ninja hiding something behind his back, one would expect it to be a sword, nunchucks, or shuriken, but no! It’s a gift!

Would you mind taking us through the creation of it?

636x460shirt_girls_01When I decided to participate in the contest, I simply grabbed a pencil and
piece of paper and started to quickly sketch whatever came to mind. I don’t know why, but the ninja was maybe the third thing to appear on the paper. After that, I pictured him hiding a gift and thought it was a funny idea, so I ran with it.

So… what kind of gift is this ninja giving, anyway?

I don’t know! That’s the beauty of it, really. The fun thing about a wrapped present is that until you open it, it could be anything! So anyone can just imagine whatever they want.

Is he giving it to just anyone, or is on the hunt for a very special someone?

I’m sure he has a specific target. And trust me, when a ninja is sent to give you a gift, you’ll never see nor hear him coming!

636x460shirt_girls_02Any other shout-outs?

As usual, thanks for all the nice comments and votes, and to all those who support me by buying my shirts. I very much appreciate it! And again, a big thank you to Threadless for choosing my design! Cheers! Oh yeah, and be careful everyone, there might be a ninja hiding under your bed or in your favorite cereal box. If there is, let’s hope at least he’s a ninja gifter!

Shop the new design here!

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Shawn Gauthier

Content Manager & Writer at Threadless. Into the usual stuff like words and music and internet animals.