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Winner Interview: Black and White and Light All Over

Head towards the liiight! Sometimes the most beautiful and intricate designs are made up of just two simple colors (or should I say, no colors at all). That was the idea behind our “Black and White” challenge. And our winner,  38sunsets, created a harmonious balance of light and darkness to bring their winning design “Light Burst” to life in a way that wasn’t as simple as, well, “black and white.”

We talked to 38sunsets about the meaning behind this mystical design, their wildly popular alien design “They Made Us,” and the 38sunsets Artist Shop. Check out the interview and winning design below!

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“Search Box Query: Internet”

You’re a bit of a mystery! Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? What’s your favorite kind of pizza?

“You’re a bit of a mystery” haha I like that! It sounds like I would be a romantic hero (or anti-hero, lol) appearing from nowhere, and disappearing like a ghost. Let’s keep the mystery tag then. 

And yes, every mysterious persona has something that you can call it with! You can call for Batman with the bat signal, so you can call for me with a pizza signal! Thin crust, tomato sauce, cheese — the most simple one, Neapolitan Margherita pizza and I am yours.

Do you do art for a living?

Yes. However, designs for tees are not the bigger part of the pie chart, but I would be happy to change those proportions. Working on it. I am here for around three years with my illustrations. Not a newbie anymore, but maybe not enough experience with marketing, otherwise my pie charts would look different. At first, the tee-designing adventure was for a year just to have fun and learn something new. I caught the bug since then, and I want seriously to be involved more & more. The feedback from the interweb is awesomely nice too.

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“Light Burst” in action

This design is so beautiful! Is there a story behind it? 

First of all, thank you so much for choosing my art as a winner. I am very proud of it. I’ve been tweeting for this design: I am attracted to light like a moth. Originally I’ve designed Light Burst for your mystical challenge. I am not referring to “like a moth to a flame” as my design is about enlightenment rather then self destruction. That is a multilayered in meaning design. Dreams. Curiosity. Discovery. Nirvana. Dancing trance music — I would voluntary illustrate an electronic music album with this design.

BTW scientist are still not sure why Moths are so strongly attracted to our night lights.light_burst_products

Where did the name “38sunsets” come from?

From the most beautiful trip I have gone on. To very wild & remote places in Peru. Huge adventure. The trip had a duration of 38 days, and the close contact with extreme beauty of the powerful nature and people from there has changed me forever. The sun plays a central role in Peruvian culture, so for example the mystical events like observing Winter Solstice at Machu Picchu on Inti Watana (Incas astronomic stone clock or some kind of calendar) made my experience there fulfilling spiritually too.

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“Reach for the Stars”
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“Le Royal Meh”

You have an Artist Shop too! How did you pick which designs to fill it with? Do you have a favorite?

That is particularly awesome to have Artist Shop. I was on stand-by with this shop. I mean, I have not done any promo for it. BUT! That is on point to change. I did some photos with my tees this past summer. The logo will change, and selection of designs too. 

Presently selected designs have been officially printed in Threadless catalog or have been founded (even if it was founded by one person) when still on scoring. Favorite? Too hard, since concepts and styles are so very different. Fav list is longer: “Gentleman Fox,” “I Need a Heart to Feel Complete” (making buzz on tumblr right now, +10K likes last month), “Le Royal Meh,” “Concerto“…

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Photo courtesy of “A How-To Threadless Style Guide

Your design “They Made Us” is super popular, both on clothes and as a tattoo! How does that feel? 

Unexpected popularity, but so welcome. Very heartwarming and encouraging to push my illustrations forward. And I have occasion to announce now: I will introduce two new designs to my Artist Shop that will complete the “alien vibes” series. “They Watch Us” & “They Want Us.” Stay tuned! I’ve been waiting for a cool moment to present those two. Here we go.

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Via ElvisFoxedly

What’s been your favorite moment as an artist?

When people love so much my art they want to have it inked on their bodies. Especially since I am not a tattoo designer! So when people ask to turn my art into a tattoo…yep, it is something very special. I must admit I feel close to those guys tattooed with my designs, we are like linked forever, haha.

Have a lot of people gotten tattoos of your work?

A lot! Tumblr inquiries about tattoos with “They Made Us,” have been literally overwhelming. The very first two tattoos are visible on my Instagram and tumblr. Some guys and gals were even spontaneously sending me money for it! And some others reported me tattoos with this design from people who just served themselves freely with no word to the artist. I suppose that there are tons more of those freely served copies out there — not angry at all about it, I am very happy how people adopted this design, very much honored. It has 33K likes on tumblr now, same as “I Need a Heart to Feel Complete” drawing, with 35K likes and some tattoos too. So nice.

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Via Rosegtattoos and Rachel618\

You seem to have a bunch of influences! What (or who) most inspires you and your art?

My influence is my curiosity for new styles and concepts. Anything can trigger an idea. A word in a song, a shape in the streets, a renaissance painting, a photo on tumblr. So far I let go even if I feel the concept or way of drawing is not so correct. Three years in drawing illustrations (since 2013) and it can still be like scholar time for me, and failures also lead to discoveries. I do not want to close myself in one style for now. I have discovered cool art techniques — photo manipulation (“Gentleman Fox,” “Concerto“), watercolor, line minimal art (“They Made Us“), vector (“Blazing Fox Tree“), airbrush spraying (“Light Burst“)…I would like to continue with series in styles from that list. First to be published soon in my Artist Shop, you know now, is “They Made Us” series.

I can’t express how much I am thankful that a place like Threadless exists. Very unique place. You guys are awesome! Thanks so much.  

Shop the winning design!

CategoriesBehind The Tees
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.