Winner Interview: Seeing Douuble

It’s never the wrong time to “put a bird on it”…even if “it” is also a bird! #Birdception The winner of our Seeing Double challenge, Santiago “Metalsan” Sarquis, created a beautiful double exposure image with his design “Birdtopia”, and it’s giving us some seriously True Detective-y vibes.

We talked to Santiago about how his style has developed on Threadless and in his Artist Shop, about how this avian double exposure design took flight, and about what (or when) Birdtopia is. Check out the interview below!

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Metalsan’s past printed designs. Top (left to right): “Shoot Me Again“, “Two Dads“. Bottom (left to right): “The Guardian“, “Army of Hugs

Another Threadless win! You’re on a roll! Which print have you been most excited about?

Every time I win it’s exciting. A few years have passed since my first print but it is still exciting. When I get it, I do a pretty embarrassing dance.  

Your very first Metalsan submission was printed as a product in 2011 – how has your art style developed since then?

Oh yes, it has passed a long time since then, but recently I remade that design trying to keep its recent but adapting it to what I’m currently doing. I was very surprised with the result. My style has changed so much; maybe in five years I’ll make a remake of the remake and see how it changes.

Metalsan’s first Threadless print “Shoot Me Again” in 2011 vs an updated version in 2016

Last time I interviewed you, we talked about the various styles you have going on, and you seem to have found a pretty consistent aesthetic in your Artist Shop! What do you want out of your own style?

Regarding my style, there are a lot of things I want to experiment with, but that is something I am dosing a little because I want to have homogenic works; in which you can notice that they are made by the same artist. Right now I feel good with what I’m doing.

Tell us about “Birdtopia”! How did you come up with this design?

Have you seen the intro of True Detective? It’s amazing and it’s basically double exposure from start to end. I had never done something like that but I wanted to try. My first idea was to make a bird and fill it with an industrial theme with smoke, factories and all that, but at the end I went with a bird paradise.  

“Birdtopia” on various products!

How did you create this design? How long did it take?

It took me something like a week, I remember that this challenge was about to end and the due date was the same as my birthday so I had people over; during the party I couldn’t stop thinking about the bird; so when everybody went home I rushed to finish it.

Rad “Birdtopia” gif

Where IS Birdtopia? What’s it like (probably)?

The question is not ‘where’ but ‘when’. It’s many years into the future; the humans are not longer there, there are just birds. A lotttttttt of birds!!

“Music Timeline” from Metalsan’s Artist Shop

How do you find time to make so many designs?

Even though I don’t consider myself a particularly fast artist; with the passing of time I have learned to be a little faster. I am lucky enough to be able to work in design full time so I try to take advantage of that.    

“New Era” from Metalsan’s Artist Shop

Anything else you want to share?

A quote from Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”


Shop the winning design!

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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.