Nesting Doll

Nesting Doll

There’s something about a negative. You can take an image and easily invert it and the result are objective and yet there’s something ominous and inherently subversive feeling about the resulting image. “Nesting Dolls” is like that in a way- and to an extent. On the face of it it appears to be the idea of an x-ray performed on a nesting doll, but the skeleton isn’t actually that of a human; caricatured or otherwise. There’s something beckoning cat and ghoulish about the resulting of the image. One needs to look no further than the upside down heart to see that there is intention behind the incongruities of the image.

Maybe it’s not a nesting doll at all but something more akin to the monk enshrined in a buddhist statue. Are the swirls a nod to anime conventions? The Blue and white feels like a bit of a nod to Chinese porcelain, perhaps not as the blue is a bit dark for that. It’s a rather ambiguous image. It works well as a shape and in conveying a mood, but if there’s an overlying idea behind the image it’d be hard to guess. An overlay of skeletons, suggesting the many layers you’d find in a Russian doll, might help clarify things; then again that might have made the image a bit to busy. This image feels like one that you have to take as is. It is well constructed and visually interesting, but trying to make heads or tails of its messaging is a losing battle.


Design by: Ali Gulec
Price:  $19.90 @ Redbubble
Colors: White, Black, Grey, Blue, Light Blue,

Best Pirates

Best Pirates

Pirates or the pirate theme isn’t as trendy now as it used to be. Maybe that’s just the passing of the Caribbean franchise, who knows, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the archetype isn’t still fertile ground as is proven by the artistic merits contained within this design; granted, one can’t see this design and fail to note the influence of “We Bare Bears” on the overall composition, a detail which does imbue the design with a certain level of modernity. The whimsy inherent in the choice of characters, the subtle details that add personality to each figure all culminate in a sense of not just motion, but of an enticing still frame of a narrative that the viewer is left to contemplate.

The art style is unique, sort of “negative paintings one might associate with ancient greek pottery”. This would be a relatively unique style for the animated narrative the design seems to suggest. The image seems to perfectly straddle the line between childish roundishness a la pixar, and more angular forms one might associate with more adult animation. In looking over the portfolio of Obinsun, one can clearly see an artist well suited for children’s book illustrations; most of their work seems to suggest a narrative and act as furtive ground for one’s imagination. The style is somewhat reminiscent of “Emily the Strange” or “Neurotically Yours“. If you’re a fan of non-sense, randomness, or flights of fancy this may just be the shirt for you.

Design by: Obinsun
Price:  $21.55 @ Redbubble
Colors: Light Blue, Red, Yellow, Purple, Orange

Let’s Sacrifice Toby

Let’s Sacrifice Toby

Steven Rhodes designs are sort of everywhere. The designs are on all the major print on demand sites and can, at this point, even be found in places like Hot Topic and Spencers. A further testament to his popularity is the fact that as a t-shirt designer there are actually a number of interviews of him available online. Which begs the question what is it about his style or strategy that has made him so popular?

There have been a number of developments within pop culture over the last ten years that might explain the popularity of Rhodes’ Designs. First “Geek” culture became more mainstream, why this happened is anyones guess: Marvel, Star Wars, The Big Bang. As millennials grew older and struggled to hit any of the traditional milestones of aging e.g. stable careers, homeownership, kids; a prolonged adolescence and sense of bitterness and futility developed which Rhode’s designs seem to perfectly embody. The designs are bathos, irony, detachment, and cynicism; all the hallmarks of what millennials became and maybe what Gen Z will have to begin with.

The designs themselves are very well doneThere somewhat reminiscent of the work of Frank Kozik or other artists that pulled more from the 50’s and 60’s, but tiny details such as the clothing or the shading of the hair place the designs firmly in the late 70’s early 80’s animation/ illustration style. It’s a sort of less is more/ we’re on a budget look from a time when standards were so much lower and results were sometimes the better for those expectations.


Design by: Steven Rhodes
Price:  $20.00 @ TeePublic
Colors: White, Grey, Pink, Light Blue

Lotus

Lotus

The fusion of religious imagery is tricky because one always runs the risk of incurring the crystal/ hemp/ patchouli oil stigma of new age naiveté with the introduction of one to many symbols. This design seems to pull it off while coming dangerously close to falling apart aesthetically and thematically.

A lot of bands will play with religious imagery, few have the depth to pull it off sonically. One good example that was the band Godspeed You Black Emperor who’s post-rock and ambient sound produced a certain tone that this work seems to be trying to hit i.e dark and expansive. Their long time artist collaborator Okkervil River did a cover for their album “Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven” that somehow feels very similar to this work. This image isn’t necessarily trying to say anything, it’s more of a mood piece. The black is heavy and contains grit, whereas the white outer circle is more incorporeal if not kinetic. There’s the natural form of the flower agains the geometry of the dome, or its beauty against the threat posed by the snake. It seems like a small miracle that the whole thing doesn’t come across as a sperm when one looks at the silhouette, but somehow it pulls it off.

The image is balanced and off balance; it’s like you looked at a picture of an explosion, you could be forgiven for thinking it had an exact shape. The religious imagery here is also ambiguous, or possibly illusory. The Lotus could be Buddhism, Hinduism, or neither. The crescent could be Pagan/ Wiccan, Islamic, or mundane; the fact that it is waxing (curve to the left) instead of waning (to the right) points to it being secular. It seems as though every religion has something with snakes, but maybe not. This image narrowly misses any number of things, and emerging from a contextual minefield of religious and cultural associations its all the more impressive for having thread the needle.

Design by: Hector Mansilla
Price:  $19.90 @ Redbubble
Colors: Blue, Light Blue, Red, Green, Maroon, Yellow, Purple, Orange

Elven Archer

Elven Archer

The interesting thing about images like “Elven Archer” is that they allow the viewer to Plumb the depth of their pop culture knowledge for influences. Admittedly the other piece of what makes wearing a design like this enjoyable is the predominant connotation of mushroom imagery within pop culture and the deniability one generally has due to the other roles they play in nature, medicine, food, and as a naturalistic and, conversely alien motif within various forms of fiction.

It would be surprising if the human figure wasn’t meant to be Link from “Zelda“. The fact that there are jellyfish, ‘Diri’ as they’re called in-game, pretty much leaves no doubt. The eyes paired with the mushrooms, however seem very “Midnight Gospel”. The swirls on the fox’s shoulder and hip seem a bit out of place; the east asian/ Okami style isn’t represented anywhere else within the image. Honestly, it’s the mushrooms that are the hardest to pin down. What immediately comes to mind is the forest from the Studio Ghibli classic “Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind“, however there are probably a million other instances of mushrooms in this style.

It’s rare and refreshing to see a design on t-shirt websites that look as though they were actually “hand drawn”. Part of the charm of this image is in that it looks like something one would sketch in a notebook during a particularly long class lecture. The question is whether the mental flight of fancy or the future wearers proclivities skew towards psilocybin, video games, or both.

Design by: Freeminds
Price:  $22.00 @ Teefury
Colors: Black, Blue, Light Blue

Now more than Ever

Now more than Ever

There’s a lot going on in this piece, and it’s a testament to the skill and creative intuition of the artist that everything seems to come together at both the macro and micro levels within this work. The use of digital and realistic elements combine to give this image a graphic style and sense of abstract realism. The design is nebulous in a finding shapes in the clouds sense, but it is also impactful, bold and crisp in a way that gives the image power.

This image is balanced in a way that is not immediately perceptible upon a first glance. Upon an initial viewing much of the image seems soft and undefined. The clarity image starts with the outline and the sharp edges that feel reminiscent of Chinese or Japanese Calligraphy. If one looks into the image they will eventually notice that the clouds and mountain elements are actually photographs, and that this is in fact a bit of a collage piece. What keeps this image from feeling jagged though is the use of gradients to blend and soften the image while creating a vibrant sort of dreamscape that is ultimately punched through by the void that appears almost like a halo of the mountain there placed like a figure within the piece. There is something about the shape, and the wispiness it contains. It’s somewhat reminiscent of Goya’s “Saturn Devouring his Son” or Blake’s “The Ancient Days“. On that scale there is an abstract figure sitting hunched over and in mourning. Close up there is a figure looking into an eclipse, a void, and realizing the scale at which they live their life within the context of the universe.

The fun cool colors are deceptive. You’re not on a beach at sunset. The whole image in fact is deceptive. It’s not purely digital, it’s not abstract or representational. What you choose to see and feel from this image, the amount of choice you have and the overall beauty of the composition is what makes this design great.

Design by: Adam Priester
Price:  $24.04 @ Redbubble
Colors: Black, White, Grey, Creme, Light Blue

Bloom

Bloom

The use of Greek and Roman statues has seen a huge uptick in the past decade thanks to the rise of Vaporware and its aesthetic. While the statue here may be said to be the primarily element and the gradients at the bottom might suggest a further connection these are where the similarities end: one in form, one in technique. Outside the gradient there isn’t anything to suggest the digital which is a key component to that medium. While this image was almost certainly created via digital software it maintains a traditional collage look which is refreshing in how out of fashion it is- within the world of fashion. Supposedly Collage as a website aesthetic is on trending in 2021. Whether it will stay with the nerds or trickle down to the plebes is anyone’s guess.

The color pallet is interesting; the red, blue, yellow; combined with red, white, and green doesn’t seem like it should work. It’s only the clever use of zoning and negative space that prevents the clash. You don’t really see this image all at once and the midway isn’t, but seems like the marred section of the body which jumps your gaze to another section instead of allowing it to wander. The big circle round back anchors the piece in space while the smaller one prevents you from missing the arm. It’s very well thought out.

Design by: Boldndelicious
Price:  $22.00 @ Redbubble
Colors: Black, White, Grey, Tan, Light Blue

Oxygen

Oxygen

Some images work as a narrative, some play upon the viewer’s associations, the work of GDBee is, by and large, tonal. There are a number of elements within the work who’s incongruities seem to ad interest to the image not by playing up a potential story of “how did they get there?”, but instead would have someone ask: “do all these elements and the potential contexts they imply speak to the nuance of feelings that the figure is experiencing?”

Tonally this work begins and ends with the figures eyes and expression. Whether it’s sad, resigned, depressed, or tired is hard to say. It seems like an expression one would associate with the color blue, or perhaps sunsets, or that sad after work feeling you can find yourself in on some evenings. This isn’t quite right, firs and foremost is the use of teal within the helmet. Without that color the sunset pallet idea would work. Then theres the red highlights that are more suggestive of a nightclub than anything else; maybe an ambulance or police car, but those would probably clash with figures demeanor. The way the figure is positioned is more of what you’d expect of someone sitting on a step than floating through space; the house slippers kind of add to this idea and would suggest the space setting is more metaphorical for the figures current emotional and/or psychological state.

What does floating in space or being submerged in water and then indifferent mean and is there a difference in how we think we’d experience them? The water is the helmet and its coloration, while space is obviously the background. Space may be said to be more “empty” or “isolated”, whereas water might be said to be more “insulated”. One can’t initially see this image and pedantically ponder this immediately because of three other elements: The escaping air, The ring of light, and the weird fog in the background of the circle. The air is almost a liquid, it’s in a cutesy style that is a bit incongruous with the rest of the work; This may suggest youth, or femininity, or just be a purely decorative element. It’s hard to render a gas leak in an image and this may have just been GDBee’s best guess at a solution. The light ring is almost certainly decorative; it adds dynamism to the image and is reminiscent of the Nasa Logo, but probably shouldn’t be read as having an interaction with the figure. Lastly there is the haze, which is honestly a bit baffling. It doesn’t seem to be glitch, it isn’t the right shapes or color for atmosphere, but perhaps the red hides the white lines that were originally the steps the figure was suppose to be on… In any case, the silhouette of the figure, of the circle work great; this is a remarkably well done piece with a strong enigmatic mood to it.


Design by: GDBee
Price:  $13.00 @ Teepublic
Colors: Black, White, Grey, Light Blue, Pink

Surreal Death Moth

Surreal Death Moth

Plenty of images of the death’s-head hawk moth as it stands; the reason to highlight this one in particular is the inclusion of the body-horror elements i.e. melty flesh + eyeballs. It’s very Hellsing, but the geometry gives it a more modern character. The skulls on the tips of the wings area a a nice touch; they look more like something you’d see on the prow of a ship than anything you’d expect to find on an insect. This image is over the top in the best possible way; The skull with the saliva between its teeth, the ol’ eye of Sauron, the thorax looks more like the underside of some goth kid’s claw ring than a section of an insect, and then there’s the demonic horns up top. This image is ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ in terms of demonic imagery. Without the geometry to level it out this image might not work. The choice to shade the triangle adds depth, as if the moth were flying over a chasm instead of pinned to the wearers chest… it’s clever. The image does a good job of balancing detail and negative space. The image works at a distance and close up. It’s a solid piece that says “demonic” without being off putting, which isn’t always the easiest thing to pull off.

Design by: vonKowen
Price:  $22.00 @ Threadless
Colors: Offered/ works in 24 different colors

Speed is Relative

Speed is Relative

Fuck yeah! Can this please exist in reality and it does really needs to. If a bear, a lion, and a tiger, can be besties why not a tortoise and a sloth? It’s hard to imagine a symbiotic relationship between these two species, because it seems like the sloth would just get a free ride, but the quiet, serene contemplation that the image seems to represent needs to exist. The image does well in that the color scheme is consistent and the image itself possesses enough novelty to make it worth one’s attention. The wearer might identify with the “turtle and the hare allegory”, (yes, this is a tortoise, but still) or it might be the meditative, chilled out posture of the sloth. In a world of social media, and ever fragmenting attention there’s something nice, maybe noble, about creatures that enjoy a slower pace of life. Has the Dalai Lhama condemned social media, or is he a willing participant? Nevermind, and fuck that. This shirt is worth highlighting because the idea of slowing down and deliberate action is something that is steadily being eroded away in modern times. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe not, but the older way of life certainly still has value and might inform our decisions and our views moving forward; that is what this design seems to represent.

Design by: MUsarter3D
Price:  $25.00 @ Designbyhumans
Colors: Black, White, Grey, Light Blue

Colorful Architect

Colorful Architect

There’s something to be said for simplicity. While the Bauhaus Movement generally gets its due in the world of furniture, architecture, and luxury items such as watches and apple products; within the wold of graphic tees it is severely underrepresented. Of all the artistic movements within wester canon Art Nouveau in general, and Alphonse Mucha in particular, receives the lions share of imitators.

The hallmarks of Bauhaus are a streamlined simplicity with a focus on utility, craftsmanship, and ease of mass production. The lego bricks within the design, and as a product in general, are in keeping with its credo. The CYM + black pallet speaks of modernity in a way that Mondrian couldn’t have foreseen and will now never capture with his pallet of black, white, red, yellow, and blue. Much like the image suggests CYM is the foundation of print and packaging. It’s odd, upon reflection that no one has thought to update Mondrian’s Neo-Plastacisist works. Lastly there is what the brick will be if they do in fact fall into place, which is a shape that calls to mind a piece of architecture that those of the bauhaus might approve of, or at least begin with in planning a structure. The design is a tribute. What makes it’s interesting is how subtle it is for such a bold design.

Design by: Bacht
Price:  $25.00 @ Designbyhumans
Colors: Black, White, Light Grey, Light Blue

Not a God

Not a God

Even with the teeth, even before the ‘thematic’ conventions of hentai entered the public consciousness, long tubular forms are difficult to render without inadvertently suggesting something- suggestive. You add brown as a color to the mix and that’s another avenue of debauchery; upon reflection, the inclusion of a rainbow within the context of either could be construed as yet another layer. This design is amazing. It’s graphic horror, then perversion, and neither all at once.

The image is so well executed. The metallic texture, the ambient light and shadow are masterfully done. Having three heads on one side and two on the other should leave the image feeling lopsided but it doesn’t. The inclusion of a dodecahedron possessing an all seeing eye ads intrigue. Is the rainbow zero, the snakes five, the eye twelve, with the base forming an infinity symbol; who knows? The interplay of the rainbow, monsters, and eye is excellent in establishing conflicting tones within the work. The rainbow is fun and innocence, the snakes brutality and violence, and the eye solemnity. You look at the form and question whether it’s rising, falling, or stationary. The design does well in establishing tension and uncertainty. Is the rainbow really a halo? Between the possible halo, numerology, the ‘all seeing eye’, and the vaguely seraphim-esque imagery is this suppose to seem religious, or just like a mass of phallic shapes? The word ‘ecstasy’ would work in either case.

Design by: witnesstheabsurd
Price:  $22.38 @ Teepublic
Colors: Black, White, Light Blue, Pink

Toshio Saeki

Toshio Saeki

There’s a certain allure to the morbid. It’s not new or modern, it’s as old as basic artistic aptitude. What is interesting and what might be distinct within the cannon is violence paired with indifference; it’s s&m before the term, the words, and the underlying power dynamics they represented paired with mortality (supposedly “the great equalizer”). If you’ll indulge this writer, there’s something gloriously lo-fi about this image. The fact that this term isn’t more commonly used in the context of visual art seems to be a huge oversight. When you hear Daniel Johnston’s Music and see art the connection is obvious. His art was not merely “outsider” art and neither is this design.

Within psychology there’s something called the ‘TAT‘ (Thematic Appreciation TEST) where a subject is shown a number of images and asked to supply the context. Based on the stories the subject concocts the administrator is suppose to glean things about the persons psychological state. This image seems to be- not straight forward, but not to complex; that is until one sees that the nail going through the man’s skull first past through the woman’s hand. So many questions. Who the hell held the nail for her? The ambiguity is what makes it interesting.

While the style doesn’t need to be minimal in the way that is in order to function, the simple style lends it a bored ‘fantasy doodle’ sort of quality that ads depth to the image. The man, or maybe the boy appears to be wearing a Japanese school uniform whereas the woman seems look and be dressed as a young adult woman. The style of the image seems to break the fourth wall and tell us of a bored school boy drawing this image as envisaged by the real life creator of this design. One can therefore speculate on the scene, and the artist who’s notebook and sun-conscious we’ve been given a peek into. The design is great for the deceptiveness of its simplicity, besides the overall merit of its composition.

Design by: Fruitjuice
Price:  $25.00 @ Designbyhumans
Colors: White, Light Yellow, Light Blue

Flowers #01

Flowers #01

Generally speaking the inclusion of the word “love” within a design, never mind an overabundance of botanical elements within that same design, will tend to garner an image the indefensible, the reprehensible label of “hippie shit”. This design though is not “hippie shit”, primarily because the outlines on the flowers that make botanicals ‘pop’ steers the image away from the watercolor territory that is generally too soft, or earthy to be chic. While it is true the ‘love’ element in a square shape is somewhat reminiscent of the same painting turned statue by Robert Indiana from the 60’s, it also brings to mind logos like those of NeXT Computers or, more recently, Uniqlo.

The flowers allow the image to be both soft and electric while coming to within a razors edge of naive and soulless, hippy and corporate. The image comes closer to corporate though in spite of the message. The collage/ cutout design has been growing in popularity in the world of graphic design; what perhaps saves this image is how busy it is in terms of color and form as advertisements and packaging typically opt for a more borne down pallet to control the focal point of an image or perhaps to simplify production.

So where do hippies and corporate detachment intersect? What does this image remind you of? Give you a clue: Think old (hippie boomers), rich people playing at culture while trying to be hip. If you guessed “modern art museums” you win a prize! Ok, not really but doesn’t this just scream “MOMA Gift Shop!”? (Side note, all of these symbols: !?, ?!, ?!? are called ‘interrobangs’, which is awesome.) The image is a fusion of ‘fine art busy’ and corporate Minimalism. It works though. If anyone is going to be able to design something that balances artistic poverty (earthiness) and rich people predilections its institutions that profess to celebrate fine art by appealing to the affluent.

Design by: OlgaBerlet
Price:  $20.00 @ Teepublic
Colors: Black, White, Army Green, Red, Navy

The Catch

The Catch

While puns are said to be the lowest form of humor, the visual pun is at least better than the lazy pop-culture mashup that prevails in the world of graphic tees and has any number of websites dedicated solely to those designs e.g. Bohemian Rhapsody meets star wars, Abbey Road meets Dr Who. Most Visual pun shirts rely on text, or feature a cartoons who’s simplicity in form may be taken as either an apology for, or conspiratorial wink by the wearer for the banality of the joke. In short, most pun shirts lack any artistic value.

Unlike most designs that feature a pun, the one found here is not the whole of the composition. You could remove the mouse and the blood and still have a strong design. The mouse, the red, and the pun are more the finishing element of the piece. The cat has been rendered extremely well, so well in fact that it adds humor to the joke. The eyes being the same color as the moon is a subtle detail and a nice touch. Overall there is something- lupine or old-monster-movie about the image; even without the blood. The shirt, while probably not to everyone’s taste is great in that it takes something “low brow” and makes it seem sophisticated.

Design by: Niceblood
Price:  $20.00 @ Teepublic
Colors: Tan, White, Grey, Light Blue

Rainbow

Rainbow

Shirt design featuring the bust of a dark skinned woman, in anime style, and with multicolored/ fauvist style hair

The hair gives the design its energy. Theres something Fauvist about its jarring shifts in color, maybe late 80’s- early 90’s in its wild pattern. The colored outline that starts in the hair and works it way over the shoulders gives the image a fun youthful expression. Perhaps in the way that cyberpunk has grown to dominate our visual representation of the future, by channeling elements from the same decade the artist has tapped into futurism without having to be as explicit.

The bottom half of the design is more dreamy, more retro, and comforting. The head and the body, what is revealed and hidden are complimentary, but one is not as bold as the other. Thematically it ads interest. Compositionally it ads contrast, but not so much as to take the eye from the focal point.

Then There’s the face and more strikingly the eyes. The Blending in the skin is dramatic rather than naturalistic. The artist definitely tips her hand as far as the work being digital, which is not a bad thing. Expressiveness of stroke wont normally blend this well/ softly in a physical medium. The distinctly digital aspect of the face and eyes is what makes this image contemporary. It’s too bold to be a museum or an academic piece, but it feels too complicated and nuanced to be commercial. Lastly there are the eyes with their highlight approaching lens flairs. Very well done in terms of depth and expression. The Framing of the eyes with the bow and hair is masterful.

Whether or not the placement and scale of this image is hard to say. Teepublic is one of the few sites that doesn’t use a model to preview their designs. It’ might be a little big and too much on the stomach, rather than centered on the ribs. Regardless, GDBee has made a great design, and her entire oeuvre is worth a glance or follow.

Design by: GDBee
Price:  $20.00 @ Teepublic
Colors: White, Tan, Black, Navy, Grey, Hot Pink, Teal

Funki_Fractal

Funki_Fractal

There’s something interesting about a design, a style, an approach that feels like it shouldn’t work, but ultimately does. Sometimes the surprise of something working that shouldn’t can even elevate the result within our esteem past that of what could be achieved by an established artist.

This design shouldn’t work, it does. Webgrrl’s storefront is scattershot; not in terms of style, but quality. She has managed to produce a number of solid works, such as this design, but there’s a lot of work that feels… sophomoric. When you see a design called “funkifractal” you think: ‘…amateur redbubble artist and someone who doesn’t care’. This image isn’t even a fractal. Most probably she thought that that would be a more searched term than ‘Rorschach’. The Lack of pride in her work, professionalism, or self-awareness should indicate that this is an artist without potential; but that is absolutely not the case.

The image works, and it works in most colors, which isn’t easy. Creating this symmetry with the two red orbs and a red one below while managing to avoid Pareidolia isn’t easy. The black splotches are graphic and bold, while the green filagree feels inchoate- amateurish and somehow early internet, the green and the red taken together could easily be perceived as gauche. Somehow the design works and again, it shouldn’t, but that only makes it all the more impressive.

Designed By: Webgrrl
Best colors: yellow, blue, dark red/ maroon, white, and grey
Cost: $23.88 @ Redbubble

Vintage Glitchy Computer

Vintage Glitchy Computer

Stylistically this image is very reminiscent of that of the OVA ‘Dead Leaves” in its use of jarringly bright colors and thick black outlines. FLCL comes to mind as well, as anytime an old fashioned TV and an anime style are paired together it’s difficult to think of anything other than the character of Canti .

Glitch as a style has a lot of potential, whereas vaporwave and outrun are less adaptable, and might reasonably be described as superficial genres moored in a handful of their stylistic conventions. Those two genres will ultimately live and die by their conventions in the same way that steampunk did. Glitch as a style rather than a genre is much more transmutable, though, as of yet there isn’t any great champion or movement behind the form.

The interesting thing about the image, which the wearer could realistically expect no one to notice, or think about is the top down narrative of tv to computer, the fragile sticker to that of Parental advisory. There is plenty of room for interpretation. Ultimately the question is in the statement: “the end”?

Design by: Trentain
Price:  $23.21 @ Redbubble
Colors: Blues and Neutrals

Bones and Botany

Bones and Botany

Bones and Botany works in that it is pleasing at the macro level and curious upon closer inspection. The saturated colors and bold outline means you can see what the design fundamentally is from across the room, and upon closer inspection you get to notice the charming little details that E Moss has left: the hummingbird, the bat in the ribcage, the mouse on the elbow.

It’s surprisingly difficult to pull off a design that will work with any color tee, admittedly some color combinations are clear standouts, but the predominance of white within the skeleton, the breadth of color within flora and fauna, and the overall saturation come together to pull it off.

Certain elements such as the flower in the pelvis or the moth on the skull shouldn’t work, but the multitude of detailed anchored by the central form somehow allow them to exist without drawing attention; when you finally see them it’s less a compositional choice to be evaluated than an intriguing surprise of “how was that not the first thing I noticed”, sort of an easter egg effect squeezed into a compact composition.

The design is noteworthy in that it doesn’t fall into the common vanitas category of skull/ skeleton images; the plants and animals seem more like something drawn by a naturalist than a dour painter of dead things in a dark room, which is. refreshing

Designed By: E Moss
Best colors: Redbubble offers 16 colors, any will work for this design.
Cost: $19.90 @ Redbubble