Cat and Raven

Cat and Raven

It’s just a figure- two figures why highlight such a design? How many pieces of apparel do Hello Kitty, Pikachu, or Mario appear on? They all stand for different things and all are symbols of a much larger framework, but they all can stand alone, if perhaps in a diminished stature. If one sees an image and decides that it could potentially serve as the vanguard for an expansive IPO why not take note?

The interesting thing about this image is the similarity one can see between the head of the cat and those of ‘Funko Pops’. Those figurines though are static and lifeless; just because the primary element of a figure is blocky doesn’t mean that the figure in totality need be. The cat doesn’t fit in that universe, but the influence is clear. A minimal and dreamy place can be gleaned through the suggestion of the shape and its rounder corners and lines. There’s something dreamy and minimal about it. How the bullet shaded “raven”, that looks more like one of those- symbiotic alligator birds, is hard to say.

Sometimes an art style is enough to suggest a narrative. When combined with apparel the image, and the hinted at narrative is enough to suggest a certain disposition on the part of the wearer. This image feels: curious in a conflicted way; both naive and sophisticated, minimal and calm in a potentially messy and violent way. It’s ‘Spirited Away’ but in the future as represented in our more modern times.

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

Mouse Explosion Cheese

Mouse Explosion Cheese

Packaging and character design are two criminally under appreciated forms of art, but if one were going to make a vinyl figure out of this character they wouldn’t have to do much of anything to use this image for the box. The character design is interesting, if admittedly a little impractical looking. The fashion design is certainly unique; somewhere between medieval armor, cybergoth, and 90’s rave wear. Ren Wei Pan seems to have developed a whole series of these anime pinup girls in animal themed costumes. With a little bit of world building there’d probably be an interesting story.

The reason ‘Mouse Cheese Explosion” was chosen as oppose to the 10-15 others in her store is that of all of them this was probably the least risqué. In thinking about that one might ask why it is that men generally wont wear shirts with hot, naked to semi-naked, women on them, but they will and regularly do get tattoos of naked women. Perhaps it’s that they can be covered up in most instances./? There also doesn’t seem to be this hesitation of female nudity on shirts for women themselves, though it’s admittedly not super common. With enough artistic merit, as is the case here, maybe it wouldn’t matter in any case.

Design by: Ren Wei
Price:  $20.00 @ Teepublic
Colors: Black, White, Grey, Red, Pink, Green, Purple, Blue, 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