Recently, I received an e-mail from Threadless T-Shirts saying: "Your photo has been accepted! Hello, Christian Oliver A. Cruz! One Street Team point has been added to your account and your photograph has been put online into our gallery. Oh Boy! We liked your photo so much that we chose it to be a photo on the product page! Also that means you get an extra 9 points for your photo! Have a good one!" I immediately checked the product page, for the shirt I was wearing and surely there it is, my photo was added... I am officially a Threadless model!
Not only have I been buying t-shirts from Threadless, but I've also been submitting designs. In fact, I first heard of Threadless from circles of amateur and professional graphic designer forums saying it is a good venue for submitting art and getting valuable critique for it, but also, if you're good and lucky enough, earn dollars (They will award you with $1,500 for every design accepted) and other prizes. As much as 6 T-shirts designs get printed each week and sometimes special contests are held focusing on certain themes sponsored by bands, artists and companies who 'love' Threadless shirts. I've submitted artwork, but unfortunately, they haven't been printed yet. Numerous Filipino designers had their designs printed already such as kaloyster, bad_nobe, folo, and impossiblejosh among others! So far, these are the designs I've submitted... I have yet to find time to make new ones:
Threadless T-shirts are unique. I understand that not everyone is expected to appreciate the shirts that gets chosen to be printed there, but one thing's for sure, their shirts are sure to get noticed and talked about... a conversation piece in any situation. It's almost a vice, but I found myself building my own collection of Threadless shirts (I only buy during sales where each shirt can cost as low as $10). Sometimes you have no choice but to buy shirts with your favorite design on, because popular designs get sold out pretty fast. Shirts are printed in a limited collection manner, so you might have to wait for a long time before your favorite design gets printed again, if they ever get printed again. Some out-of-print shirts have found their way in ebay, selling at outrageously high prices! And if your favorite design actually gets printed again, you really have to buy it as soon as possible, because there will surely be a buying frenzy among the community that Threadless has already built upon.
What's wonderful about Threadless is that their site is not only a catalogue of shirts you can select and purchase, it also boasts of a web community of friends and designers, a site where you can design your own profile page, write in the forum and have your own blogs, score design submissions and participate in their unique rewards system. It's a place to meet friends and designers from around the world.
The above are pictures of just some of the shirts I already own. I still have some shirts to photograph myself in. Ultimately, I have yet to receive an e-mail from Threadless saying "Your design has been selected to be printed!", when that time will be, I am not sure. Haven't found the time within my busy schedule to sit down and brew up new designs. However, I am confident my designs will eventually see the light of printing day when I launch one of the "projects" I have in mind. Here's a preview of what's to come from this project:
The "Paranormal Philippines" design was greatly inspired by a sold-out Threadless T-shirt design by Aaron Hogg entitled "Para-normal US"... but knowing it can only be understood by Americans, and though I love the concept (which I think is also inspired by the typographical map work of Paula Scher), I can never wholeheartedly appreciate the original design. So I decided to create something by borrowing the concept yet adding a little twist of my own (see the little drawings to illustrate some of the mythological creatures): a translation using the Philippine's very own folklore and mythology. I will be working on another design inspired by Rizalista cult dogmas and personalities from the Philippine Revolution meeting ala da Vinci's "Last Supper"... I will have these shirts printed soon. Be sure to stay posted!