what is your formula for sucess?

i thought it would be interesting to hear other peoples formulas for making a sucessful design here! see if it gets the old brain cogs moving.

as i dont have many prints my formula is a constant work in progress. my last plan was to submit as many subs in the shortest time possible, be spontaneous and not over-think anything. that didnt work out to well!

so my new one is, try new things.(if something isnt working try something different) more pop culture ref. and do more quality control on the ideas i sub- only pick the best potentials and spend more time on those. quality over quantity, lets see how it goes!

Watch this
mip1980 profile pic Alumni

I have to agree with you on the last paragraph, I also tried to rush out a few designs after my first print with disastrous results, Now i am taking my time to produce my work, I have been working on a collab with Goliath for over two weeks now, I really should try and finish that today :-)

Wharton profile pic Alumni

I haven't been very successful at threadless. I also tried a scatter gun approach and subbed any and everything. I've also tried pandering to what i thought people would like, but I find that my least contrived ideas usually score the best. I'm just not going to think too much about it from now on and just have some fun.

Louis, you've got a few prints, so you're doing something right.

TheInfamousBaka profile pic Alumni

I love your work Louis, so just keep doing what you're doing! I have had zero success at Threadless, but I think that you should keep in mind what is popular and also have fun.

I don't do a lot of pop culture stuff because it usually feels forced, but some people really excel with it. Your recent fan arts have been a hit, from what I've seen anyways. :-)

ourgraphicfaith profile pic Alumni

I have been watching and scoring designs on Threadless for a verrry long time...I still remember scoring Barny Bobcock's design, Nuts! here probably about 8 eight years ago I think! At that point, it was plain funny that scored so well....then it came to pop culture....then to fantasy art...then to just beautiful images with not much meaning, but still beautiful...now I see some of that pop culture and funny parts coming back to Threadless...I found myself to collab with artists because I still have that old Threadless kind of stuff going on in my head and I was lucky to find artists who would work with me on those old lines...but as far as prints go, I am not sure...Threadless has changed a lot...So...it's almost a ''hoping'' game now :-) But one thing is for sure, QUALITY. That still counts!


here's your formula, louis:

keep doing what makes you happy and try to forget about the big dollar signs, cuz that's usually when the magic will happen.

it's kinda like when you're looking for love in all the wrong places...

just be happy with your shiz and it'll start happening for you, like a bunny falling outa your arse.


but seriously, i really like your style.

opifan64 profile pic Alumni

Haha, if you can get printed using Hitler and Stalin in your design you've pretty much transcended formula (awesome style btw). It just goes to show you that if you commit to something and it fits well with your artistic sensibility, that's really the surest path to creating something successful. That said, I do admit to putting on my Threadless thinking cap when trying to come up with ideas specifically for Threadless. Even so, it's not really about following trends but finding a way to align your own particular strengths to the prevailing Threadless zeitgeist.

I find the best strategy for getting printed is to just keep working on stuff... ideas feed other ideas and you never know what will come out of the process. Sometimes you hit on something and just know it will work. It's often sheer luck, but it's generated by all the busy work that came before. That's kind of the foundation. The worst thing to do when you get creatively stuck is to do nothing.

fightstacy profile pic Alumni
L-M-N-O-P said:

Don't suck at drawing. Which you don't. In fact the opposite. Fact.

I've researched, ..it is fact.

BlancaJP profile pic Alumni

I like your style a lot, I think it works on T-shirts very well and I love the odd compos like the bird and bear flying. batman and robin is off the chart funny :D

You just keep doing that awesomenes and I will keep pressing 5

Morkki profile pic Alumni
mechanicalrobotpower said:
L-M-N-O-P said:

Don't suck at drawing. Which you don't. In fact the opposite. Fact.

I've researched, ..it is fact.

A fact of science


For me its not about of how many art piece you make it's about passion on doing the designs. A good designs doesnt come up with a fast turnaround. Sometimes when you finished one art, you need to view it many times and think if you are satisfied with the outcome. Always focus on 1 design at the moment and when you are satisfied then go for another... Success wont come around right away but success in joyful execution on your art pieces is something $ cant afford. So just keep the passion on your designs. You wont notice that you are doing so many quality works of yours... You may not win in some contest but rest assured is that you're happy with your art.

celandinestern profile pic Alumni

heheh well you already have more prints than me so it's not like I can give you advice :) But I agree with Eric really. One side of it is keeping an eye on what seems to be doing well, but another is just following your own heart and making things that make you feel warm and happy inside.

I occasionally have small experiments with myself, where I try to make very complex pieces, or very simple pieces, or try to emulate the style of some Threadartist I admire and apply it onto one of my ideas.... just whatever I can think of to keep switching up the game for myself and exploring new things I hadn't tried before. So far none of it has resulted with stellar success, but even without the prints I do feel like I'm getting better and moving forward, and that's what counts in the end I guess.

One thing I really have discovered is the more I draw the more I want to draw, and the more ideas I come up with, the more likely I'm to be able to come up with more. Creativity is the only thing you can't spend by using it too much - the more you use it the more it grows.

Keep on keeping on - you have a brilliant style and I'm sure a bright Threadless future is ahead of you!!


i just came in here to bitch and moan:

MY LEVITATION CAT TSHIRT IS MISSING. i only wore it once. i think it was stolen because it was so awesome :(

pijaczaj profile pic Alumni

I was hoping I would find here something like "All you have to do to success is learn from this tutorial here check it" but things are not so easy eh 8(

GyleDesigns profile pic Alumni
dixonjonesy said:

Research and Markets: 2013 U.S. Motor vehicle bodies, trailers, and parts commodities or services used by the Women's Clothing Stores Industry-Input & Output Report

I think we have ourselves a winner! Hands down, folks. We've found the success formula.

GyleDesigns profile pic Alumni

What I always tell my students:

Draw in pen, and don't throw anything away. It forces you to think: you have to live with your mistakes. Best learn to work with them, not hide from them.

Fail fast. It's better to throw crap down on paper, figure out what you did wrong, and get it out of your system then to spend a week polishing a turd.

And as my former instructor now boss says almost daily: don't fall in love with your work. It leads to a quick divorce.

That's my formula when it comes to the design process. Concerning content, I can only echo what so many have already said. Do what you want. Do what makes you happy. Draw what gets your creative engines running. The bottom line is not whether or not you get paid; the bottom line is what kind of artist you're becoming.

This advice works best, of course, if art is not your main source of income. If you make art to make money, then you best do what the client wants.

That's my FIP (formula in progress)

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