I keep scoring low, any hints?

With my designs that get submitted, i still score quite low (a lot of 1s, very few 5s). Please give me suggestions as to why my designs score so low.

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Hi! I suggest try different styles that fits the people here in Threadless. I'm not saying your works are bad. I like it actually! Good luck~

DittyDesigns profile pic Alumni

I think your style looks a bit sloppy. Some of the concepts are good. For instance, I really like the 'hug a bear' idea but the execution looks rushed. Just keep trying though, don't get discouraged.

NDTank profile pic Alumni

Aren't you in the middle of a design a day challenge? Maybe spend more time on each design rather than rushing them out. I think it's probably a quantity over quality issue.

SamDrawsxxx profile pic Alumni

I think the designs are good, and the style is great. Don't worry about it looking 'sloppy', clean refined things all the time are boring. The puns are great too. Just keep making them, they'll get the point eventually.


needs more doctor who

MudgeStudios profile pic Alumni

Keep pluggin' away. It may take a little time before you build an audience for your particular style. As far as the ones go- they are a fact of life around here. We all get them- even those designs that get printed. Use those ones as ammo to fire you up for your next submission. Good luck.


i'd suggest you to work on the environment too and not only on characters. make some background that involves what you create instead of letting the characters floating on the t-shirt. maybe if you put some more elements you'll get a richer illustration and also more people to like it. by only using a character you need to have a very powerful concept.


Thank you people for responding.

tohellandback, i think you are right, backgrounds are a weakness for me, and i struggle with how to place them on a shirt.

MuudgeStudios and papaomaangas: I have come to realise that the 1's are fact of life on threadless (I was expecting to get a few, but sometimes it feels like there are people out there who go out of their way to give 1's, maybe to help eliminate competition? that is probably paranoia). I've decided to relax about it all and just use Threadless as a learning tool, and to help develop a portfolio of sorts.

anoctopusdream: everything needs more doctor who, even the last few seasons of dr who could have done with some more dr who....

opifan64 profile pic Alumni

I like your style but think you could refine it just a bit while holding on to the sketchiness. Grimm Reader looks cool, for example, but little details like the arms and hand overlapping with the book make it seem slightly sloppy rather than just loose. Same goes for line weight. I like line variation and overall it's kind of working but the stroke weight gets a bit too variant in parts, like the bones of his right arm. His face and body look intentionally loose, while his arm looks a bit out of control as far as the line work.

3lines profile pic Alumni

I also support the statements that you have a unique style. I wouldn't compromise your style to fit what prints. Threadless is a strange duck. It's a bit popularity, a bit skill, a bit chance, a bit timing, a bit serendipity, a bit marketing, a bit compromise, a lot of prayer and a bit of life in a way! Seriously though, I wouldn't let it all get you down. That's the important thing. Keep expecting the good, sir. Don't overwork yourself and surely don't concern yourself with the paranoid thoughts of saboteurs. I for one have like several of your designs. The style is refreshing, sometimes odd. All the best to you and have fun with it. No worries.


Thanks lineslineslines, I enjoy your work also.

Opifan64, i think the line weight variation will improve the more illustrations I do, but i enjoy the wonky uncontrollable aspect of it (it is done in illustrator, each line is actually a solid filled freehand shape and this approach slows me down and makes me approach each drawing in logical steps). While I think some of what you said seems to me to be a matter of taste I often do get lazy in my approach (which might be making it even sloppier than i intend) and something for me to watch out for.


I like your "sloppy" drawing style, it's a nice way to incorporate your artist hand. I think the concept needs more work. Keep in mind the elements of art when positioning the subjects.

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