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The Enlightenment

This T-shirt is an artistic rendering of the 18th century movement called The Enlightenment, and features the last great thinker of that time period, German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804). One of the most revered and controversial figures of The Enlightenment, Kant argued that a person’s actions should be guided by their own sense of reason and not by the influence of state machines like government or the church.



Here we see Kant behind the wheel of a Citroen DS 51, which met with its own share of criticism when it was unveiled in 1955. Featuring front wheel disc brakes and a revolutionary hydropneumatic suspension system, drivers could change a flat tire without the need of a jack. Like Kant’s ideas, the DS was decades ahead of its time, and its sales were moderate in a shaky post-WWII economy.



Directly to the right of Kant we see Progress, giving him an approving “thumbs up”, or perhaps hoping to hitch a ride to the world of tomorrow! With the influence of the church weakened to a feeble grasp, the industrial revolution was free to continue unfettered, allowing for such advances as radio and the telephone (both included in the illustration).



Shown crumpling under the front left wheel of Kant’s DS is Simpler Times, who died with a cup ’n ball game in one hand and a pinwheel in the other. Portrayed as a beaver wearing a traditional feathered headband, this character is also meant to represent The Plight of The Native American, who was hit especially hard by the advances of the 18th and 19th centuries. Sometimes lovingly referred to as “history’s D students” by anthropologists, the natives that Columbus encountered in 1492 had yet to invent the wheel.



About to meet the same fate are the twin brothers Contemplation and Sentimentality, necessary casualties of any great human advance. Kant’s expression of terror is quite true to life: In his autumn years Kant adopted a stance towards his teachings similar to that of Victor Frankenstein towards his creature. Kant was horrified by The Enlightenment’s impact upon the natural world, but was by then quite powerless to stop it.



In the background we find Our Generation: Inseparably linked to technology and the artificial, this little robot finds the greatest enjoyment in the simplest of things. He feels that, as a result of some cosmic error and through no fault of his own, he was born in the wrong century.







(Please note that this design is available in larger scale in my profile and that it is rife with historical inaccuracies and creative liberties.)

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Bjorn754

I really like your concept man! A lot of submissions here have no intent, no meaning, and even if they're good looking, their lack of meaning (or poor message)works against them. Your illustration may not be the best looking (it's still pretty good) but it sure is interesting. Nice history trip!

uncopyrightable

without the description, i wouldve gave it a 2..
but with it you got my vote
5

EFDisaster

I would be so tempted to explain every little detail of the shirt to everyone who asked about it... it would become a tradition or an initiation for newbies at work anytime I wore it... "hey, go ask John what his shirt means."

Chadiplax

For anyone who has a brain: This sheet is a weener! $5,000!!!

AzrimEkin

I happen to be an enormous douche bag

pooHED

dude, print the explanation on the back of the shirt.
all of it.

melston

Dare to know, eh?

Nice explanation/design.

lemonalle

ha ha-- that is some funny stuff. I really love the illustration. I'm not so keen on the circle border in two of the examples.

fewertothefog

If it don't got race cars and hot greased chicks in bikinis, it ain't worth wearing. But this be the only exception. 5$.

Stevethegreat

is that a baby "Iron Giant?"

Couto

I happen to give a 4 from time to time, and rarely do I give a 5. Rare also are the "I'd buy it".

The design made my mind yell 4 AND A HALF!!!

The very nice description makes me give you a 5$, wishing it were possible for it to be a 50$$!

A definite print!

stripthebarknow

thanks to anyone who is bothering to read the background info. i know you'll be few and far between, but i hope it's worth it.

avalanchelynn

wow a very deep-inspired design :) $5

yeohgh
yeohgh profile pic Alumni
1 design submitted -

i think u wrote the longest ever description i ever read,,ahha it is cool and nice illustration!! keep it up!!

Dr. Elusis

I love this. Love it.

My only wish is that its style were more in the vein of either early American political cartoons which often had this kind of lengthy convoluted explanation to them, or perhaps a kind of classical piece, since classical and neo-classical painting relied so much on allegory.

Icanreadandwrite

drawing lots of admirers, are we, barky?

stripthebarknow

those bastards have compressed my paragraphs! oh well. no justice for me.

angetaylor

This is the best T-shirt I have ever seen. If it's not printed I feel that I just might take my own life. $50000000000000000!

onaga

Terrified Kant looks like Rowan Atkinson as BlackAdder. Excellent.

Roberto Evans

that's a lot of meaning behind a shirt. Kand looks kind of like he's on the Simpson.

BoomerRang

This T-shirt is an artistic rendering of the 18th century movement called The Enlightenment, and features the last great thinker of that time period, German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804). One of the most revered and controversial figures of The Enlightenment, Kant argued that a person’s actions should be guided by their own sense of reason and not by the influence of state machines like government or the church. Here we see Kant behind the wheel of a Citroen DS 51, which met with its own share of criticism when it was unveiled in 1955. Featuring front wheel disc brakes and a revolutionary hydropneumatic suspension system, drivers could change a flat tire without the need of a jack. Like Kant’s ideas, the DS was decades ahead of its time, and its sales were moderate in a shaky post-WWII economy. Directly to the right of Kant we see Progress, giving him an approving “thumbs up”, or perhaps hoping to hitch a ride to the world of tomorrow! With the influence of the church weakened to a feeble grasp, the industrial revolution was free to continue unfettered, allowing for such advances as radio and the telephone (both included in the illustration). Shown crumpling under the front left wheel of Kant’s DS is Simpler Times, who died with a cup ’n ball game in one hand and a pinwheel in the other. Portrayed as a beaver wearing a traditional feathered headband, this character is also meant to represent The Plight of The Native American, who was hit especially hard by the advances of the 18th and 19th centuries. Sometimes lovingly referred to as “history’s D students” by anthropologists, the natives that Columbus encountered in 1492 had yet to invent the wheel. About to meet the same fate are the twin brothers Contemplation and Sentimentality, necessary casualties of any great human advance. Kant’s expression of terror is quite true to life: In his autumn years Kant adopted a stance towards his teachings similar to that of Victor Frankenstein towards his creature. Kant was horrified by The Enlightenment’s impact upon the natural world, but was by then quite powerless to stop it. In the background we find Our Generation: Inseparably linked to technology and the artificial, this little robot finds the greatest enjoyment in the simplest of things. He feels that, as a result of some cosmic error and through no fault of his own, he was born in the wrong century. (Please note that this design is available in larger scale in my profile and that it is rife with historical inaccuracies and creative liberties.)

Dude you Rock Me Amadeus

backpocketcomb

I agree, the description should be printed on the back. Every genius word.

Hazelip

Too much explanation required for a t-shirt...

Johnnycarter121

Wow. I cannot wait to use big words and feel even smarter because of my uberobscure T!

haha I am just being a bastard. I like it, though. I don´t know if I want to lose half a hour every time someone asks me about my shirt though....

BrandonB11

Not sure if i like the colors of the shirt but i did read the description and found it very nice, deep, and well thought out, yet too much for a shirt.... still a very well done design so i will give it a 5$... good job

stripthebarknow

i know there's a lot of back story to this shirt. it could be included on the back, as some people have suggested, or it could just be left unsaid. it still works without it in an alice in wonderland kind of way.
with this design i was trying to bring something from left field, something original. threadless, to me, is about finding shirts you'd never find anywhere else, and this is my best stab at capturing that. i was going to draw a panda giving a flower to a unicorn, but i changed my mind.

Renaudesign82

I'm a fan.. you thought this one out to the bone...

THREADLESS: IF YOU CAN HEAR ME..YOU BETTER PRINT THIS ONE OUT, OR I'LL BE MOURNING FOR A LONG TIME THOSE PEOPLE WHO'VE THREATENED SUICIDE. JUST DO THE RIGHT THING AND SAVE A FEW A FEW LIVES!!! $5bazilliongoogleplex deluxe w. fries

funbackinsin

I loooooooove this! And the explanation is great, too...but I don't want it on the back as some have suggested. Oh, and the blue shirt is the best option out of the ones you have posted.

Toivo

What does the rotary telephone represent?

Why does it seem that Kant is driving backwards in time, with "our generation" flying a kite behind him and the road disappearing ahead of him, changing into unmarred grassland?

esct

Great illustration, I can tell alot of thought went into this. you are very tallented.

m26gil

Congrats! You know your thing... 5$$$$

stripthebarknow

Kant is actually driving forwards, blazing a new trail and leaving asphalt in his wake, and the phone represents the invention of the phone.

decoy321

$5'd for the brilliant explanation alone.

...the design is pretty good too.

asfi235

This really would make an awesome shirt.

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