EPIC!!!! Ian Leino, pt 2 (shchshch)


Thank you for joining us in the second installment of SHCHShch: Ian Leino.
Here is the link for the first part if you missed it (answers on pg 1).

"That dude is smart. Not like a smartass....but MENSA smart. He's got the whole package somehow - intelligence and creative talent. He's got this chameleon style, too. It doesn't matter if his client is Stevie Wonder or AFI or Threadless Voters - he knows how to visually stimulate them all.

He is also very nice and has a hot wife (and) fat dog.

No, "fat dog" is not a euphemism."



Printed out of Scored (as of: 11-6-07)
8 = I'd buy it!
37 = 5 (minus the buys)
25 = 4
9 = 3
7 = 2
4 = 1
2 = 0

first order placed on: March 20, 2006
other username(s): none! I am alias-less
28 = designs
1 = critique
0 = slogans
194 = blogs commented
26 = product blogs commented
346 = designs commented (some no longer show)
7 = news commented
awesome = time(s) meeting other members
27 (for me) + 32 (for others)= threadshirts purchased

Observations and unwarranted opinions from chelly:

turning point into awesome designer - mucha luchador

major theme - pop culture interests

there is an element of either having the serious become humorous* or the fun to become mystical, ian has found a way to tap into the interests of the voting crowd time and time again. not only this, but anyone who owns one of his shirts would be able to vouch for the immense quality to his designs. the only negative i can pin-point (which, in now way, is his downfall), is how humble he is. there is very little pimping of his subs on the blogs, no drama involved in the comments of his designs, and very few members in his fan club. none of this is for lack of talent or personality. it is, perhaps, what makes him so refreshing and allows him to keep his shirts sharp. if you haven't yet, check him out (submissions).
*serious become humorous examples - a cold day in hell,a collection of flies, chariots retired, eiffel power!, how many licks?
fun to become mystical examples - sometimes at night, voyage of discovery, in a native tongue

pick for weakest sub in the last year-

if you want to destroy my chain mail...

although funny and wonderfully rendered in the style of old tapestry, the details of the actual joke is such a small part of the design that a viewer would have to get very close to the shirt. in fact, even if this did occur, the small chuckle it produced would not be worth the time put into figuring out the joke (aka. get out of my bubble). for me, even the colors were bland (aged?) on the white shirt and the entire design might have popped a bit more if there was something above/below the main area to add to the tapestry motif. overall, a great idea executed w/ talent but not perfect for a tee.

pick for the strongest sub-

a voyage of discovery

the details on this design are so realistic, that they actually surpass that and move on into the realm of dreams (for those of you interested, there is a web page of artists who do similar amazing things w/ paper). the placement, size, color scheme and topic of this design are spot-on. it isn't a humorous design, but still very clever in its ability to pull the viewer in with the references of the cannon of literature leading up to the focus of the design. once you see the open book, that's where the real beauty takes place. seriously, just incredible details.


name three songs; one you would listen to with breakfast/ one with lunch/ one with dinner.
Breakfast: whenever possible, I like watching cartoons with breakfast, so probably some cartoon theme song?
Lunch: "Common People" by Pulp - it's lunch right now, and this is what I'm listening to, so I guess that counts.
Dinner: "Bullying the Jukebox" by Bouncing Souls - it makes me think of being out for a night of dinner and drinks with friends

Have you ever been involved with espionage?
C'mon, how can you expect me to answer this? Just the fact that you even asked means that there have been files opened on you in every branch of the government, and people are probably on their way to your house now to install surveill..... ummm, I mean....uh, what? Of COURSE not!

Name a movie that was better than it's book.
I can't think of any that are actually better than the book, but I'd say that the Princess Bride comes the closest. In addition to lifting huge sections of dialog directly from the text, it also captures the magic, wonder and humor of the book, adapting it to a new medium without cheapening it or feeling rushed. This is a great tribute to Carl Reiner and the cast and crew for maintaining the vision of the book, and also to the fact that William Goldman, who edited the original book (which had a lot of long, boring parts in it) into the version that everyone knows, was also hired to adapt it to a screenplay.

Do you prefer heads up seven up or freeze tag?
Heads up seven up, by a mile. In addition to getting you out of schoolwork WAY more often, it was also the first game we learned as kids that taught us how to exploit people's expectations for our benefit, a skill of phenomenal importance in sports, poker and designer/client relations.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
I absolutely believe in intense attraction at first site, but love is something that goes much deeper than that. Love is an intimate knowledge of every aspect of a person, and the conscious choice to put their wants above you own. Barring some crazy X-files scenario, there is no way to know a person in that way merely from a look; it takes time to break down the defenses we put around ourselves, and really get to know the other person, and to examine yourself anew.

Have you ever been hypnotized?
Not that I am aware of. Although that could explain some of the gaps in my memory. Hmm......

Childhood nickname?
I have been lucky enough to reach this point in my life without ever acquiring a nickname. As a kid, this was due to the fact that no part of my name (Ian Leino) rhymed with a swear word. (Thanks mom and dad!) In college, among my group of friends, people with the same first name got nicknames based on their personality or physical characteristics - we had a Tall Chris, Short Chris, Flyin' Brian, Regular Brian, and Dammit Dave among others. (Why we didn't just use last names, I never figured out). SO ANYWAY, even then I dodged the bullet, probably by being the only Ian in the group. And maybe that's the trick... maybe Ian is just a weird enough name that you don't even NEED a nickname?

Favorite crayola color?
Ack, I can't remember the names of them all, but I was totally in love with my first mega 64 pack of crayons that had the cool built-in sharpener. Maybe midnight blue? That was one, right?

If you had to dress in drag as a famous woman of the movie screen, who would you choose?
Hmm, I think I'd have to go with Rosalind Russell, particularly from His Girl Friday.... partly for the chance to do all the crazy fast-talking, but also for the hats.

Current song stuck in your head most often?
After laying it aside for a few years, I've started picking up the guitar again, and am working on learning "Cannonball" by Damien Rice, so that gets lodged in my brain quite often at the moment.
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How did you find out you were printed (at threadless)? what did you do to celebrate?
My first Threadless win was with "A Voyage of Discovery" for the 555 competition, and I found out through email, probably like every other winner (except when Ross wins, in which case he just whispers quietly to himself "congrats, dude!"). The first thing that I did in celebration was to pass out from shock. After returning to my senses, I IM'ed Craig, to make sure they'd sent the email to the right person. That night, we took some friends out to dinner, and then celebrated with a few bottles of champagne, and I sealed the deal by getting "I (less than) 3 Threadless" tattooed across my chest (just like from the shirt) that way, even when I'm topless, people will know where my loyalties lie.

Um... ok, so maybe I made up that last part.

It's actually on my back.

What are your tools of the trade?
Most things start out in a regular ol' Strathmore sketch book with a mechanical pencil. For things that I ink with traditional media, I typically use Micron pens, though I'd really like to get better with a nib pen and brush. After that, it's all about Photoshop or Illustrator (or more often, a mix of the two). I also have a large-ish collection of stock textures that I use in a variety of ways.

Take us through a tutorial of your technical process for creating a shirt design.
This really varies pretty wildly depending on the design, and unfortunately, I just don't have the time to go into it at the moment, but hopefully sometime soon, I'll post up a walkthrough for one or two of my designs.

Which of your design ideas came to you in the shower?
None have come to me in the shower, but as I was falling asleep one night, I came up with the Housefly / Marty McFly idea that was the basis of my design "A Collection of Flies". I was too lazy to get up and go write it down, so I just made myself think of it over and over and over so I would still remember it in the morning. It worked!

*note to readers: I know the most recent threadless interview has a “favorites” section. However, I did NOT know that when giving these to Ian. His answers are great so we kept them for your reading pleasure.

section in the library -
In a totally unforeseen revelation, likely to shock and astound all of your readers, I'm going to say.... either the art section or the music section. Honestly, I don't hit the library that often anymore, but when I do, I typically pick up a couple of their artist books, and check out a few weird CDs by bands I've never heard of.

flavor of hummus -
Roasted Garlic: it adds a nice flavor without overpowering the hummus itself.

camping location -
My backyard with my best friend in a GI Joe tent. Wait wait, when I was NINE. I guess I should have mentioned that first. Maybe it was just the first taste of independence, and of actually, physically, being out from under our parents' roofs, but camping out as a kid was just SO awesome.

Also, this year we went with a group of friends and stayed in a rustic cabin built in the 20's that's up in the mountains near here. We cooked a leg of lamb over a roaring fire, and enjoyed an absolutely perfect night playing games and enjoying various adult beverages (which is certainly a point for camping out now, vs. when I was nine).

art medium -
Primarily pencils, charcoal, pen and ink

guilty pleasure -
Guilt is for suckas! If I happen to enjoy things that aren't considered cool, it just means that I am a unique individual who refuses to be controlled by the pressure of fitting into modern society, and not that I have bad taste AT ALL. At least that's what my talking ALF doll tells me.

food you cook/bake -
I actually cook quite a lot, and I think my biggest hits have probably been paella, pot roast, and gumbo, though I did make a roasted corn and crab chowder last week that was pretty amazing.

plant -
We grew a garden this year for the first time, and I really can't choose between the fresh tomatoes or fresh basil; both were pretty phenomenal. For decorative sorts of plants, I really like bonsai trees and orchids, though neither seems to last too long around here. Right now I've got a venus flytrap on my desk. Hopefully it's ability to fight for itself will keep it alive longer.

night time activity -
The Orange Peel, here in Asheville, is a great local club that gets bands much cooler than their small size should allow, and is a great venue to see a live show. Of course staying in and watching a good movie (or a really really bad one) with my wife is also one of my favorite ways to spend a night.

video game -
I don't know that I can pick a single all-time favorite game, but Katamari Damacy (and We heart Katamari) have been on the top of my most played list for awhile now. Though we did have a Golden eye Tournament Of Destruction a few weekends back that was insanely fun, too.

quote -
Maybe it's dorky to have a favorite quote from Scott Adams, the guy who created Dilbert, but this really is amazingly insightful: "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." When I can actually remember that, it helps me feel less self conscious of my work, and more willing to experiment, and not feel like I have to do things right the first time.

Thanks . . . I really enjoyed answering these, and hopefully they've been a pleasant diversion for anyone reading them.

Watch this
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oh my god chelly you rocked it.


few things;
gardening is one of the richest personal endeavors around.
katamari is so super sweet i wanna punch that mean king in his royal nose
ian, you are a cool dude.


IAN rocked it!


well yeah, he did ok too :o


seriously though, there's so much i want to comment on after i absorb it for a bit.

i LOL'd at the bit about ross whispering to himself that he's a winner.

ISABOA profile pic Alumni

this is overwhelming -



ian's a nice boy


it's true! ian really is a great guy. now when he subs a design and pimps it, y'all will have some words of encouragement for him. he totally deserves it.


i cannot find the link w/ the artists that do similar paper art (lemonalle and staffell have blogged about it before)

also, "doesn't have a fan club" sounds really bad. obviously ian is well-liked (so say his scores), but he doesn't have a group that pimps subs for him.

ps. i'm going to stop fixing typos and just say i'm very sorry for the typos

nintechno profile pic Alumni


Ellsswhere profile pic Alumni

wow that is deep, like 20,000 leagues under the sea deep
i will have to save this to read another time, i have also met him and he is one of the coolest and nicest guys you will meet, the guy that always has a smile on his face because he genuinely wants to talk to you


or because he can read your mind


many bumps will come from this


and again

jstumpenhorst profile pic Alumni

this was such an outstanding interview! the best yet for sure. (comparing to old chattin' with chelly interviews which were all good as well). i had the pleasure of meeting Ian and he's just as cool and genuine of a guy as he is in this interview. great work interviewers and interviewee!!

mezo profile pic Alumni

Told you he was a mensa.

Ian Leino
Ian Leino profile pic Alumni

Wow Chelly, thanks for turning my boring ol' text answers into a full on three-ring multimedia spectacle!

And just to backup Mezo's story, here's photographic proof of my hot wife and our fat dog:

Also, here's one actually showing us together, thus proving that she really IS my wife, and not just a hot picture I carry around like George did in Seinfeld:

Bramish profile pic Alumni

This is insightful. Or IANsightful.

Your wife appears to be a different lady on each photo. Both are pretty.

You look a little bit like Jim Carrey circa Eternal Susnhine...


aaaaaw you guys sorta have matching sweater jackets

i see now why you didn't bring her to chicago, everyone would have spent the weekend trying to steal her away from you

Ian Leino
Ian Leino profile pic Alumni

Ha, yeah, I've heard that before,Bram. Either Jim Carrey or Peter Krause. I guess if I were about 10 years older, one of them could play me in the Threadless movie (if it ever gets greenlit).


ian, was the "observations and unwarranted opinions" painful (as in, so incredibly uneducated that it hurt)? i'm starting to wonder if maybe the interview would have held its own footing w/o that section.

Ian Leino
Ian Leino profile pic Alumni

No no, that was great! Much like all of the photos and links, it was a surprise for me (which was lots of fun, since I already knew the answers to all the questions), and besides, who doesn't like hearing other people say nice things about them?


i'd love to sing with ian's guitar playing:P


ian, ok cool. surprises are good. of course, now the cat is out of the bag i can't do this again (or at least i hope that's what the next artist will think so they too can be surprised).

oooh yeh! you got any recordings of the guitary goodness? we could load up an mp3 and link it.

Ian Leino
Ian Leino profile pic Alumni

Oh yeah, I mean it was a surprise that you did it at all (which of course won't be a surprise again) but also what you actually said about me and my designs and such. So instead of just seeing all the junk that I wrote, I actually got to read something new as well.


yes, much better than a drunken mychingo message. i concur!




bump bump


i hope people are lurking this blog


3hr bump


and a bump


Man, these are so good. I can't wait to read the next one!


if we get enough interest, there's a possibility of getting one up every other week

or, that's how i see it in my head right now


hmm, maybe there should be some kind of prize involved

Ian Leino
Ian Leino profile pic Alumni

I always enjoyed the original Chatting with Chelly™ series, but like the format and personalization of this new version even better. I'm excited to see who you interview next, and what questions you come up with for them (and what their answers are too, of course.)

Also, you can never go wrong with prizes.

JOHN2 profile pic Alumni

This was the best part:
"...I found out through email, probably like every other winner (except when Ross wins, in which case he just whispers quietly to himself "congrats, dude!")."

555 4 lyfe!!


i thought he was saying he DIDN'T have a swear word rhyme, thus no nickname


also, thanks should also be extended to SHIRTFLIRT who has added a lot of new questions and helped me maintain sanity

mezo profile pic Alumni

Doesn't Ian rhyme with Peein'?
Or am I pronouncing Ian wrong?

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