Meet the Grand Prize Artists from the Iron Man Challenge!

Today we released 22 new designs worthy of sale in the Stark Industry HQ gift shop. 28 artists from around the world are featured in this collection including one grand prize winner for individual design and one grand prize collaboration design. We poked the brains of the winning artists to find out if they had any Stark-like wisdom they could share with us.

Bleeding Edge Armour by Keatopia and Eunice Xu

How did your partnership work? Did you both come up with the idea? Who was the main artist?

Keat: My wife, Eunice knows that I'm a comic geek and hard-core fan of Iron Man, so she alerted me to the Iron Man Challenge and suggested we join it together. Both of us are artists in animation and games industry so it's a perfect partnership. The pose of Iron Man and design of the piece had to be epic and sleek. Drawing crazy character poses are my specialty because I was trained as a classical animator. It's a chance for me to show what I can do with Iron Man and I'm grateful to Threadless and Marvel for the opportunity to showcase my art.

Eunice: When I told Keat about the challenge, he couldn't contain his excitement and was on cloud nine before we even started the art! We brainstormed and Keat drew rough thumbnails of the different Iron Man poses and layout. We thought about how the pose and wreckage will flow with the shirt layout and color. I always wanted an Iron Man shirt that I will wear and I'm so happy I will finally get it. Thank you Threadless!

Who’s the bigger Iron Man fan?

Keat: 100% Iron Man Fan since my college days! Iron Man is special because he's just a normal human who doesn't have superpowers but he's smart enough to use science to make himself a superhero who can do serious damage to the super villains. We chose to go with the Bleeding Edge Armor because the armor is so sleek and advance with all the nano technology and it worked seamlessly with Tony Stark's body.

Eunice: What's there not to love about a superhero billionaire playboy clad in a red hot metal suit?

How do you tend to work together for collabs?

Keat: Working as a feature animator means I had to use the computer all day long. So when I get home, touching the computer is the last thing I want to do. Most of the time, we discuss ideas and designs while walking our old dog at night. The pace is slow and relaxing, it's amazing how much ideas come up during that time. And, it really really helps that your collab partner is your life partner and fellow artist.

Eunice: We turned our living and dining room into an art workspace. No dining table... just paints, pencils, endless papers on desks, workstations, and Wacoms. We let the creative juices flow, bounced ideas around, and drew thumbnails of the designs. After much nitpicking and justifying the chosen design, Keat would pencil and ink the chosen design by hand and I would color it digitally in Photoshop. I love colors and painting. For this piece, I took a day to color it and enjoyed every single minute of creating the artwork. Having Threadless challenges like this to work on keeps me on my toes and my hands busy.

What's your favorite thing about your design?

Keat: Iron Man absolutely dominating warmonger in his bleeding edge armor.

Eunice: Keat's line art is really stunning in this one. I have to say it's one of his best line artworks yet.

How ya gonna spend your cash?

Keat: Nice dinner with Eunice and extra treats for the dog and cat. Going to more comic conventions and buying more comics!

Eunice: A new Wacom tablet to produce more awesome artwork!

Rocket by Luc Journot

Why did you submit to the Iron Man Challenge? How many times have you submitted?
Because he's a cool superhero and I wanted to try a challenge for the first time. I've submitted 4 times, but only once for a specific challenge.

Are you a long-time Iron Man fan?
Not really a long-time fan, because I really discovered him with the movies. But yes I love this character, especially the fact that he doesn't have any powers. He creates his own powers by himself.

What's your favorite depiction of Iron Man you've ever seen? Comic? Movie? Cartoon?
I've seen him in the Civil War collection, which by the way is awesome, but the movies are my favorite. I can't wait to see the next one.

What are you going to do with the cash?
Maybe by a new Wacom tablet, because mine is a little bit too old. And the rest for a trip to Canada with my girlfriend.

Watch this
moosabman profile pic Alumni

Cool stuff, and great to get to see a bit of the process.


love to see a minimalist design winning! grats!

selfsorter profile pic Alumni

Love to see a true fan of the challenge topic win the grand prize. Because you know that it was a labor of love for both of them. Reading this just motivates me even more to design!


Wow. Both are epic shirts, congrats to the winners.


awesome designs! congrats!

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