Please, help me improve!

I've done this piece for the Iron Man contest and it was not chosen for print (23 designs chosen). I received great reviews and so many kind words from the comunity, but I think it was not a satisfactory art. Seeing all the printed ones, I really can't see any pattern to follow along in the future. I even had a better score among most of them. So I really want to get better and refine my art skills to reach the level of the other participants and understand where I was wrong. Thanks everyone for the help! I really appreciate.


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hersh

I have been checking your sub...someone said you were posting links to your designs on other subs...that is a strong point to generate a lot of 1´s, you should not underestimate it..

that´s like the only advice I can offer...because you seem to be more than greatly talented...

Perhaps this design was just looking a bit too boxy on the shirt and it failed because of personal preferences

It´s some very cool comic book art though

shesmatilda
shesmatilda profile pic Alumni

Nothing to improve man, actually i love your drawing skills and I would say you draw like a professional one.. I have great entry on ironman contest too, you can check it out and it was not chosen also by marvel, I think the drawing or illustration is not a problem with this , I think it's the " concept behind " .that's what matters for me I think ... We need to improve more the thinking before letting our hand do the drawing ... I hope you could reflect on that

hersh

just want to add something, hoping some very new boys and girls read this:

If I see on any sub, no matter if it´s a pixelated face of michael jordan or a really awesome design, a link from any other that is saying a" Cool! Go and check mine" -link

I feel oblieged to go and check and give a 1. Eventhough I have nothing to do with the artist.

That is the only time I hand out 1´s.

On the other hand, I am aware of generating 1´s for my own subs by talking too much shit. But I can live with that. :-)

hersh

just one more thing:

think I have missed out on yours, so don´t start to hate me for being honest. :-) The amount of 1´s on your design is just ridiculous...even the boxy shape cannot give any explanation for it, so I am pretty sure you have pissed off a lot of people by doing smth else like posting these kind of links.

digsy
digsy profile pic Alumni

Hershel has a valid point with regards to why the score might be lower than expected, but an excessive number if ones isn't going to stop Threadless considering it. It's good art and I'm sure they looked at if and many others but like you said yourself, there is no pattern with what they pick and in most circumstances, even with excellent work, it's difficult to tell whether Threadless will print it - the scores help but it is far more than a numbers game.

It's good work and you have skills so I wouldn't get too disheartened that this wasn't picked - I don't think you did anything wrong, they just didn't pick it. Take it on the chin and keep working at it, I'm sure you'll get there eventually!

theidol

I quite understand your explanation and I agree with it. But, in my defense, I must say that were just few times I "bothered" people asking to look at my design. Nowadays I do not do that anymore. Still, many designers who have won this contest asked votes for their art at least 50% more than me. I agree and appreciate your advice, but I think this is not the reason for me not to be among the chosen ones. That being said, there are artists who took much more "1's" than me. And it seems that Threadless team does not read the comments too, since even a plagiarized art was printed, according to the post from our friend here yesterday.

shesmatilda,

Great design on IronMan! And thanks for the kind words and advice.

radiomode
radiomode profile pic Alumni

Carlos there are a lot of really great illustration in this contest. However, some of them are not suitable for t-shirt. Either it is not interesting enough, or it is not different enough, or it just lacks of that "kick" factor.

You certainly do not have problem with making illustration, but in all honesty the illustration does not move me. If I see it in store I will probably just walk pass by without giving it second glance.

I don't think there's a recipe to it. T-shirt illustration is about mass market and the skill is picked from experience.

theidol

Yeah, digsy.. I think it is just a bad luck day. It's sad because it's the second time I put so much effort in a comic book tee design and nothing! lol! Live with art in Brazil is very difficult and I really need the money :-(

Thanks you all! I learn a lot from all this advices.

gebe
gebe profile pic Alumni

Nothing to say over your art! It's really cool! But as Radiomode said, maybe this one is not a perfect illustration for a tee! Only this thing! Because you have great potential :) so, keep doing!

digsy
digsy profile pic Alumni

radiomode has a point - your artwork is awesome, but it's missing a real grabbing point! try put a bit more thought into your concept and look for a hook or something really unique to give it a bit more appeal beyond the illo. you do illustrate excellently but without a "kick" to it as radio mode described, it could be rather generic

ChrisDB

Hey man, you're illos are great. You don't need any help there. Regarding the Iron Man contest, I think they tried to get designs that represented different styles, from realistic to abstract. It could have just been that the 'realistic' spots were already filled. The only other thing might be that your design seemed a bit generic, not a very concept driven piece. Don't give up man, you've got talent.

nikoby
nikoby profile pic Alumni
radiomode said:

Carlos there are a lot of really great illustration in this contest. However, some of them are not suitable for t-shirt. Either it is not interesting enough, or it is not different enough, or it just lacks of that "kick" factor.

You certainly do not have problem with making illustration, but in all honesty the illustration does not move me. If I see it in store I will probably just walk pass by without giving it second glance.

I don't think there's a recipe to it. T-shirt illustration is about mass market and the skill is picked from experience.

I completely agree with radiomode. It was a contest for designing a t-shirt to sell as Iron Man merchandise. Your illustration is designed like a comic book cover (with no reason behind it, the ones that look like a comic book cover and got printed have a reason behind it), not a t-shirt. Marvel could print any of their published comic book covers on a tee, so what makes yours stand out compared to a comic book cover created by a professional. If I were you, I would think about how I can stand out with concept and design on the t-shirt.

You obviously have a lot of talent, you just need to come up with killer t-shirt concepts.

ourgraphicfaith
ourgraphicfaith profile pic Alumni

Hi Carlos! I am impressed with the kind of sketches you do. On another note, is there a way of contacting you? Like an email? I would like to mail you regarding some things. Mine is abbyphilips@gmail.com I will introduce myself in the mail properly. Thanks! Keep up the good work!

theidol

Thanks everyone for the help! I will try to improve my "WOW" effect in my designs! :-)

  • Thanks, #ourgraphicfaith! I will send you an email.
opifan64
opifan64 profile pic Alumni

Your illustration skills are incredible, but I think you need to consider how to translate those skills onto the t-shirt more successfully. It seems like the page is dictating the composition more than any consideration for how it will look on a shirt, and how wearable it will be. Sometimes less is more, and this is especially true for a t-shirt The pattern I see among the winners (even the more realistic and detailed renderings) is a certain overall governing simplicity and visual punch. In my humble opinion there's too much going on in your illustration to work effectively on a t-shirt. Most of the winners don't really have a lot of concept either, but most of them "say" something interesting visually.

Anyway, good luck! You definitely have the skills to succeed.

Wolfgang8885

I think it you designed it more for a T-shirt it would have one. With all that art you have on there, it would be a perfect comic book cover, you really are talented. Maybe if it had been Iron Man and the tony Stark would have been more simple and more fitting on a shirt than all the other characters...

All you can do is move one, and start working on the next design. If anything, you got good practice out of it, and you now have portfolio work for a future job ;) oh and lots of praise!

hellofromthemoon
hellofromthemoon profile pic Alumni

After looking at all of the Iron Man shirt winners, I think the one common theme was that all of them had the actual Iron man character as the only subject of the shirt. (I think there was only one out of 23 that actually had another character on it)

Which makes sense, because it's an Iron man contest - having a lot of other characters on the shirt tends to take away attention from the main theme that the contest was actually for.

nathanbep

I love the comic book quality of this design! It is powerful, especially the way that Iron Man sort of leads the design by being the main focal point, but like most others have said there should be an even stronger point of focus. I think maybe that the Iron man in front could be the main character of the story while the other parts of the designs are the side characters: Dynamic, but less detailed and described. This way Iron man literally flies out at the viewer, while the other characters are there to support. Hope this was of any help! I'm new on thread less and I'm not sure how they do their screen printing here, but to me it also seems it might just be a bit too complicated with an oversized color palette. I'm sure theres halftones used and such, but is it possible the threadless team choose less complicated graphics or already halftoned ones that are easier to print?

melmike
melmike profile pic Alumni

My two cents:

I think you need to remember, although these are comps based on comic book characters, they're neither illustration comps nor comic book artist comps. What you've got here resembles a comic book cover, not a t-shirt. I think the lack of concept hurt you. When beginning a design for a tee, you always need to start with a question like, what would someone want in an Iron man tee? I'd hazard that what they generally don't want is just a tensionless montage of character portraits. As well-drawn as your characters are, they're essentially just posing. None of these characters are fighting for their life, they're having their photos taken for Esquire. Also, your technique is comic book all the way, which may have actually worked against you in this case, because if Marvel wanted comic book, they could have just used any of their existing artists. They came to Threadless to have their characters represented in unusual and unexpected ways.

All this being said, the Iron Man comp was just full of so many stellar subs, perhaps you made it all the way to the end, but just didn't make the cut. You obviously have the talent to make it big here, I think if you just spent a little bit more time focused on making your designs unique to you and building kickass concepts from the get-go, you'll be well on your way.

Robo Rat
Robo Rat profile pic Alumni

I think compared to other designs, this has more potential over them, but sometimes, when buying things like food, gadgets, clothes, cars, etc, most people go by the name of the brand or the maker. So even if it's just a crappy patty stuffed between 2 buns with catsup and mayo but made by a giant food chain, it will get sold out. That's my opinion.

Robo Rat
Robo Rat profile pic Alumni

I think compared to other designs, this has more potential over them, but sometimes, when buying things like food, gadgets, clothes, cars, etc, most people go by the name of the brand or the maker. So even if it's just a crappy patty stuffed between 2 buns with catsup and mayo but made by a giant food chain, it will get sold out. That's my opinion.

theidol

Thank you guys!!!

Santo76
Santo76 profile pic Alumni

you are doing a good work... just keep it up and prints will eventually happen. There are no patterns to understand Threadless... that's the fun of it!

hersh
theidol said:

I quite understand your explanation and I agree with it. But, in my defense, I must say that were just few times I "bothered" people asking to look at my design. Nowadays I do not do that anymore. Still, many designers who have won this contest asked votes for their art at least 50% more than me. I agree and appreciate your advice, but I think this is not the reason for me not to be among the chosen ones. That being said, there are artists who took much more "1's" than me. And it seems that Threadless team does not read the comments too, since even a plagiarized art was printed, according to the post from our friend here yesterday.

shesmatilda,

Great design on IronMan! And thanks for the kind words and advice.

yes, I know...I was just wondering when I saw 267 1´s on that...eventhough there were like 900 saying 5...sometimes I just wonder about the motivation to hand out 1´s when a design is cool but needs work...

hersh

aw yeah....just because you have mentioned it, ripping off stuff is indeed another cause for 1´s.

just as everybody said it in here... keep going and it might come your way.

theidol

Thanks, hershel. Very kind of you. I'll keep submitting :-)

dBranes

theidol,

I personally like your design. Its clear that you are talented. Time to bounce back and move on the your next artistic challenge. You can only get better my friend. Look at it this way, you are also building up a portfolio of your work for the world to see. Keep on doing good work and submit often.

Best of luck,

--db

Morkki
Morkki profile pic Alumni

I think the important things have been said already but I'll just reiterate: technically great but perhaps lacking a little in focus. All the characters and background elements make it a little busy so just focusing maybe only on Iron Man and Dr Doom or Iron Man / Tony Stark would have pulled it together.

Also a good thing to keep in mind in future is that most of the designs chosen from these sponsored challenges are printed with dtg instead of screen printing. Dtg can't cover the entire shirt so making a design that stretches all the way to the edges may affect your chances of being chosen.

But keep submitting!

Sam.mk1

just focus on our main character a bit more, and blend the rest with the background :) Love your work ! :)

theidol

Thanks, guys!!! :-D

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