Threadless.com is a user generated t-shirt site that promotes user design and sale of a t-shirt. The basic concept can be seen here from an image from threadless.com…
Users log in, and submit an original design that they created. The design is then put into a forum for users to critique and praise the design. If the design receives enough recognition, threadless will put it on a t-shirt and feature it in their store for sale. I liken this site to a student-writing contest. The author submits an original idea and gets recognized for it and in some case, will receive a monetary gift. Plus, imagine applying to art school with a best selling t-shirt in your portfolio! That will surely get the attention of admissions officers!
I think every art classroom should make a strong push to have each student design a t-shirt for threadless. Even if the students’ design is not selected they are interacting with their peers and getting the opportunity to see and learn from other designs. Just by replying on a threadless forum, students are networking with other artists. This forum can create opportunities and lead to possible internships or job experiences.
I’ve never taught art, but if I were to incorporate threadless design into my art class, here is what I may cover.
- Students create an original design that has to focus on
- A specific style of art (cubism, impressionism, abstract, etc.)
- An artists style (Warhol, Monet, Picasso, etc.)
- Take an object and make it into a design
- Students create their design and present it to the class. They have to address their process and inspirations for creating the design as well as field questions and criticisms from their peers.
- Once they have been through the class presentation gauntlet they will submit their design to threadless.com and report back on the responses they receive.
This is a fun project any art classroom should welcome. It incorporates technology, creativity and social networking. Plus it gives the student portfolio a little extra flare!
I hope you give threadless.com a try and I look forward to hearing how you have used or plan on using this site in your classroom!