Just curious as to why you guys, the best apparel designers in the world do not join contest sites more often. The pay is bigger if you win (DBh or Threadless) compared to getting $200 - $400 a pop for a design for each project here (some lower $$$). I see some dudes from here like Markus Munson starting to get some love in DBH while almost everything Dobi submits to DBh gets a print. I just think you guys would kill it if you guys join more often. Greg Abbot would be a superstar in Threadless while Craig Robson would be a printed regular on DBh if he wants too.

Discuss.
  • chad manzo

    Never won anything there. Never said I was one of the best too. The question was not intended for me, ergo my opinion is invalid.

    Edit: I just lawyered myself. Carry on.
  • wotto

    I agree, a lot of people here could win DBH regularly if they just switched things up a little. The crowd at DBH don't buy super gory stuff. I think DBH is much easier to win than threadless because of the sheer volume of submissions filing through there, they don't reject as thoroughly as DBH IMO.

    It's personal choice at the end of the day. I respect artists who choose not to submit but you are right about the cash.

    Side note: robdobi needs to sub some more stuff.
  • Sol Amstutz

    I've had a couple wins at DBH. Never any luck at Threadless. Contest sites are a cool thing to do if you have some spare time on the side to sub things. The reason I don't do it often is just because you're not guaranteed a win, no matter who you are. If you're doing your job right, you're taking on projects that at least have a kill fee, which is guaranteed payment.

    I might only get $150-$200 on a kill fee, but if I work on just 5 projects in a week, do the math.
  • Matt Borchert

    DBH is far too mixed a bag for me to put any real time and effort into designing specifically for their audience. Some amazing stuff wins, and then some stuff that looks like perhaps 5 minutes of effort wins as well. When I see the 5 minute wonders winning over some other designers work that I find stunning, it makes me not want to participate.
  • herman

    Even if your designs don't win from Threadless or DBH, another client will buy from you eventually, it's just a matter of time. Happens to alot of my unprinted designs from both sites. It's win-win situation.
  • William Henry

    herman said:Even if your designs don't win from Threadless or DBH, another client will buy from you eventually, it's just a matter of time. Happens to alot of my unprinted designs from both sites. It's win-win situation.

    Not necessarily. Just because that happens for you doesn't mean it would happen for others.
  • herman

    The designs you submit to both sites are mostly likely self-directed anyways (unless you're submitting to a specific theme challenge, like The Dark Knight.), so it's not really spec work per se. In the end, if the the design is good, another client will buy it eventually.
  • wotto

    Matt Borchert said:DBH is far too mixed a bag for me to put any real time and effort into designing specifically for their audience. Some amazing stuff wins, and then some stuff that looks like perhaps 5 minutes of effort wins as well. When I see the 5 minute wonders winning over some other designers work that I find stunning, it makes me not want to participate.


    I'm not sure 5 minute wonders is fair but you have to understand that the market for T-shirts is not centered solely around amazing, detailed artwork. To stay in business companies have to expand their catalog.

    Also DBH is the only contest site that does mostly art tees, even threadless rely on parodies and pop culture stuff. We try to stay mostly art based.
  • wotto

    herman said:The designs you submit to both sites are mostly likely self-directed anyways (unless you're submitting to a specific theme challenge, like The Dark Knight.), so it's not really spec work per se. In the end, if the the design is good, another client will buy it eventually.

    Agreed. Some of my best work is self directed for fun to use in contests and ultimately 90% of my commissions are referenced to those pieces. "I like that piece you did for DBH I want something in that style" etc etc.
  • dominantdinosaur

    threadless is a popularity contest imo.
  • Anthony Smith

    dominantdinosaur said:threadless is a popularity contest imo.

    You're wrong imo.
  • TenTimesKarma

    I still think some of you guys should submit. You guys can submit old designs that are just rotting away in your computers.
  • Andrew Haines

    I submit things sometimes, I'm just absolutely terrible at letting people know its there. I get some votes from it being on the first or second submission page, then I forget or don't post the link very often and it falls away haha. I even forget when I post tees up here to get the DBH link first sometimes. Doesn't help me any.
  • uzi

    Personally, I'd rather use my time working on a client design that I'm certain I'm getting paid for upfront (even if it's a bit less than what contests offer), than spend it on a design for a contest that I'm not even sure I'm going to win. Even if you're the world's best designer (not saying that I am), art/design contests are still sort of a gamble. It's great to have sites like DBH as outlets for creativity (I submit personal design ideas that I find might be a little too artsy to be band tee), and as a means to earn extra cash on the side. But making it a main source of income that one has to invest all his time into it, for me, is not that worth it.
  • jeremiah was a

    Andrew Haines said:I submit things sometimes, I'm just absolutely terrible at letting people know its there. I get some votes from it being on the first or second submission page, then I forget or don't post the link very often and it falls away haha. I even forget when I post tees up here to get the DBH link first sometimes. Doesn't help me any.

    This, It takes more than a great submission to win, it obviously helps to have a following and I guess not everyone in the design game is willing to choose a bigger uncertain paycheck over a client that's willing to pay upfront. I think the ability to promote yourself can also be the difference between getting picked up or going unnoticed, this is something I still have trouble with.
  • uzi

    Just realized Sol Amstutz already said something similar lol.
  • Jupit

    TenTimesKarma said:I still think some of you guys should submit. You guys can submit old designs that are just rotting away in your computers.

    why? too many mediocre submissions recently?
  • popmonkey

    Yeah, I don't have time to work on designs that I might or might not get paid for. This is my job and I don't work for free, so to put my designs on there for the "unwashed masses" to vote on is not at all worth my time. Keeping up with communications with clients and making new contacts is very worth my time.
  • wotto

    popmonkey said:Yeah, I don't have time to work on designs that I might or might not get paid for. This is my job and I don't work for free, so to put my designs on there for the "unwashed masses" to vote on is not at all worth my time. Keeping up with communications with clients and making new contacts is very worth my time.

    I see your point PopMonkey and I respect what you do regarding client work but YOU are actually one of the people I have always thought could blow up on a site like DBH. You have the skills to create some very cool tees for DBH and with their skills in printing I think you could get some very nice pieces of apparel printed. Just my 5 cents, like I said, I respect your decision. If you have any designs sitting around doing nothing and you want to email them to me I'd be happy to look them over and let you know if any would be a good fit for DBH. That goes for anyone else who has designs they'd like an insiders opinion on.
  • popmonkey

    wotto said:
    popmonkey said:Yeah, I don't have time to work on designs that I might or might not get paid for. This is my job and I don't work for free, so to put my designs on there for the "unwashed masses" to vote on is not at all worth my time. Keeping up with communications with clients and making new contacts is very worth my time.

    I see your point PopMonkey and I respect what you do regarding client work but YOU are actually one of the people I have always thought could blow up on a site like DBH. You have the skills to create some very cool tees for DBH and with their skills in printing I think you could get some very nice pieces of apparel printed. Just my 5 cents, like I said, I respect your decision. If you have any designs sitting around doing nothing and you want to email them to me I'd be happy to look them over and let you know if any would be a good fit for DBH. That goes for anyone else who has designs they'd like an insiders opinion on.

    Thanks, Wotto. I appreciate it. It's not out of the question, and if I have the time and produce a design I think might work, I would consider submitting it to DBH, at least (I'm kind of over Threadless). I also have my own brand, though, so I usually just end up printing the designs myself and find it hard to part with them.
  • deekin

    popmonkey said:Yeah, I don't have time to work on designs that I might or might not get paid for. This is my job and I don't work for free, so to put my designs on there for the "unwashed masses" to vote on is not at all worth my time. Keeping up with communications with clients and making new contacts is very worth my time.

    Ditto...

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