Carolina: As we know her...
"That girl is kinda hot!...in a weird way..."
That was the thought behind making a shirt for the most mysterious and fickle place in America to score magical green tubes. The outerbanks is a place that lives near and dear to many East Coast (Beast Coast) Surfer's hearts. Heavy barrels, in a desolate land where the Ocean meets the Salt water Marsh. This place is the most incredible landscape that I have the privilege to visit whenever I want.
The countless drives we've made at 4:30 AM for years, the talks we have on rides down there are priceless moments we got to enjoy with friends and the endless amounts of stoke the place provides are SICK. The 2-hour drive can seem so long at times when the waves are pumping. If the storm is bad enough only the residents of this 120 mile-ish stretch of land can enjoy it. When you're lucky... and the cards lined up for you and God wants you to indulge you'll truly grab a couple lifetime barrels a surfer can never forget.
Austin O'neil : Team Rider / Photo: Cody Hammer
The thing about this place is a weather and swell model can set it all up to look perfect, light off-shore winds, swell direction and swell period are all recipes for grotesque double over-head dark caverns barreling heavy on a 4ft slab. But sometimes you just get ...well mehhhh waves. When you score the OBX its absolutely unreal.
The fishing and constuction industry keeps that place very modest and simple, unlike many places in this day and age. The State Parks have kept this a gem to say the least... so good on em for that ! Keep it that way.
The beginnings of this shirt started out with me trying to depict a girl that could grab the essence of that place as a visual muse. I tried to show the fishing, waves, a diamond in the rough beauty that all of us who have spent anytime down there just find... You will see these girls like they are sirens every once in a while.
I started off the piece with this girl... whose pretty heavy-duty if I must say. I wanted her to seem mysterious with a wild side but I thought a fully nude girl on the back of a shirt was kind of gnarly so I started to develop my interpretation of the place.
I added a couple reeling tubes to serve as her bikini top... and our prized fish we like to target around these parts as watermen. The dog is a Rhodesian Ridgeback another rarity to see in this part of the country just trying to further the piece's "Mysterious Rarities" vibe. We all have some sort of day-job so I added a comical approach to the marlin by making him a call-center employee. Many of us just day dream about the tubes we missed while sitting at work so I thought it would be appropriate to add some comedy to that life dilemma we face constantly trying to make a living. The slob of a Cobia gets my heart going everytime I catch a glimpse of that fish so he had to 100% be included.
The next steps were to round out and balance the graphic with some artistic elements that kind of gave a nod to the digital age and nature balancing. We can see that in the lines I use alot to give it that "Modern Art" feel.
The final touches were to add the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and some wild horses. If you've seen these things they'll eat your lunch! I thought it was a cool piece to share the progression of and comment on my thoughts that went it to why I made and chose the marks I did.
I promoted it with a quick commercial that was shot mainly by OBX / VB renown Drone Photographer Jordan Williams @jwillyagaze (lifelong friend) and some drone shots i took my self. The featured rider is none other than Austin O'neil. The song "Dave East- Handsome" fit perfectly with austins carolina blue Channel Islands tube-finder. It just gives that
"I do behind the back tomahawk jams but still speak very intelligent about things." vibe.
What I can say: is theres a time and place for REAL rap. this happened to be one that complimented the Videography pretty well... It's Swaggy to me.
I wanted the art piece to feel like "Petey Pablo's - Raise Up" song for the boys. With some Digital Touches and Mystery. I think when you first see this in a High-Res output you can gain that. We will be obeying the command of:
"This ones foe North Carolina!!!! C'mon and Raise up! Take your shirt, twist it round' your head.... spin it like a HELICOPTA!!!!"
If you've ever been an ECU Pirate or to an East Carolina University Pirate football game at half-time this should hit HARD for you. I mean real hard!
Thanks for reading and supporting the brand. I love you guys I wanted to share the stoke and story behind this shirt because it means so much more than just a graphic tee.
With much love and gratitude always...Namaste and all that....