Putting the Gnar! in narwhal: A Lesson in T-shirt design

By Stephen Haynes

Most folks aren’t aware of the growing population of aquatic mammals riding gravity inspired bikes in the far north. In fact, it’s laughable to think that such practices even happen, even on a practical level. How would aquatic mammals equip themselves for such exploits? Wouldn’t the components rust or freeze? Whales don’t even have legs, how are they going to pedal a bike?

Product guru and general pulse taker Karl Rosengarth knew what was happening and he was determined to make sure someone listened. Plagued by visions of horned whales going big began to permeate Karl’s every waking thought. He’d spin yarns at HQ so grand and outrageous that most though he’d gone off the deep end. There was a small contingent of “believers” made up of myself, Dirt Rag Editor Josh Patterson and Art Director Matt Kasprzyk who felt the stories needed to be confirmed. So we set to work to make that happen.

In an attempt to make real Karl’s vision, Josh and Matt tapped me to follow this cold weather snipe hunt to whatever conclusion would arise. In earnest, I traveled to Greenland and began researching this phenomenon of Arctic hucksters. Armed only with a sketchbook and salted pork for provisions, I was astounded by what I saw. ..

The following is a visual account of what I found.

Initial sketches of the fantastical beasts. So amazing were their feats, that I found it hard to capture on paper. Also, I’d lost two fingers on my drawing hand and found it difficult to grasp my pencil.

The amazing narwhal are as agile as they are dapper.

I commune with one of the elder narwhal and he tells me of one of his kind who far exceeds the abilities of his brethren.

A leader emerges. Frantic pencil strokes hardly do justice to this majestic and horrific creature.

After returning to HQ I set to work immortalizing the beast. Such power. Such grace. Such a long and pointy horn.

The painstaking process of color matching and properly branding the Arctic. My meager sketches do little to capture the spirit of the Greenland waters and the amazing feats contained therein.

Finally, the “Jedi of the Sea” is given proper credit. This magnificent, mustachioed mammal definitely puts the “Gnar” in narwhal. Look for the Gnawhal immortalized on T-shirts available from our online store.




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