This is a design I did about ten years ago while attending the Charleston Sea Kayak Symposium as an artist. My booth displayed various kayak related art work. Across from me was this cool 1955 Ford van, labeled “Mike’s Bikes” and loaded to the hilt with gear and boats. I was bored just selling prints so I took some artistic liberties and sketched the van out on paper, then started carving and inking the block and noticed folks were stopping by to watch me work. A few fellas down the way stopped by who were selling these popular shirts out of their van with the slogan “Life is Good” on them, you might have heard of them. I sold enough prints that weekend to pay for my trip, eats, and booth space.
I often thought of that day as an “A Ha” moment I may have missed out on by not producing the art on shirts, much like those “Life is Good” guys using “Jake” as their mascot. Soon after this experience I produced a different block print design called “Kayak Today Work Tomorrow” to sell to our paddling customers, and sold out all 75 shirts in less then a month. I still didn’t get the hint and should have continued to print those shirts but I was quite busy concentrating on guiding kayak trips with my fledgling company Carolina Mike’s Kayaking. Now I have the motivation needed to do exactly that with the Wet Dog apparel line. It’s funny how things evolve in time and there seems to be a right place to start everything. We now have a dog named “Kaya” who has influenced the idea of our Wet Dog Adventures meetup group, started four years ago. I started producing shirts for the members and after much interest the “perverbial light bulb” flashed overhead and the Wet Dog apparel idea was born. I think this “Venture Out” design would now make a great shirt for the apparel line. The van has everything an outdoorsy person would love to have, ie bike, canoe, gear, and kayaks coming out the back.