Carlos Vigil remembers growing up in Albuquerque, NM, and sketching his favorite doodle: basketballs. “I drew them on everything,” he says. “All the zeroes on my math homework were basketballs.” Vigil, pictured center, now 27, seems to have a new go-to symbol—the Natty Boh man. The MICA alum and his company Super Rad Designs has found success with a T-shirt featuring Mr. Boh faces in a Krylon spray-paint design. “I really like the idea of taking two familiar things,” Vigil says, “and combining them, turning it into a new third thing.” Vigil took a screen-printing class at MICA and was influenced by his professor, Nolen Strals of Post Typography. After college, Vigil experimented with various local icons and, late at night, combined Mr. Boh and the Krylon logo. “At the time, I couldn’t really afford booths at festivals,” he says. “So I would just ride my bike around and sell T-shirts out of my backpack. I would sell out and just keep making more.” Vigil attributes the design’s success to his diverse customer base. “A lot of Boh stuff out there is sports-based, which is a great market. But I sell a lot of them for [Gay] Pride, too,” he says. “I want to appeal across several niche markets.” Vigil is planning on teaming up with Strals in the future, and says he’s not leaving Baltimore anytime soon: “The city is just so compelling to me.”
A local artist takes Mr. Boh to a whole new level.
Issue date: December, 2012