I’ve been into cars since, quite possibly, conception. My father is a car guy through and through. He’s been in the industry since his teen years, and is the one responsible for my automotive affliction. And witnessing his tastes in cars, and learning from them as a young lad, I formed some opinions on stance, style, colors and more from our time together.
The best advice when starting a big project would be to bring on an experienced designer to help guide you along. As a professional hot rod and custom car designer with over twenty years experience in the auto industry (from parts and service to body repair/customization and after-market accessories), as well as training in design and fine art, I’m here to offer some advice on taking those first steps.
There’s always the drive to take the subject that extra step… to get something to move in the image, to put it over the top. Some time back, I experimented with backgrounds in my renderings that included scanned and reworked splashes and splatters. They had that ‘frozen in time’ feel I was looking for, and allowed me to play with contrasting colors to get some visual pop and movement…
No presets, meshes or brushes, just paths and pen tool. There’s a lot to be said for using the basic tools, and I find it to be a very Zen experience; it becomes the art of massaging your brain while working. It can get tedious, but the key is in finding a rhythm, wherein you can alternate between left and right brain, solving little design and engineering issues as you make everything look “right” or “cool.”
The plan has been simple: Show the workflow, the art, the technique an all of the warts and whatnots that go into creating a rendering or illustration the “Problem Child Kustoms Way.” Suffice to say, it’s been a ton of work thus far, but very rewarding and eye-opening for me, both from a technical standpoint and as an artist. I’ve realized many key things about my work, as well as just how often I let a few f-bombs fly. Crazy how that can go.
Originality just ain’t what it used to be.
Why is is that every time an automaker re-designs a particular model, or brings back a nearly-forgotten nameplate, or even mid-cycle facelifts a car, that the very first thing I have to read is every self-important know-it-all posting that they should have made it look like the 1961 model? SERIOUSLY?!
A late-night thinking binge took me down the rabbit hole, considering that today’s artists will be remembered or even rediscovered in quite a different fashion from those who came before. What’s odd is that instead of learning about me in libraries or museums, someone will find my life’s work via some internet search, scattered among loosely-related images and links chosen by some algorithm.
Two homophones walk into a bar… Oh, wait. It’s not merely the spelling of their last names which provided for an incredibly diverse life for two gentlemen, but the careers of Smokey Yunick and Smokey Eunuch couldn’t have been any more different if they had planned them.