Dusk 'Til Drawn
I’ve had this shred of paper hanging over my desk for as long as I can recall, and the words on it have always proven true: “All things are delicately interconnected.”
I was but a toddler when Steve Lisk’s brutal ’71 Hemi-powered Challenger (it was originally a 383 car) prowled Woodward Avenue, yet that car carved a place into the foundation of my car guy-ness. And forty years later, it reenters my world. All things are delicately interconnected indeed.
Each day I’m confronted with the challenge of bringing unique ideas to a project, and in some cases, finding ways to stretch a budget, and draw in some wicked little details to set a car over the top. It’s a matter of using what’s there in front of you (and occasionally what doesn’t exist!) in a new or different way, and then getting it all to flow.
Claude Lelouch’s Rendezvous remains the original street racing viral video, and for all intents and purposes, it’s perfect. And it has been one of the major inspirations in my art since seeing it nearly thirty years ago. That’s some staying power indeed.
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.
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.
My earliest memories are loaded with inquisitive adventures. I was one of those kids who would take everything apart to examine and explore all of the inner workings of virtually anything I could get my hands on, just to see what made it function. Occasionally, I’d manage to put everything back in some semblance of working order, as well…
In keeping with the modern trend of over-thinking, analyzing and then blaming all present and future actions upon some insignificant event in ones past, I’d like to offer the following. Bear in mind that it is in no way to be considered any form of apology, but rather a blanket
What differentiates a builder from an installer? Reality TV has blurred the perception of so many defined values in the industry, and with the potential to damage it. There are many half-finished projects on the market die to a customer taking a “builder” project to an “installer” shop. If you have fallen victim to this, you know what I’m talking about.