We’ve thrown a few free line art files up on the website for you to grab and spend some quality time with your kids this Inktober (while I neglect mine in favor of finishing a ton of last-minute SEMA Show afterthought nonsense for clients who lack the “planning” and “scheduling” genes).
Nearly two fists full of car art, ranging from street rods to kustom cars and slammed trucks, all ready to be downloaded, printed and attacked with pencils, crayons, markers or airbrush (or even by spitting ink or food coloring at them, should you be so crafty and weird – or brave, depending upon the pigments you select). Granted, these are for your fun and entertainment only, so we hope that you’ll use them to inspire the kids (or even yourself, should you wish) to get creating.
Our hope is that you’ll share these with your kids, and make some memories as Fall settles in… Or should you have forgotten the joy of putting some color down on a car drawing, that you’ll re-discover that buzz, and perhaps even bust out the pencils and get sketching some of your own…
Keep in mind that these are presented in good faith, and not to be used in any other way except as stated. If you’d like a one-off piece of art, give me a shout, and we can arrange for that. After all, this is how I feed my kids, and buy them neat things like shoes and crayons to color line art with.
A big shout to our friends over at Welder Series for getting this ball rolling with us (DW ships a selection of coloring pages with each order!), and for their support of this whole mess over the years. You know we love you guys. And not simply because you live in the land of Hockey, Tim Horton’s and poutine.
That said, we hope you enjoy the art and the memories made, and check back often as we’ll add more variety as time allows! Oh, you can grab these things here, BTW: http://bit.ly/color-these
The SEMA Show retains the same schedule from year to year. It’s not as though the dates are randomly selected as a part of some ritual dependent upon just how the chicken bones land on the calendar in some tent at the county fair or what the average diameter of giant spinning wheels is at the DUB Show when divided by the wattage of the stereo in your cousin’s friend’s bitchin’ Eclipse; it’s an annual event, subject to some form or another of tradition.
That understood, explain to me just why in the fuck year after year am I subjected to an almost endless stream of possibly brain-damaged douchebags calling and emailing looking for conceptual art, logos, cards and other work within the FINAL weeks leading to the show? I mean barely enough time to conceptualize anything, much less produce anything. Even worse is the utter disrespect and anger that these pricks show when I explain that “no, I’m currently double-booked as it is, and that means 18-20 hour days already, and no time for your last-minute afterthought.”
Quote of the week: “What’s a few more all-nighters to help a bro?”
First, I don’t have a brother. And if I did just discover long-lost sibling who has waited forty-plus years to contact me, much less just weeks before THE major trade show of the year and needing a logo and shirts and cards for his “shop” as they display a vehicle (side note: If you’re “having a car at SEMA”, and as yet have NO logo for your “shop”, you are either full of shit, buying your way in or just one heck of a loser in the grand scheme, and destined to fail), I’d invite his sorry ass to wait another forty-plus to call again, fuck him very much. His poor planning is most definitely not my problem. I truly couldn’t care less. I’ll probably devote more time to wondering just how the life of that mosquito that flew into my ear last Summer is going than whether or not you found someone else to dupe into creating artwork for you based on promises you can never hope to make good on.
Furthermore, as I state each year around this time (gosh! It’s almost SEMA Show time!), if you’re posting hundreds of photos to Instagram and Facebook about your “SEMA thrash” and how gosh-darned tired you are and how it sucks, you are a fucking idiot. You chose it, you procrastinated, and you have chosen to spend time away from said project to play on social media, delaying any progress. You should re-think your life, asshole. You got time to play on a social site? Then you have time to finish the fucking thing and get some rest.
In summary: Three weeks to design, produce and ship all of your graphics needs utilizing the twenty minutes per day that I may or may not be able to squeeze in while neglecting my family even more than usual is not enough time. Your poor planning is but one symptom of the terminal condition you make others suffer along with you: Self-imposed suffering in the hope of some glory via a tiny photo in some magazine’s annual “SEMA SHOW COVERAGE!!” Good luck with that. Hugs and kisses as always,
P.S. Oh yeah: #semathrash
Spent some time with Kevin over at V8TV (and V8 Speed & Resto!), and we recorded a podcast for your enjoyment.
We talk design, cars, the future of the custom car industry/hobby and more… before devolving into custom vans, and a plan for the ultimate SEMA show display vehicle and and interactive pavilion to house the thing. It’s genius.
I had a blast talking with a good friend, and can’t wait to do it again! HUGE thanks again for having me on!
Give it a listen here: http://www.v8radio.com
Oh, SEMA, you bring out the best in me.
Today’s topic: A Half-Dozen Helpful Tips on Fitting in Where You Obviously Don’t Belong — This Means YOU, Guy Who Either Mooched a Pass or Works Somewhere on the Very Fringe of the Industry (ATTN: Guy Who Supplies Thumb Tacks to the Local Auto Parts Store)
1. Don’t grab every pen, Post-It pad, sticker, magnet, ruler, sippy cup, catalog, magazine, DVD, keychain, light-up mascara case, sunglasses clip, lanyard, really tiny pouch to hold, well, really tiny things that you grab at other booths, or extra bags as you stroll by every booth… much less HANDFULLS of them. This tells me that you’re either a complete douchebag, or that you are a hoarder, and yes, probably also a douchebag.
2. Speaking of extra bags, that giant-size tote you’re hauling (with 1/3 of your giant mass listing to starboard to compensate) makes it easier to spot you from afar when I’m looking for outsiders to walk in front of as they take a photo with their flip-phone at mid-stride. There is no fine line between grabbing a few things and EVERY GOD DAMN THING YOU COME UPON. Rather, it’s a giant, conscious leap to make, and your chances of sticking that landing are as good as, well, the next item on our list…
3. No, Skippy, Miss Valve Stem 2014 wasn’t really into you, or super-excited to have another photo shot with you. While you may think that the previous 400 lard-ass, hangers-on waiting an hour to meet her and get that poster were but a warm-up to your brilliant entrance, lugging 3 metric tons of promotional materials and bashing that load into her leg, you can rest assured that all she’s thinking is “only four more hours today, and but three more days until I can cash that check! And why does this guy smell like stress balls and catalog paper, mixed with onions and Axe spray?”
While the people who actually BELONG AT THE SHOW and are WORKING are trying to squeeze past you and the 400 others just like you to get to a meeting, just know that you SHOULD take it personally when I mutter “get the fuck out of my way” to you. That week isn’t play time. It’s feed my family time. Stay home, and look at pictures of booth girls on your favorite forum between taking jabs at cars you’ll never have the skill to build, you pile of shit.
4. Stopping, mid-stride in a busy aisle to text your bros isn’t the wisest idea. I forces me to pretend that I didn’t see you when I plow into you, and then pretend that I’m sorry. That saps energy I was saving for when I have to attempt to control every fiber of my being from punching you in the throat when you finally end your phone call to your bros at home about how hot Miss Fender Washer is, and how she signed your poster “CALL ME, LOL!”, and step out of that stall after 20 minutes of hearing “No, bro, it gets better!”, and look at the line of 35 angry colons waiting to explode.
5. If nothing else, DO NOT use someone else’s pass, or try to slip in with last year’s, or some doctored pass or otherwise. What are you, like five years old? And no, I don’t believe that the Asian guy’s real name was Jesus Angelino Martinez de Venuza. I’m not buying it.
6. For the love of all that is holy, DRESS APPROPRIATELY. Nothing makes you look more out of place than the stained t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. Honestly. If you can’t respect my industry, at the very least respect yourself. It’s a PROFESSIONAL TRADE EVENT. Not the fucking Piggly Wiggly on Thursday night, you trash.
Hot off the heels of an exciting SEMA Show, we’re proud to announce…
What is it? It’s a whole new way to get our pricing into the hands of people who can’t afford quality design work… based upon what we’ve heard that we charge. (and I have to say a big THANKS to those who have been assuming the price levels here, and spreading their own figures for what we do. Using YOUR numbers, we’re gonna be RICH!) We’ll be placing our full pricing options into three awesome and very forward-thinking mediums, thus eliminating any doubt as to what you get:
1. Online. A simple pricing table. We’ll be moving some decimal places to keep current with what we heard that we charge, but that’s OK. Our simple chart will spell it out cleanly. We call this method “Take a Look at Brian’s Package”.
2. Download and print the above as a handy PDF. We call this “Handling Brian’s Package”.
3. For those of you looking for more interaction, we’ll be mailing out pricing in the form of lottery scratchers, as they’ve been deemed the most comfortable and familiar for the broke-ass, white trash folk looking for free work. Will it be free? Will it cost you the suggested rate as heard last week from folks who just, well, assumed? Who knows? It’s all up to you, and how you choose to “Rub Brian’s Package”.
Genius, I know. Look for the app soon, as well.
Some helpful hints and tips for making the most of your “Give Me Free Shit for My Project” SEMA Trip:
1. Be “in” the industry. It helps to have some sort of an established presence. I mean beyond the whole “I have a cool car/truck/bicycle”, or the “I bought so-and-so’s cool car/truck/bicycle”. Have a shop. Perhaps some sort of ACTUAL clout, outside of your five good-time buds.
2. Don’t drop names of people who have no clue that you’re using their name. It’ll make for some good times when the rep you spoke to speaks with me following the show; probably some awkward ones for you moving forward.
3. If you’re going to use your connection with an artist or designer to further your agenda, it helps to utilize a rendering drawn BY that artist for the “project” you’re dreaming up as you go along. See “awkward” above in tip #2.
4. SEMA isn’t your personal fucking gift box. It’s a trade show. The professionals are there to network, and plot and plan the coming year. Your dumb ass just makes it feel a lot longer than the week needs to.
5. Stop bugging the designers for free renderings with promises of “getting some coverage”. Chances are, if the designer is at SEMA, they certainly don’t need you.
6. Yes, we pro’s notice that the name on your badge doesn’t fit with your face… and we can sure as fuck bet that you don’t belong. Your loud-mouthed horseplay on the show floor gave it away early on.
7. I’m not your “boy”. I built this business myself (as did all of the working artists and designers), purely on the reputation of good work, and I’ve been blessed to make the connections I have. I work my ass off for them. If you’d like to think that you’re any part of this, cut a check, and I’ll consider making you a partner.
8. Nobody, and I repeat NOBODY owes you shit based upon promises. In this business, it’s all about what you’ve done before the current project. Nobody cares about what you haven’t done yet. If anyone tells you differently, they’re just as full of shit as you are, and you should hook up, and spend your days hoping and dreaming. We’ll look for it next year in the same “proposal” you’re pushing in peoples’ faces.
I promise that we’ll be less negative next time. Maybe.
While many people operate on some arcane belief that thirteen is unlucky, around the Studio, we find that, like anything, it’s all in what you make of it. To say that 2013, when viewed as a product of the work invested, was a success would be an understatement. There was a ton of struggle, more late nights than ever before, and an absolute will to push things as far as possible, and the payoff was, to say the least, something to behold. We were stoked to see so much work from the previous years see light of day as completed projects, and watch as those projects really came into their own.
To say that none of it would have been possible without you, our loyal friends and fans, well, would be the truth! It’s tough to say “Thank You” in a way that could begin to illustrate our heartfelt appreciation here, but know that it means the world to us. Without you, there would be no reason to turn the lights on each day, much less keep them burning late into the following evenings.
That said, kick back, and take a peek at all of the cool things that you helped to create in 2013, and share in my counting of the many blessings that the year brought my way. I have a lot to pay forward in ’14.
Start at the Beginning
…we could Tarrantino the whole thing, however. Or even Peter Jackson it, and split it into three newsletters, using the second part to merely waste your time with a 25-minute chase scene which only serves to present an idea for a theme park ride. But we’re not so bitter as to do that.
The year kicked off with the usual rush to finish some projects which had slid over from the previous calendar, as they usually do. Completing some minor tweaks on cars that were set to debut, and winding down from a whirlwind of last-minute SEMA work, the year always heads out in a flurry of activity.
In January, the Torino took the first bow in paint in Pomona, setting off what would be a year of serious award-winning magic. From concept:
..to finished masterpiece:
(I made motor noises until Moose fired it up. Then I giggled. A lot.)
…the crew at Rad Rides simply pushed the envelope, and threw down some of the most incredible fit and finish ever. While it was spectacular to see the GPT Special become reality, and then to follow-up by sweeping the 2013 Detroit Autorama Best Overall Street Machine, the inaugural Barrett-Jackson Cup in Reno, the 2013 Optima Batteries Street Machine of the Year, and the 2013 Mothers Shine Award, the icing on the cake was seeing my youngest son’s excitement in, as he put it, “finally getting to sit in it!”.
My son. Sitting in a vehicle I designed, which just spent the year cleaning house at every stop.
Best. Feeling. EVER.
In Detroit, Nailed, Mark’s ’56 Buick swept into the Great 8…
Such a fun project to play on, and one of those cars that is so well-detailed that you could spend hours looking at it, and then head back and see things you missed the first time.
It was neat, too, to see the original sketch for the car on rear seat at the SEMA Show in November:
The new year continued to tear some fresh ground with a killer opportunity to blog for Dodge. And blog I did, by golly. It began with a trek to NY, and some massive support from our friends and family in the hot rod industry. To say that it was insane to witness (and be a part of), well… That’s an understatement. Between our family supporting the heck out of it, and good friends campaigning and pushing (hey Tim and Carrie Strange! That would be friends like YOU, for example.) non-stop, I nailed a gig doing something I truly enjoy: Writing. And talking. And writing and talking about cars, and the stories behind them.
(exploring the 2014 Durango mere minutes after its debut. I was there first. Suck it, Ron Burgundy.)
In May, we nailed the first One-n-Done, working with the great guys at Porterbuilt to complete a front and rear Dropmember (and airbag and rack and pinion!) install in Broey’s truck.
In one day, with about 40 volunteers and friends, we accomplished the task, setting the stage for a number of gatherings geared to entertain, educate, and get some work done. Between the coverage in Street Trucks, the LiveCast and more soon, it was a success on many levels!
Following the amazing win in the REDLINE Dodge contest, I was swept off to some great events, like the All Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle:
Even spent a few moments in the Hotchkis Autocross Taxi. Seemed like the thing to do:
…and the following road trip with Steve Magnante was a blast indeed. As we traveled up North, we stopped at Jerry Stein’s place to take in some history, and complete the Max Wedge overload that began in Carlisle:
…and continued with making some great (and occasionally awkward… OK, mostly awkward) memories along the way, with some great stops, including a tour of the Magnante compound. (you can check out all of that in detail HERE)
The next trip would find me in Detroit for the Woodward Dream Cruise, and a chance to fulfill a childhood dream: As a kid, I was obsessed with Steve Lisk’s Hemi Challenger, and swore to one day cruise that famous loop in a Hemi Challenger myself. Check that one off the bucket list (much, much more on this to come).
(that’s me on the left, tanning my left arm!)
Thanks to the great folks at Dodge and Ignite Social Media for making the dream come true (and for the metric ton of memories and experiences along the way that made the past months absolutely surreal). Much more on that soon.
While in Detroit, I finally got to meet my good friend Arv (go and become a fan of his HERE) in person! I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the man for many moons, and we’d never been able to connect in person. He and his lovely family took time, and we managed to connect at the airport, as I was heading home. While it was a quick visit, it was one of those fantastic moments that I’ll always remember. He’s a supremely talented human being, and I’m humbled to be able to discuss art, design and so much more with the man.
September hit, and the year just got crazier. Sick Seconds, the 1969 Camaro I had worked on with Pro Rides/Denny Terzich, and now owned by Tom Bailey, ripped five consecutive six second, quarter-mile passes, capping the event with a 6.70 at 217.42 MPH. When I coined the name for the car some years back, it began as tongue-in-cheek… Proud to not only see it live up to the moniker, but land a spot in the record books, as well! Not too bad for a 3100 lb. car yanking a trailer 300 miles per day. 2013 was nailing shut so many open chapters for me, it was getting crazier to watch by the moment! Topped the street machine segment, and blew the doors off (literally) the on-track part of the show. Hard work was paying off!
Come Fall, things were a whirlwind, working double-time to keep up, and working on a ton of projects set to debut this coming year… and, wouldn’t you know it, SEMA was heading in fast. I was stoked, as I’d have a few marquee rides on the floor, and I’d be attending with my friends from Dodge and Ignite, so my experience would be drastically altered from years past! I saw the show in a different light, to be certain, and made some great new friends, and got to spend a little time with some of my oldest ones, as well.
Heck, I finally shook hands with my pal Max. Known the guy for years, and have had some amazing (and amazingly weird) conversations with the man, collaborated on some fun projects, and my wife and I wear rings he milled by hand.Yet, until that week, I had never shook his hand. Or been asked to be anyone’s ‘badge buddy’ before. Check another off the list:
Design-wise, I had a few items on the floor.
The Pantera hit the floor with a vengeance, and created a buzz that echoed through the week.
It was certainly a different project to have worked on, and the creativity and level of ingenuity shown by the Ring Brothers raised the bar yet again!
Got to spend a few moments with Sam, who took a break from buying some very historically significant rides, well-preserved, ultra-low-mileage Lambrecht Auction vehicles, and building some clean machines to wander Vegas and pose with my goofy mug by Nailed while at the show:
The SEMA Show wound down with the Torino grabbing the Mothers Shine Award, capping a stellar season in grand style.
Following SEMA, it was a quick blast back home, a few days hosting our pal Tim Strange, who was in town for the Goodguys Southwest Nationals, and the annual Git-Down at Dino’s, which I’m proud to have created some artwork for again:
Highlighting the Goodguys show was seeing Nailed and the GPT Special on my home turf:
…and that about wraps up 2013 here. My sincerest thanks to everyone who has been with us from day one, and to the supportive family and friends I’m blessed to be surrounded by. Without you, I certainly wouldn’t be doing what I do, or checking dreams off of my list at such a pace!
May the coming year be nothing short of incredible, healthy and happy for you and all those you care about, and who care for you. Make some time to appreciate those around you, and never, ever give up. If there’s anything this year taught me, it was that. NEVER quit. Enjoy the smallest moments, and keep marking those little things off your list. We’ll check in soon, and thanks for taking time to do likewise!
Had the opportunity to play a little this year with some good friends on a ’51 Merc project, offering little detail and color options and opinions.
Suffice to say, by that time, Max had the build in some firm control, and Jerry’s Reprise was nearing the end goal of a debut at SEMA, and finally seeing the streets again after some long years of re-design, re-build, re-imagine. One of the projects I took on, then, was to create some artwork to celebrate the completion of the project… and here it is:
I had also whipped-up a t-shirt for the gang: