Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stalking the "Tiki Star Fighter"

I first saw this 1930 Model A Coupe about 3 years ago, at a local car show. ( I believe the World Of Wheels, it had cast iron headers and stock heads.)

I then promised myself I would do a drawing of it. Now I seem to see it at every car show I go to! I feel like I'm stalking this car! Two years ago I was at a show in Bloomington Illinois. There it was! Went to the Goodguy's in Mad-Town last summer on the last day, there were only about 25 cars left. There it was! Finally I saw it at the Hunert Car Pileup and told myself to stop the stalking, before the owner calls the cops.

I can't explain the appeal of this car, except that it's got the right look... From the wedge-chopped roof (4.5" in the front, 5" in the rear) the 36 Ford headlights, the perfect 51 Merc Flathead with a rare Thinkston High-Rise and custom 'Star Fighter' style lake pipes, to the smoothed pin striped teal firewall, pitch black paint, 47 Plymouth dashboard and Tiki air freshener. It all works in perfect harmony...

So here's my latest pencil rendering! The "Tiki Star Fighter"

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Reinventing The Wheel"

I've been an Architectural Illustrator for over 35 years. Last year the wheels fell off! Business went in the crapper... Builders stopped building, people stopped buying and selling their homes and the economy ground to a halt. ( Like you didn't know that already!)

Last summer my business partner ( Rich Lauritsen) bluntly asked Me "What contingency plans do you have when this all goes away?"
Huh!!! Ah!!! I hadn't thought of any. I had none! It woke me up. What could a 56 year old almost Ex-Renderer do for a living? I had to reinvent my career.
I'm an artist, I've drawn ALL of my life. My other passion (Besides my family!) is anything "Car" Hot Rods, Drag Racing, NASCAR, Concourse Cars, and old Motorcycles. I could combine my interests. I WOULD DRAW CARS!

Now, I had to develop a new technique... Realistic pencil drawings, so realistic that they look like black and white photographs. With rusted pitted metal, flaking paint, dents and chrome so reflective, you look for yourself in the bumper.
Because I go to so many car shows and car events every year, I have tons of photographs. Using these photo's, and turning the best ones into pencil renderings I started to reinvent the wheel! (So to speak)
Being an architectural illustrator, I have access to computers, Photo Shop, scanners and plotters for reproducing my artwork. Turning out high quality prints in-house.

Now, I have to market myself... (More things to learn) I had to start a website. ( I know nothing about starting and running websites) I joined online automotive message boards. (Hub Garage, The H.A.M.B. etc.) and started this blog. I also started begging to be in some car shows.
Things are going well. I was in the World Of Wheels here in Chicago and got some great responses to my work. I've been invited to 2 concourse shows (Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg show and the Geneva Concours d'Elegance). I'm still working on the "Detroit Autorama" the Mecca of indoor hot rod car shows. Hope to be at the Pile-Up in October and other shows this summer.

I don't know where this is going to lead me, but so far I've met a lot of nice people and learned a lot of new things. I've also learned you can't sit around and whine about the economy. (Woe is me!!!) Sometimes you have to "Reinvent the Wheel"
I still do architectural rendering, and it seems to be picking up, so hopefully the economy will be turn around and I'll have 2 careers! How cool is that?

If you have any questions about my art please contact me! I keep my pencils sharp at all times... Ed

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This is my first blog here, and I thought I'd start by talking about my first car show and displaying my artwork. Last weekend I was in the World Of Wheels car show in Chicago. Larry Grobe of VooDoo Larry Kustoms was asked to be in the show and he let me have some of his space. (Thanks Larry!) Larry's the guy far right.

One of the cool things this year, was old customs and hot rods resurrected from the past. This 54 Olds "Joanne's Dream" was Tom Archers creation from the 60's and restored for a TV show by Beyond Productions and Marquis Auto Restorations. They brought pictures from Popular Customs winter 1963 magazine. This restoration was started in November of '08! Unbelievable. They didn't get the chrome back until a few days before the show.

Another cool car was just about 50' away my booth. Jeff Knudsen brought the Dick Roy built 1932 5 window coupe. Built in 1956 and shown until 1968 then stuck in a barn! He's restoring back to its glory show car days of the mid 50's. He also brought some great pics.

The last was a 1929 Ford Pick-up truck. It's perhaps the best story. Pat Finley and his dad built this truck in the 50's. and showed it for years. When he went into the service his dad sold the truck. His parents divorced and he lost track of his cool truck. He heard it was in the town his mom lived in. He found the owner and tried to buy it back. The trucks caretaker said you can ask my wife after I'm DEAD. So a bunch of years past and the guy died. He told the widow the story and bought it back! He's in the process of restoring the drive train to make it drivable. It got a new chrome rearend, rebuilt suspention to follow.

I had a great time at the show and met a lot of wonderful and interesting people. I hope people keep restoring these old show cars. It's a part of our hot rodding history! Ed

Thanks for checking out my first blog. My website is http://www.edtillrock.com/