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