Monday, October 25, 2010

The Internet: A double edged sword for designers

I got an email from the good folks of the ACME Speed Shop asking me if I knew about a person selling stickers of my design for them on eBay. I had to see it for myself: item #220685777210

You've probably heard the old saying "Imitation is the highest form of flattery", but honestly, it's not; it's a down right violation of intellectual property and against the law.

Here's the hard part: I'm by no means well off. They don't call us starving artists for nothing. I need to show work I've done in the past to draw new clients to continue to work. But anything I put up on line is subject to being stolen, aped, ripped off, hacked, etc. So what can I do!? Watermarks only do so much good. The fact of the matter is anyone who can retouch a photo can make a watermark disappear (for the most part) and you also need to make an image large enough to show a client but at the same time not so large that someone can nab it, reproduce it, and sell it on eBay.

The fact of the matter is, I was paid to do this design (outside of a change in typeface of "speed shop" that the person who is trying to pass this off as their own work did) So really it's hurting the good folks who paid me to design for them, but at the same time this person is not afraid to place their own watermark on the design!
Man Cave Accessories? You didn't do this work, you are a hack. Your balls are mighty big to go ahead and watermark hacked work!
Vintage? It's only 3 years old buddy! Oh, looky here! You're from Westland. You are in bitch-slap distance!
Please everyone, don't buy from mancaveaccessories1 on ebay. This person is bad for the automotive collective.

My work was "copied" among about 200+ other rip off pieces that this person is selling illegally. If you are a designer, you may wish to check and see if your work is up there among his own too.

Fuckin' Ugh!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tis. the season I suppose! The Zombie Factor

A friend and colleague gave me a call about putting together an identity for his Comedy Zombie Pilot series called "The Zombie Factor". It's a tongue and cheek idea that after the zombie apocalypse happens, how would we return to life in the USA with zombies? Of course! Make them our new form of entertainment with their own reality show.

Anyway, I don't want to give too much away. I'm still waiting to see a pilot all edited down. But, if it pops up, I'll post it up here. Enjoy!

Manifolds on Main

I was approached to do a more "classic" design (by classic I mean an approach you've seen before) There are a lot of old water slide decals out there of "powered by plymouth, ford, chevy, mopar, etc." This was my own skew on the same old wheel and tire for Manifolds on Main in Irving Texas. The coolest part about this is, not only was it used on an event shirt, but also as the participant award.
(not the best photo in the world of it here)
The design was given to a jeweler to create a 1.75" wheel with a bronze base for all who participated in the event. I don't have to often think in 3D any more with my work, but this one I did again (funny how out of practice I've become!) Here is the breakdown of how the layers worked out that was sent along to be machined out.
At any rate, I'm stoked! I love to see this stuff jump off the screen and become a physical object. My work takes on a whole new meaning when it becomes a product to me. I love to see designs pan out.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I saw the call out come down the pipe on the Road Devils C.C. forum about a guy who needed some help. I wish I could always help out with charities, but if I did, I'd quickly become one myself!

Bo Huff is a custom car builder who specializes in shoeboxes and Mercs, among other cars as well. I remember first reading about "The Bad Boy merc some time back with an article from Max Grundy.

At any rate, I came across this post with the cries for art submissions for the cause:


Dear Friends of Bo Huff:

Bo Huff has currently been diagnosed with Stage 3 Mutliple Myeloma and is in treatment at Hunstmen Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He needs to undergo 2 rounds of chemo and radiation therapy immediately at a cost of $25,000 per cycle. Our goal is to raiseas close as possible to $50,000 (2 cycles + medication) as he is on Medi-Cal and they only potentially pay for one cycle of treatment.

Our objective is to have an art/artist supported raffle to help raise funds for his therapy. We will feature this event in Car Kulture Deluxe magazine and I will additionally scout feature artists fromthe submissions. We have only 30 days until Oct. 31, 2010 to get submissions into me. WIll you help me put the word out to the art & hot rod builder community?

Note: In the spirt of positive thinking, we are affectionately calling the art show the "Glo Huff Chemo and Radiation Cancer Fighting Fundraiser. " He starts aggressive therapy this Monday.

Submissions can be anything/ format thats hot rod/biker/lowbrow art related but must be signed and preferrably original worksPaintings must be already framed and ready to display or hang with sawtooth or wire backing as I dont have time toassemble any framing prior to the event.Drop Dead delivery deadline is Monday Nov. 1, 2010.All items will be raffled off at the event by an MC and the funds will go into a charity fund to pay the hospital bills.

Artwork will be sent to me for staging and I will get it to the fundraiser. Please mail items to:Anna Marco PO BOX 1895 Beverly Hills CA 90213ph. 310 925 6966email:

Additionally we are working on making event shirts and will have a Deadsleds (and others) car club sponsered music and car show in the Inland Empirelocation, date , and time TBD.

Your assistance will be deeply appreciated, please put the the word out to our usual suspects as will I. Bo has now agreed to let folks know he needs our help.

Much LoveAnna "saves fabricators" Marco"

My heart goes out and hopefully my submission can help raise some dough in a time of need.

Take a peek
It's a 24" x 36" framed, one of one print for the man in need. I urge you too if you have some sort of artistic talent to submit something.

Friday, August 27, 2010


The 'Kustom Kemps of America' is perhaps one of the oldest running custom car and truck association in America. For a lot of the young guys into hot rods and custom cars, they often turn their noses up at high dollar cars and trucks but at a certain point, we'll all be the old guy with the car with a lifetime of $$'s put into it. You just can't deny the beauty and craftsman ship that goes into these cars and trucks.

I got an opportunity to put together a DVD cover and an ad for Ol Skool Rodz recently for the KKOA DVD which will be released by Vintage Torque around Thanksgiving (pssst, a good time to purchase this for that special gearhead for the holidays) Here's a sneak peek!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Over two years in the making: Deadheads

It was 2008 in the spring (or was it 2007 in the winter?) when I got a call from my buddy Brett who was putting together a script about buddy zombies on a road trip adventure. He told me they needed a title slate for the film so they could start shopping it around. I gladly helped out with a few samples that ended up being used.

Months later I get another call. Brett this time needed a logo for the evil company that is in the story "Genutek". So again I got behind the mouse and made it happen.

Months later I get another call (now it's early summer of 2008) and Brett needs an assistant director for the film. At this point I was full time freelance and I wasn't sure how far down the rabbit hole I was going to get pulled. They claimed that the script was all broken down and they were going to shoot it in 3 weeks so all I had to do was show up and stay one shot in front of them.... little did I know!

Two years later now (August of 2010) Deadheads is all done and ready for the festival circuit. I've seen it now twice in it's finished state and I have to say I really like it, and I'm not being all the bias as I am a pretty critical film buff.

So as the film was in town here in the Detroit area last week for a cast and crew showing, many of the actors came into town as well. We finally had everybody in the same place at the same time for a photo shoot for some advertisements. Here is some of the work in action:

I put together a Deadheads poster with a "grindhouse" feel to it, much like the opening title sequence of the film itself.

Steven "Slavko" Milosavleski put together this one with some of the same photos from the shoot last week. His is a little more mellow, and perhaps a better representation of the film than mine.

There will be some more as the film starts getting into festivals here and there. Hopefully you all will get a chance to see this fun movie too!

Friday, July 23, 2010

You asked, so here's the answer!

I got a lot of questions about how can someone who wasn't gonna be able to make it to the Sins of Steel show get their hands on my design. Well folks, here is your chance and they are even discounted!

For $12 you can get your hands on one of these shirts. Also many other SOS products up for grabs too. (click it here to get it directly)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Brand FRICKIN' NEW Stuff for Sale on!

It FINALLY happened! I caught up to speed on everything this week. This post is about all the new stuff that just popped up in the store of Car-N-Art! Here's a quick review:

Stickers: 4"x 4.5" Two colors! Your choice: $1!

The Speedy Stroller Baby Onesies! Available in 6M, 12M, 18M & 24M! $15!

"CRASH! #10 Helmet" Limited edition (100 prints) 2 Color Silkscreen (low numbers available folks) Signed and Numbered, and never to be reprinted- $20! (frame not included)

"CRASH" Red shirts. Two Colors available on Black and Cardinal Red. Metallic ink prints. Sizes S-XXL $20!

MINI Posters! Limited prints. 12" x 6" so it doesn't take up the whole dang wall! $10

That's it for now. So hurry on over to and head to the store for all the lil details.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Radius Nation :: Old School Identity

I got the esteemed pleasure to create an identity for Radius Nation. I also got a great chance to work on something that I love to do which is to create some old styled art to reflect the times and designs of the water slide styled art!

Bart puts on a lot of open wheeled classic meets and events so I drew up a midget racer and gave it that classic styling to it. I really dig!

Labold Classics :: Identity tune up

Tim Labold had a great idea for a business. To sell classic cars and Hotrods to people turn key. Some of the cars are on consignment and others are just from Tim's private collection. Some time back I was asked to help create an identity for Labold Classics showing off his 1957 Chevy as part of the design. As time marched on so did the Chevy to a new home and along came a '40 Ford and so the identity came to change as well.

Thomson MetalBreaking: Identity

After many variations of the design, I present to you Thomson Metalbreaking Inc identity. Dave is a true artist and focuses his skill set in many avenues of design from Motorcycles to Cars to BMX bikes to clocks, to sculpture and right down to hand painting.

Above are some of the touch points designed for Dave including the business cards, stickers and patches to come. Be looking for a Thomson Ad in DicE magazine down the road too!

Vintage Torque DVD Ad

I'm playing a little catch up here with some quick updates and posts. The first of which is an ad for Ol' Skool Rodz for a big deal on two event DVD's for one low cost. Check out the current issue for the big score. Even if you missed the event(s) you can feel the rumble right at home!

Also of note, I put together the art for the Torque Fest DVD cover and disk. From what I hear there is also a limited run sticker inside too.

Friday, May 21, 2010

win some, loose some.

Chris's infamous 1962 Impala Wagon is for sale on ebay with only a few remaining hours to go. This car has been an icon for the Detroit Road Devils so it's sad to see it go, but it's to make room for a '40 Ford that Chris has been dreaming of for some time.

What makes it infamous you ask? Besides a lot of coverage in hot rod magazines and custom car rags, this car was in Semi-Pro with Will Ferrel as well as being featured in Motor City Motors TV show on the Discovery channel.

Here is literally the last chance to bid on this car. Do it up before you kick yourself hard

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sins of Steel Show (part 2).

I've just gotta sit down and type out my feelings on this show. I'm SO proud to be part of the Sins of Steel custom & Hot Rod show coming up on June 5th. When all the anti billet shows started popping up, rejecting the Boydmobiles and high dollar, gold chain dudes from the old style hot rods and customs show, there was an unforeseen backlash. This "backlash" birthed a new shitspawn known as the "Rat Rod".

Coined over 10 years ago now, this term "Rat Rod" has seen it's day in the sun and it's time to throw a cover over 'craptastic retrorides' with the halloween decor displayed upon the fenders and the Pringles cans that are being employed as velocity stacks! It's obvious to most of us who are around these cars what happened. When the high dollar cars became passe, the pendulum swung in the opposite direction. The next thing you know low buck rods became the rage and everyone and their brother was buying up old rusted pieces of crap to make a "rat rod". Websites popped up left and right and even Magazines were spawned with this esthetic being the focus.

What was gained by this happening? Not a damn thing!

Shows that encouraged traditional styled cars came to look like a scrap yard on show date. People went over the top with how shitty they could make a car or truck appear as bragging rights. No sense of style or history was even being considered when putting something together. It was if people took a bunch of jigsaw puzzles out of the closet, mixed them all together to make one crappy collage. Cars have been built so unsafe with ugly independent front suspension on a fender-less car. Street signs became the floor of choice as opposed to the craftsmanship of their ancestors. And the list of crap mods goes on and on. It's seriously ridiculous anymore.

Coupled with this was the 'Anti Trailer Queen' movement. "Drive your car" was what everyone chose as a battle-cry which gave us a little leeway on stone chips and some mud on a fender on show days. But then the inevitable happened; Rat Rods began showing up in trailer and on flatbeds because they were too uncomfortable to drive or were too 'craptastic' to be on the road. Time and again at shows across the country with the Anti Billet theme you began to see Rat Rods being unloaded the night before, sometimes miles away from the show so people could cruise in to the city limits in their Ratmobiles trying to look all bad ass. You guys aren't fooling anyone!

So now where are we? The pendulum has now found it's place back right where it should be, straight down the middle with all the classically styled customs and hot rods (notice, I spell custom with a c) The Sins of Steel show will be turning away the junk as well as the high dollar cars. It features 1964 and prior TRADITIONAL style rods and customs ONLY!

  • No visible billet anything! Especially wheels!
  • No 80s graphic, Night Ranger playing, big-haired pro-street cars
  • No trailer queens - all cars must be driven in unless they are vintage drag cars
  • No IFS on fenderless cars
  • No mag wheels made after the 60’s
  • Traditionally styled choppers and bobbers ONLY! (No fat-tired theme bikes)...
  • But this show has a twist too. No "Rat Rods" either. It's bad for the scene to make something intentionally crappy just for the sake of being different. Let us harken back to a time when builders like George Barris and Gene Windfield were making customs nice! Hell, even good old Big Daddy Roth could make a sweet "art car" out of crazy stuff lying around and not just crappy welds on a rusted frame. Having a flat black car isn't saving you much money either. Lets face it, you can buy single stage paint for the same cost as a Hot Rods Flat paint by the gallon!
Build a car safe, build it nice, be proud of the work you do, and bring it out to Sins of Steel on June 5th

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Catch Up!

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks for me with little time to sit down and type anything out. Last week you saw BugSpray for my buddy Junebugs custom paint service and before that I put up some photos I took of the exotic super car GTX-1 Ford GT conversion that was done by my buddy Kip Ewing.
A few weeks back I showed you the sneak peak at the EXTEND-O-MATIC. Well, I just got mine in hand and let me tell you, the prints are fantastic! You can grab yours up from

The Detroit Road Devils Support shirts are selling great too! We're already on our second run of shirts which sadly will probably be the last of this design. So if you liked the look of the support shirt, make sure you write to for info.
Torque Fest was this last weekend and a good time was had by all! Lots of great venders and folks who are all looking forward to next years event. Lots of my art work went into the advertising of the Torque Fest. The show posters that you may have seen in magazine and on flyers were being sold in an exclusive set of four 11"x17" posters in a collectors binder. All signed and number for $35. I still have some of these for sale so I'll be updating my website in the near future!
Also on that very same topic if you grabbed a copy of DicE Magazine #31, on page 31, you can see my 'Motor psycho" poster art advertising the show. I got a lot of great feedback at the show from kind folks who came up to tell me how much they loved seeing it. I also was the high bidder on the 7' version of it used to advertise the show!
Additionally, the Vintage Torque Bobber shirt was for sale in charcoal with discharge ink. I had to pick one of those up as well. I'm not exactly sure where to find them for sale online, but perhaps John has them at a show near you.

What Else? enough talking about what's already gone down, let's look at what's coming up! That being SINS OF STEEL Hot Rod and Custom show! Outside of just being excited for a first EVER 'no rat rods' show (thank you jesus!) I also got some opportunities to help out with the show. Photographing Brandon's built '50 Ford is always a pleasure to do which is being used in the advertising of the show, but I also got the chance to design one of the show shirts as well.

What else? Man, there is a lot more in the works. A few new identities in the works for businesses and car shows alike. The Big Red Rocket from France is about ready to release their album which I did the art one finally. I can't seem to find the time to update enough to keep you all posted. I'll be in California this weekend so over and out for now and see you at Sins of Steel if not before.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Latest crop of goodies

Latest and Greatest from Car-N-Art is local right here in the 313 area code. My good buddy and club brother Junebug has been painting up a storm in the last few months since the beginning of 2010 and finally hit me up to do his business identity. 'BugSpray' came from his old man who told him that would make a great name and we all agreed that it seemed to work perfect even in the sense that old hot rodders would paint cars with bug spray plunger cans.

For the ID we talked about something flashy like custom paint from the 60-70's and that was the direction to go with the lettering as well. Jason's business cards will actually be glitter vinyl stickers the same size and shape of a typical card, but can be put on anything. I did a mock up here with some different color schemes.

This project was relatively quick, though we began some time back with this simple variation which isn't far off from the end result.
And of course I didn't feel that I did enough illustration without doing up an actual June Bug for the card, but this didn't end up working out:

Also, this weekend is Torque Fest in Iowa. I'll be there with Junebug selling posters, framed photos, matted photos, patches and t-shirts so if you are planning on coming out, this is a great way to save on shipping items, plus all of the photos are only available at the shows, so here is your chance to own a one of a kind piece suitable to hang in the house, office or the garage. I will also have a limited print set of all 4 Vintage Toque Fest posters signed and numbered 1-100 that will be for sale exclusively at the show, so here is your chance to grab them up. I know John already mentioned many pre-orders have been pulled aside. Look for the Car-N-Art booth and drop by and say hello and help me put some gas in the truck for the way home!


Friday, April 23, 2010