Crock Goes Racing!

I have a really cool post that I wrote before this one, but I’m posting this one first, as it has some timing issues.

Holy smokes! The last thing I remember drawing was a design for a friend who is participating an automobile race with his brother. I think I drew/illustrated this one about three or four weeks ago. Actually, at the time of this writing, it could very well be five weeks ago. Sad. It’s sickening. I’m actually anxious because it’s been so long, but I had reasons for putting my artist pencil on the back burner for a bit. Next paragraph …

As you may or may not know, I’ve been rebuilding my sad career life by learning a trade (one of the biggest mistakes of my life, which I will write about soon). I was most recently (the past 6 or 8 weeks … can’t remember) in my final school session for plumbing and gas fitting, which meant setting aside everything for studying. I didn’t want to study, but I wanted to give myself the best chance for success in my course. Get through it and move on with my life. Now that school is over, I am wanting to get back to drawing. The frightening thing is I am extremely rusty and at a loss for ideas. One of my worst nightmares is to lose the creativeness that I have worked so hard for all my life. I’d hate to trade away my drawing abilities for something so bland as typical work. It literally pisses me off. More on that in a future post. Oh, and I’m excited to be writing these posts again. I definitely need to do these with way more frequency. At least I know I can still type haha.

Anyway, the last project I dabbled with is this car illustration. My friend’s brother picked up an old Mazda Miata to use as a race car and they wanted some team shirts for the event. I like drawing cars, so I was happy to whip this off during a bit of a break in my studies. Actually, I had envisioned recycling parts of a previous design (cafe racer motorcycle) for this one, but plans changed during the design process. I did, however, utilize inspiration and some of the texture treatment from my old motorcycle design.

I wanted to keep things kinda simple. Well, not too simple, but not carried away with a bunch of colours. I’m on a huge simplicity kick lately with our shirts. I decided to go for a two colour design, so I went with an off-white background and dark grey linework/shadows. For the off-white background, I wanted it to look sort of faded. The texture throughout is placed to sort of rough things up a bit to give it some imperfect static. From what I understand, the car isn’t exactly perfect, so these treatments were thrown in to fit the theme. I like playing around with an illustration’s attitude. Kris’ print job on these shirts turned out perfectly – he managed to use just the perfect amount of ink to make the design look exactly how I envisioned.

A fun little project. I’m going to have to kick up the effort on getting back to drawing. And let’s hope the little Miata survived the race! From what I understand, all went well.

Check this out:

1) I started scouring the internet for Mazda Miata photos, then started doodling. My first sketch was so awful that I won’t show it here. This one (below) turned out quite well right away after I slapped myself in the face a few times.


A decent sketch came early in the process


2) There were a few days where I couldn’t continue the design because the air dam on the real car wasn’t finished and I wanted the drawing to be somewhat accurate. You can see here (below) how the nose of the car is different than my original sketch. I had to change it from the original after seeing a photo of the updated air dam. Damn air dam …


Revised sketch with updated nose


3) My immediate original thought when coming up with this design was to recycle some of my past artwork. My old Cafe Racer (below) quickly came to mind, as it has a checkered racing theme. As it turns out, I didn’t get to utilize my original idea, but I did manage to swipe some stuff. I’ll explain in the step 4 …


Cafe Racer design I did about 5 years ago. Maybe 6 years ago. Maybe.


4) The main part of this step was figuring out what to do for a background treatment. I had initially planned on doing the same checkered flag stripe as the Cafe Racer, but it didn’t really feel right. I still wanted a checkered pattern, though. I decided to go with the mighty circle with the team name wrapping around it. It’s kind of a predictable design, but I didn’t have tons of time to reinvent the wheel. Notice the headlights – I stole the crossed tape from the motorcycle headlight. I don’t even know if they even used the headlights during the race or not, but I decided to add them. Sometimes you have to take chances. This design was based on using grey shirts.


Completed artwork based on grey shirts


5) Unfortunately, because I was neglecting everything outside of plunbing studies, I let our shirt inventory drop too much to accommodate my friend’s order. Poop. Knowing that we had a full inventory of black shirts, I reworked the design to suit black. It needed a bit of surgery here and there, but mostly translated well (below).


Completed and revised artwork based on black shirts



Here are my hands and neck holding up one of the shirts


Below is my friend Brock (the fellow on the left) and his happy family wearing their custom Crock of Shirt shirts! Yeah!


Cool shirts!

As usual, stay tuned for more …


Wear a shirt that you love! Crock of Shirt was born to share our passion for drawing and printing quality shirt designs. .

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One comment on “Crock Goes Racing!
  1. Janet says:

    Damn, I love your honestly. And, Kurt, you don’t have it within you to lose your creativity. Just thought you might want to know that. Sure, you could get rusty, but it will always come back. It’s who you are. Great car, by the way.

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