Friday, September 20, 2013

Digital Rendering: Buick Riviera

This drawing is from awhile back but it was kept secret while the builders decided just how far it was to go in the car show arena. Some awards require secrecy to achieve.

As a designer you begin to get a feel for your client's ability to achieve their goals. And when I say ability, I mean all the factors involved in making a high-end custom come to life, not just skill. Even cars that have few road blocks can take years to create when every inch of steel, leather, aluminum and vinyl has to be formed, enhanced, stitched or made completely from scratch. It takes more than desire and passion and more than skill. Money is always a factor, but life itself can throw a curve ball into your plans as often as not, and a plan has to be as thoroughly constructed as the car itself. Without clear vision and purpose, ultimate realization of a full custom can begin to slip from your grasp. Time is another factor that can whittle at your dreams. When you run a successful business or are in any way consumed by your work, time is your worst enemy.

Admittedly, it's not difficult for me (or anyone really) to pick up on these handful of very common project killers and I often try to fish for them during conversation to bring them to the surface. My job as an artist is to motivate. That motivation comes in two ways. Clarifying the vision of the project moves it forward. Second, seeing something that resembles the finished project solidifies the vision and helps make it a reality. Unfortunately there are times when that motivation simply can't be achieved. I think that often people assume the artist has the vision. That's not untrue, but expecting vision from someone else is not a good way to start your project. If you didn't have a vision for your car, you wouldn't be building one and the likelihood that my vision matches yours is slim to none. If you don't know what the car is supposed to be, I certainly can't show you. I am not here to tell you that your ideas are good, in fact, my job is more about telling you how they're bad than anything else. Luckily there are lots of ways to avoid failure. You have to be realistic about all those factors that kill projects. They exist and are very common, accept them and address them before you even begin. Next - after you know you've got the time, skills and money - start thinking about focusing the direction of the build. What are your goals? What is the purpose? What inspired you to get here? If you don't know before contacting me, you aren't ready.

Lastly, revisions happen. Let's get something on paper and step back and take it in, then we'll start making revisions. My pricing is for minimal revisions. Essentially it includes pitching you some ideas on the parts we aren't sure about, just to get something on paper. Once that's done, the revision process can begin. It's a multi-step process. It's like you can't change something unless you have something to change.

Something I always say is that I don't like modification for the sake of modification. We love these cars for what they already are, or at least that is how I see it. When I look at a car, yes I start thinking of fun things to do to it. I don't look for ways to change it, rather ways to enhance it. What this means is I may not be your guy and that's just the way things go. It's ok, there are plenty of artists out there.