The 2015 Florida Bug Jam Art Mega-Post

Alright…I’m gonna tell you somethin. Every since I was a kid I’ve always considered any space based movie or TV show connected. I mean, heck…it’s space! It’s infinite!!!…billions and billions of galaxies. It has always made sense to me that Yoda and Starbuck could be in the same time, just different places. Truthfully my affections tend to gravitate toward the brothas in space. Don’t get me wrong, Buck Rogers was the man, but Boomer on Battlestar Gallactica was my boi!! I think it’s just a subliminal connection thing. I fully realize that Boomer was not the star, but to me that was his show. It’s a lot like Issac on The Love Boat. Anyway. car show tshirt

That being the case I have on many many MANY occasions thought about how cool it would be to kick it with Lando Calrissian, Worf, Twiggy (Yes he’s a robot but he’s a brotha), and Chewie. You know…we’d be chillin, sippin on 40oz. Colt 2745s and talkin about how hot Princess Armada from Buck Rogers was. There’d be a knock on the door and Jar-Jar would be all…

“Meesa lika having some 40’s withums yousa homies!!”

And we’d be all… “Naw playa it’s cool. For real tho, the Ewoks are 2 floors down, go chill with them. They got Coors Light.” :)

Having had thoughts like that since I was a child, one can only imagine my excitement when I got a call from a guy named Randy to do the Star Wars based themed artwork for the 2015 Florida Bug Jam!

The Job

Randy is a cool cat so our conversations went well.  He began by explaining that he wanted a cartoon design that was both VW and Star Wars related.  He got about 3 sentences in and I cut him off because I was ready with an idea instantly!  He laughed at my enthusiasm as my voice got all high pitched and squeaky with exuberance.

I’m a Star Wars fan…have been since Episode 4 which I saw for the first time in the balcony of a historic theater with my Grandmother when I was a wee tot.  Note:  That’s the same Grandmother that fed me art history books and was instrumental in building my passion for art in general.  I miss her.  Awesome, Awesome lady.

car show tshirt vw

They already had some lettering done by one of Randy’s employees named Harrison Hunter Hedman…no joke.  Both Randy and Hunter were great throughout the entire process so things went smooth. The concept was pretty simple.  Make a bug an x-wing fighter and make a bus a tie-fighter and then incorporate them into a design.  I swear I was sketching before I hung up the phone.

The Build

The art followed my normal path.  Sketch, scan, enlarge, redraw on the light table, cry because I feel inadequate and pathetic, scan, print out blueline, tighten up on light table, crawl under the table and assume the fetal position while sucking my thumb, emerge, fight through the linework, feel better, scan, ink in photoshop, have fireman talk me off the ledge, then render.  Pretty routine.

X-Wing Bug

car show t shirt vw   car show t shirt vw   car show t shirt vw

On the Bug X-Wing Fighter I thought a lot about Porkins in Star Wars Episode 4.  You know…he’s in the rebel camp, eating a sandwich, watching Adam West Batman and the alarms go off.  The fishhead commander gives a vague battle plan which includes the impossible act of shooting a missile or whatever through a hole with a 2 foot diameter while you’re travelling at ludicrous speed. Porkins hops in his fighter, brushes some crumbs off his windbreaker and 6 minutes later he gets blown up by Vader!  What a rip!  I honestly believe his character had more to give.  I wrote George Lucas about it like 11 years ago, he didn’t reply…I’m assuming because he knows I’m right.  :)

The Bug shape was a pretty natural fit.  I decided to keep wheels and just tuck them for flight so maybe Luke and Leia could use it to go to the drive-in on Tatooine and smooch. (Note:  She wasn’t his sister then.  It became creepy after the fact.)  Overall it landed pretty well so I was happy.

Tie-Fighter Bus

car show t shirt vw   car show t shirt vw   car show t shirt vw

The Bus Tie-Fighter required a little more thought.  I didn’t know if I should do a Bay window bus or a Split window bus.  Splittys are considered the more desirable in the hobby but there are more Bays on the road, at least out here.  The tipper was the fact that I could write BAY-DER on the Westfalia top of the Bay. Many times my ability to giggle when I see something wins out.  I pulled a lot of reference for all these pieces as I wanted to make sure there was some accuracy even though it was a cartoon.  In the end the Bus landed ok too so I was above the desk, not under it and feeling good.

car show t shirt vw

For the layout it seemed like conveying some action would be a good thing.  I didn’t get to include my “pew-pew” noise but a battle scene and a VW modified Death Star seemed to fit it well.  In the end the design was received favorably so that was cool for me.  There was a lot of shares socially and hundreds of shirts sold online prior to the event date.  Yay.

I got to do a Kahrmanneum Falcon too!  It wasn’t on the design but it, and all the original sketches were auctioned off for charity at the event.

vw bug wars

The Show

So…My wife, Carole  had an in home commission in Louisville, Kentucky and that’s only a 2 hour flight from Dade City, Florida so we made a 13 day trip out of it. We spent over a week in Kentucky in this old Victorian house while she painted a horse for her client and I worked on my stuff.  It was cool.  We actually got to meet American Pharoah in person!  I touched him!!!  He was also the subject of Carole’s painting so it was beyond swell. Her painting came out awesome and her client was thrilled.

horse art carole

I portabilized my entire system so I was able to do work for my clients and drew another Bug Wars pic using a laptop and my tablet.

car show t shirt

We flew to Tampa and rented a 2015 New Beetle and drove to Dade City for the weekend. The Florida Bug Jam was huge!  Very HUGE.  I’ve been to many West Coast shows and this one dwarfed them.  Randy and his crew were amazing.  They had a Poker Run and police escorted cruise to downtown.  There was a big stage and great bands playing.  They built an offroad course for the buggy guys to go get dirty in.  Valve cover races, food, prizes, vendors, beer, camping (Hi Charlie and Susan!!), plus so much more.  It was nice to see different cars and see how they build out there as opposed to how we build out here.  I have many many ideas for my car now.

vw bug wars

I met Tanya of FP!!! Twice!!!…Don’t ask. :)

vw bug wars

Coins rocked.

vw bug wars

Someone said 800 cars…I don’t know…a lot though!

vw bug wars

All OG Split

vw bug wars

Corn Hole boards.

The shirts came out very very nice and sold like Alderon Hot Cakes.  The trophies were sic and everyone seemed to be having a good time.

Now…it was hot…not Tucson hot, but Florida muggy hot.  The temp was 87 and I think the humidity was 400%!!!  I’m not used to that at all so I had some issues.  I didn’t understand why I was sweating at 9am and all I was doing was standing there signing stuff.  I told a few people that guys in Florida must only pick up chix between January and April cause there’s no way you can be a smooth operator under those conditions.

vw bug wars

I likes the donuts.

vw bug wars

VWs as far as the eye can see.

vw bug wars

I rode in Russell’s Bus during the parade. He didn’t know me…I just hopped in.

vw bug wars

Cool trophies.

All in all though, it was a great event.  I was blown away by the hospitality and the energy of the people there.  Randy and his staff were excellent.  Running an event that large is hard and they deserve applause for their efforts.  I was honored to be there and experience it first hand.  If you get a chance to go to The Florida Bug Jam…Go!

Oh!  My sister verified that Twiggy is a brotha, she says his walk says it all.  I think we can all agree that Dr. Theopolis was not a brotha though.

Whew….ok…I think that about does it….time to kick my feet up, open a can of Colt 2745 and watch my boi get blown up by a nuke in Starship Troopers.

Till next time.

-lem


If you enjoyed this, share it. :)
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.lemorris.com/site/">
SHARE
YouTube
YouTube
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram

From Client to Family: The Vintage Wagens VW T-shirt Story

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. -Richard Bach

Pretty sappy for an art cat but in this case it couldn’t be more accurate.  Sometimes a job comes around that changes your entire path and leads to a connection that is life changing in both spirit and action.  That’s me and my man Vince Powers of Vintage Wagens in a nutshell.

t-shirt art, car art

4 car t-shirt art for Vintage Wagens

So…I’m chillin at home one day, picking my nose and feeling stale about art in general.  It happens.  Growth in art can be slow and sometimes you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and just not getting anywhere. I was having one of those years and then I get an email from this cat near Atlanta.

He made mention of knowing my work in videos from like 10 years ago and he said he wanted to talk about doing a project for him.  I get on the phone with this dude and instantly there’s a bond.  It was weird.  Like we have been friends forever.  Like military friends, ya know?  Turns out Vince restores cars in the Atlanta area.  He was looking at his favorite shirt which happens to be a gig I did and he saw my name.  That prompted the email.

What followed was nothing short of phenomenal.  This cat is so cool I struggle to find the words to describe him.  Just know that after hours and hours of conversations that go waaaaaaaay beyond just art, and getting a chance to meet, eat and hang out at a VW event in Florida, Vince is family to me.  This cat lifted me from a deep down bad place and ignited a whole new flame.  His tagline line is “Next Level Restorations.”  It was through him that I was able to take my art as well as myself to the “Next Level”.  I am honored to have V in my world.

Now…let’s look at the art!

 

00_comps_04

Vince is an excellent car builder.  He sent me pics of the 4 vehicles he wanted on this t-shirt design, and I was blown away!  The quality of the restos is as good as I have seen in the hobby, plus he has a flair to his builds…a little attitude if you will.

I roughed out some layouts and then set about rendering the cars.

 

Contine reading


If you enjoyed this, share it. :)
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.lemorris.com/site/">
SHARE
YouTube
YouTube
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram

Why the Utah VW Classic makes me think of Kate Pierson…oh, and how I did the art too.

So…who’s Kate Pierson???  She’s one of the 2 female singers in the legendary  band, The B52s.  It matters a whole lot to this post because I did have a reoccurring dream about the B52 girls for like 14 years.  It wasn’t dirty or nothin, we just sat around a table talking about regular stuff.  The cool part was everything they said, they said in harmony.  It made me very happy to hear them talking about how I should lace my shell toed Adidas in perfect unison.  I’ve been a B52 fan since I was about 12 and music plays a huge role in my little existence…it’s core.  So when I got the call from my client and friend Tony Brown (best man-hugger ever!!!)  to do the art for the 2015 Utah VW Classic, I jumped at the chance.  I’ve done this job for the Utah Transporter Association a few times before, including last years design which went over really well so I was excited to give it another “go”.

One of the things I like about the job is the fact that they give me a lot of line.  They might have a general idea, or concept, but they allow me to get down how I get down and that is always nice.  I have been going through a lot of life changes so I ended up taking a bit longer than I wanted, but Tony was patient and understanding and supportive…(see?  more friend than client…Thanks man.)  So when I finally got through the issues that had me all “Art-stipated”  It was nice to get back to this.

car show t shirt

The design came out ok for me.  Knowing that KCW (Kustom Coach Werks) is onboard was an added bonus.  JJ of KCW is da man!!  If you don’t know…find out!  Amazing work…no joke.  I think my buddy Ben is kickin it with those cats up there now.  I hope he sees this.  Tucson misses him.  Great guy.

Getting back to the whole “let me get down how I get down thing…”  I have a couple good friends in Lake Havasu City Arizona.  One is a total legend.  he was a founder of the world famous Jerome Jamboree and a founder of the equally world famous Buses By The Bridge event, and as if that wasn’t enough, he likes summer sausage…with or without cheese!  His name is John, or VW Howard, super cool cat.  If you ever get a chance to meet him you can email me and tell me how right I am.  Another good friend from Havasu is my buddy Art.  Now…he doesn’t know this, but I figured out why I like him so much.  He’s cool.  I mean like smoooooth cool.  I couldn’t put my finger on it, but man….this guy reminds me of my Dad!!!  No he’s not black and doesn’t wear Star Trek boots (to my knowledge), but this cat reminds me of my Dad.  First time I’ve had that since my fathers passing, so Art holds a very very cool spot with me.  Next time I see him we’ll laugh…that’s cool too.

All that being said I thought it would be fun to draw my 2 Havasu buddies buses for this event.  I’m secretly hoping this will encourage all the London Bridge Bullis (Havasu Bus Folk) to make the trip up to this show.  Utah is beautiful…nuff said.  I know all the LBB would have a blast and enjoy the trip.

None of that however explains the whole Kate Pierson B52 Utah tie though.  At this point either me or my keyboard is schizophrenic, but wait…I smell what I’m stepping in.  Utah is known as the “Beehive” State (see the beehive in the design?) and when I think of Beehives all I see is Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson of the B52’s sitting there with their amazing beehive hairdos, talking to me in harmonic unison about how to apply charcoal dust with a q-tip to a car drawing, or agreeing with me when I present my argument that “Dirk Wears White Socks” is the best Adam and The Ants album of all time!

Ahhhh…that felt good…just like this piece.   :)

Huge thanks to Tony and the entire Utah Transporter Association  that run the Utah VW Classic, and big thanks to John, Art, and especially Kate for letting me attach a tad of my weird to you.  :)  If you get a chance to go to this event….go.  These are great people.

Here’s a bunch of the steps I took in doing the drawing.  Enjoy!

utah2015_01 utah2015_02 utah2015_06 utah2015_08 utah2015_10 utah2015_11 utah2015_13 utah2015_16 utah2015_17 car show t shirt

You know…Kate’s latest album is available on itunes and Amazon.  here’s one of the vids I dig from it.  :)


If you enjoyed this, share it. :)
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.lemorris.com/site/">
SHARE
YouTube
YouTube
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram

New Aircooled VW T-Shirt Available: Plein Air-Cooled

“Plein Air-cooled”….Just because you’re an air-cooled enthusiast doesn’t mean you can’t be cultured and well versed in the arts.  :)

Click Here to get yours.

vw t shirt

This is the first design in the Plein Air-cooled series.  The original art was hand drawn using charcoal and carbon pencils on hot press bristol board.  The artist didn’t wear one of those funny french hats but he was reminded of some of his favorite artists from back in the day.  The term Plein Air refers to painting or creating art outdoors, but when you combine it with Air-cooled it just means cool, unique and fun art wear.

This design is available on 2 colors.  Delacroix Green, and Honore Grey.  (Note:  The actual names are Military Green and Sport grey, but they didn’t sound artsy enough so I made up a couple names.)

It is available in sizes Medium thru XXLarge.  (XXL costs $3 more)  Please allow 2 weeks for shipping.

Click Here to get yours.

 


If you enjoyed this, share it. :)
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.lemorris.com/site/">
SHARE
YouTube
YouTube
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram

Buses By The Bridge 2015: 20 Years of Awesome

If you are in the air-cooled hobby at all, the Buses by the Bridge event in Havasu City, AZ is an event that has taken on almost mythological proportions.  It is by far one of the largest and and most revered VW Bus based events in the U.S.  I’m fortunate to have been given a shot at doing the art for the 20th annual show.  It meant the world to me to be asked not only because of the magnitude of the event, but because the show organizers are  dear friends of mine.  I don’t have a lot of people that I get to be “without my armor” around, so this is one of the gigs that kinda sits “on Olympus” for me.  :)   Here’s a quick look at what went down.

buses by the bridge car show tshirt art

As always I break out my trusty zebra tech pencil and attempted to sketch the idea that was presented to me by the notoriously infamous Ronnie F of Bustoration fame.  I’m pretty good at extracting the vision from a clients head and turning it into a vision on paper.  Ronnie  understood what he wanted and through a little back and forth we got there.  I appreciate his candor.  Sloppy sketch aside, it was fun.

buses by the bridge car show tshirt art

I’ll skip all the little steps and get to the first comp.  Historically this event has used a very similar design every year.  A few years back I got to do the art and it was cool but it was more of a “me” take.  It went over well, but it didn’t hold the tradition like it should have.  This time I went back to the roots, I mean damn….20 year old roots!!  Gotta stay true I figured.  It ended up being a decent call.  The uncomplicated loose toon look of  buses rolling over The London Bridge fit the bill.  The buses didn’t belong to anybody in particular, I just thought they were cool.

buses by the bridge car show tshirt art

In the second comp I locked it all down and cleaned up some elements.  A few years ago a big balloon launch became part of the BBB weekend so it was important to get that element in.  There’s a lighthouse that is a spot of importance at the event and I added a duck, like I did last time I did the design.  I know there is some significance, but I forgot the back-story.  If you go, ask VW Howard or Corey…they know everything…EVERYTHING!!

buses by the bridge car show tshirt art

The next part was relatively easy.  I opened Photoshop and broke out my crayons….(note: I pronounce it “KRANZ”….Merica!!)  I know the color for 20th year stuff is platinum or emerald but it just didn’t fit and it’s so hard to get greens in title text to work on multiple colored garments.  The color scheme just kinda built itself.  I mean I was painting it, but the cosmos made the decisions, I was just there.  :)  These low res jpgs don’t really show the crispness, however if you go, get a shirt and a poster and you’ll see.  It landed OK so in the end I was good with it.

buses by the bridge car show tshirt art

buses by the bridge car show tshirt art

I don’t know how many color options there will be, and I don’t know how much extra goodies will be produced.  I do know that I saved and signed every original element of the design in it’s pencil on paper form and I will be sending the originals to the show organizers to use however they see fit.  It was an extremely cool gig for me and I want to thank the London Bridge Bullis and all my Havasu City friends for giving me a re-shot.  This one mattered.  Thank you guys.

-lem


If you enjoyed this, share it. :)
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.lemorris.com/site/">
SHARE
YouTube
YouTube
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram

VW Drag Night 2015

Here’s a couple pics of some of the work I did for this year’s VW Drag Night show.  Fun little toons.

vwdn2015_32 vwdn2015_31

  Contine reading


If you enjoyed this, share it. :)
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.lemorris.com/site/">
SHARE
YouTube
YouTube
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram

Art by Lemorris 2014 Review

I got a chance to go ahead and string some pics together to make a review of the some of the stuff I drew last year.

Enjoy!


If you enjoyed this, share it. :)
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.lemorris.com/site/">
SHARE
YouTube
YouTube
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram

Sneek Peek…this way something muscle comes…

More on deck, this is just a preview.  Kinda moving out of the VW world….Kinda liking it.  :)

 

renocc_22

 

renocc_20

 

renocc_14


If you enjoyed this, share it. :)
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.lemorris.com/site/">
SHARE
YouTube
YouTube
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram

SuperNationals 2015 Design

I was blown away when I got the call to do this job.  It was really fun to stretch my wings a little.

car show tshirt design


If you enjoyed this, share it. :)
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.lemorris.com/site/">
SHARE
YouTube
YouTube
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram