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FALL 2017 / $5

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


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Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

Issue #2, Fall 2017 October/November/December Gnarly Magazine PO Box 5043 Limerick, PA 19468 USA Publisher / Editor / Creative Director Johnny VonGriz Contributing Writer Emelia Lakso Website: Email:

Š2017 Gnarly Magazine All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any method whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher. The magazine accepts no responsibility for unsolicited recordings, manuscripts, artwork, or photographs and will not return such materials unless requested and accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. You are free to tell all your friends on social media how cool Gnarly Magazine is, though.

Speling and grammer, mistakes intenshunal.

From The Editor Well, we made it to issue #2! I'm proud of the first issue and am humbled by all of the positive feedback so far. Moving forward, I really want to add a little humor to the pages of Gnarly, so you'll notice some comics, a silly "Find the Differences" game, and a "Dear Dr. Pinstriper" feature mixed in with all of the usual artist awesomeness. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed putting it together! Thanks for reading, Johnny VonGriz

Inside This Issue Words. Pretty pictures. Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


artist spotlight:

1000styles 1000styles (aka Dan Dippel) is an illustrator and graphic designer based out of Syracuse, NY. He lives there with his wife, two kids, and dog, and besides art, other interests include hot rods, horror movies, heavy metal and good IPAs. Originally from Walworth, NY (near Rochester), he moved to Syracuse in 1996 to attend Syracuse University and graduated in 2000 with a BFA in Illustration. He was hired at SUNY Upstate Medical University shortly after as a graphic designer and has remained there ever since. His professional responsibilities there now include management of the in-plant printing department in addition to graphic design. Dan has also consistently maintained an active freelancing career outside of his regular 9-to-5 job. Work varies within the commercial illustration and graphic design fields, and over the years Dan has been fortunate to attract clients that allow him to focus on his preferred types and styles of artwork - primarily music-related art such as gig posters for bands and festivals, t-shirt graphics for bands, album covers, and promo work for bands and record labels. Dan does not limit his output to musicrelated work, however - he has done several skateboard deck graphics, and t-shirt graphic and poster/promo artwork for hot rod and motorcycle shows across the country is also a favorite. Clients have included Warner Bros. Music, Wu-Tang Clan, Metallica, Iron Invasion, Retro Rewind, Louder Than Life Fest, Carolina Rebellion, Chicago Open-Air, Rammstein, Korn, Rock on the Range, Demon Seed Skateboards, Ol’ Skool Rodz Magazine, and Primus, among many others. Dan also maintains a webstore where he sells stickers, prints, and t-shirts featuring his art, as well as original art.


Website: Instagram: @1000styles Webstore: T-shirt Webstore:

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


Artist Spotlight:

Jessie Madera I have been creating art since 2009 as a self-taught artist in NY State, dropping out of school and work at 19 due to unforeseen health circumstances. It has allowed me the advantage to become a full-time artist turned small business owner at the age of 27, developing a large base of work around custom commissions from a clientele across the globe including small independent businesses, established bands, and individuals. With a strong focus on acrylic, airbrush, and digital design, using a mix of hyper-realism and pop surrealist techniques, I am able to demonstrate disguised macabre themes in a whimsical execution. This allows for a resonating moment of connection to childlike innocence with the ripened angst we deal with as we cultivate maturity.

Inspirations are largely gathered from street art, kustom kulture and dramatic pops of color and shadow throughout our everyday lives, both physically and metaphorically.

Every piece created is so distinct from another yet cohesive in message and approach that it allows for each work to flow with each other smoothly or hold profound presence to stand all on its own.

We are the ‘one stop shop’ for all your custom art and design needs.


I strive to continually challenge myself in skillset and thought process in order to keep my motivation fresh and growing. Being an artist can be mentally draining to all our emotions as there is a constant urge to speak in volume. To create work based around other people’s feelings can add a taxing pressure that most traditional artists will never need to think about or experience. It is my job, which I take great pride and responsibly in, to bring my clients feelings, concepts and emotions to life having never shared more than an email with them. // Instagram: @thepaintingbuzz

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


artist spotlight:

MR. Oz

I'm an artist originally hailing from the Midwest, USA. Mostly known for my lettering and travels, I do –from time to time– full paint on choppers, vans, lowriders, etc. as well. I first got into pinstriping and building minitrucks in my youth with that quickly adapting into Customs & Hotrods at age 15 at Al's Hot Rod Barn in Aurora, IN. From there the ship was sailed.


By age 19 I had a shop doing custom fabrication and I started to hit car shows up with my paintbox for extra cash in the South and Midwest ... I was hooked!! Now 11 years later with lots of help from the raddest friends, family, sponsors, and customers a man could ever ask for, I am still in business and growing faster than ever! I got a couple helpers nowadays at Mr.Oz Designs, and we offer anything from custom signs to full paint jobs, both new and old customers, in over 20 countries worldwide and look forward to working with you on your project more than ever!

Keeps tabs on us real time on Instagram @mrozdesigns or visit

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

Dear Dr. Pinstriper A surly old pinhead answers all your questions... DEAR DR. PINSTRIPER: I can't seem to get the consistency of my 1 Shot right. It's either too runny or it too thick. What should I do? –Stripeless in Seattle DEAR STRIPELESS: Like my grandfather used to say: "Wow, dude, that sucks! You're doing it terribly wrong. Try again, dumb dumb." So... practice, practice, practice? DEAR DR. PINSTRIPER: Is it true that pinstriping brushes are made of squirrel hair? -Rocky, Philadelphia, PA DEAR ROCKY: I don't know, man. Maybe they are, and maybe they're made out of my butt hair. Do I look like Dr. Dolittle to you?

DEAR DR. PINSTRIPER: I'm thinking about becoming a tattoo artist. It's been my dream for about 3 months now and I really think I'm gonna do it! Do you have any advice? –Taz4Life, Boston, MA DEAR TAZ4LIFE: My advice for you is to fill up a portfolio full of wizards and wolf sketches and go down to your local tattoo salon, along with $125 cash money, and tell the owner that you'd like to be an apprentice. All of those wizards will show him you mean business. And the $125 shows him you got what it takes to cover the apprentice fee. Then let him know about your three month old dream and your desire to create art -permanently– on someone's body with a tattoo gun. And I can't stress enough that you should call it a gun. Also, let him know that you won't scrub tubes. That's gross. Good luck on your quest and be sure to check in with us next week and let us know how your dream of being a sign painter is going. DEAR DR. PINSTRIPER: I'm having problems... DEAR WHOEVER: Shut up. Buy a motorcycle. All your problems can be solved simply by hopping on your motorcycle and riding the stress away. DEAR DR. PINSTRIPER: I live in Pittsburgh and the winters can get pretty cold. I pinstripe in my garage so the temperature is pretty low and my enamels don't flow as nicely as they do in the spring. What's causing this? -PennsGirl87, Pittsburgh, PA DEAR PENNSGIRL87: Ew. Pittsburgh? Really? Move. Also, Crosby sucks. (If you don't live in PA, you're not gonna get this reference. Too bad.)

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

DEAR DR. PINSTRIPER: What's the best way to remove old pinstriping from a motorcycle tank? -Chuck, San Diego, CA DEAR CHUCK: This may sound odd, but regular old oven cleaner will remove unwanted stripes from your tank. It couldn't be any easier: Just spray the oven cleaner over top of the old pinstripes, then grab a belt sander and grind away those stripes in no time flat! DEAR DR. PINSTRIPER: My boyfriend just bought a bagger motorcycle and I don't know what to do now. Should I leave him? -Bobber Betty, Nashville, TN DEAR BOBBER BETTY: No, I don't think you should do anything that drastic just because your boyfriend chooses to ride a bagger. Is it possible you could post a Craigslist ad to see if you can get someone to steal it?

For those instantly butt-hurt over every little thing: understand that this feature is satire. A joke. Parody. Have fun and send in your questions for a surly pinstriper's answers. Gnarly Magazine c/o Dr. Pinstriper PO Box 5043 Limerick, PA 19468


building the BY LB Guzzler "I started the project in June 2016. I have been painting for a long time, mainly acrylic on canvas and was getting pretty bored with it so I decided I would try something a bit more challenging. My boss had asked me to make him a big hotdog for the roof of his race car, so I found a big block of polystyrene and went to work on it. I had such a good time building it I thought I would really test myself and build a Rat Fink. A company in the street I work in kindly donated a huge block of polystyrene. I had never carved before so I stole the wife's best carving knife and started chopping away. Polystyrene was blowing around the neighborhood for about 3 weeks as I carved it in the back yard. I think most of it ended up in the neighbor's swimming pool. They were away on holiday at the time so I guess I got away with it."


September 2016. Once I was happy with the design, I then covered it with fibreglass, then came months and months of sanding and fibre glassing. Detail was added as I went along i.e. "RF" on the front, detail in the ears, wrinkles, etc.


October 2016 Finally happy with the fibreglass stage I then covered it in Plaster of Paris and started sanding again - this gave it a smoother surface and allowed me to put some more detail in. Then one final coat of fibreglass for strength.



January 2017 Teeth were then added. Each tooth was hand carved and fibreglassed into the gums, the gums were then fibreglassed into the mouth. This process took 4 weeks to finish. The original eyes were then removed and new ones made. I had left the originally carved eyes in as I wasn’t sure how to make new ones. I had several goes but couldn’t seem to get them right. They needed to be exact in every way, length, width, and height had to be identical. The solution came when I was having a beer one day and noticed the can I was drinking from looked pretty close to what I needed. After cutting the tops off two empty cans I then filled both with plaster, let it dry and then drilled most of it out to make them lighter. This left me with a thin shaped mold I could then fibreglass over, a bit more fibreglass at the front to make them curved and I had two exact eyes I was happy with. I also cut the toenails out from an empty beer can, these were then coated with fibreglass to make them smooth.


February 2017 Teeth and eyes now in. It was starting to look like a Rat. Moles were added and more detail around the gums. I usually leave the hard parts to the end. The hands were always going to be difficult and after weeks of trial and error, I finally decided on using rubber gloves filled with plaster. Once the plaster had set I broke each finger and repositioned it to exactly where I wanted it, I then added an extra 1cm to each finger to make them look a little bit different to a human's finger. These were then coated in fibreglass.

I know a lot of people thought I was crazy! In reality, I probably was!

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


LB Guzzler Kustom Kulture Artist Brisbane, Australia Instagram: @LBGuzzler

March 2017 My original plan was to put a silver metal flake base down and then candy over the top; green for the skin and red and yellow for the overalls. However, once I had done this I wasn’t happy with the overall look. The metal flake was too much and tended to overpower the whole look. I decided to run with the green metal flake and a straight gloss red; yellow was used for the “RF". The rock was then given coats of flat gray, black and white.


June 2017 Finally finished. Nearly 12 months to the day. I am really happy with how it turned out. However, like most artists, there are a few things I would change.

JahPix, from Germany, won the Rat Fink Art Contest that we had over on the blog. Lots of fun contests are hosted over there, so be sure to check it out and watch for upcoming contests for your chance to win some free Gnarly Magazine merch! And make sure you check out JahPix's website:

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017



jeremy "von banjo" Rushing Gnarly: Banjo​ ​builder,​ ​guitar​ ​builder,​ ​pinstriper,​ ​helmet​ ​painter,​ automotive​ ​paint​ ​and body​ ​work,​ ​knife​ ​maker,​ ​graphic​ ​designer...​ What​ ​did​ ​I​ ​miss? Von Banjo: Let's see, that about covers it for now. I've also played in a few bar bands, paint signs, and tint windows. I think once you take the patience to learn one thing, whether it be an art or a trade or both, you can just about do anything if you respect the process. It reminds me of that John Lennon quote: "I'm an artist, gimme a freakin’ tuba and I'll get you something out of it." I grew up working in a heating and air business with my grandfather and uncle, both ex-military guys. When most kids were on summer vacation I was 10 years old running up and down a 30-foot ladder with tools and freon tanks and crawling around in 120-degree attics. When we weren't doing that we were always working on cars and trucks or some other project. You’re​ ​lucky​ ​in​ ​that​ ​you​ ​have​ ​the​ ​drive​ ​and​ ​natural​ ​talent​ ​to​ ​ create​ ​with​ ​any medium,​ ​whether​ ​it​ ​be​ ​with​ ​paint,​ ​or​ ​wood,​ ​ or​ ​steel.​ ​Where​ ​do​ ​you​ ​think​ ​that comes​ ​from? Von Dutch made the statement that nothing is really original we just keep repeating and building on the same things and it's all based on genetics. I believe that. I come from a big family and they're all very talented people. Building everything from hot rods, drag cars, VW trikes, dune buggies, and motorcycles, to cake decorators, painters, custom woodworking, airbrush artists, mechanics, contractors, fiddle makers, musicians – the list could go on forever. I think that's because in the southeast most people have a very do-it-yourself attitude. Civil War, the Depression, and the recession have made the south one of the poorest areas in the nation. So, nobody throws anything away because you might need it later or you can trade or sell it and if you can help it you don't call someone to fix or build something for you. 12

You do it yourself and it's hot, humid and swampy. I think that makes everything a little tougher, including the people. Hey, they don't call it the dirty south for nothin’. Since​ ​you​ ​go​ ​by​ ​the​ ​“Von​ ​ Banjo”​ ​moniker,​ ​let’s​ ​talk​ ​ banjos.​ ​What​ ​made​ ​you decide​ ​to​ ​build​ ​a​ ​banjo​ ​versus​ ​ what​ ​us​ ​lazy​ ​people​ ​do:​ ​go​ ​ buy​ ​one!? Haha! Well, the "Von Banjo" thing started off as kind of a joke. A chopper site shared a picture of me pinstriping, surrounded by helmets, signs, skateboards, and a bunch of empty beer cans and shit. Somebody made the comment it looked like an old Von Dutch picture. Then a buddy jokingly said, "you’re 'Von Banjo'" and it just stuck I guess. I went to tech school for auto body and paint. Then eventually went on to work for the teacher – a guy by the name of Ray Orr – who taught the class and is a pretty well-known hot rod builder in the area. Back then I was just helping out around the shop and trying to learn as much as possible. One day he sees me drawing a flying eye or a Rat Fink or something. Next day he comes in with a can of 1 Shot black, a Mack Brush, and when I wasn't busy he had me go practice on some old car hoods out back. It was a real learning experience because there weren't any other pinstripers around. He just told me the basics and I gave it hell. After awhile, I moved on to another shop, but by then I was tired of eating Bondo dust and really just wanted to paint. I've played guitar since I was a kid but you can't throw a rock without hitting a guitar player and I've always loved bluegrass and acoustic music and the banjo so I figured I give it a try. I found an old tenor four string in an antique store with a broken neck and thought I could make a new 5 string neck. I already had a lot of hand tools but I bought a cheap bandsaw, found a nice piece of maple and rosewood and made a Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

banjo neck. Once I got it all assembled and finished I practiced with it for awhile and then someone offered me some cash for it. Everything’s for sale so I sold it and made a nice profit. So while I was still working in the body shop I kept building banjos, selling them and buying more tools. Eventually, I was making more money doing banjos so I quit the shop and started making banjos full-time in the garage. Were​ ​you​ ​a​ ​banjo​ ​player​ ​before​ ​you​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​build​ ​them​ ​or​ ​ did​ ​you​ ​learn​ ​to play​ ​them​ ​and​ ​build​ ​them​ ​at​ ​the​ ​same​ ​time? I started playing what's called a banjitar, which is a banjo rim with a guitar neck. Back in the day, they didn't have the forms of electric amplification we have now so they were making all these crazy hybrid instruments with banjo pots to make them louder. Banjo mandolins, banjo ukuleles, and banjo guitars. The banjitars are very popular in pop country music today but they just don't have that banjo sound; that high lonesome sound. So that's when I set out to learn and effectively make a 5 string. About that time someone gave me an old double album called Mississippi String Bands, which was a collection of field recordings from the 1920s of music recorded around the area I'm from. I noticed right away the banjo sounded very different from the bluegrass style fingerpicking made famous by guys like Earl Scruggs. It's called clawhammer style banjo. It's a very quick hand motion (pick-brush-thumb) done without picks and several different timings. It has a very different distinct sound. Rhythmic and percussive, mostly played on what's called an open back 5 string banjo. You can sing with it or it sounds great by itself or accom-

panied by a fiddle. Not a lot of people still play this way. It kind of blew me away. So that's the style I set out to learn. Now I play both clawhammer and bluegrass fingerpicking, but the banjo is an amazing instrument. It just sorta draws you in like no other instrument, whether you’re playing or listening to it. Did​ ​you​ ​already​ ​have​ ​the​ ​tools​ ​and​ ​machinery​ ​for​ ​the​ ​builds?​ ​ I​ ​gotta​ ​imagine setting​ ​yourself​ ​up​ ​for​ proper​ ​building​ ​is​ ​not​ ​ a​ ​cheap​ ​adventure. I started out in the garage with a bandsaw and hand tools, but every time I sold a banjo I bought more power tools. Sanders, table saws, bigger band saw, routers, planers – you name it. I eventually outgrew the garage and moved into a small 20 x 20 shop and got a lathe so I could turn my own rims. I built several jigs to make the process smoother and more efficient. Now I've spread out into two 20 x 20 shops on my property and replaced all the old tools with better equipment and it's a full-on woodshop with a homemade wood heater and everything. The other shop I share with my girlfriend Cecilia. She does handmade silversmith jewelry, stained glass and paints on one side and I draw, paint, pinstripe, make signs and do instrument repair work and final finish on my instruments on the other. You can find us out there any day of the week blasting good music, making cool shit and generally having a good time doing it. I also have a small spray booth that was originally built for spraying instruments but it also gets used for motorcycle parts, helmets and sign work. It’s constantly getting bigger with projects spilling over into the house most of the time, but that's a good thing!

"That's the thing about Kustom Kulture, it's not just one thing. What a few guys started for kicks has turned into a fullblown way of life..."

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


Is​ ​banjo​ ​building​ ​your​ ​primary​ ​“career”​ ​or​ ​is​ ​it​ ​the​ ​pinstriping/painting? People always ask me what I do for a living and my reply is always: "What ya got?" I try not to let any one thing start to feel too much like work, so I spread a lot of different jobs around. Pretty much anything you can think of. There for awhile, it was full-on building banjos, around 35 total so far. Then I started building guitars – acoustics and electrics. I had to build a steam box and jigs for the acoustics and learn about wiring, electronics, and templates for the electrics. I was doing repairs on all types of instruments too. I hadn't painted or pinstriped in years, but when I started building electrics I pulled out the old paint box and started painting and pinstriping them up. About that time a buddy of mine, Whit Huffman, opened a motorcycle/chopper shop in town, Mockingbird Motorworks, and he needed some signage, pinstriping, and some paint work. So that got me back into it, but bikes instead of cars this time. As it usually goes, one job leads to another. Now it's more painting than building instruments. I'm building my first electric lap steel guitar now and I'm always doing instrument repairs for people. I'm the guy they bring it to when no one else will work on it. Either it's too expensive or it's in pieces in a sack and other guys won't touch it. Painting, pinstriping and sign work is mainly what I'm doing now. The wood shop also comes in handy doing signs and graphic cut-outs. We travel around to a lot of shows, swap meets and motorcycle rallies. We set up on-site with everything from painted helmets and art to handmade jewelry and motorcycle parts, as well as doing pinstriping and lettering on site. I also will travel to pinstripe at different shops. I'm pretty grateful I get to do all this stuff for a living, blown away actually. I'm not getting rich but to me, that's not really the point. It's how you live your life, that kind of beatnik trip. It's a pretty cool deal to be out there working in these environments meeting people. I feel it's a privilege when people seek me out to pinstripe their bike or car or paint their helmet or a flask or something. I’m honored to do it, it's a pretty awesome feeling. And we might party a little too! What’s​ ​the​ ​most​ ​difficult​ ​process​ ​in​ ​banjo​ ​making? When I started completely making my own banjos the most difficult part was not making any money because I was still trying to figure all this shit out. I don't know how other builders do it. When I build a banjo for somebody I ask them what kind of music they're listening to, so I can listen to it. What do they want it to sound like? I ask them to send me a video of how they play, what kind of inlay they want, different parts and so on. It's a very interactive process. There are several different wood choices for the pot, I also use a lot of unconventional wood that wouldn't typically be used for instruments and they'll all get you different sounds. While I'm turning a pot I'm constantly stopping to tap it with an old drum stick to determine by the sound it makes how much wood to take off or leave on to get the desired sound on the finished product the client wants. How thick does the neck need to be so they can play comfortably? How high does the string action need to be? These are all reasons people buy a custom instrument or custom anything for that matter. It's 100% custom fit for them and their style. Even with all the woodworking equipment, I still do at least 50% of it by hand. I rough out the rim parts on the bandsaw but hand-turn them on the lathe with a chisel. Most banjo builders use metal lathes for their rims. I rough out the neck but finish it with spoke shaves, rasps and hand files. I cut all the pearl inlay with a keyhole saw and use hammer and chisels to cut out their spot on the fretboard. I've hand-rolled my own brass tone rings. I refuse to use lacquer. Anybody that's ever played guitar finished with lacquer outside in the summer–it feels like there's glue on the neck and you have trouble moving your fretting hand around. I prefer to use tung oil or do a French polish. The whole process can take up to 2 weeks to a month, and there's a whole lot of back and forth phone 14

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

calls and emails between me and the client. The most difficult part is getting the overall completed instrument right in terms of the client. I've never had one returned and they don't come up for re-sale very often. I'm proud of that and I apply those same principles to everything I do. You’re​ ​obviously​ ​a​ ​creative​ ​and​ ​talented​ ​dude,​ ​so​ ​apologies​ ​for​ ​this​ ​cliché question:​ ​Who​ ​are​ ​your​ ​main​ ​artistic​ ​influences​ ​and​ ​why? Anybody pinstriping and customizing anything has to give credit to Von Dutch. It's like Earl Scruggs on the banjo. He started something we're all just trying to improve on. I still try to follow that sort of old school vibe that a lot of these guys had. I don't reproduce a lot of the same work and I don't copyright anything. That beatnik trip of making something new and cool out of something old that nobody wants. He didn't care about money, he just wanted to make cool shit. Lived in an old bus with sand blasters and metal lathes in it with a bed in the back. Creating kustom pinstriping, cars, and bikes, VW motorcycles, guns, knives, art—the list goes on, and from what I understand, he mostly wanted to be left the fuck alone to do all this cool shit. I'll bet he's rolling over in his grave now. I gotta give credit to all the old-school guys: Ed Roth, Dean Jeffries...Nowadays you got a different guy for everything. These guys did it all from start to finish. I dig a lot of the old school pinstriping, lettering and sign painting style. Less is more. I like big bold lines. I don't like skinny little lines that are so thin you can see the paint under them. I like clean corners. I'm not a big fan of scrolling or shitloads of metal flake and fish scale, endless line panels, but I can, have, and will do it. I really dig Josh Scott’s work from Old School Helmets, Brent "Smudge" Matkin, Mark Mahran at Hot Rod Surf and Darren McKeag. Ernie Gosnell is an amazing artist and sign painter. Of course, David Mann was a fucking genius. I'm also heavily influenced by the people's work I see around me here in the south: Jarret "Tubz" Board, Tiffany "Trouble" Dodson, Chastin Brand. Artists like Larry Gardinier, Alan Berg, and Gorgeous George. Builders like Slop Shop, Kenny Slaughter, anything the Haints out of Birmingham do is awesome. Whit Huffman over at Mockingbird Motorworks, and Never Forget Larry Pierce. I dig photography work by Kustom Jeff Daily, Winston Wolf, and Billy Childress. Buckeye Banjos, Tommy George of George Banjos, and Jason Burns are amazing builders. Favorite banjo pickers hands down: the late Dr. Ralph Stanley, Larry Gillis, and Clifton Hicks. I'm also, of course, inspired by my hammer Cecilia (@_southern_trouble_) and her work and my family. That's the thing about Kustom Kulture, it's not just one thing. What a few guys started for kicks has turned into a full-blown way of life and everybody has their own little trips and contributions in every direction. So it's hard for me to just nail down one element of it. I’m inspired by everything, man. What’s​ ​the​ ​Biltwell​ ​Custom​ ​Helmet​ ​Artist​ ​Program​ ​and​ ​how​ ​did​ ​you​ ​get involved​ ​in​ ​it? First off, the dudes at Biltwell are awesome. I've met a bunch of them and it’s a great company. They have a lot of great products. They ride bikes, they work on bikes. They're always doing rides and sponsoring events and kicking down prizes. So I'm only guessing here, but imagine it just happened organically. Just like people dig custom cars, bikes, and banjos, they also dig custom helmets. Artists that paint helmets buy a lot of helmets, so even though we aren't official Biltwell dealers, they made a place for the artist’s that use their helmets as canvases too, which is cool because most of the people I know wear Biltwell lids. I wore one before I was even a part of the artist program. It was my hammer Cecilia that told me about the program and we had to contact Biltwell and send photos of my work, me working, and Continued on pg. 26 Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


featured artist:

BigToe, aka artist Tom Laura, was raised in SoCal on a steady beach-rat diet of Ed Roth, Mad Magazine and Surfer Magazine's Rick Griffin. After over 20 years in the Southern California surfing and apparel industry, BigToe started painting for public exhibition in 2006. Tom creates art with a casual, tonguein-cheek sense of humor and playful eroticism that offers a nostalgic escape in our fast-paced and ever-changing world. BigToe’s art is inspired by the confluence of Tiki, Kustom and Surf culture. The fusion of these seemingly disparate lifestyles has always been an obvious one to the artist: all 3 are outsider ways of life. The last vestiges of wild west renegades. BigToe's artwork lives in collections all over the world with collectors as varied as Sex Pistol Steve Jones, Blondie's Debbie Harry, and Google’s


Googolplex. The art of BigToe has been exhibited at Gallery worldwide including La Luz de Jesus, Copro Nason in Los Angeles, as well as US galleries from Hawaii, San Diego, Orange County, New York, Detroit and Florida, and worldwide in galleries in Canada, Japan, France, England, Germany, Switzerland and Australia. BigToe's artwork has been featured in books such as Korero Publishing's Kustom Graphics, Surf Story and Burlesque Posters books and in magazines such as Longboard Magazine, Car Kulture Deluxe, Bachelor Pad, Rockabilly Magazine, Varla Magazine, Tattoo Life Magazine, Campout Magazine, Tiki Magazine,

Photo: DCImagery

Ol Skool Rods and MAD magazine, as well as Smokin' Shutdown/Germany, Burnout Magazine/Japan, Pinstripe and Kustom Graphics Magazine in England and Deadbeat Magazine/Australia. The best place to find BigToe prints and original art is on Etsy: Keep up with shows and events on Instagram: @BigToeArt and on Facebook: BigToeProductions

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

GNARLY: So, the obvious and most important question is: Do you have Debbie Harry on speed-dial, offering yearly, free “touch-ups” to the painting she purchased? BIGTOE: Haha, like The Picture of Dorian Grey? (look it up, you philistines!) No, but I did get to meet her at a party...I was a blubbering idiot, but she was very gracious, just so cool and normal.  How did Steve Jones and Debbie Harry discover your work? I sent Steve Jones (from the Sex Pistols) a message a few years back when he started doing a little Internet radio show called Jonsie's Jukebox and asked him to check out my work. He checked out my website and wanted to buy my first "Lucky Hula Girl," weird, huh? Debbie was a little different. I painted her just because she is a goddess, and my girlfriend Audrey told me she knows her makeup artist (and amazing DJ) Guy Vanvoores. He showed it to Debbie. She said she loved it, wanted a print and invited us to a party she was throwing on the roof of a Hollywood hotel. It was a surreal experience: Boy George spinning records, Chris Stein showing his photography and I got to meet some of my favorite punk rock, art and movie stars–too many to name drop–and best of all, I got to watch my girlfriend make out with Debbie Harry on the dance floor! It’s interesting that MAD Magazine is famous for its satire, but many artists I’ve talked to over the years have mentioned that it was a big influence on their art. Do you think it’s the artwork alone or the combination of great artists and biting satirical wit? I think it's definitely the combination of masterful level art skills combined with the irreverence of the art themes and editorial content. For so many of us, it's the first exposure we have to satire as kids, and it blows our little minds! Who are your big influences now? Do you still have your subscription to MAD Magazine? Man, too many to list. I don't subscribe to MAD, but one of my proudest moments was having a Spy vs Spy painting I did included in the mag. I am influenced by so many artists, from heroes like Frazetta, Robert Williams, Ed Roth (along with Ed Newton and Von Franco), Todd Schorr, Mark Ryden, Glenn Barr, The Pizz, SHAG, Rick Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


Rietveld, Jim Phillips, Keith Weesner and John K (Ren & Stimpy) to artists working now like Craola, Shawn Dickenson, Damian Fulton, Candy, Brad Parker and my art brothers Doug Horne and Ken Ruzic.  You’ve listed all the books that your work has been featured in, but do you have any plans to release a book on your own? Funny you should ask, I have just inked the contract to produce a BigToe Art book by Working Class Publishing in sunny Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Look for it in late 2018 or 2019.  Tell me a little bit more about your artistic training and what kind of artwork you were doing before you started doing public exhibitions. I studied to be a fine artist at Cal State Long Beach (Go Dirtbags!) in the 80s. Having been raised on a steady beach rat diet of Mad and Surfer Magazine cartoons though, I was mentally ill-

equipped for the type of art that was fashionable at university and in the galleries of the day. I didn't see the kind of art that spoke to me in those preInternet days. So I dropped out of the fine art scene and went into the surf apparel industry. I toiled away on surf and licensing art for apparel, etc for 15 years. In that time, though, I traveled the world and fell in love with the art and culture of Polynesia, which fueled my meandering back into fine art by way of "Polynesian pop" or tiki art and lowbrow art when I discovered Robert Williams' Juxtapoz magazine.    What materials do you tend to work with in general? And, do you stray outside of your paintings to express yourself creatively? Mostly I work in acrylic on canvas. I just really like the way the nooks and crannies in the canvas catch the paint from the brush. I don't really have a paint brand I am loyal to, just avoid student grade or BASICS paints. I use mostly Trekkel brushes. For some

projects, I use masonite panels. I also love to paint on objects: Helmets, surfboards, skateboards, driftwood both from the ocean and the urban sort, old car parts are particularly fun. I find that painting an object that has lived another life imparts the art with a "mana" that adds to the final product. I LOVE to do "merch." I love stickers, t-shirts, magnets, pendants... all that shit. does most of those for me. I also love designing tiki mugs. got me started in that game. I love doing custom handpainted versions of my mugs, too. For that, I use 1-Shot paint, which has made me truly respect the cats that have mastered that medium like Doug DoRr and Scratch. Your artwork is colorful, powerful, and really tells a fun story that totally fits in the Kustom Kulture world. But, I’m curious if you have other, traditional type of work that you exhibit as well. You know, something that you’d say, “This is my Louvre piece.” (Not that your tiki dude and



Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

mermaid paintings aren’t Louvreworthy. Ha.) Well, I do a few traditional portraits in my style. Those are classical in inspiration but with my irreverent sense of humor. Highlights are the Blondie piece, as well as portraits of The Pizz and one of the founders of the Lowbrow scene, Long Gone John. On a side note: I work pretty closely with 2 other artists, Doug Horne and Ken Ruzic, who mostly work in the tiki world, but are both super flexible in their interests. We try to do a show once a year in which we pick a bunch of themes in and out of the typical lowbrow/tiki subjects, and that forces us out of our comfort zones to work on different genres. We take the show on the road sometimes and this year we are traveling to The Big Island of Hawaii to do a show with artist Brad Parker, and pollute the collective good taste of the Islands.  What are BigToe’s artistic goals for 2018 and beyond? Well, the big one is the BigToe art book. It's going to be a monster. How do you distil a decade of your life's work into 200 pages? I also want to do some bigger, more involved "Louvreworthy" paintings. I am intrigued by all kind of other stuff too. The easy stuff like rolling out some art pins and some more ambitious goals like putting out some art toys. Some more art shows in Hawaii, Europe, Japan and Australia will also happen. Maybe even a kids book in the next 5 years. Aim for the stars, kids! Finally, do you have any words of wisdom for all of the up and coming Little Toe artists out there? Draw every day. If you want to be an artist, you need to be constantly filling "black books" or sketchbooks with ideas and drawings. Find a life-drawing club and draw people. Everything you need to learn is there on the human figure. Keep creating art and don't get discouraged if your early works don't live up to what's in your head. Don't expect anything really good until you're 100 works in. Above my easel, it says in big fancy letters: DO THE WORK. Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


artist spotlight:

DAN FALCONER Hello, Gnarly Magazine readers. My name is Dan Falconer and I'm from Campbell River B.C. Canada. My art style is Lowbrow/Ambiguous. I try and make my art different by hiding things in my artwork – something requiring flipping, rotating or changing the viewing angle. My main medium lately has been hand done one of a kind skateboard designs, and of late, helmets. Some of the artists who have been a huge influence on me are Robert Williams, Peter Gustafsson, Rockin Jelly Bean, The Pizz, Todd Schorr, Ed Roth, Godmachine, Jonathan Wayshak ... I could go on forever, so many very talented artists out there. You can see my hot rod artwork in every issue of CARtoons Magazine, where I pair up with Cartoonist Mr. BilBil (Team Farva!)

Check me out on Facebook: or on Instagram: @Danfalconerart 20

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


Growing Up Greasy By Emelia Lakso I’m covered in floral tattoos on my upper body, and more often than not am wearing my fair share of glitter. These days, I’m more often dressed in a black skirt and flowing blouse for a meeting, and my feet make more of a clacking sound from heels than they raise the clunk of a boot. Because of my outward appearance, my experience in the muck and grime is often underestimated. Don’t let it fool you. I’ve grown up greasy. When I first started as an engineering student, we had a few courses in the first year for acquainting ourselves with machinery. How can you be an engineering student without a clue of how machinery works, and what the hell it even does? We started small. Hand tools, tool-making processes, tours of the bigger and badder milling, turning, and cutting machines. We even watched aluminum turn molten in a forge. Not bad for an initiation year. At the start of the second semester, we’d move more into looking at the production side of things. That involved a lot of welding and some preliminary looks at CNC machining. Welding isn’t anything new to me. I grew up daring myself to look at the blue glow of the MIG’s contact rod. However, I had missed the first class we had on it. So, when I asked the professor the next class if I could stay later and make up the MIG welding assignment, he told me he wouldn’t have enough time to teach me that day. I replied that I already knew how to use a MIG welder, and he laughed at me. Needless to say, I didn’t end up welding that day. Despite having more practical welding experience than anybody else in my class, I was still lectured on the very basics of how a MIG welder works. This is part of a whole bigger story that I’m not here to talk about today. My point is, I grew up in a garage. Though there have been multiple cases where my experience was overlooked, I’ve always been able to prove myself when the time is needed. I’m proud of where I come from, and I’m proud to have had a father who looked at me as any old garage assistant child and didn’t treat me any differently because I was female. In fact, I got more hands-on time with the cars than my brother did. I try not to rub that in his face. It doesn’t always work. The times I had with my father in the garage restoring cars, tuning dirtbikes, detailing motorcycles, it’s all extremely valuable to me and not just for the practical education I got out of it. Sure, knowing how to fix things myself saves me money on car repairs and maintenance, but who cares about money when you have the coolest memories with your dad? Not many people get to have that experience, and I feel extremely lucky that I did. Being in the garage when there was a project going on 22

came with a new set of rules. I was taught to respect my surroundings before anything else (except safety, of course, but those rules always seemed semi-optional). My dad’s first car was a car that he restored from total despair. That car was a 1953 Chevy Bel Air convertible. His father, who I never really got to know much, absolutely forbade him from driving it. He said it was a death trap, and completely undermined my dad’s ability to teach himself auto mechanics. Did my dad listen? Of course not. And just a few years later, he’d open up his own body shop. Truthfully, I don’t remember why the body shop closed, but after that, he never fully left cars, and they never left him. He had this long-time friend. I think his name was Bill. We’ll call him Bill anyway. Bill had a 1955 Ford Thunderbird that was in need of regular maintenance and touch-ups to keep in mint condition. Since the car was his pride and joy, Bill couldn’t take this car to any old Joe Greasemonkey. He took it to my dad. Seriously. I have photos of myself in that car over the span of years. Apparently, that was the thing with my parents. Some parents like professional baby photos, my parents liked to put me in cars and take photos. I’m not upset though because a lot of my baby photos were taken in my brother’s race car. What beats that? As you can imagine, if Bill was this particular about his car, he probably didn’t want my dad’s children playing around it. That’s why the garage was definitely not a play-zone. I wasn’t even allowed to put my fingers on the car. But I remember my first tasks were helping drape brown paper over parts of the car, and sticking it down with tape to prevent paint bleeds. I remember being tasked to scrub the tires on the day Bill would come get his car. In later memories, I remember being shown what air filters were and being taught why they needed to be changed. I was shown how to change brake pads and rotors, and even how you should put lugs back on to the wheels. This is where I first began to learn about cars and how to care for them, and where I learned to respect their intricacy. I also learned to respect those that I can learn from. I learned to control my frustration, disappointment, and embarrassment when I royally fudge something up. Growing up in the garage taught me that a little grease under the nails is okay, and taught me the best soap to use to get it off. It taught me that you don’t have to be a boy to run with them. And most of all, it taught me that I was pretty damn lucky to have a dad who wasn’t afraid to put a wrench in my hand. There are many lessons to be learned and taught in a garage, and many of these lessons apply to other aspects of life – certainly not limited to helping me survive my engineering degrees. There are not many children in the world that can’t benefit from a little time in a garage.

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

Artem Rayskyy My name is Artem, I am an artist out of Olympia WA. I started out as an illustrator, fine artist and have been painting for many years. But eventually, it got to a point where I wanted to make money doing what I enjoy the most. I approached a local tattoo artist who rejected me as an apprentice but suggested I try sign painting. I had no idea what sign painting was and what it took to do that stuff. So out of curiosity I did a little bit of research and gave it a shot. Learning how to letter and write signs is a non-stop learning experience. It will never stop – just imagine mastering all the letter styles to the point where you free hand them every time on any surface with every medium available. Good luck with that. Not that you need to know them all. Signs paved a way to becoming very good friends with a local artist (John Hannukaine, look him up, you will be amazed) who has welcomed me into his shop and his home. Eventually, a friendship became an apprenticeship –very old school oriented– in which a new passion was ignited, now I was getting hooked on pinstriping and vehicle graphics. At this point all of a sudden I have to learn how to do everything, from illustration to lettering, from pinstriping designs to pulling lines the length of an entire car. John exposed me to car and motorcycle shows, the ultimate test for your knowledge, now you need to execute what you know on the spot, get paid and move on to the next job. People with all kinds of ideas come to you and you must be able to pull it off if you want to survive. Talk about pressure – it is a rush. My advice to new people in the custom trade, forget about speed, focus on the quality of your work, put out a couple killer pieces that will blow people away, rather than a hundred half-performed jobs. Always be learning, always be improving, set the bar so high above your reach that every day and every project is a learning experience. It will make your job more interesting and you will become the best at what you do.

GNARLY MUG Andrew Cooke, a ceramic artist from Northern Ireland, created a beautiful Gnarly Magazine ceramic mug and shared with us step-by-step photos and process information. Check it out on the blog at Here's a short URL: Andrew gave away the mug as part of a prize pack awarded to Johnny Stoer, the winner of Gnarly Magazine's Skateboard Art Competition. Visit Andrew Cooke online: Instagram: @cookeceramics Website:


If you want to see more pictures of Artem's work, check out the gallery at: Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


zane wideman My name is Zane Wideman. I like to think of myself as a modern day renaissance man from a one red-light farm town, in Alabama. I'm a husband and father of twin 15 yr old boys, a conductor for the railroad, and an Iraq combat vet. I served in the ARMY, stationed at FT. Bragg, NC as a .50 cal gunner/paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. Deployed to Iraq in 2003 to spearhead the Operation Iraqi Freedom invasion. Some of best and worst of times. I grew up with classic hot rods and choppers playing a major part in my upbringing. Between my uncles and my old man looking like they could form a ZZ Top cover band, the rock n roll lifestyle and all that came along with it, burned an image of cool within me. As a matter of fact, my dad has 1934 Ford coupe in the shop. Not quite the ZZ Top Eliminator, but you get the idea. He also kept his raked out Honda cb750Four chopper in our living room of our house and all my friends just thought that was badass. My uncle and I once drove his 1933 Chevy coupe to this huge car show up in Tennessee and I've been a car and bike enthusiast ever since. I've got other hobbies I dive into every once and a blue moon. I'm an artist at heart. I started out drawing monsters, cars, and bikes, but later in life found that the female figure, with all their curves, are more fascinating to interpret on paper. I guess a tour in Iraq with a lot on your mind and time on hands will do that. A jack of all trades, but a master of none. If a tractor went down on the farm, we fixed it ourselves. I like making something outta nothing with my own two hands. I see something and think, well heck I can do that. So, I built and own a 1939


Chevy Hotrod/ Ratrod (whatever you wanna call it) truck, that was well on its deathbed. With the help of good friends Shelby Howell and the crew down at Greybeards Customs Greg Mize and Jonathan Dearman, we resurrected the truck back from the dead. It was my 1st ever chop. We chopped 6.5 inches off the top, built a custom Z'd tube frame, shortened the bed down. It has disc brakes all around, adjustable four-link and coilovers in the rear, but kept it traditional in the front with the original solid ibeam axle and suicide suspension, with adjustable height brackets for raising and lowering from Ron Pope Motorsports/ Still sporting the original 1939 steering wheel and steering box, it drives straight as an arrow. I'm running sbc350 with mild cam, Holley carb and Holley Street Dominator intake manifold, which sounds sinister through the custom megaphone headers and th350 with B&M shift kit auto trans. Rearend is out of a Chevy ZR2 Blazer. I wanted to keep it all Chevy, with a few custom one-off pieces, like my skull and spine shifter, custom homemade bomber seats I built out of street signs (that's right, you read that correctly), my own fabbed hood ornament, motorcycle/ bobber taillights, even my side mirror is rare, and it flows with the theme perfectly. I'm satisfied with the finished product. I also own a 1954 Chevy 210 4dr for a future LS swapped bagged sled. It's all original and still runs. Now down to my motor scooter. It's a 2005 Honda Shadow

Bobber. I bought it from a buddy after it about put him in the grave. It was a stock, mangled pile before I took over. I went to chopping on it with a vision of how I wanted it to turn out. I cut the rear frame section off and removed all the unnecessary stuff like blinkers, speedometer, mufflers, even the factory air box and added a velocity stack. Rear fender is a stainless steel spare tire cover from who knows what. Built my solo seat pan out of, you guessed it, a street sign. My taillight is a vintage blues harmonica microphone that I created into a killer brake light. It may not be a Harley, but it's a badass little bar hopper, that has no problem snapping necks when people see it out. Right now, my boys and I are currently in the process of building them two of their own bikes to scoot around on. Overall, I'm an artist. Give me a blank piece of paper and I'll give you back something worth looking at! Special thanks to my wife Amber, my boys Ethan and Gavin. Shelby Howell, Greg Mize, and Jonathan Dearman. And anyone else that has supported me and my visions. Instagram: @wideman316

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

kustom kulture classes Words and photos provided by Matthew Lugo Kustom Kulture Classes is an event that goes on twice a year. Presented by artists Matt Lugo (LugosDesignsUnlimited) & Eddie Z (EZ Kustoms). What all started out as a simple idea to just get more people inspired to learn, turned into an event we decided to put on so that people can feel free to sign up and learn about the Kustom Kulture arts and design from the graphics side to the air brush art side. With over 20 years combined experience we felt confident that we could put on a great 2-day class that would bring artists from beginner to pro level together and learn some of the coolest tips and tricks in the industry for everything Kustom. Kustom Kulture Classes Paint studio is dedicated to bringing the most up to date in graphics & airbrush techniques. The event is broken down into 2 days. The first day: Lowrider Graphics, Design & Layout. The goal is to have our Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

teaches students how to use vector along with freehand techniques to make a very cool finishing product.

students understand the basic concepts of Lowrider Design & layout from a traditional style. We go over basic color shading tape outs and design. Using products from Inspire Custom Paints, Inc. we use kandys, pearls, flakes & base coats to achieve a one of a kind cool project you can take home and enjoy. On the 2nd day, we put our students through the basics of airbrushing, starting out with airbrush step-by-steps on how to get their airbrush working and practice techniques. Eddie Z, a master of everything realistic portraits,

The 2-day event is put on with a joint effort by great sponsors of the automotive custom paint & collision industries. Sponsors like Custom Paints Inc., Inspire, SATA By DanAM, Lowrider Scene Magazine, 3M Collision, & Gnarly Magazine. Our host sponsor, North Tampa Customs, is a very cool local shop in Oldsmar, FL known for their kandys, lifts, hydraulics & customization. Without these sponsors, we wouldn't have an event to share with people to come learn and get the 411 on the Kustom art Kulture. To sign up, visit our website: and check the awesome fun you can have at one of our 2 Day events. Be creative and make art your own. 25

ALEXANDR HANGOVER I'm Alex, 25 years old, and live in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. My passion to Kustom Kulture comes from early childhood. It was in the Lego '95 catalog where I first saw a garage and two hot rods. The second time was when I saw an article about dragsters, hot rods, and lowriders in some magazine for car lovers. Since that moment I started to buy other magazines like that in order to learn about those types of cars as much as possible. When I got access to the Internet, I started to read more and more articles about Kustom Kulture, getting more involved in it. And then at the age of 17, I discovered pinstriping. It seemed extremely interesting to me and I tried to learn everything about it: technologies, materials, readymade works and how it's done. Here, in Russia, there are some problems with Kustom Kulture advancement. Very few people know and understand what it is, even fewer people can create something. That's why it was difficult for me to find my first brush and enamels. In 2014, I bought Mack 20s, 00, and three cans of 1Shot Enamel - black, red and white colors. I was so happy to start making my own works. Then I created an Instagram account to share my work and to follow other artists and car-builders. When I see their work and their success, it fills me up with inspiration. I want to take my own path in Kustom Kulture and I'm trying to improve my works day by day.


jeremy "von banjo" Rushing continued commit to so many helmets a year, which I was already doing anyway by painting helmets people already had or just ordering helmets to paint. Then they let you know, I guess. It's on their site. I think anyone can apply. I'm glad to be part of it. I paint a bunch of helmets! Considering your many talents, and all the many things you have worked on and built, I have to know what your next bold, new venture is going to be. Right now I'm happy just slinging paint and messing around with motorcycles and instruments. Going to all the swaps, shows and parties I can. Traveling and meeting new people and hanging with all of our friends. I'd like to eventually to a complete bike build. I'm constantly learning more about framework and the mechanics, so I see that as a future possibility. I'd also like to get back out there playing music. But who knows what the future holds. You never know what will peak your interest. I try not to think about it too much and just go with the flow and not get stuck in one groove. I feel like I can do anything I want to do. It's that sort of kustom kulture do-ityourself attitude without getting caught up in the 9-5 trip. I'm just grateful for all the support from clients, friends, and family over the years.

Hangover Lines on Instagram:

follow von banjo on instagram: @banjo_ftw 26

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


Answers: 1.) Buck teeth 2.) Hail Satan tattoo 3.) "Fartingstone" tire 4.) Gnarly Magazine on the ground 5.) Pack of Depends on the shelf 6.) Mr. Pinstriper sticker on the cabinet 7.) Shemp Howard picture hanging on the wall 8.) Inflated rear end

FIND THE DIFFERENCES! Comic illustration by: Roger Bonet Martinez



Michael "JahPix" Schönherr was born in Reutlingen (Swabia, Germany) in 1974. After his apprenti­ceship as an offset printer, he made his way right across Germany to the North of the Republic. In 2008 he released the first issue of "Customized Magazine" which he successfully pub­lishes for almost nine years. Main topics of Customized Magazine are custom bicycles, custom cars, tattoos and Kustom Kulture - 100% custom lifestyle at its best.

Another milestone was the opening of Germany's first "Kustom Art Gallery" in Hamburg in April 2011 where he got in touch with many artists and the logical consequen­ce was to get back to the table and draw his own designs. After acquiring the first set of pinstripe brushes and 1 Shot colors he did the first design on a custo­mer's longboard deck. As one can imagine it took him a lot of practice to continue the progress and improve his techniques. Michael prefers to work with vintage items like saws, axes, license plates or petrol cans and uses them as a canvas for hot rods or crazy monsters which


then give these items a completely new and unique look. Classical sign and letter-painting, working with gold leaf, pinstriping or custom painting - Michael does it all and supports his customers in design and creation of their ideas. Also, logo and t-shirt designs are part of his portfolio. And due to his sense of quality, you can find his works on stickers, flyers or clothes of various companies or musical bands.

In 2013 he moved his Kustom Art Gallery to Elpersbüttel which is located on the North Sea coast of Germany. There you can find original art and fine prints of various artists beside a wide variety of artist tools. He is an official 1 Shot and Mack Brush dealer and many artists trust him as a reliable source for all their needs. If you are interested in pinstriping and feel like getting into this on your own you can take part in a pinstriping workshop which Michael offers in cooperation with Klaus Schade aka Art­work79 at the JahPix Kustom Art Gallery. GNARLY: You opened up Germany’s first Kustom Art Gallery in April of

2011. Can you tell us more about the gallery, artists, and shows?

JAHPIX: It was a small gallery in Hamburg. I got big support from Jeral Tidwell when I opened the gallery. I got all his limited edition art prints exclusive in the gallery and he did the skull logo I use. Also artworks from Chad Scheres, David Lozeau, Doug DoRr, Jeffrey Warlich, Eva Dekkers, Jan Meininghaus and many more.

What’s the Kustom Kulture scene like in Germany and how do you feel your Kustom Art Gallery has contributed to that scene? Everyone knows everyone in the scene here in Germany. Each artist or builder tries to help present the scene to a bigger audience. The gallery is a mixture of gallery and shop. I try to promote other artists' stuff and in the last year the gallery has grown and I'm now offering 1 Shot colors, brushes, and all the goodies artists need. Your Kustom Kulture publication, Customized Magazine, has been going on strong for almost nine years. With the decrease of print publications

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


in a digital era, what do you attribute the magazine’s long-term success to? The magazine started in 2008 and I tried from the beginning to stay true and make something for the scene from the scene. A lot of people like the way I run the magazine and give me big support with pictures for articles, artworks to use for shirts, stickers or calendars to support the mag and cover some costs. The Kustom Kulture scene is like a lot of old cars and motorcycles and traditional stuff. Maybe it being traditional is what makes it possible to run a print magazine in these times. You mentioned that you were an offset printer apprentice, so, with that print background, is it safe to assume that you’re the publisher, editor, creative director, and graphic designer of Customized Magazine? Yes, the magazine is a one-man show, with a lot of help and support by so many people around the world. They go to shows in the states and allow me to use their pictures and send me info. All that just for a free shirt and some copies of the magazine. Big thanks to all of you out there! You mentioned that your magazine was only available in German language, so can you tell our German readers where they can get Customized Magazine? Is it print only or do you offer digital issues as well? Yeah, the magazine is only in German, but we ship to more than 20 countries when we release a new issue. The free issues (01-29) are available on our web page: and 29-36 on the shop page of the gallery We are print only, but we are working on digital versions, maybe in English. Are you a self-taught artist or have you had formal art training? All self-taught, watching at shows when other guys are working, and studying lots of books. Speaking of training, how are the pinstriping workshops going at your gallery? Are you successfully pumping out the next generation of pinstripers? I am running the workshops with a good friend and fellow artist Klaus Schade from Artwork79. Our workshop is a little different Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


from most workshops because the participants sleep here in the gallery. We have big fun pinstriping till 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning, drinking cold beer. The workshops are a lot of fun for Klaus and me too because, not only are newbies coming, but also custom bike builders, airbrush artists, and other people who wanna use that kind of art for their business. So over the last three years, we've met some really nice and interesting people. This year we got five pinstriping workshops and in September Klaus is doing a gold leaf workshop here in the gallery. Finally, what’s on the horizon for JahPix, Customized Magazine, and the Kustom Art Gallery? Stay healthy and meet more cool people, visit great shows in other countries and produce art that people have fun with. In July I'm invited to the Motorbeach Show in Spain to paint directly on the beach and with other artists together on different projects. What can I say? ... I love my job! With the magazine and the gallery, I hope that I can work with all these great people –and many more– to create a bunch of colorful issues of Kustom Kulture. •


Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


artist spotlight:

LUCIANO SANCHEZ My name is Luciano Sanchez and I was born in a small town in the south of Spain called Granada. Since I was a child I always had a pencil in my hand and I remember spending all afternoon drawing. That led me to have certain problems with the studies since. Even in class I spent all my time drawing and could not focus on the studies. I started to work and bought my first motorcycle, which I toured Spain for years while I continued to grow my interest in drawing and painting. In these years I worked a more traditional painting format, working with local art galleries and exhibiting at a local and international level. At this time I won some art contests and my works came to be exhibited in Brussels in 2007 as a representation of emerging art of the City of Granada. But my two great passions –motor and art– walked separately. In these years I began to study the Fine Arts degree at the University of Granada. As I begin to discover international artists such as Coop, Robert Williams or Damian Fulton, my interest in Lowbrow and Kustom Kulture is growing and finally I find the way to unite art and motor. In 2012 I left the traditional and commercial art circuits and started to work from scratch – first with marker on paper illustrations; designs for t-shirts in digital format, and finally, for me, the definitive format: oil on canvas.


In my work, you will find monsters of classic horror movies, hot rods, tattoos, motorcycles or pinups. All of them marked with a certain apocalyptic air with a strong smell of gasoline. With my works, I have attended major national and international events. In 2017 two of my works are part of the awards in the most important event in Europe the "Kustom Kulture Forever" where lovers of the two and four wheels meet every year with their best vehicles in Herten, Germany. My works can be seen in the most prestigious Kustom Kulture publications around the world. At the moment I am focused on my own production and am accepting commissions whenever they are within my line of work. In the near future, I hope to return to the circuit of art galleries where I can reach more people with my works. I still ride my old Harley Davidson whenever I can and I finally combined my two great passions together: Art and Motor. You can find me at: Web: FB: Instagram: Shop:

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017


artist spotlight:

Ryan monahan I went to fine art school after high school but dropped out to start tattooing full time. I tattooed at a few shops in NY and IL before going back to college for a degree in Design. After design school, I started working as a graphic designer. After using the computer all day at work, I would come home and not want to draw or use the computer! It was then that I created my first miniature sculpture. From that point, I have utilized culminations of all my skills to create this new art form.

Images by Grant Lechner

GNARLY: Your work has been featured in Juxtapoz magazine, on, and in the Daily Mini website. They all go into great detail describing your creations. But I want to offer Gnarly readers a glimpse into your creative process. It's easy to look at photos of your work and say, "Wow, that must have taken a bitch of a long time to create!" But, I want to know why you create these miniatures. You mentioned in your bio that you were pretty much sick of using the computer all day at work and not wanting to draw or use the computer when you got home. How does one get to being frustrated from graphic design work to building miniature street scenes? RYAN MONAHAN: yea that's really what led me making this type of art. I dabbled in sculpting throughout high school and college but never really settled into it. After working as a designer for 6 years and doing mainly computer generated art I was growing very bored with it. I've been an artist my entire life so you name it I've tried it. But the first time I took random objects and painted them to look like something else blew my mind! I was hooked and soon enough I was spending all my free time after work tinkering in my studio making miniature crap! Are your sculptures places that you have visited and walked by or are they random creations from your imagination?


Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

Depending on how many hours I put in a day, it can take anywhere from a week to 3 or 4 weeks. The most timeconsuming steps are the first. Getting down the structure of the building. If that is done wrong, no matter how awesome the paint and details are, it doesn't look authentic when it is done. I admit that I have not seen all of your creations, but all the ones I have seen look like snapshots from the grittier side of town. What draws you to that look and feel?

Just about everything I create is fictional, stuff I have created in my head using past experiences or reference photos for the starting off point. I find the majority of my enjoyment comes from the freedom I have at choosing what I want to show and or not show. Describe your first creations. Were you a natural? How do you feel when you look back at your first sculptings? I would say it felt pretty natural the first few times I did it. I have a lot of experience in painting from my fine art background so that helped me a lot. My dad actually has the first piece I created, it's hanging on his wall and he is very proud of it. When I look at it, I definitely see things that I would have changed or done differently. On average, how many hours/days/weeks do you put into a piece? Is there any one aspect of the creation that takes up the bulk of your time? Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

I'm not 100% sure really. I think I've always been into darker imagery: skulls, fire, dragons, wizards... I drew shit like that as a kid. I think the same thing applies even as a grown man making my current artwork. I just find beauty in what others find questionable or uncomfortable. The sculptures act like the subject in a portrait photo, I find all the little dirty details in my artwork help create the narrative for the viewer. Without giving away all of your secrets, can you give us a little insight on materials you use and how you make some of the elements in your scenes? I don't know why, but I was fascinated with the little gray trash cans in your "Meat Market" sculpture! Yea the trash cans are my pride and joy. The first time I crafted one it blew my mind. I mean brain buster! I use lots of common materials: paper, foam, light woods, and plastics. The majority of my supplies are salvaged from the garbage. I started out with very little money or supplies to create with, so I learned to

work with what I had access to: free trash. The most important criteria for my supplies are lightweight and workability. Are you a full-time sculptor, or are you still workin' for the man as a graphic designer? Haha great question! I have actually just made the leap into being a full-time artist. I will still be doing freelance design work, but my main focus now is my sculpture work! Finally, can you offer some words of wisdom for those looking to get into miniature sculpting? Yea! No one ever wants this info because it is the easiest info to be given, but just jump into it. Who cares if it sucks and you toss it in the trash afterward? The fact that you are practicing painting and all the other aspects will help move you forward. Don't concern yourself with making perfect artwork – focus on having fun and getting enjoyment out of the process. 35


How many Mack signature brush sets do you have under your belt now? I have four long handled brush sets and three lines of pinstriping brushes with Mack for a total of 26 different brushes. The pinstriping brushes have been limited edition until the latest (Hippie Tripple) which is a permanent part of their line along with all of my long handled brush sets. My wife and I actually designed the last set (Monster Stix) together. She is also an artist with great ideas about brushes and knowledge outside my normal realm of painting. So, we worked together to make a set that would help push other artists into some new directions... So far they have had awesome reviews and feedback. We always try to push it a bit on each set and with my stripers... Never stop learning new tricks. How did that come about? Did you approach them or did they approach you?

m name: Jeral Tidwell / age: 48 and stats: 5' 9", 190 lbs, Hard as coffin nails . uits bisc de ema hom as soft inspiration: Sarah Tidwell pro since: 1988 en bones, joints, and teeth. brok 29 : injuries Stitches 52 times, 7 KOs belts: World body painting champion s, medium: All (pencil, pen, brush, printing pres .) etc.. rs, pute com l, meta d, woo hobbies: Bicycles and fishing food: Spicy kryptonite: Chocolate ride: 1989 Mitsubishi Montero (under construction, not currently running) edc: Spyderco Endura (serrated) current location: Louisville, KY life motto: If you don't have time to do itit? right, when are you gonna have time to fix


Actually, Chris (Mack) and I have a mutual friend that sort of put us together. Chris and Smitty were talking one day about Mack trying to do more art oriented brushes because a lot of pinstripers are trying new things but, at the time, Mack didn't really have anyone to work with creating new brushes like that. So Smitty told him that he knew exactly who they should talk to... Me. Fortunately for me, Chris already knew about me and had been seeing my work for years in books and magazines. He agreed that it would be a good fit and the rest is history. Do you have to be a great artist to get a signature brush? What if you’re a shitty artist, but you have a great idea for a brush. For example, my snake-hair long liner idea? Seriously, have you seen my work? They obviously have low standards. Hahaha. I've been collecting rattlesnake hairs for years now for exactly the same idea. Problem is, the hair is only accessible when the moon is full and the snakes are mating. It's dangerous sneaking up on a pair of full grown rattlesnakes in the throws of passion; real dangerous. But seriously, what’s that process like and how long did it take from concept to production? Creating new brushes is actually pretty complicated. I don't just put my name on an existing brush and throw it out there. If a brush has the MACK / TIDWELL name on it, it is our own thing Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

from the handle shape to the hair. First, I think of some brush that I need for whatever the hell stupid thing I want it to do, then I go to the art store, craft store, online, etc. to see how close I can find to that exact thing. Once I have exhausted those options I will modify the hell out of those brushes until I come up with exactly what I want, documenting the entire process with notes, drawings, measurements, etc. Once I have it the way I want, I send the brush and detailed notes to Chris to build a few prototypes. That process so far would be a couple months. Next, he sends me a couple versions to try out, I abuse them and put them through hell, I give feedback and we make adjustments. Usually, it's little details like handle shape (I am REALLY picky about the amount of flex in a long handle), hair configuration (many of my brushes have combinations of hairs for more or less spring, paint flow, flex, etc.), and finally, brush names and handle colors. The whole process can take 6-10 months before we have production brushes ready for sale. So far (knock on wood) we have not had to re-work a single brush once it is in production. I think that is a true sign that we take our time to do it right. What were you looking for in these new Tidwell brushes that other brushes were not offering? My fucking name on them... Duh! Hahaha. Seriously, we all have dreams of the perfect set of brushes that you can do anything with. I am trying to build that for myself and fellow artists. I want to demystify artist paint brushes and take all of the highbrow, art school bullshit out of it. I used to feel stupid standing in front of a rack of proper brushes not knowing what all the names and numbers meant. Of course, I could see the shape and extrapolate their purpose, but I didn't have any formal Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

training to confirm my ideas. Asking an art store clerk would get you a snobby response like, "If you're a painter, shouldn't you know what brushes you need to use?" So, back then (late '80s early '90s) I went to the old school paint store and bought what they happened to have in stock. I got by just fine but still hated the snobby way brushes were labeled and sold. That is why none of my long handle brushes have numbers or traditional names and only my striping brushes are marked with size. I didn't even want to do that but I needed to for obvious reasons. Chris was a little unsure at first, but once I explained what I was doing, he

loved the idea and allows me to name them however I want. Not to mention, the names are simple, funny and easy to remember. How would you describe your art to someone just discovering you in Gnarly Magazine? If they are reading your magazine, they are already beyond help... good luck with that. Hahaha. Honestly, when people ask me to describe my work, I just tell them that I create the shit that makes the cool kids look cool. However, I am not now 37

and while digital is the way the world sees things now, it is still just 1s and 0s. I need paint under my fingernails, graphite smeared across my hands and arms, ink spilled on my pants – real art, not virtual art. If it's not made out of paint, it is NOT A FUCKING PAINTING. Stop calling digital rendering "painting" or I will come to your house and punch you in the gawddamn throat! Uuummm, sorry, did I just say that out loud? ;) How are you selling and promoting your art and what tips could you give people trying to get their artwork to the masses? Hustle, grind, HUSTLE... also, use Facebook and Instagram to promote your HUSTLE! Did I mention hustle? Never stop moving. I tell people all the time, "Create so much art that people will either pay you for it or pay you to stop." Make art until you can no longer be ignored and then you are just getting started. Just don't fake it, no one likes a fake fuck. I checked out the t-shirts on your website - Do you also do your own screenprinting? I do my own screen printed posters, but I get my shirts and stickers printed by other hard working craftsmen. Support your fellow art nerds, it will make us all better at what we do.

nor have I ever been one of the cool kids. Who are three artists that our readers should be checking out right now? Dude... you are gonna get me beat up for this one! Hahaha. I would say that three of the most creative people on earth at this very moment are James Jean, J.A.W Cooper, and Aaron Horkey. If those three don't heat your grease, you're probably dead. 38

Is your artwork all done on a digital drawing tablet, or do you draw/paint on paper and canvas as well? Which do you prefer? Everything starts on paper... pencil, then ink, color sketch, etc. Then I usually scan the finished line work into a computer to color if it is going to be a poster or something like that. If not, it's a drawing and then a painting. I prefer analog art (that's what I call traditional hand made art) to digital art. I use every tool that I can in order to get my vision out there,

I also saw on your website the Danzig show poster you designed. I imagine you sitting on a couch next to Glenn talking about art and life and the state of music today. That’s true, right? Actually, Glenn and I were at the gym busting out some serious reps when he reached over, gently caressing my glorious delts and said, "Yo wolf brother, can you rock out a skull poster for my next gig?" I set down the massive stack of iron I was pressing into the air and said, "Yes wolf brother, yes I will." Pretty much just like that. Hahaha. Actually not at all. A local pain in the ass show promoter sent me a show list to pick from. Who doesn't want to make a Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

Danzig poster, right? My wife and I did that one together. She didn't know who Danzig was... perfect, skulls it shall be. That was actually our first poster collaboration, it was dreamy because she is so damn hot and talented. If you want to see more about Sarah, check out or @inkydragon on Instagram. Final words of wisdom? Have fun, don't take yourself so seriously, loosen up and remember: You're an artist, your job isn't to fix the world's problems, it's to NOT become one of them.

Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017



Gnarly Magazine / Fall 2017

Gnarly Magazine #2 - Fall 2017