December 30, 2016

2016

With 2016 coming to an end, I reflect on the past year and look forward to 2017. This month I've spent a lot of time traveling and working on larger projects that I hope to share next month. This year started off with the hope of traveling to a lot of different places, and I made sure to to do just that. Most of my travel revolved around the flat track motorcycle racing circuit where I would travel and meet my race family in various cities. 

I kicked off the year with a road trip to Daytona Beach, Florida with my dad. Looking back, the highlight of that trip was meeting new Throttle Down Team members Tristan Avery and Charlotte Kainz.


In April I set my sights on Austin, Texas, a state I've never been to before. I flied solo and spent the first few hours wandering around the city until familiar faces arrived later. I visited several museums and walked along the Colorado River. The highlight was kayaking down that river, taking in the Austin city skyline and hearing live music in a distance. What an awesome trip.


In May I finally got my hands on the parts bike I had found back in February. I hope that adventure never fades from my memory. Who knew that with getting the parts bike in May, I still would have a non-running CB in December. All good things take time.


In June I flied solo out to Oklahoma City to meet and stay with my friend Nicalee. She showed me around her town and we ran an awesome AIR fundraiser at Pole Position. What an awesome night with race day following. The highlight of that trip may have been standing down in front of the front straight cheering for Dan Bromley who almost made it onto the podium in the GNC1 class. Tristan Avery took the GNC2 win. Following that, I hope to never forget running and laughing in the pouring rain on to get drenched. What a great night.


In mid July Colleen, Nicole and I road tripped north to Boston, Massachusetts. It was a gorgeous summer weekend, and we made sure to venture up to New Hampshire just to say we did. I hope to one day forget how awful the long drive home was, but I hope to never forget to avoid the George Washington bridge!


At the end of July my dad and I road tripped down to Charlotte, NC to the flat track race. The sunshine was on point and the racing was good. At the end of the night my dad had a case of the hangry's and I had planned to go to the pits to end the night. We bickered for a bit and ended at Charlotte Kainz's pit to see why she hadn't raced that day. She hadn't been feeling well and she told us her dad wouldn't let her race, to which Jack chimed in joking, "yeah, yeah I'm the worst dad ever." Eventually my dad started talking to her, asking her about school and such. When we left the track, we got food that revived my dad. He then confessed how it's good we got to go to the pits and talk to Charlotte. Looking back now, that will remain my favorite memory.


In August I headed to a beach house to celebrate my friend's upcoming wedding. Sunshine in Rehoboth Beach, DE was absolutely perfect. The bride has a killer group of friends and the best bridal party to date.


Also in August my dad and I drove up to Elbridge, NY for a flat track race where my friend Brian and his daughter Emma met us there. The highlight was surely that it was Emma's first flat track event and she had survived the whole day! Watching her interview the riders was too fun, and I look forward to spending more races with her.


On Labor Day weekend I flew out to Michigan to go to a wedding, and then also attended the Baja Brawl. I wish I could pick out a highlight but the entire trip was fun as we were constantly on the go. I met a lot of wonderful people on that trip and am forever grateful of those memories. I hope to never forget being outside by Lake Walden alone in the dark, trying to find answers to questions I'll never get, only to look up at the sky and see a blanket of stars. I've never seen so many stars in a sky.


In the middle of October I watched one of my best friends get married. It was an honor to stand up there with her on her big day.


Also in October I went to the local Piston Poppers motorcycle race where they put on a memorial for Kyle McGrane and Charlotte Kainz. It was beautiful. My favorite memory was walking up to the track that day to see a little guy on a PW wearing a long sleeve in memory of those two riders.



The beginning of December I spontaneously planned a road trip that revolved around a benefit for injured rider Morgan Monroe. My friend Nicole and I hopped in the car and traveled just shy of 1600 miles, stopping in Kalamazoo, MI; Grand Rapids, MI; Caro, MI; Lapeer, MI; and Flint, MI. We were on the move the entire time, and it was such a blast. I loved Grand Rapids, loved seeing my race friends in Caro, Morgan's benefit was awesome, and it was great to see everyone who attended. I met a lot of wonderful people at that event as well. The trip in itself was important to me, mainly because I got to go to all of the places I had been wanting to go but never had the chance while I was out in Michigan.


The following weekend in December my friend and I road tripped to Timonium, MD for the indoor race. We got pit passes which made for a nice new experience. The highlight was selling AIR stickers to the generous flat track family.


Also in December my friend and I ventured to Scranton, PA to see The Menzingers at their annual holiday show. Other local bands including Tigers Jaw and Captain We're Sinking and Petal were amazing. The autographed event poster would have been the highlight, except standing right up front, being able to see the spit as Greg sang took the cake.


This weekend I will be spending the first day of the New Year at the Eagles Cowboys game in Philadelphia. I think that'll be an awesome start to the year as I try to figure out the other adventures I don't want to miss out on in 2017. There should be a bunch more art and design projects to share and hopefully plenty of road trips and adventures in between. Stay tuned to see what we create for Throttle Down Speed Co. as well. Cheers!

December 09, 2016

Flat Track Racing Stickers!


Find me tomorrow at the Timonium Indoor Flat Track Motorcycle Races at the Maryland State Fairgrounds to purchase these stickers I will be selling on behalf of the Aid to Injured Riders. Need event info? Practice 4:30, Racing 7, more details here. Not able to attend and still want stickers? Send AIR a message on Facebook and we will get an order sent out to you. Hope to see you tomorrow night!

December 07, 2016

The Navajo Nugget Tank

About a month ago I dropped to OG CB360 motorcycle tank off at Powder'd Remedies to finally get it stripped down and coated the color I've been looking for (see original post). After a few weeks of progress photos and videos, last evening I was finally able to pick up the final piece.



I am absolutely amazed at the Navajo Nugget powder color and how it changes from turquoise, to teal, to blue in different lighting. The tank looks pretty awesome on the bike as it stands right now as well. I got lucky with how well the Robin Egg Blue 1shot paint I used on the side air filter covers.




Now the question is if I'll carry on with my original idea to paint over top of the powder. For now, I think I'll just admire it as is until I find the perfect solution. Woohoo!

December 04, 2016

1,600 Miles Later


Friday morning at 6am my co-pilot/best friend Nicole and I began to head west to start a very full weekend in the state of Michigan. Ten hours later we arrived in Kalamazoo, MI at our first stop: Bell's Brewery. Perhaps it was just because our lunch consisted of only SunChips, but everything tasted delicious. We scored some cool souvenirs and then were on our way to stop #2. About an hour north we arrived in Grand Rapids and found a cheap hotel before heading to Founder's Brewery. Founder's has been a destination on my list for a bit now, and it surely did not disappoint. People weren't kidding when they recommend I visit Grand Rapids-what a cool city. Of course we met some really nice locals throughout the evening at various places we explored which made the long day better yet. 



Saturday we woke up and we're back on the road by 9am to travel three hours east to make Caro, MI our first stop of the day. We pulled up at Cass Tavern to be welcomed by some of the friendliest motorcycle guys my dad and I have met at the races. The menu of only hamburgers, cheeseburgers and fries made for an easy lunch choice. After having a good meal with our six friends we made our way to Caro to begin our bike tour. Have you ever seen 500 motorcycles at one house? It began with the "museum" followed by an additional barn and garage full of bikes, however, the absolute coolest part of our tour was the motorcycle graveyard. "Oh my goodness" was the PG phrase of the whole tour. "Want to see more bikes?" was what our friends kept asking and soon enough we were heading to another house to see more, and then again to another house. We met a few new people along the way, including a few bike builders, and their hospitality was unreal. Needless to say, it was really, really great to see my "Caro Friends."




This whole weekend plan started around a trip to Lapeer for Miss Morgan Monroe. You could say we saved the best event for last, as it was really great to see everyone from all around gather to help out a very special injured flat track rider. Good food, killer raffle items and genuine, generous people are what made the benefit a huge success. I have to admit I was a bit emotional, partially because I was unable to attend the benefit for Kyle and Charlotte. I'd like to think this trip counts for them as well. I am so grateful to have attended and meet a lot of really wonderful people within the racing family. Even the custom 10J Throttle Down Speed Co. pillow I made for a raffle prize went to a good home to a new friend of mine. I look forward to watching Morgan Monroe progress and get back to 100%. She is no doubt a fighter, and I am honored to have been a small part in the fundraising for her and her family. 



The "afterparty" solely consisted of girl talk on a couch in Flint Saturday night with my friend Kara because Nicole and I felt like we were running on fumes the whole day from traveling. At 8am Sunday morning we hit the road again, this time heading East. About 9.5 hours later we finally made it to the homeland where we divided up our weekend treasures we picked up along the way. We reminisced the whole ride home, but the last 100 miles was no doubt the longest of the entire trip. 

I probably could ramble on and on but to keep it short and sweet: I am forever grateful to be apart of this motorcycle community. I've met amazing people and continue to meet more everyday. I have a lot of thank you's to give out including being apart of the Aid to Injured Riders. The opportunities that have come up because of AIR and Throttle Down Speed Co., are overwhelmingly wonderful and I look forward to many more in the future. I couldn't imagine my life differently, and I surely wouldn't want to. To think, it all began when my dad took me to the race track...


Anyways, so long, Michigan. I'll see you when I see you. 

November 29, 2016

AM Free Calendar Promotion

Previously I had posted about the AM Calendar designs I had retouched (see post). To follow the successfully printed calendar, a promotional campaign was put together by the Marketing department that I got to execute. We ran a similar campaign last year so a lot of the design direction and elements were pulled from that successful creative. By using the lifestyle photography from within the printed calendar, the campaign was more easily put together and the focus was on typography and layout. Below is an example of an email aspot and bspot that ran during this calendar campaign.



There were additional social and on-site graphics that used similar layouts to the above. This campaign has since ended and a new similar campaign has begun using a similar concept. The messaging has changed slightly and where applicable, I chose a different image for each car generation. Below is another email a-spot and an on-site banner.



November 28, 2016

Throttle Down Speed Co. Cafe Racer Socks



In lieu of Cyber Monday, we launched another new product on ThrottleDownSpeedCo.com today! Now available: Cafe Racer Socks that feature a sketch I had drawn quite a while ago and a Throttle Down Speed Co. logo on the reverse side. Initially we ordered a sample of the socks to test the quality of the print. To our surprise it printed better than ever and no detail was lost. Therefore, we added it to our inventory and are now sharing it with all of the other gear heads. Get yours here.



November 23, 2016

Throttle Down Speed Co. Kid's Wear


Throttle Down Speed Co. has had quite a few requests to offer our shirt designs in kid's sizes. Therefore, it's been something we've been working towards for a bit. Luckily we have two of the coolest kids in the Throttle Down Speed Co. garage to be the first to test the apparel and designs. Happily, the five brand new designs have been approved by Emma & Lily. Shop the collection: throttledownspeedco.com/collections/kids








November 22, 2016

The Last Catalogs for 2016

The last 2016 catalogs were mailed out about a week ago to AmericanMuscle and ExtremeTerrain customers. Below are some of the spreads I designed for this final catalog drop of the year.



Above is a content spread featured in the JK Wrangler catalog for ExtremeTerrain.com. The spread is an editorial on the Jeep build that was done for a local wounded officer. The design mirrors what has been created for the landing page I had shown a few months ago (view blog post).

In addition to that spread, I was responsible for designing the 4-pages of Holiday Gift Garage content that lined up with the landing page I recently designed and showed (view blog post). Below are those two spread that were also in the JK Wrangler catalog.



AmericanMuscle's F-150 catalog had some product swaps and design updates for this catalog drop as well. The Exterior section had many changes with new products added, and I worked in some additional lifestyle imagery. Below are two spreads throughout that section that feature updates with new lifestyles. I retouched the photos and composited additional aftermarket parts on the images.



With 2016 catalogs completed, the design team now focuses on the 2017 catalog strategy. 

November 21, 2016

ExtremeTerrain Calendar Back Cover

Similarly to the AmericanMuscle calendar I recently posted about, we designed one full of Jeep photography for ExtremeTerrain. I had less involvement with images for this one but was responsible for designing the back cover. The back cover was to feature imagery that showcased a highly modded Jeep Wrangler featuring Barricade Off-Road parts. I used a photo taken from our in-house photographer, tossed it in Photoshop and worked in Camera Raw. After some editing I added the Barricade Off-Road logo and integrated it with the environmental elements within the photograph. From there I added it to InDesign and added additional copy needed to complete the back cover. Below is the final image.


November 18, 2016

CB360 Motorcycle Tank

I have been hoping to transform my CB tank for well over a year now and have had some hiccups along the way. Therefore, I am happy to report that the tank is currently transforming as we speak, and I couldn't be more excited. 

After a few failed attempts, I finally discovered and reached out to a local powder coater: Powder'd Remedies who assured me they'd be able to fix/fill the dents and imperfections and then spray it my carefully selected color of Navajo Nugget. Throughout the process Powder'd Remedies has provided progress photos, which makes me even more excited. Below is how the 1974 CB360 gas tank was dropped off and progress photos that include chemical stripping and metal filler to smooth out the imperfections.





When I purchased the bike in July of 2015, she came with the small dent on the right side and the scrape on the right. I added my own personal touch by slamming into the top of the tank leaving a nice shallow but large dent. For powder coating, I popped off the side emblems so everything could be smoothed out.








Above are various progress shots taken by Powder'd Remedies. I am looking forward to seeing the final product of which I will most likely splash some paint on top to make her extra special.

Here's a video I just received of where the tank stands today!


video