• BOMONSTER Rained Out at Mooneyes 2013

    The forecast was for rain and we went anyway. We've never been rained out at an event before and the thought of the weatherman being wrong and everyone having a good time without us gave us the incentive to set up our BOMONSTER booth the day before and arrive early on show day under threatening clouds. We set up next to Jack's Graphic Station and we're good friends so if no spectators showed up at least Jack and I could talk art and our "staff" could talk about us behind our backs.

    The Mooneyes show always draws a crowd because it's local to L.A. There's a 1/8 mile drag race, great bands playing on stage, lots and lots of cars to look at up close and a vendor village with just about every cool vendor in the kustom culture scene - plus BOMONSTER!

    The day started off promising as the lots filled and friends and fans showed up. Early morning sprinkles didn't scare anyone off but when it turned to a steady rain, the drags were cancelled and everyone in a hot rod with no top or windows in their cars left - which meant half the parking lot was empty in minutes. Even though the rain continued, the crowd got real interesting. Only the hard cores remained and they stopped in the vendor booths to stay dry. We didn't sell much but when friends came by we caught up with photographer Bill Garrett of the new Low View magazine, Juan from Deadend magazine, Pete, J-Bird and Tony from Suavecito, Holly from the Ventura Nationals and Born Free events and so many others who we were happy to share our portable roof with. After it rained some more the vendors packed up with hardly any sales but like I told Mrs BOMONSTER, "One of the best Mooneyes shows ever."

    Photos by BOMONSTER

     

     

     

     

  • BOMONSTER Scratches The Atlas Oil Tools Special

    When Keith Brednich wanted crew shirts for his restored 60's era cacklefest dragster rail- the Atlas Oil Tools Special - he wanted a wicked, whacked out, flaming monster of a design and thought of BOMONSTER. I love those old dragsters and I had fun scratching this shirt design for him...

    It was easy to get inspired. He sent me this great photo of his car at speed in the sixties. From there I laid out the design, scanned, printed and then transferred the outlined shape to scratchboard and added the details as I scratched.

    If you'd like a BOMONSTER original for your wall or on the back of your shirt, check out bomonster.com

  • Step-by-Step How BOMONSTER Became Just Another Car Guy

    One of the most widely read blogs in world about cars and things with wheels that are cool is justacarguy.blogspot.com. Jesse, the blog's creator/writer seems to show up at all the shows I do and all the ones I don't because he posts something new nearly every day. He's followed by millions around the world because he's one of the most ripped off bloggers in the world. What he writes on his own blog often turns up word for word, picture for picture, all over the world on other car blogs by people he's never heard of.

     

    So when Jesse asked me if I would scratch out a BOMONSTER original for a new masthead for the most widely read auto blog in the world I jumped all over it. Here's how I did it:

    My art is created on scratchboard – which looks like a piece of Masonite coated with a soft white Claycoat finish and then sprayed with a black India ink. My job is to scrape the black surface with a knife - which reveals the white Claycoat layer underneath. I taped the scratchboard to a drawing board - which I can pivot on my desktop. For this project Jesse sent me the photo of a vintage hot rod roadster at speed. He requested some slight modifications and left the rest to me. I threw his photo into Photoshop and leaned the car forward and enlarged the wheels. Then I Googled some aviator goggles because his photo lacked good detail. I added a light pool with a shadow and printed it out for reference while scratching. Since an Internet blog masthead is a small file I was able to keep the art size relatively small on an 8x10” sized scratchboard. I like to scratch larger pieces like shirt designs onto a 12x16” board for better detail.

    Sometimes I work from my own drawings and sometimes I work from photos where I tweak the perspective and can bend around in Photoshop. Since this was Jesse’s photo, I opted not to tweak it too far. And since my art is scratched with no room for error, I always work out the driver first as people are the trickiest part to get right. I figure at this stage I can always start over if the driver’s face turns out funky. Then I proceed by scratching out the basic outline following a faint graphite tracing. Graphite transfers are created by doing a soft pencil rubbing on the back of the printout and redrawing the basic shape onto the scratchboard. I wear cotton archival gloves to keep the surface free of skin oils – which can resist the Krylon clear coat sprayed on later.

    Many artists can do sheet metal well but bad lettering can bring down the quality of their picture. My challenge was to re-create the “brush-painted-in-hurry” look but not make it look like I can’t do good lettering. I opted to let the scratch marks show to give the feeling of hand painted numbers.

    One of the things that defines my style is a scratchy light effect created by scratching a lot of little wavy lines. It’s a time-consuming process and it’s important not make the length or the line quality too uniform. I just keep scratching until I like the look.

    On one hand black cars are easy because you just leave the board black. On the other hand, light adds life to a rendering so I scratch little “stipple” marks on the top edges to help define the car shape and to give the car body some dimension. Lots of little marks close together intensifies the quality of light. Here I’ve added some slight tire and flying salt detail.

    There are many scratchboard tool sets available online. I can see the value in all the different shapes and sizes but what works for me is one single tool – an Xacto knife with a #16 blade. The point allows me to scratch the fine lines and the flat edge lets me remove a lot of surface material if necessary. I also wrap the tip of the handle with a strip of black duct tape to soften my finger pressure against the harder knife handle surface. As it is, hours and hours of scratching can leave dents on my fingertips for days! I change blades often and will usually go through 7 or 8 blades to create one design.

    Every artist has to answer the question: “When is it done?” I have to be careful not to scratch too much but at the same time know how to create an intricate look. Here I’ve added some flying trails of “energy” behind the driver and the car and I came back to the wavy lines creating the pool of light at the base of the drawing. The left half looks finished because I’ve added stipple marks to the wavy lines and also threw in some longer scratches to look more explosive. The wavy lines on the right need that added touch to finish them off.

    Once finished I then scan and create a digital file for printing. I spray a Krylon non-yellowing clear coating onto the original surface - which removes a lot of smudge marks and evens out the surface. This one was a fairly simple execution and I was able to scratch it out in two hours after spending about an hour of prep time creating the printout. More involved pieces like my shirt designs and poster prints can take 10-12 hours of starting-and-stopping scratching to finish.

    More of my work can be seen on my website at www.bomonster.com or my facebook page: www.facebook.com/theBOMONSTER

  • BOMONSTER and the Great J.N. Roberts

    In 1967 my dad Winston Beaumont started a motorcycle results paper called Rap Up and went to many So Cal races and took pictures and wrote the articles. It didn't last long but the memories did. I was a little BOMONSTER back then and tagged along the best I could but mostly was left behind at camp while dad covered the race usually on foot. One of the emerging stars back then was J.N. Roberts. He was in great shape and known to train between races before anyone had thought to do that. The year before he had earned his expert #13 plate riding a stripped down Honda scrambler! I think it was a 305. He wasn't a member of a club yet and was just a great, natural rider. While most of the fast guys rode big Triumphs and sat most of the way, J.N. changed all that by standing the entire 100 mile race. He wore football pads while the photos back then show most of the riders wearing simple cotton sweatshirts and even t-shirts with no padding. These pictures were taken at a two-loop hare scrambles near the intersection of highway 395 and 58 - commonly called Four Corners. He won the overall as a new member of the Checkers M.C. riding one of the first Husqvarna 360s in the states over Triumph riders Gary Preston and Jack Byers.

    Years later I became an art director creating ads and TV spots for Nissan trucks and needed some dirt bike riders to ride in the background for a TV spot out near Palm Springs. He was a stunt man for films back then and was one of the riders. I was shocked to see his name on the call sheet and told him how I knew him from 20 years before. He wasn't impressed and seemed to brush it off like maybe I had the wrong guy. As the day progressed he and the other riders seem to just mill around on their bikes in the background in first gear while we were filming. I asked the director for them to step up the pace and hit the whoops in the background at speed and told him that I knew the rider could handle it. After it was relayed to J.N. word came back that he wanted extra dough to go faster and he had only signed on to do what he was doing. I didn't know much about "stunt" rates back then and told the producer I didn't want anything dangerous, just hit the whoops fast and in control. But apparently what I wanted qualified as a dangerous "stunt" - and it probably did seem dangerous to the city-dwelling Hollywood types surrounding us. I begged the producer to give him what he wanted and she agreed. We rolled cameras and he hit the whoops at a slightly faster pace. I wanted more speed but we ran out of money and we were losing light.

    But in my mind he was still fast.

    Photos by Winston Beaumont

     

     

  • How BOMONSTER Scratched His Way Into Ol' Skool Rodz Magazine

    The September '13 issue of Ol Skool Rodz is on the stands now and BOMONSTER's original scratchboard design "Keep Your eyes On the Road" is featured on the inside centerfold. It's a '32 Ford hot rod truck with a truck bed full of eyeballs driving across the desert - something you don't see every day. But then, "something you don't see every day" pretty much describes BOMONSTER's art.

    Usually my designs are scratched on black leaving most of the black as the background. This one was a little different in that I scratched away most of the black to a white background. Here's how I did it:

    I start with a piece of scratchboard taped to my drawing board and work flat on a table top. I transfer my design to the scratchboard by rubbing the back of a printout with pencil graphite and then redraw by tracing over the printout onto the scratchboard. Working under a desk lamp helps to see the lines. Around my board I have some reference photos to refer to while I scratch. Usually the first thing I scratch is the driver. People are tricky because one wrong knife scratch can throw off the look of a face, whereas an errant scratch on a car is less noticeable so I like to get the person right before spending a lot of time on the rest of the scratching.

    You can see by the photos here that it's a long process. Before I scratch away the background, I leave a black outline around the subject matter and scratch the background away. I leave some ink strokes which gives the piece a woodcut look. Once finished I scan so I have a digital file to work with later. In this case when the magazine called and wanted to run it, I was able to add color and provide a sized digital file for best clarity.

    I also used the file to create a two color silkscreen print centered on an 11x17 and sized to fit under a standard 11x14 mat. It's silver metallic under black ink on a tan-colored chip board. I printed and signed 50 of them and they are available on my website here:

    http://bomonster.com/store/art-2/silkscreen-posters.html

     

  • BOMONSTER Is a Big Star in France

    Like Jerry Lewis and David Hasselholf before him BOMONSTER is a bigger star in Europe than in America! At least in print. One of the premier custom kulture magazines in Europe is Kustom magazine. They cover the custom car trends in America better than many of the publications in America. As such they cover what they like, and what Kustom magazine likes is BOMONSTER's unique take on hot rod art and his original scratchboard technique. At least that's what I think they like since the entire article is printed in French. Judging by the pictures in the magazine however, BOMONSTER is in good company.

     

    Kustom magazine printed one of BOMONSTER's knucklehead chopper art pieces as a pull-out poster. I'd never seen my art so big before! Now BOMONSTER posters are plastered all over shops, garages and kid's bedrooms all over Europe. BOMONSTER is a star!!!

    More of BOMONSTER's work can be seen on www.bomonster.com

     

  • BOMONSTER Races Into Hangtown 2013

    The Hangtown Classic opens the outdoor MX season and has been around for 45 years. We took the BOMONSTER art and apparel show there to get my art out in front of a new crowd. The Dirt Diggers North motorcycle club puts on the event and did a great job organizing the previously strip mined valley into an dirt bike racers paradise. The racing was was excellent and the access to the riders and pits was made easy.

    Putting on an event of this magnitude requires big money which requires fans who spend big money. Taking a page out of NASCAR's in-your-face barrage of sponsor brands, the actual race is only a backdrop to the real opportunity of getting brands and products in the minds and hands of a perceived high-value target – the 18-35 demographic. Understanding great marketing, I wasn't shocked at the big semi-truck rigs pulling into vendor row from Red Bull, Oakley, GoPro, FMF, Lucas Oil, etc. What shocked me was the way these brands debase their brand image by standing in front of million dollar rigs screaming into microphones like carnival hawkers begging the crowd to enter contests, liking them on facebook, and generally harassing the crowd to pay attention to them. Extremely loud and angry metal music vibrated through inferior sound systems assaulting the targeted and anti-targeted demographics all day.

    Red Bull had a great display of extreme sport graphics but the Red Bull truck parked next to their display opened up into a 16' high DJ booth and video wall complete with a head banging, headphone-wearing DJ who cranked up the volume to 11+.  Mr head banger DJ violated the airspace with a one-dimensional sampled electronic dance thump complete with F-word bomb lyrics for the whole family to cringe to without interruption for 8 hours. We endured the noise and the customer complaints and wondered if Red Bull's marketing team back at the office realized their long term brand image would be better served using their caffeinated sugar water money to celebrate the sport and not try to alienate the spectator experience.

    Nonetheless, we appreciated the opportunity to be there as people really dug our work and it gave me a good insight into the crowd. The thing we heard over and over was that we were new and different. Of the 25,000 people in attendance more than half were wearing one of four famous brand name logos on their bodies. The people we impressed were the ones who appreciated the new. Marketers call them the leading edge trend setters. They don't buy because everyone else is wearing it, they buy because they like the unique. Someday when BOMONSTER is famous and one of the five famous brands, I will always remember the leading edge trend setters at Hangtown who came into our booth – not because we were shouting at them to enter a contest or trying to impress with our taste in obnoxious music – but because we stuck to what we know – art.

    All photos by BOMONSTER except the photo of BOMONSTER by W.B.

     

     

  • BOMONSTER Remembers the 9th Annual Hopetown GP

    I'm getting ready to go to the Hangtown Outdoor Motocross Classic next week and try to sell some of my BOMONSTER shirts and scratchboard art to a new generation of dirt bike lovers. Hangtown is put on by the Dirt Diggers M.C. and I may be the only person in the world with an original Dirt Diggers Hopetown Grand Prix and International Moto Cross poster from 1967. I bought it in the parking lot of the Corriganville movie ranch Hopetown – named after Bob Hope, and the site of the first appearance by the world champion European riders on U.S. soil. I was a little kid – not much bigger than a poster – but I remember the deep mud hole on the racecourse, walking the back roads of the course and the old west movie sets and trees where they shot Tarzan classics, TV's F-Troop, Rin Tin Tin, some Lassie episodes and tons more. It was on the east end of the Simi Valley and the back hillside had just been graded for the future 118 Freeway to connect to the San Fernando Valley. I think about these things when I look at the poster on my wall behind my computer screen:

    I wish I knew more about the poster artist. The signature looks something like Earl Tressman. It is a beautiful black and red silkscreen on a heavy cream colored stock. The reason I was at the race was because my dad Winston Beaumont produced and distributed a motorcycle results paper called Rap Up. He took pictures, wrote the articles and pasted up the page layouts. It morphed into a competition guide as another investor came on board but after the Hopetown issue, it folded. Here are some photos from that historical race not previously seen by many:

    What made the 1967 Hopetown classic a true classic was the arrival of the Europeans. The rider with the number one plate that year was Torsten Hallman. He is pictured at the top. My dad wrote "...Torsten Hallman clearly demonstrated why he is Number One in the world. He stood up constantly, used trees for brakes and took bumpy corners like the Hollywood Freeway. His Husqvarna backed him up with horsepower, torque and revving abilities we rarely, if ever, see in the United States." Also pictured are CZ riders Roger Decoster (C), Dave Bickers (A) and Joel Robert wheelieing though the mud hole. The Europeans won the two-day event with Hallman and Decoster tied for first in two-day points and Dave Bickers second. The International raced on Saturday on 250cc machines and combined a Sunday race on open class bikes. Gary Conrad on a Greeves was the top American over Eddie Mulder and Bud Ekins. Eddie Mulder almost won Sunday's open class race but got passed by Hallman before the checkers who averaged 51 mph on the 2.8 mile course.

    Among those pictured above is Gary Conrad (3), Eddie Mulder (12) Triumph, and a 16-year-old amateur Al Baker (3) Husqvarna. The Europeans were so fast when they first came over here and it took the rest of the decade before the Americans would shake the moniker of "First American..." in the results.

    In summing up the event my dad wrote "Hopetown was a rare opportunity to see Europe's and America's best riders on the same course and spectate over the differences in their machinery (knowing full-well the differences between factory bikes and individually-prepared entries). Pit commentary explored every possible motorcycle-rider combination, then questioned the relative advantages of being born in in Sweden or America. In Europe, it is custom to run up a hill to the corner grocery store - on legs, not on wheels. Here we start life in a car seat with a miniature steering wheel affixed to it, and seldom venture beyond the garage on foot. Some riders in this country work out daily, with long hikes and rough country bike practice; but will anyone who doesn't begin conditioning before the age of one be destined for disappointment? This question may never be answered, but many people asked it during the race."

    Photos by Winston Beaumont and Harry Burton, 1967

  • BOMONSTER Asks What's Wrong With Rat Rods?

    "Rat Rod" is one of those terms which rankles traditional custom car builders and is a real dividing line between custom culture fans - many of whom have never built a car. The most common argument among rat rod haters is that they're not safe. This coming from a group of non-traditional outsiders who'd never be caught dead in a Volvo. For some reason I like rat rods. They're complete one-offs built in a garage by car guys who probably had no real plan or direction for the car and just free-formed it using available parts that came along either cheap or free. Assuming the welds are strong and the owner doesn't fall asleep at the wheel while driving and run over any kids or pets, what's the harm? While inside selling my BOMONSTER art and apparel at the 2013 Lone Star Roundup in Austin TX, I heard some comments about the "wrong kind of cars" being allowed into the show. I knew what an ironic statement that was at a hot rod/custom car show where the point is to present something far from showroom stock. So I went outside and took a look at these undesirable beasts...

     

    All photos by BOMONSTER

  • BOMONSTER Jumps Out of a Speeding Car On Route 66

    One of the best things about being a vendor selling my art at shows is the trip between the shows. We set up shop at Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Show one weekend and then had to drive to Austin, TX to sell original BOMONSTER art and apparel at the Lone Star Roundup the next weekend. In between is a lot of desert and automotive history including the Mother Road - Route 66. We had fun following John Mearns of ACME Speed Shop , ace custom car builder Bruce Steadman and John Denich who owns -and still drives - Larry Watson's '50 custom Chevy named Grapevine. If I'm not careful on these kinds of drives I can sometimes race right through every town on the way and appreciate it for the moment I'm in it but never stop and take a picture. Thankfully John likes to stop and look around and I like to take pictures once I'm stopped. Here are a few stops in Arizona:

    Our first stop was a junky (in a good way) general store in Hackberry where the creators of the movie Cars once stopped and were inspired by the place enough to start writing the movie. Other stops included Seligman, Williams, (blew went past Winslow this time), and ended up in Holbrook where the Wigwam Hotel and the Plainsman once flourished. Hard to take a bad picture along Route 66 but you have to jump out of the car once in awhile.

    All photos by BOMONSTER

     

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