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Catching Up With Automotive Artist Bart de Graaff

Today we’re going to be delving into the concept design work of Bart de Graaff, a great automotive artist we’ve been in contact with. You can check out his work at Below, Bart gives us some insight into not only his own work and inspirations, but automotive design in general.


Auto and Art: What got you into doing automotive art?

Bart de Graaff: I started out wanting to experiment with digital drawing software at the age of 14, after seeing some crazy youtube artists and designers (primarily a British designer named Miles Waterhouse) creating the most awesome car design renderings and speedpaintings. My drive since then has always been to emulate these techniques and one day reach that same level of skill. My work field has always been focused on industrial design since then, but my signatures in my design renderings have always been the artsy touch to them. Call it automotive art if you like. I have had a passion for cars and design for a very long time, and after seeing these amazing artist creating the most awesome work, trying it out myself was the natural next step. Years and years for messing around with tablets and software got me to the point I am now where sketching and speedpainting has its part in my daily life.

automotive art by Bart de Graaff

A&A: Who is a favorite automotive artist of yours?

BdG: My favorite automotive artist, who hasn't been very active these days, but whose work this is incredibly inspirational, has got to be Miles Waterhouse, who I mentioned earlier.

A&A: What inspires you to create automotive art?

BdG: My main inspiration is what drives the concept I am working on at that time. I never really draw existing models, since I see myself as a designer first and foremost. So it depends on the project I am working on, or in case of personal work, just what I feel like drawing. Inspiration could be anything from nature and morphology to modern architecture trends, or what I read in the paper that morning. As you can tell, I work more as a concept designer point-of-view then an actual art gallery artist.

automotive art by Bart de Graaff

A&A: What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?

BdG: My favorite hobby would be (car design and sketching has become much more than a hobby for me nowadays) DJ'ing electronic dance music, music for which I also have a great passion. Also, I am very fond of playing tennis, been playing that for almost eight years now.

A&A: Do you have any tips for aspiring automotive artists?

BdG: First of all stick to your goals, when you feel like you keep coming back to your sketchbook or computer to draw, that means you are on the right way. Make sure you do it because you love to do it, because only then you will create that mileage that allows your skills to develop. Also remember that tools don't make the artist, you don't need the same pen or brush that the pros use. Keep your stationery simple and stick to the tool that feels comfortable to you.  Also if you want to get noticed on the net, keep your blogs and portfolio updated frequently. And finally, look up your favourite artists and tutorial sources to keep getting inspired to go back to the drawing table and put in the hours. There are no short-cuts but hard work. And remember to have fun at what you do!

- AutoandArt staff