Michael Shoaf

I can’t say that I can remember any time in my life that I wasn’t into both drawing and cars. My dad, Larry, certainly had the most influence on me in that… and still does. As I was growing up, Dad always had some kind of car project going on for himself or someone else.

Knowing early on that I wanted to be some kind of artist, I took every art class I could get into. As a grade-schooler, I was thinking architecture would be a viable option… until I learned of “commercial art”. So throughout high school I groomed my creative pursuits toward that career, and eventually enrolled in the School of Art at East Carolina University. The time in college was a tremendous growth period for me — in skills & techniques, in my understanding of art, and in my faith. By the end of 1994, I had earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Since Graduation, I’ve been working full-time in the field of Graphic Arts with a short exception when I worked with my Dad as he got his street rod/custom shop going. Working with old American iron every day just fueled my automotive passion all the more, but perhaps just as importantly, it gave me some real insights into the world of hot rods. Even though I now have a day job working as the Creative Director for a large Promotional Products supplier/manufacturer in East Texas, I am constantly doing automotive-related work on the side. Everything from event t-shirts to shop logos to conceptual illustrations that builders can use to sell their ideas to current and potential clients.

My work is mostly done on the computer, but uses similar techniques as traditional media. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet in lieu of a mouse, I can draw and sketch in a manner similar to good old pencil & paper (but I never run out of paint, or ink, or paper!). Then again, when the opportunity is available, I do like to step back and use traditional media like watercolor, gouache, and Prismacolor pencils on personal projects.

In all that, I’m trying to find time to build my 52 Chevy Fleetline… but not at the expense of missing out on time with my wife & two young kids.