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How These Instagram Illustrators are Disrupting the Car Industry

How These Instagram Illustrators are Disrupting the Car Industry


– What if told you the most exciting builds on Instagram aren’t even real cars? Boof, boof. (car engines revving) These are renders, outrageous machines built
with 3-D modeling software. Social media posts of these cars have exploded in the past two years with new artists posting every day. And it’s got me wondering, how can this art change the automotive industry? Okay, before I talk about Instagram we need to talk about the history of automotive design in the context of the automotive industry. That way we’ll see how Instagram car art is so different from the formal stuff. Then we’ll meet some artists and talk about their
processes and influences. Then we’ll take a look
at one production car I think was directly
influenced by these artists. After that I’ll give you
a short list of artists I think you should follow right now. Finally I’ll get sappy and talk about why I
think fusing art and cars is so cool. (upbeat electronic music) Automotive design is an art form steeped in tradition. Most concepts for any car you’ve ever seen started as a sketch on a piece of paper, penned by an automotive designer with formal training. These people went to
school to design cars. I went to school to learn how to party, and guess what? I got my Master’s, with a focus on keg stands. Generally these designers can’t just design whatever they want and the factory will make it. Company leadership decides what to build based off of market demand and the designers have
to ride the fine line between sketching a car that looks amazing but also conforms to
parameters like safety, practicality, and desirability. After a car is drawn out and approved, then the designers have to bring that idea into the real world by modeling the car in clay. You’ve probably seen this before, right? Slick B-roll of designers
scraping away at a car, getting the shape just right. There’s probably a guy with glasses, and since the clay is
the same color as my skin it kinda looks like they’re building some horrific human car hybrid, kinda like that episode
of Full Metal Alchemist with the, the chimera. – Can we play now? – These clay models are actually still very valuable in the industry, despite the fact that VR exists. That’s because you can actually walk up and touch these things and see them in the real world. You can tell that a real life person worked on it, and that’s why they still use this old school technique. The end result of that OEM pipeline is usually a concept car, the kind that you see
unveiled at an auto show when they pull a shiny cover off the car and people go, “Whoa.” And then inevitably the production model is way different, which is fine, okay? Concepts are all about drumming up interest in your brand and showing people where you’re going. Just look at Kia’s
process for the Stinger. First we saw the GT concept in 2011, then the GT4 Stinger in 2014, then finally the consumer
version of the Stinger in 2017. It changed a lot, but there are still a lot
of elements still present in the final form, just like that poor girl’s personality was still in that dog chimera thing. This pipeline uses the
art of automotive design to drum up a ton of hype for auto makers. These concepts get tons of exposure on auto magazine sites and social media, but it all started with a trained artist putting pencil to paper, which is a little different than how a lot of Instagram-based artists got their start. (electronic music) I was lucky enough to interview three of the most
well-known render artists in the world right now. Khyzyl Saleem, Jon Sibal, and Ash Thorp. If you’re any level of car nerd, you’ve probably seen these guys’s work on your Instagram discover page. A common theme between these guys is that they’re not formally trained in automotive design. They either started in
fields like graphic design, or just taught themselves how to use rendering software. For example, Khyzyl is
the most Instagram famous of these guys. But he started doing graphic design when he was 17, then started working at
EA Games when he was 21 doing concept art in environments for Need for Speed 2015. Ash Thorp was also working
in the gaming field doing menu design for
games like Call of Duty, as well as doing art design for movies like Ghost in the Shell. And Jon Sibal’s been doing comic book art longer than I’ve been alive. These guys are artists first and foremost. So we know a little bit
about these artists, but how do they actually make their art? For a long time, I thought that renderers were just really good with Photoshop and got their work done that way, but it’s actually a lot more impressive. Take a look at this shot by Khyzyl. First, it looks like a photo, right? Well, it’s not. Nothing in this shot is real. He had to model the car himself, then modify it, then give the scene color, and then on top of that, he had to take a photo in the digital space. If you wanna learn how to take good photos in the real world, check out this video right here. Larry Chen taught me. These artists are different than auto designers, though. And I don’t mean for that to take anything away from either side. I think they’re in a
symbiotic relationship. The designers make a product, then the artists make it their own. The designers probably
think it’s pretty cool they made something that inspired art. One common trend in the auto render space is the use of sci-fi imagery. Both Khyzyl and Ash use dystopian and cyberpunk imagery in their work which helps sell the
realism of the renders. A tricked-out McLaren P1 with Le Mans aero wheels and quad exhaust might be hard to believe when it’s parked in a
suburban neighborhood. But you bathe that sucker in neon and park it on wet asphalt, that’s cyberpunk AF. I believe that car
exists in that universe. Examples like this, this, and this harken back to a retro
vision of the future, one influenced by films like Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Back to the Future. And that’s because these artists are huge fans of those films. And who isn’t? The whole vapor wave aesthetic is based on this style. Retro futurism is huge right now. I think that guys like Khyzyl have helped bring that style into the car world mainstream. And one auto maker went all out with it. – [Man] So I present
to you the cybertruck. – The cybertruck. You’ve seen the memes, and you’ve seen the hate probably. But in all that noise I don’t think the cybertruck got its full due, at least from me anyway. I said it on my Twitter, I like the Tesla truck. It’s different, and if it’s anything like
Tesla’s other models, it’ll probably drive pretty well, too. Render artists were quick to put out their own spins on the truck, including our friend Khyzyl. The cybertruck might be controversial or even ugly, but I applaud Tesla for doing something completely different than everyone else in the market. That’s precisely the reason it got so much press. We’ve never seen an auto maker produce something like this. – This is a truck that is not
designed for truck owners. – You’re like Thomas Edison made cybertruckers pretty new. – Cybertruck was cool, all right? – The ridiculous design of the new Tesla- – Cybertruck. I’m gonna get it.
– This is very divisive. – We have, however, seen it in the movies. Blade Runner, Robocop, and that one with
Stallone in the Pizza Hut all had pointy cars. – Now all restaurants are Pizza Hut. – No way. – And here is where I’m gonna make a bold statement, okay? I think the artist we talked about earlier might have had a hand in making the cybertruck a reality. Those guys are clearly
influenced by those films and use those themes in their art. That style then made its way into the ethereal automotive zeitgeist. Tesla is a pretty online company. Elon, he loves his memes. I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to imagine a Tesla designer going through their Instagram page and seeing Khyzyl or
Ash’s or Jon’s work, okay? They coulda been like, “Sick. “I love sci-fi. “What if I made a pyramid into a truck?” Then bam! Cybertruck. If the cybertruck does well, it could change the whole industry. It’ll tell other auto makers, “Hey, use your imagination. “Go big, don’t be afraid. “C’mon guys.” Maybe, just maybe, we could see some seriously crazy (beep) in the next decade, and I’m all for it, okay? (electronic music) So giving Instagram artists credit for making the cybertruck might be a little lofty, I’ll admit it. But these artists affect the industry in other ways, too, maybe most importantly by showing people what is possible, to either acclaim or some criticism. If you don’t follow Khyzyl
Ash or Jon on Instagram, you should definitely do that now. It’s a must do for Wheelhouse fans. I also have some smaller artists I think you should check out, which I will list right now with some of their art, okay? Abimelec Design, Jaked Car Art, Adry53 Customs, Karan Adivy, WNLVD, Paul Fuentes, Aaron Beck, Rain Prisk, and Robert Designs just to name a few. I wish I could do what these guys do, but I can’t. Maybe the coolest part is that it gives everyone involved some sort of release. The art is therapeutic, right? There’s a release when the artists finally get to post their finished work. But there’s another feeling
on the viewer’s end, too, that’s almost like a, like a thank you. I’m a horrible artist and could never put what
I visualize in my head onto a piece of paper. So when I see someone else get close, I’m like, “Thank you, “thank you very much. “Now I can see what I want.” It sounds very woo woo, but I believe that. Not to mention that artists like Khyzyl are designing body kits now, too, finally bringing their vision from the screen into the real world, which will strengthen their influence over the industry even more. It’s freaking cool. Do you like what these guys do with these crazy renders? Are you offended by
putting a wide body kit on a Lamborghini Miura? I think it’s pretty tight. Let me know on Instagram @nolanjsykes, and Twitter, same thing. Follow Donut @donutmedia, be kind. I’ll see you next time. Go make some art. Nah, I’m a horrible artist because I never practiced. Like, I’m like, “I wish I could draw”, but I never draw. Like, I get surprised that I can’t play my guitar anymore. It’s, like, I haven’t touched
it in, like, 6 months.

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100 thoughts on “How These Instagram Illustrators are Disrupting the Car Industry

  1. @donutmedia thank you so much for this feature and taking the time to chat with me properly. I'm incredibly honored to be included alongside these great artists here. This made my day!

  2. You should talk about how these mustang owners are ruining the car industry too. Shutting down meets, causing heightened patrols in cities with takeovers, crashing into everything in sight and causing millions of dollars worth of damage, driving like complete fucktards, and lastly, let’s not forget, killing dogs now

  3. I'm an engineering student about to graduate. But I have 9 cars, from BMWs, To Subaru WRX and a GC8, 69 impala, and a few rotary engines in my garage. But all I gotta say is that red E24 photo that went around that was a 3d rendering got me thinking what I could do to mine aesthetically speaking of course. The engine going in her is a twin turbo N54 and meth kit. It's not impossible. Just gotta be creative and keep an open mind about it.

  4. I like these renderings but it makes me confused when I see IG posts and they don't disclaim that they're renderings. You don't know what's real and not. What is reality? Who am I? Where am I? What am I? *Head explodes*

  5. I honestly am not a fan of making “fake” cars. It kinda ruins the point of modifying cars in a way. instead of putting all of your blood, sweat and tears into a car people just make them digitally.

  6. No I will not get Mandela Effected it was Taco Bell!!! I'm positive!!! I will bet my left pinky to James Pumphrey's 350z it was Taco Bell

  7. there's a huge leap from angular cool sci-fi cars to the pedestrian stabber cyber truck; I'm excited to see what future car designs bring, but the cyber truck is a monstrosity and I hope other manufacturers do not model there cars after it

  8. Nolan keepimg the same energy as when he started is cool idk if its me or james humphry seem all burnt out on the newer episodes not the same humphrys

  9. If the Cybertruck is successful this may inspire companies to bring back pop-up headlights to keep up with the futuristic design. I'm all for it.

  10. Pushing boundaries is what artists do, its suppose to spark conversation, or conflict. Whatever it takes to get attention…

  11. 9:40 Actually, I am offended by putting a wide body kit on a Lamborghini Miura, that makes an already majestic car look ridiculous, like the rest of the car renders featured in this video

  12. Donut, PLEASE check out @ericbdesign, or just look up Eric Brockmeyer Designs if you want some sick renderings. If you are into hot rods, old school, current etc., he has rendered some serious cars, and many of them have been built. Just trust me. We grew up together way back in the day. He is a high roller now 😁, but still a hell of a guy.

  13. "The designer probably thinks it's pretty that they made something that inspires art"
    Like the car they made isn't art

  14. ACKTUALLYYYY… Taco Bell won the franchise wars. Pizza Hut was added post production to the EU version of Demolition Man. GET IT RIGHT DONUT! IDIOTS GOSH!

  15. Rob3rt Design draw the Jamie Orr's VW Saveiro! A digital render constructed in real life in only 1 week here in Brazil and now running in American streets. Please film this!!

  16. i like raiprisk's stuff a lot. i saw renders some years ago of his where he turned modern supercars into shooting brakes, and from then on I loved those ideas and wished car manufacturers actually made things like that.

  17. Yes nolan before you released this video i know these are not real cars but now i know about them more, thanks nolan thiccboi sykes, thanks donut media

    Love you

  18. I am a car designer, I work modeling 3D cars for VW every day, what is happening in social media now is just spreading up the information that have been circulating on our professional comunity for many years.

  19. I hope this will give ideas to some company to create retro futuristic looking cars. Because goddammit i wanna live in that cyberpunk lifestyle

  20. Yeah already knowing it when they shows the better version of Tesla Cybertruck because it's too good to be true

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