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Sketchbook: “Rad Cars With Rad Surfboards”

Drafting dream pairings with artist Kevin Butler.

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Artist Kevin Butler grew up surfing in Santa Cruz and tinkering on vehicles with his old man. His ongoing series Rad Cars With Rad Surfboards—which contains hundreds of drawings of specific vehicles, each one paired with a specific surf craft or crafts—combines all of the above. “If a car I see and want to draw doesn’t have a board,” he says, “I think about the appropriate match to put on the roof—who would drive that car and what would they ride in the surf?” Butler began with a single vehicle-and-board sketch for his friend’s car, intended as a gift, and the series spun to life from there. “I just kept going,” he says, “drawing cars I saw in parking lots, on the freeway, or on my way to work. Before I knew it, I was getting about 10 to 20 requests a week. A couple modern cars have snuck in, but for the most part I stick to cars where you can feel the designer’s hand. I mean, I haven’t drawn any Lamborghini Gallardos with machine made pop-outs on them. Not rad. If I had to paint a picture of my inspiration, I imagine the San O parking lot on a Sunday afternoon in 1966.”

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