Writing about racing. Most of it is NASCAR, but occasionally I write about other series too.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Where Love of a Sport and Artistic Expression Become One

There has been a lot of media coverage surrounding my favorite driver, Clint Bowyer, over the past month or so. First we start off with the “will he make it into the Chase?” storyline. Then upon making it into the Chase, Clint wins the race in New Hampshire.

That spawned this image, which I posted on my Facebook page:

Unfortunately, as anybody who follows NASCAR knows, the sanctioning body had issues with Clint’s car, and on the following Wednesday, they hit Clint, his Crew Chief Shane Wilson, and RCR with some hefty fines, points reductions, and in Shane’s case, a 6 race suspension.

I disagree with the judgement, and I disagree with anything that casts a pall on the integrity of this team & organization. Wednesday was a fairly sleepless night for me. When I woke up Thursday morning, before I even had a chance to make coffee, I had to create this:

I utilized a ribbon vector graphic created by Niki K and pulled from a free image site, removed the gradients, and changed the colors. The 33 is the trademark of RCR for the car that Clint drives (so I take no credit for those pieces at all).

But what does it mean?

I had to do some research on the meanings of the various ribbons. Many colors have multiple meanings. This one is a color scheme that I hadn’t seen previously, so I made up the meaning. An all white ribbon means Innocence. Black & White stand for Justice. Black alone stands for mourning. I added the grey there because in some cases there needs to be some grey area. Tried to get the yellow & red as close to what they use on the car (and Cheerios box?) as possible.

I posted this image on my Facebook page, the Clint Bowyer fan forum, and my Twitter accounts @PhoenyxArts & @CheckrdPhoenyx. I pretty much gave the “have at it” on this image, and its gone pretty viral. Can’t really say that about anything else I’ve created. What has been amazing to see is how many people have embraced it as their profile pic, avatar, etc. on places like Facebook & Twitter. People I don’t even “know”, and to me this is an amazing thing.

One member of the forum contacted me to ask if she could use this image to make stickers to pass out at the fan club party. Fantastic!

I conspired with another member of the forum in creating a poster that she would have printed out and signed by many fans then presented to Clint at the fan club party on September 30. The poster graphic:

Printed at 2x3 feet. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the party this year, but by all accounts, Clint loved it.

The poster with some of the signatures on it (Photo credit: Kristen Boschen-Stock):

Lynda (the woman who had it printed) and her husband holding the poster (Photo credit: Kristen Boschen-Stock):

It was positively FILLED with signatures (Photo credit: Debbie Mott Bozeman):

Lynda presenting the poster to Clint (Photo credit: Kristen Boschen-Stock):

I had one more last minute inspiration of putting together necklaces for my friends on the forum to wear at the fan club party & race at Kansas too:

It was a perfect opportunity to experiment with shrink plastic as a valid medium in jewelry making. Yes, shrink plastic. As in Shrinky Dinks. The very stuff I used to play with as a kid, only its all grown up too. Still have some kinks to work out with it, but what a lot of fun to work with again! Used Sharpie markers & colored pencils to render them, then a simple wire wrapped link with a red czech fire polished bead & a yellow swarovski crystal for the bail.

It is amazing what can become a Muse, isn’t it?