Art and riding have something in common. Both have passion and that passion feeds the heart. It is more than just metal, rubber and plastic bolted together, it is a creative synergy of an intangible concept created from nothing and brought into something. Welcome again to Rider Inspiration Friday! This week’s Rider Inspiration is close to my own heart, Art and the Passion of Riding is more than just a snazzy title but for me, it represents my own inspiration for riding and creating Total Motorcycle. Most won’t know I started off as a Graphic Artist, in-fact, over my design career I was lucky enough to work for many international companies designing everything from corporate package design, to logos, to billboard campaigns and even books, magazines and flyers.
The majority of my school life started in specialized art schools taking layout, lettering, design, illustration, life drawing, color theory, art history, corporate design, CAD and continued into a Graphic Design diploma at George Brown college. I was even fortunate enough to receive many art awards in my career, the highest being the City Choice Award for the Top Graphic Designer in Toronto in 1993. Interestingly enough, you most likely have seen my work before you ever knew of Total Motorcycle! Ever used Sudafed? Benelyn? Trident? Halls? I contributed to those package designs. Been to the CN Tower or do you or someone you know uses Yarn or books to knit or crochet? Used Easter Seals? Read Hockey News? Remember the Yellow Pages and the millions of logos in there? All hand drawn or created on Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, PageMaker, CorelDraw and countless other programs.
Art and riding have similar vein in common. Both have passion and the passion feeds the heart.
With motorcycle art, for me, it represents a bridge between the passion of riding and the passion of art. Doing either brings a lot of joy, freedom and fulfillment. With this in mind, I wanted to share some Easter Eggs around Total Motorcycle in our thousands of motorcycle guides, handbooks and the like. When it is available I grab the designers artwork for a motorcycle model, it is rare and these are gems to find. The idea of expression, the spark of creativity, the opportunity to see into the mind of an artist and what a model truly represents.
I really enjoy creating, drawing, painting and riding a motorcycle. While you may not be able to fully associate with the art part I know you can with the riding part. Just image riding a motorcycle on fine day, the sun is shining, the road is great, scenery awesome, the sounds, smells, the feeling of it all it just all comes together in a very special moment and feel it in your heart, you know this is more than just a ride on any other Sunday but something more. Sadly, not everyone can ride a motorcycle, have a perfect day like that or even the ability to experience what you have. These days are rare but when they come it gives meaning to life. You are creating something out of nothing and putting meaning to it.
Art is very close to that perfect riding day, every sweep of the brush, pencil or pen is like riding a curve, there is joy and meaning to it. Acceleration, cornering, the visual sound and feel of the engine is like mixing colors, applying a stroke and looking down at what you brought to life on paper.
It is more than just metal, rubber and plastic bolted together, it is a creative synergy of an intangible concept created from nothing and brought into something.
Remember then when you see a new motorcycle model that has just come out it is more than form and substance, it is someones (and more likely a lot of somebodies) heart, soul and passion thrown out into the cold world. Engineering and finance will have a hand to scale it back into reality but by getting a glimpse through an artists eye you can refocus on what makes it special and why.
Unfortunately in this world there is a diminishing value being placed on art and creativeness. As an artist, it troubles me deeply when I see the majority of people being “sheeple” and going along with what everyone else is doing, buying or saying. “Good enough” is never that good. Buying what everyone is buying because it is safe robs us of choices, uniqueness and expression. Look at the biggest companies and top sellers. Apple and the white iPhone, Facebook whos business model is only to monetize your individuality. Cars that come in any color as long as it is a shade of white, grey or black. The world can be depressingly grey enough that is why we need motorcyclists and artist to add color, flair and style. Otherwise we will just look, eat, dress and own all the same in the future as that’s what everyone wanted.
It was never about money, it was about passion.
Just writing this article, seeing the sketches and realizing Total Motorcycle has been able to meld these two things together for the past 20 years makes me realize how special Total Motorcycle is in the world and why it is special to so many.
Enjoy just a few of the artist sketches below and remember there are hundreds more scattered across Total Motorcycle in our guides over the past 20 years. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to come across them in your own Easter Egg hunt.
Enjoy and thank you.
Mike Le Pard, Founder, Total Motorcycle.com
P.S. I never put our TMW logo on our images but these images are very special and rare so if you would like a copy of one to print out, let me know and I’ll email one to you without the logo if you prefer and in higher resolution too.
P.P.S Please don’t forget to support Total Motorcycle and please, please, turn off ad-blockers. I couldn’t run the site without some revenue and as I do not sell anything showing ads are the ONLY way to support the site without donations.
Please don’t forget to support Total Motorcycle and please, please, turn off ad-blockers. I couldn’t run the site without some revenue and as I do not sell anything showing ads are the ONLY way to support the site without donations.