WEIRD NEWS
11/22/2013 02:22 pm ET

Ian Cook Uses Remote Controlled Cars For His Paintings (PHOTOS)

Most successful artists are driven to create, but a love of cars has steered Ian Cook into new directions.

Cook, 29, specializes in paintings of automobiles. In order to get the right feel of movement, he uses a fleet of remote-controlled cars as his brushes.

He started using cars back in 2006, but really got into gear in 2008.

  • Ian Cook: RC Car Artist
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    "Back in Christmas 2006, My ex-ex girlfriend bought me a radio controlled Lightning McQueen from the film 'Cars,' the red '95' one," he told The Huffington Post. "And she told me, 'Don't take it down to your studio, and don't get paint on it.'" Thus, a new career path was born.
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    The relationship ended, but Cook still keeps that first car on the windowsill. "We're still Facebook friends... like many artists, whether musical or painting, things happen that influence you. I was always going to create artwork with cars, as it's my passion and interest."
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    Cook, a lifelong car aficionado, originally had plans of working in the auto industry. "I did a week's work experience shadowing engineers and car designers when I was 16, and realized it wasn't quite the glamorous job I expected," he told The Huffington Post. "I like how cars look -- the visuals -- but I'm not an engineer though."
  • Photos © www.vicki-isted.co.uk
    Cook uses remote-controlled cars in a variety of ways, but it's all with one goal in mind. "I like that the cars I create look like they are moving at speed, as after all, this is what the cars do," he said.
  • http://popbangcolour.com/
    He has nearly 150 different remote-controlled cars that he uses for work, most of which are covered in paint.
  • Photos © www.vicki-isted.co.uk
    "If I do brand-associated work say with Jaguar, or Chevrolet, I'll buy cars that represent that manufacturer," he said. "This can be really important as when I am being filmed -- like for the Jaguar Land Rover careers advert last year -- or if creating on a stand at a motor show."
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    Cook uses cars of different scales and sizes so different marks can be made with the tires of each vehicle.
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    Before each event, Cook puts new batteries in his cars. A miscommunication in 2008, made that expense more affordable.
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    "I did a project for a company and received a stock of batteries as payment," he said. "I asked for 500 batteries, they mistook it as 500 packs and I ended up with over 12,000 batteries. I’m still using them!"
  • Photos © www.vicki-isted.co.uk
    Despite his brushes with fame, Cook does not use brushes at all, just radio controlled cars, car tires and toy car wheels.
  • 2011 BMW M3 GTS
    http://popbangcolour.com/
  • Photos © www.vicki-isted.co.uk
    Cook uses the rubber car wheels to move the paint over the canvas or paper.
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    "The radio-controlled cars are used as much as possible," he said. "I use other car-related tools like Hot Wheels and Matchbox toys to also create the details areas -- just no traditional brushes."
  • 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia
    http://popbangcolour.com/
  • Photos © www.vicki-isted.co.uk
    Cook hopes that his work can be appreciated by both serious art lovers and the casual observer.
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    "The key thing to my artwork is that it's created in the public domain and at high-profile events -- whether this be a at the Formula 1, World Rally, Goodwood Festival of Speed, a car dealership or a supermarket -- rather than in a more traditional gallery setting where art is normally viewed on the walls," he said.
  • Ferrari F40
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    "It's always a bit like a theme park where people need to experience the artwork to see how it is done," he said. "I really enjoy performing and creating in front of people, live at events in the UK, Europe and farther afield."
  • Photos © www.vicki-isted.co.uk
    But while Cook is living his dream job, there have been times when it's been a nightmare.
  • Photos © www.vicki-isted.co.uk
    Once when he was preparing for a project, Cook scraped dried paint off the wheel arches of the cars. "Unfortunately the knife got jammed, and I pulled at it and it ended up going into my leg," he said. "So that hurt."
  • Audi R8
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