Blog

Select your Instagram moments. Order them as magnets.

Kevin Butler is Illustrating Rad Cars With Rad Surfboards on Them

15
Oct

Hi Kevin. Thanks for joining us. You are well known inside the Instagram community for drawing rad cars with rad surfboards on them and sharing your illustrations on Instagram with the tag #radcarswithradsurfboardsonthem. How did you come up with the idea?

A few years ago I finally found my dream surf mobile. (A Mustard Yellow 1982 Volvo Wagon) When I put my longboard on it for the first time, the sight just made me happy.

I thought about what a rad surfboard on a rad car symbolizes. It means it’s the weekend, or you’ve got the afternoon off, and you are living in the moment. So I painted my car with my board on it, just for myself. Then I painted a friends car. then one I saw on the road and it all just steamrolled from there.

Can you explain us a little bit the process behind your illustrations?

I do a few different things. They usually start with a photograph I’ve either taken or been sent via email. I’ll draw it out in pencil on an 11x17 piece of paper. Go over it with ink. Scan it in and drop the color in with Photoshop.

Then If someone wants a print I’ll have it printed using using archival ink on really nice matte paper. All the original ink drawings are in a pile on my desk.

Although, recently I’ve had some requests for larger hand-painted ones. The few I’ve done turned out really great, so I’m getting into that for the really special rad-combos.

Where do you get your inspiration for the motifs?

Well, I grew up near the beach with a dad that was constantly buying, fixing and selling old hot rods. The first 20 or 30 I did were cars I remember having as a child. It’s funny, having drawn well over 100 people ask me if I’m running out of options and at any given moment I have 3 or 4 I’m dying to draw. I’m always back-logged.

What changed in your life after you started using Instagram and gained so much popularity?

For one it’s fueled the project. Knowing people are connecting with what you’re doing definitely good motivation for continuing to create stuff.

It’s also made me really second guess the things I post. Before you post a photo you think about whether a few thousand people really care about your breakfast.

You had an exhibition showing your work, you sell your illustrations as prints and as a book… how does it work so far, marketing your Instagram account? Do you have any plans offering more products? And if yes, is anything missing to improve the selling experience?

The show was amazing. I couldn’t decide which ones to print so I printed almost everything. And everything sold. We created a hashtag for the show and it was really cool to go through the photos after the show and see peoples experience through their own eyes. Instagram definitely has had an impact on how many prints and books I’m selling. What was once a fun project has kind of turned into a full time job. It’s a lot of work. But really fun.

I am currently working on shoes. Pajamas, bed sheets and wallpaper. I think it’d make things a whole lot easier if I wasn’t doing EVERYTHING myself. I do all the shipping, looking at proofs, responding to emails…etc which takes away from time I could be drawing. What I really need is a clone.

What is your favorite Instagram picture or Instagram account you spotted recently?

I have recently connected with @drsmoothdeath who has a project called #morninautos they are basically photographic versions of my cars without boards on them. If I need a rad car to draw I can always look at his feed.

Lastly, can you introduce us a little bit to the man behind @kbut?

I turned 30 on October 4th. I’m Originally from Santa Cruz. I work as an Associate Creative Director / Copywriter at TBWA \ Media Arts Lab (The Ad Agency that makes ads for Apple). I am married to an amazing woman named Scarlett who is 9 months pregnant. and I have the cutest dog see her at #bettythedog.