Learning To Pinstripe At Art Of Speed
Art At Art Of Speed

One of the great things about heading to Malaysia for the Art of Speed show every year is the chance to meet inspirational people in the global custom car scene. In 2015 it was some of the most famous customisers in Japan, like Pumpkin Sally and the Mooneyes crew, to guests from South East Asia and as far afield as the US.

With this much talent on board this year, the Art of Speed organisers decided to run a pinstriping class the morning after the big show had ended.


I was asked if I’d be interested in attending, and having seen famous artists like Mooneyes’ own Hiro ‘Wildman’ Ishii in action at the Hot Rod & Custom Show every year, I was keen to learn a bit more about this unique art form. The venue was the freshly-opened Art of Speed shop, which also doubles as a rather cool chill-out spot for bikers and general fans of the rodding movement.


Once I spotted a proper espresso machine behind the bar counter in the cafe area of the shop, I knew I was in good hands!


First things first, a nice steaming-hot cappuccino to get me into gear before what promised to be a pretty full-on day of shooting.


If you’re remotely interested in custom car and bike culture and live in Malaysia, you’ll definitely love this shop.


It’s stocked up to the brim with all the clothing and accessories one needs to live the custom life, including this ace selection of vintage Bell helmets.


Art of Speed is also an official dealer for Mooneyes parts and merchandise, and it was cool seeing a corner of the shop set up and dedicated to the iconic brand.


One thing that’s really picking up in the Malaysian custom scene is pinstriping and all of the other artistic and challenging ways to paint and finish a project car or bike.


Since I knew nothing about this curious form of art, while the teachers were setting up for the class I had a little nose around at some of the things you need to get started. First up, the brushes. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on what you want to do.

The Class Begins

There were quite a few students enrolled in the class and that called for many tubs of lettering paint.


The color of choice was a very bright fire engine red, which was distributed into paper cups where brushes could be dipped. The glass jars were used for rinsing the brushes afterwards.


Two types of brushes were also provided.


This is what the students found on their tables – a coloured pencil to lay down a design, the paint, a brush, and some paper to mix the paint on and load and shape the brush before moving onto a canvas.


The students arrived and got comfortable.


Doing the teaching were famed Japanese artists Jetwrench and Boo, with The Nash (right) taking care of translation. Both artists had spent the previous two days pinstriping all manner of things that people brought to them at the show, from phone covers to helmets and model cars.


Everyone was eager to learn, but before they got into it a general rundown of how the class would progress was given.


It was all under the watchful eye of Asep, the man behind Art of Speed, who was busy updating his Instagram feed with live pictures form the class.


The first thing that students had to do was familiarise themselves with the brush and find a comfortable way in which to hold it. A firm yet relaxed grasp is needed to lay down a smooth stripe.


After a quick mix of the paint it was in with the first dip.


The teachers asked the students to lay down their straightest and most width-consistent line on the transparent sheet of plastic they had in front of them. A template beneath acted as a guide.

Brush, Paint, Stroke

The teachers stopped by each student to give tips and pointers and answer any questions.


This was the idea. If you aren’t smooth or careful it’s so easy to lay down a thick and horribly inconsistent line. Being very gentle with the pressure and using the entire length of the brush is key, as is correctly loading up the brush with with paint and shaping it in the correct way before starting.


Most of these guys weren’t total beginners so there were some nice lines being drawn right from the get-go.


While the class was going on, one of the shop windows was being pinstriped by Wildman himself.


It was pretty incredible watching him work too. I always thought I had steady hands, but the guys that do this sort of thing professionally are on another level. Not only that, but the concentration and skill when its comes to symmetry surprised everyone who watched on.

I made a short video to illustrate some of the points that made above, staring off with how Jetwrench prepares a paint brush before use, and how different students hold their brushes. Hit play and check it out.


The more I watched these guys go at it, the more obvious it became that it’s way harder to do than the pros make it seem.


Everyone has their own way to hold the brush, but it makes sense to use a finger for support so that you can maintain the same pressure throughout your line.


The students were doing seriously well. See the thickness of the line? Okay, now look at the brush itself. It’s necessary to keep the bristles loaded with paint to create that thin leading edge and a smooth straight line.


With more practice, everyone was getting the hang of it. It may have only been an introductory class, but it was incredibly interesting to watch and unlike anything else I have ever covered before for Speedhunters.


Then it was on to slightly more complicated things, like laying down curved lines and practising symmetry.


It wasn’t long before Wildman had finished his design and signed it using the exact same brush. Just look at how tiny those letters are!


Another pioneer of Japanese pinstriping then took over, Makoto of M&K Custom Signs adding his own lines on top of Wildman’s.

As I had to head out and shoot some other shops and cars that day I left the guys to do their thing. It was a really interesting morning, and from what I witnessed I now have lot more appreciation for this often overlooked side of custom car and bike culture.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Lately there seems to be a lot of coverage from Speedhunters on Malaysia car culture, this is so awesome, it highlight tons of stuff that I do not know about. Thanks for the coverage


Would love to enter this class! Pinstriping is always one my favorite stuff.


Would love to enter this class! Pinstriping is always one my favorite stuff.


Things seem to be going strong in Malaysia. Good for them! 

Nice articles Dino :)


One of the more amusing car-related events I ever ran into was riding the train downtown and seeing a guy painting his Mustang bight orange.

With a push broom.


AuYongWengKhuen Glad you liked it. I've been over twice in the space of a month! Hope to come over again next year too :)


sandpaper condom Thanks!


Ice Age my neighbor repainted a van with paint brush. it was hilarious


Ice Age my neighbor repainted a van with paint brush. it was hilarious


Ice Age my neighbor repainted a van with paint brush. it was hilarious


This was awesome, thanks for posting and taking time to do all of this...


This was awesome, thanks for posting and taking time to do all of this...


This was awesome, thanks for posting and taking time to do all of this...


Definetly and art that only a few mortals are capable.. As my roots are in the bike scene pinstriping is common for me. And no matter how many times I have seen motorcycle, helmets, hot rods, muscle cars it never, never stop to amaze me how cool and unique it is and the madskills and steady hands you nead for it.
I put pinstriping masters in the same league that guys like Akira Nakai are. We are living in times where we are constanly using technology to make everything faster and easy so its mindblowing and refreshing seeing the ART they are able to create with pretty much there bare hands, with simple tools and pure talent and skills aquired by years and years of hard work and dedication.
Its also very refreshing to see other countrys other than USA getting serious in Pinstriping.


960 Ice Age Yeah, he was using a gallon of Sherwin-Williams house paint, too.


I recently had the opportunity to witness someone pinstripe. It really is impressive to see the sort of control these experts have. Thanks for the inside look of pinstripers honing their skills; it was a great read!


What a cool little thing to do, wish there were somewhere near me that did this.


What a cool little thing to do, wish there were somewhere near me that did this.


Camera settings would have been nice with these shots.


90nissanS13@my350z Was shooting pretty wide open. What do you mean?


BossHoss420 Yeah was cool to covers something totally different. I've seen these guy in action at Hot Rod shows but to see the basic hand control you need...wow! Total respect!


EliThanos Totally, so refreshing!


PeteMarshall Glad someone likes this look at something a little different :)


Shutter speed, apeature


Download the full resolution image and save it and look at the exif data. Last pic for example:
exp 1/4000 sec
Focal length 50mm


I never quite like pinstripe , but I always respect how they have super steady hand !

Gianluca FairladyZ

Hey Dino, now that's one cool coverage! It's nice to bring in some creative stuff related to car culture. Makes me wanna make a pinstripping workshop too :D


Follow up shot on how the window turned out... Feel like I left on a cliffhanger. Oh, the suspense. 

I've always admired/respected the art and the hands/minds behind pin striping. It's neat to see something like this offered as a class,too.


Blimey. Reminds me of being 5 years old and having a large book with massive spaces between the lines, learning how to write the letters of the alphabet.


Great seeing this art form to continue to grow. Even better, my own signature series for brush the Drag'nfly by Mack is in the picture with all the others for students try out.

Get them here: tedturnerdesign.bigcartel.com


Great coverage of the art form to new students ( and seeing some Drag'nfly's in one of the pics )


Hi... Can i know when the next batch of courses coming? I'm interested..


the car was very good 
really really like to see the car that shiny new car fits like made ​​for walking trailsthe car was very good http://utamadomino.com/app/img/peraturan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://utamadomino.com/app/img/peraturan.html and very fast http://utamadomino.com/app/img/jadwal.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://utamadomino.com/app/img/jadwal.html mix of colors http://utamadomino.com/app/img/promo.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://utamadomino.com/app/img/promo.html from which to http://utamadomino.com/app/img/panduan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://utamadomino.com/app/img/panduan.html make want pobud http://utamadomino.com/ see hatnya http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/peraturan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/peraturan.html kecepatanya http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/jadwal.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/jadwal.html was very nice ,http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/promo.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/promo.html  suitable for a "http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/panduan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://dokterpoker.org/app/img/panduan.html sharp bend http://dokterpoker.org or not sharp I guess motorists http://633cash.com/Games like this is http://633cash.com/Pengaturan" very skilled in the speed I hope I can membilinya someday will whether http://633cash.com/Daftar http://633cash.com/Promo there are http://633cash.com/Berita new cars http://633cash.com/Livescore are better I http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/peraturan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/peraturan.html 'll wait for it , with a stylish car classic http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/jadwal.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/jadwal.html style I http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/promo.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/promo.html also like http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/panduan.html" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://raksasapoker.com/app/img/panduan.html to see would be http://raksasapoker.com/ whether there is a http://yakuza4d.com/peraturan" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://yakuza4d.com/peraturan car that is http://yakuza4d.com as fast and forius http://yakuza4d.com/home like in the "http://yakuza4d.com/daftar movie , the car very http://yakuza4d.com/cara_main good car http://yakuza4d.com/hasil designed a way apparently hopefully http://yakuza4d.com/buku_mimpi there will be new cars more good and the price is quite pantastis then chances are I can membilinya the same as you have at this time