Artist Toolbox – Art from James Owens

James Owens – Featured Hot Rod Artist

how to draw cars, hot rod art

Everybody could use a little more creativity to fuel their lives – so we’re kicking off a new feature here at MyRideisMe! In our Artist Toolbox series, we’ll introduce you to a new hot rod inspired artist and bring you a tutorial from the artist themselves. So not only will you get the opportunity to learn about some fantastic, creative geniuses – but you might learn a thing or two as well!

Some people out there hear the word “art” and think of fancy-schmancy galleries and a bunch of stuffed shirts. Others hear “low brow art” and assume it’s something the wife wouldn’t allow hanging in the house.

No matter what you think of hot rod art, you’re in for a surprise! The artists we’ll spotlight in the Artist Toolbox series create high-class, fun, and hot-rod inspired pieces of beauty. They put the same sort of grit and heart into their works of art as we all put into our cars.

low brow art, hot rod art, james owens

This month’s feature artist is James Owens. Originally out of Detroit, James has single-handedly coined the phrase “car noir.” Art should pick up where photography leaves off – and James Owens gives art a run for its money. Looking at his works of beauty is like driving through a porthole of your favorite noir movie (in your favorite car of course!)


Hear from James what he has to say himself…

MRIM Since My Ride is Me, which ride would you chose as most representative of yourself?

JO: “Letsee, the ride that is most representative of me would be a 48-53 stepdown Hudson convertible, no wait, a KUSTOM 48-52 stepdown Hudson convertible. Scratch that, a 1953 Cadillac! No, hold on a sec… a 1949 Buick Sedanette! That’s it. Wait back the bus up for minute,  a hot rodded Model A. Yup that’s it! No STOP! Oh crap don’t make me pick just one.”

MRIM Are you as artful when working in the garage as in the studio?

JO: “Am I as artful when working in the garage as in the studio? Hmmm… I’m going to say yes to that. I think it is very creative when I use a wrench as a hammer because I can never find my frikin’ tools!”

MRIM Is painting your full-time day job?

JO: “Yes painting is my full time day job. But I also do a bit of acting on the side. Hey that’s one reason I moved back to Tennessee from Los Angeles. Believe it or not I work more as an actor in the southeast than I did in SoCal. Crazy man, crazy!”


Read on, to see how James creates his car noir art in his tutorial, The Dame Wore Red.

To check out more of his art or purchase some of your very own, visit James Owen’s on the web at

hot rod art, james owens, car noir

Click here for Hot Rod Art from James Owens


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