Pinkies Out – Christian Melchior Designs

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Since the initial lines were laid sometime in the ’50s pinstriping has been an important part of the enthusiast culture, because a true pinstriper can accentuate the lines of a vehicle just right, or provide that extra bit of flair a build needs to truly be complete.

Pinstripe artwork is something that I’ve always wanted to incorporate into one of my cars so last year I sought out an artist to add a bit of visual sugar to my freshly color matched air tank. After asking around my circle of enthusiasts friends one name that came up repeatedly was Christian Melchior.

Christian is a serious local talent when it comes to wielding brushes, and while I wasn’t immediately familiar with his paint work, I was familiar with his truck that was featured in Truckin’ magazine a few years ago.

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His S10 was actually one of the first canvases he used to showcase his work, sneaking a few carefully placed lines underneath the arm rest, and from there he did a little work for friends, and friends of friends, building up his clientele and becoming more experienced each brush stroke.

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As word of his talents spread he did a few trucks at Performance World and Vanfest, one of those trucks being Gary Donkers Ford Ranger.

It’s the subtle artwork on the door jamb of Gary’s Ranger that assured me that Christian was the right person to reach out to with my idea.

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From our initial emails, to the first time we met, I knew Christian was the artist for the job because in addition to being extremely talented with his preferred medium of 1 Shot paint and pinning brushes, hes is also a trained graphic designer.

This meant that in my particular case instead of dropping my tank off and hoping for the best, I was able to see a very accurate digital vector rendering of what my idea would look like prior to paint being laid.

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When I dropped off the tank at his house I noticed that Christian clearly wasn’t the only enthusiast in his family, so on my return trip I brought my camera along to take a few photos of his earlier work, and chat about how he got to where he is today.

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Skootermedia.com

Surrounded by cars –Christians father is an accomplished Pro Touring car builder/driver who is extremely proud of his son’s work– and art supplies at a young age Christian confesses that he has always been a huge fan of hot rods, trucks, motorcycles and kustoms and that being able to work on them now on a regular basis is a dream come true.

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During our conversation Christian also described the surreal experience of being one of the youngest people in the pinhead lounge at Performance World a few years back.

Those veteran artists that made up the panel, who realize the importance in passing down the trade instead of letting it die with them, really helped push Christian’s work to the next level.

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When not laying lines Christian designs websites and does vinyl installs as a stage 2 3M vinyl installer. He’s even begun to dabble in doing stripes with vinyl to see if this new technology lends itself to the older art.

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Talented, humble, and enthusiastic Christian has a bright future ahead of him and it’s an honor to have some of his work in the hatch of my car.

Christian can be reached via:
christianmelchior.com
@christianmelchior

4 COMMENTS

  1. did u get a new car? and to the digitaliztion and using vinyl for pin striping kind of makes me sad every thing is going digital nowadays true art is dead its all done with computers and software now no real heart or soul like traditional striping you can see the brush strokes and the slight imperfections you can tell someone put there soul into it and thats definitely what i want to see,not everything is for the masses, if it where we would all be painting masterpieces and shitting gold with one touch of a button .sorry for the rant, this dude is very talented and should further his works as he sees fit. definitely a good post

    • I did get a new car, I got a 2009 Speed, the air has made it over but that’s about it so far. Finically it was the best move to still have a cool daily and keep my goals of a not so far in the future project still alive.

      I get what you are saying about vinyl for pin strping but it’s actually been done for awhile. A lot of the work you see on big rigs is done with vinyl, though a lot is still paint too.

      Currently this is as far as I have seen Christian take the pin strip inspired work with vinyl: http://www.christianmelchior.com/images/largethumbnails/transamgraphics_large.jpg

      Glad you liked the post! I’m hoping to bring more artists work to the site as a way to switch things up a little bit.

  2. I know its been done for awhile on production cars from the 70s till now. my point is you can tell and if he can perfect it to the point where it looks authentic that would be great. Looking forward to seeing more automotive style artwork and have fun with the new speed3 looking forward to seeing it looking proper, this is by far my favorite car blog/site just for the interesting non pigeon holed to one thing crap you see else where(coughcoughstanceworks) giving speedhunters a run for there money haha keep up the great work.

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