June 12, 2014
Announcing the third Nutcase helmet artist: Todd Standish

(While the Nutcases originally planned to select only a single artist from public helmet design submissions, and chose Sandra Ramirez, we also fell in love with a submission by Todd Standish. We discovered Standish has a wide range of artistic expressions, including a very classic oil painting style.)

Helmet Artist
Todd Standish, the third Nutcase helmet artist.

There’s a scene in the new movie Godzilla depicting a hotel suite smashed open on one side by the might of the reptilian beast as he destroys the hotel. Painted scenes of cherubs and angels frolic on either side of the gaping hole in the hotel room wall, and San Francisco artist Todd Standish remembers painting those figures.

“We were on site for three months painting Italian baroque scenes on nearly every inch of the rooms,” Standish remembers. The murals, part of a Hilton hotel, weren’t really destroyed in the making of Godzilla (it’s all digital effects), and Standish hasn’t yet seen the hit movie. Yet he does remember fondly the six years that he worked for a commercial mural studio, doing all kinds of painting styles and genres for hotels as well as casinos, retail, restaurants, and private residences.

These days, Standish spends time on illustration as well as personal painting and drawing, and is currently working on a series of collages that combine found materials – paperback book pages, vintage photo cards – with his nuanced figurative portraits.
Helmet Design

Todd’s original helmet design submission, quite different from what he is working on now. But interesting, isn’t it?

Standish first won over the Nutcases with the submission above. Once the team started working together, however, and realized his artistic range, the final design they came up with harks back to Standish’s days as a full-time mural painter, taking inspiration from the frescoes of the Baroque mural master Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.

“We got interested in Todd’s approach,” said Nutcase founder Michael Morrow. “Then he showed us some of his other stylistic expressions and cool design ideas, and we ended up in a completely different creation than his original submission.”

Standish, a bicycle commuter on the streets of S.F. for over a decade, also carefully studied photos of trick bicycle riders and skateboard artists before coming up with the figures for the helmet. Wanting to give the figures on the helmet a touch of the heroic as they cavort on their ‘freedom machines’, Standish made sure they were painted wearing Romanesque togs that are both regal-looking but not physically restraining.

“The inspiration for the helmet just revolves around the idea that it would be totally cool if angels rode bicycles and did skateboard tricks,” Standish said.

Standish’s baroque-themed helmet is scheduled to debut later this year.
Helmet ArtistA first sketch of Todd’s Nutcase helmet design, showing heavenly bikers and skaters.