July 29, 2014

Nutcase Unframed: The Artist Speaks #3

Nutcase Unframed, our series of events to highlight fresh art on helmets and also out in the world, begins next month with the Eurobike show in Fredrichshaven, Germany.

Todd Standish

Art by Todd Standish

At the Nutcase booth, artists Sandra Ramirez, Ray Moore, and Todd Standish will paint large art panels, working in front of the show audience.

Once they are complete, the panels will be auctioned for the benefit of the non-profit World Bicycle Relief, which provides bikes to people who really need them. This artists’ trio will repeat the feat at the Interbike show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Todd Standish

Scene from a mural Todd painted, featured in the recent Godzilla movie.

We had a quick chat this week with Todd, who works and lives in San Francisco, California.

Todd is prepping for his live-art performances by gathering reference photos and illustrations of cyclists, extreme bikers, and skaters. He’ll likely make his panel combine some of the types of images and themes that he put into his Nutcase helmet, featured below.

“I only have a few days to finish a large panel,” he says, “so I need to hit the ground running…no time for musing.”

Todd is especially fascinated with cyclists and skaters’ bodies when in motion.

“I love when their bodies are seemingly weightless in the air,” he said. “I want to try to capture some of that.”

He said he likes to explore different mediums – charcoal, oils, collage and other techniques – in order to find the right backdrops for his portraits and illustrations.

Todd Standish

Todd’s portrait of his mother.

In an enchanting portrait of his mother as a little girl, he collaged pages from a dime-store novel by an author she loved – Zane Gray – to serve as the canvas.

As with Ray Moore, Todd is depending on music to help him slip into the flow of making art while the noise and bustle of the shows surrounds him.

“I’ve drawn in life drawing sessions for years, and managed a commercial painting studio where I often painted, on site, with a team of five to ten. So being in front of a live audience won’t be an issue for me,” he says.

But having enough time to carry out his intricate illustrations and getting them colored just right means Todd won’t have time for contemplation, or artist’s block. He said he depends of a variety of music styles to keep him motivated.

“Music is key,” he says. “Depending on the mood of the piece it could be anything from Chopin to Django Reinhardt or Nine Inch Nails to Rhianna.”

If Todd gets tired during the art marathon, he does have a tried-and-tested last-ditch method for getting reinvigorated.

“If all else fails, I’ll jump rope,” he says.

Take a sneak peek at Todd’s beautiful helmet, which will be available for viewing at both Interbike and Eurobike.