In Joyride Flatout, Dan Quarnstrom revisits the territory that originally inspired him, taught him to draw for the sheer fun of it and to recognize the opportunities he was presented with. Before he had a career, and throughout the one he has persued, he’s been completely nuts about Hot Rods. This book is the manifestation of that obsession.
JOYRIDE – in its simplest incarnation a joyride can be as innocent as taking the family car out for a spin. Perhaps taking mom’s station wagon or dad’s sedan to an empty stretch of road and opening them up for some velocity challenged friends.
More elaborate schemes to fulfill the need for speed include “borrowing” a stranger’s car and returning it a few hours later, albeit with the addition of a few extra miles on the odometer and a lot less rubber on the tires.
In an effort to quench this primal desire, rational men will drop big block Chrysler motors into tiny Fiat bodies and smoke their way down a quarter mile of asphalt. In belching fire and screaming noise, dreams are made real, and so it is on the printed page.
To Joyride is to recapture the sense of what is possible. The exhilaration of ideas well executed, barriers being broken, the collision of the sublime and the ridiculous.
If JOYRIDE is inspiration, then FLATOUT is intensity.
The artwork in this book is the continuation of Quarnstrom’s lifelong fascination with hot rods, dragsters and custom cars, currently called Joyride Flatout. As the source of his earliest inspiration and having provided him with the raw materials for a lifetime of drawing, he revisits this subject matter often. These are the drawings he wanted to do when he was 12 years old, but didn’t have the skills to pull them off (some are drawings done when he was 12).
The pioneers of wild style car design, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and his contemporaries, were at the height of their powers as custom car designers, providing a panorama of challenges for thousands of aspiring pencil jockeys. They provoked, validated and sustained his interest in the mechanical as art.
On the other side of the fence the drag racers were creating some of the most aesthetically pleasing, murderously loud, fire breathing beasts imaginable. More characters than cars, machines had been transformed into something beyond our comprehension. They made quite a lasting impression.
The concepts Dan Quarnstrom internalized then about design, attitude, character, shape, volume, weight, mechanics, precision and patience, he now uses professionally, on a daily basis. More importantly the real lesson was the enticement, the challenge, to think unconventionally, to color wildly outside the lines. It was a conspiracy of fun.
This is a book about finding inspiration and holding on to it.