"This time around we’re featuring helmets – and these safety devices are more than just practical, they’re art. More than that, for a professional race driver or rider they’re also their trademarks – their identities whilst their faces are "
A Pye for design
How do you inject modern flair into classic bike art? Ask Mal Pye.
We couldn’t help but chat bikes when we spoke to Mal Pye about his art, and it turns out he’s a true motor fan, so we ended up ogling his four-wheeled work too.
Influx: Hi Mal. Why cars and bikes?
Mal Pye: Cars and bikes have been an obsession from being very young. Both my twin brother and myself were brought up on old cars and we both own classics today (mine is a 1964 VW Bug and my brother has a 1972 Ford Escort) we both draw cars and bikes too!!
Influx: So what’s the process and what’s the style called?
Pye: The vehicles are hand sketched then drawn up in a program called Adobe Illustrator, So everything is Vector rather than Pixel. this gives a nice sharp, clean and crisp edge and makes everything infinitely scalable too. It’s a bit trickier getting all of the effects this way but it’s so much more challenging and rewarding.
I suppose the style is my own “PyeCandy” style. There isn’t really anything out there the same. Similar, but nothing quite the same. My aim is to capture realistic elements but with a forced and carbonised twist.
Influx: Do you have any particularly inspirational people?
Pye: I’m inspired by my twin brother firstly, he also draws cars (Instagram: Metallic Memories) Our styles are very different but we both appreciate the same subjects.
Instagram itself is also a huge pool for inspiration. I follow many other artists on there not just automotive illustrators but anything from character artists, tattoo artists, street artists, graphic designers anything with a nice stylised twist and good use of colour. Every day I am blown away by quality work out there and it’s this that makes me hungry to progress.
Influx: When did you start creating your work?
Pye: I’ve been drawing cars ever since I can remember, I’ve been a full-time illustrator for 14 years after studying Graphic Design and Illustration for 4 years at Newcastle College and I have been creating PyeCandy artwork since 2015.
Influx: Are there any cars or bikes you really want to do?
Pye: I’d really like to finish the Triumph Thruxton R bike that I recently started as a personal piece and I’d love to get on with the Mk1 Capri I sketched out as another personal piece (prints will be available) but commissioned work always comes first. I’d literally draw anything!
Influx: How much does a commission cost?
Pye: Commissions are from £150. for this, I supply a one-off signed A3 fine art quality Giclee print of your vehicle along with a few of my PyeCandy stickers.
Influx: And how long is the wait to get artwork from you after it’s commissioned?
Pye: I have quite a list that I’m working through, each piece takes on average around 12 hours to complete but I only get to work on these of evenings after work once the dogs are walked and the kids are in bed.
Influx: What do you do for a living?
Pye: I am a full-time Illustrator working in the toy and game sector with clients such as Warner Bros, Disney, Tomy, Ravensburger, etc.
Influx: Great. Where can we see more?
Pye: All of my work is available to view on my Instagram and Facebook page. All of my commissions come in through these too (Instagram being the main one) https://www.instagram.com/
Finally, we couldn’t help getting Mal to create bespoke artwork for Influx – and what better than the Adrian Flux-backed BTCC car, the 2019 Subaru Levorg. We think it looks ace. And it spends a lot of its time on two wheels, thanks to Ash Sutton and Senna Proctor’s kerb-hopping…
CLICK TO ENLARGE