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About the teacher

 

stuartvimpaniI was born and raised in Sydney Australia and I have been a commercial artist Since 1992. I have been commissioned for works such as Aeroplane Nose Art on Vintage War Birds, Wall Murals in Celebrities Homes, Special Effects Make-up for the Movie Industry, Promotional Body Painting, and Custom Paint on countless Cars and Motorcycles.

I consider myself fortunate that my work has taken me half way around the globe to places such as Hawaii, New Zealand, Malaysia, USA and India where I painted a series of promotional vehicles for Clarion – A leading manufacturer of high performance in car entertainment systems. And most recently, – South Africa for GM Motors.

Some of my proudest achievements have been “Tha Don” an F250 Truck which was awarded Best Murals at the Street Machine Summer Nationals Australia, the biggest and most prestigious custom car event held in Australia. And a custom motorcycle – “Dynamite” which won the two biggest custom bike shows in Australia back to back – Gold Coast Bike Week and “Australia’s Custom Bike Championships” awarded it “Best Custom Chopper”. It was also chosen to represent Australia in the “World Biker Build Off” in Las Vegas.

How I Got Started…

I’ve had a passion for car graphics and custom painting since I was just a boy…
The panel vans with murals painted on them in the 70′s was the draw card for me, it was back then when my destiny was decided
“I wanted to be the artist who painted those wicked looking car graphics that other people would admire.”

From very early on I found it difficult to find anyone who would teach me how to do anything along the lines of airbrushing or custom painting. Airbrush artists were very few and far between and the really good ones were hesitant in giving out any information in fear that they would create competition for themselves!

This caused some frustration for me in the early days, but it didn’t stop me, studied everything I could get my hands on.
I completed a trade in Spray Painting and after being employed by a few smash repair shops realized that this wasn’t what I wanted to spend my days doing. All that time spent on preparation and very little on actually painting got me frustrated very quickly!

I kept on searching for anyone teaching airbrushing or custom painting and one day I came across a guy named Ken Willhide – a Vietnam Vet and an amazing artist who was running airbrush classes here in Australia, not far from where I lived.
I couldn’t believe my luck! I signed up for every class that he had going. This was the beginning I needed, and after that I didn’t put the airbrush down. I practiced all day every day!

A close friend and mentor I had met along the way named Joe Ripoles told me the story of Colonel Sanders, the founder of “Kentucky Fried Chicken”, which really inspired me.

Colonel Sanders died a multi millionaire and his family continues to get millions of dollars in royalties from his famous chicken recipe.
At the age of 65 Colonel Sanders received his first pension check for $99 and quickly realized that he couldn’t possibly survive on it.
All he had was a chicken recipe. He was homeless at the time and lived out of his car. He decided to go from place to place to try and sell his chicken recipe.

He lived on chicken because what he would say to his prospects was that he had the best chicken recipe around, and they would say “How do you know yours is the best chicken recipe?” and he would say “Well, let me taste yours and I will be able to tell you” (true story)
Colonel Sanders got 1009 NO’s and 1 Yes. And the rest is history!

I put together a portfolio of some of the work that I did and went door knocking. I figured if Colonel Sanders can do it at age 65 I could too!
I went to a home show in Darling Harbour Sydney, armed with my portfolio I spoke to each and every exhibitor, who gave me rejection after rejection. Their words were “hmmm your work looks a little tattooish” (Maybe had to do with the fact that allot of what I was showing them were skulls and flames!)

After feeling really down on myself I finally did get one YES! A pool builder by the name of Ray Uwadulla who was the owner of Blue Haven pools he said “Can you paint portraits?” , “I said sure, no problem” (to that day I had never even attempted one) He said “I want you to paint me a banner for my stand, I want an Elephant in a pool with Peter Sterling sipping on a cocktail (a famous Australian footballer)

To cut a long story short, I completed the banner for him in 1 day. I quoted him $1200.00 and I thought, I can’t take it in now, he will think I’ve ripped him off!
So I waited a few days before taking it in to his office, we rolled it out on the floor and he paused for a few seconds… then said “just wait here for a minute”…. I thought there and then, “oh no, he knows I’m a phony”. All these bad thoughts were rushing through my head and I was beginning to sweat when he walked back in the room with all of his staff, who couldn’t stop raving how great it was! Ray then said – “I love it Stuart, can you paint me another one exactly the same?”

Stu-Banners

That guy really got me started, he gave me continuous work from then on in. I painted many of his show rooms, his water front mansion, one of his top salesman’s home, his sons car and so on….

I tell that story because I want people to know that I once started out with nothing. I was unemployed and broke just like Colonial Sanders. But I had a dream, and now I live it.

Because of my own struggle to get where I am today I am passionate about teaching other people what I know. I believe knowledge should be shared and not hoarded.

I am very passionate about creating my own art but I am equally passionate about teaching and sharing my knowledge.

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How To Airbrush located at 58 Soloman Lane , Wongawallan, Gold Coast . Reviewed by 1284 customers rated: 1 / 10
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