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  • Writer's pictureMatt

Pinstriping, ink in your skin, paint on your fingers...

Updated: Feb 25, 2019

There is a home video of me when I must have been about 7. I was sat on my push bike, one minute happy as can be, the next looking rather sad. My Dad hadn't realized at the time that this was due to the classic cars which had just started driving past, they made my little push bike with stabilizers look like garbage.

I think I must have loved cars almost my entire life, growing up I was interested in painting but that was usually on scale models. It was only a few years ago when I figured out how to combine my hobbies.

It was an episode of Overhaulin' which did it, watching an older guy run a line down the side of a new build. I looked at what he did and thought I could do something similar, well maybe in time. You see it wasn't arrogance which made me think I could do this after watching 10 seconds worth of footage, it was down to having a brush in my hand for years before. The skills have to be transferable right?

I started watching youtube tutorials, in fact I managed to go back through my Google history and found the video which taught me the basics, so thanks goes out to DoRr. You can watch it too here:

Feeling confident I ordered a Mack 00 and two tins of 1shot from ebay.

I started practicing on anything with a flat surface. Cool boxes to hair brushes, tiles to that old Saxo bonnet in the garden. I was lucky that I figured out paint consistency almost immediately, the neatness of my lines came in time.

I thought about listing some of my work in chronological order, but 1 you don't want to see my early work and 2, I can't remember when I did what. I'll just cover some of the things i've painted in the last 4 years or so.

My own car

I've covered the work on my car in a separate blog here, but for simplicity here are a couple of examples:

Due to driving a PT I've ended up painting a fair few after getting to know other owners. The car's get far more stick than they deserve. Here are some other Cruisers who are sporting my pinstripes:

One of the PT owners even drew this for their quarterly newsletter. I always rock up at the UK's annual PT Cruiser owners Picnic in the park, good weekend but i'm usually missing most of it head down slinging paint.

My alias, 10Ball

So as I was asked to work on other cars I decided to do it behind a brand. Not a huge amount of thought went into this, I have a 10 Ball pool gear shiftier and it became a bit of a logo of mine. You can visit the Facebook page for 10Ball Pinstriping here.

Other cars

I've painted a few other cars aside from PT's, as I type this I can only find one image. A dashboard from one of the UK Lowriders, honestly painting a dash with a windscreen directly above it wasn't easy.

Rat Fink

You can't really call yourself a pinstriper without having painted at least one Rat Fink. The first picture has been taken from the Fridge Magnet art challenge, great charity and you should check them out here!

Rat Fink is a character drawn back in the 60's by Ed "big daddy" Roth and was meant to be the antithesis to Mickey Mouse.

Miscellaneous bits and pieces.

Some have been commissioned, others still clutter my house.


The Egyptian scarab is proudly hung in my living room while the owl was a Christmas present.

There was also this one off canvas for a Hindu wedding gift, not really pinstriping but painted with 1shot. Sign writing in Tamil was err, challenging.

A bit of a Joker

Weirdly enough I have been asked to paint 3 out of the 5 jokers, just Cesar Romero and Jack Nicholson to go.

Christmas Baubles

A lot of Pinstripers do this over Christmas, people garage their cars for the winter so you end up painting anything but the kitchen sink, well maybe even that too.

Pinstriping and Kustom Graphics Magazine

The guys who run this magazine also organize the Kustom Kulture Blastoff show each year, or KKBO for short. Over the years I've built a pretty good relationship with these guys and ended up being featured in issue 67, as well as being in their Christmas issue of the previous year.

You can order from them here: and if you're in the UK and fancy an awesome weekend check out:

I've been to three of their shows and if you're a Pinstriper they chuck you down in the Pinstripers Pit. I've met some stand up artists here and learnt from some of the best in the UK.

So far every year I complete some just-for-fun panels in front of the watching crowds. These panels remind me of what's changed and what I've learnt over the years. You can see from left to right the improvement in line consistency and then the improvement in font.

Thunderbolt Photography even captured this picture of me the other year, looks like I know what I'm doing here lol

More recent panels

I did about 6 of these metal panels with various car badges last summer:

Looking forward to the better weather, get the paints out again.

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Nice work, Looking forward to seeing more from you

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