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WARWICKSHIRE, England - Ian Cook, a 28-year-old native of the United Kingdom, is helping Ford Racing celebrate its 110th Anniversary by capturing 10 historic Ford race moments with his unique style and brand, Popbang Colour, otherwise known around the U.K. as the guy who uses radio controlled cars to create spectacular pieces of art.
Cook grew up in Birmingham, the heart of the West Midlands, where his love for artistry, creativity and the automotive industry began.
”From a very young age, I always knew I wanted to be an artist,” said Cook. “It was always my ideal job. How to get to that, I wasn’t ever too sure, but I was always very good at art.”
With his uncle working in the automotive industry throughout his childhood, Cook was introduced to the lifestyle and air of classiness that came with owning a luxury vehicle.
“I was always interested in what he was doing. When you’re a kid and you see your uncle driving the latest car, it’s a fantastic luxury vehicle,” Cook said. “I wanted to do that. I wanted to be him because he’s got these cars; that is my passion.”
Rather than frequenting the local cricket or football games as an adolescent, Cook said he would choose to attend motorsport events. His parents would take him to the local race track to see stock car and touring car racing, where he was quickly inspired by the colors and fast pace of the racing world.
In December of 2006, Cook received a radio controlled version of “Lightning McQueen” from the Disney animated film, Cars. In the same moment he received the gift, he was simultaneously told “don’t go to the studio with this and get paint all over it”. At that instant, Cook started to brainstorm just how he could take paint to this car and make it a piece of art work.
The result? A career that includes a foundation of radio controlled cars, paint and most importantly, an intrigued and enthused audience.
“Part of my performance of an art work is people being able to see it being done live,” Cook explained.
When performing (or creating a piece of art), Cook will either produce a video, stream a live feed via his social media sites, or it’s done in front of a live audience.
“I get a buzz off it. I enjoy it. I get a lot of people coming up to me saying ‘I don’t believe you do this with radio controlled cars.’ If they can see the video, see the live feed, it makes them believe it a little bit more.”
Cook performs his art work live throughout the UK at various race circuits and events or venues. He’s also an artist in residence at The Heritage Motor Centre in Warwickshire, where the largest collection of British cars is housed.
Autosport International’s “The Racing Car Show”, is held at the beginning of every year in the UK. Cook says it is comparable to the SEMA show held in Las Vegas, but not quite as large. He was being featured and creating artwork there when he was approached about partnering with Ford Racing.
“At the time I was actually creating a Ford Mustang Super Snake, which was looking really mean and lovely. They asked me if I could create 10 pieces of artwork to celebrate their 110 years,” said Cook about the offer from Ford Racing. “I meet a lot of people and thought, ‘Is this for real? Is this really going to happen?’ I do get approached about doing a lot of projects, some happen and some don’t, but that’s the nature of my business.”
Cook said he’s always been drawn to American culture and really jumped at the chance highlight the iconic nature of Ford race vehicles.
“For me, to know there are people all over the world tuning in to see what I’m doing and what’s happening next and know the story behind the artwork, is great. Hopefully, this will make Ford Racing appeal to more markets throughout the U.S. and Europe.”
Thus far, Cook has released three pieces of art to commemorate the 110th anniversary of Ford Racing, including the 1970 Boss 302, the ’65 Indy-winning Jim Clark Lotus, and the Ford GT40 finish at Le Mans in 1966. All pieces of art are available at www.FordImages.com.
He will continue to create Ford Racing art projects every month through the end of the year.
To watch Cook perform his creation of the remaining seven pieces for the 110th anniversary, a live video feed is available via Ford Racing’s Facebook and Twitter pages.