Kate Cook is owner and artist of Asphalt Canvas Custom Art LLC. She is the creator of är təˈ mō-tiv™ art, where she specializes in making custom automotive art using automotive paint. She brings her clients unique stories to life on canvas or metal utilizing hand crafted brushes and vibrant automotive enamel, originally designed for lettering and pinstriping vehicles.
Her continuing series of illustrative paintings entitled, “She’s Been Everywhere, Man!”, are inspired by nostalgic Americana with a colorful and contemporary twist. Her paintings created with automotive paint applied to canvas feature iconic locations and highlight the timeless curves of the automobile in parallel to the female figure.
Originally from California, Kate successfully began selling multiple works of her art at a young age which allowed her to purchase her first car, a 1966 Jeepster Commando, which she learned to work on and restore with her dad and brother. This Jeep later became the inspiration for her art studio name and gave her the opportunity to start selling her artwork at car shows while showing her restored Jeep.
At the age of 16, Kate was hired to illustrate her first published children’s book, “The Legend of Douglas Fir”, which solidified her ambitions to go to college to become a professional artist. Kate accepted an artistic and scholastic scholarship through The University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Texas, where she studied abroad for a short time in Italy and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree in Studio Art. Today, Kate calls Central Texas her home, with her pup, Milner, and her husband Morgan, who owns AC Speed Shop. They welcomed their first son in June 2022.
Kate has obtained additional artistic certifications from specialized workshops for painting and design. She is also a licensed Ed Roth/Rat Fink trademark artist! You may view her most recent press and collaborations here or see her Artist CV. Kate is a proud co-host and artist of the annual, “Great Pinstriper’s Panel Jam” that takes place during the Dallas, Texas AutoRama. 100% of the proceeds from the three day art auction benefit Scottish Rite for Children. Kate’s artwork has been featured on the Magnolia Network, SEMA, Chopper Fest, Speed & Kulture Magazine, and Hagerty Media. She has had the privilege of working with clients from all over the United States and internationally, creating custom art for them, inspired by their ideas, in automotive paint.
Pinstriping artist finds adventure in her 1966 Jeepster Commando | Why I Drive – Hagerty Media
You may have seen Kate and her Art:
I began my artistic career working in watercolor, ink, and oil paint. Melding with my love for vintage Americana, aviation nose art, and historic cars, I started to experiment by applying traditional methods of making art to that of versatile, enamel car paint. In conjunction with my mastery of the artistic fundamentals, this unique combination allowed my art to transcend into the unexpected automotive industry. Historically, hot rod pinstripers and sign painters were highly skilled artists that made their living by hand painting intricate lines on automobiles and brush-painting perfect letters on storefront signage. Today, using the same paint, century old tools, and time-honored techniques from the tradesmen and women that came before me, I create glossy, illustrative paintings on steel, glass, wood, and canvas. I aim to encapsulate individualized narratives in the form of fine art and translate them though the extraordinary medium of automotive enamels. I have deemed this renovative practice of art making as my self-acclaimed style called, är təˈ mō-tiv™ Art: Automotive art in automotive paint.
Timeless artists like Norman Rockwell, Gil Elvgren, Dorothea Lange, and Edward Hopper inspire me with their ability to tell a lengthy story within a single image. Ingenuity and rich color yield strong themes throughout my work, therefore, trailblazing artists like Georgia O’Keefe, and playful inventors like Ed “Big Daddy” Roth also inspire me to create. It is a humbling honor to attempt to preserve the fading art of sign painting and pinstriping in contemporary ways alongside modern day masters in the automotive paint industry such as Darren Wenzel, Liane Barker, and Hot Rod Jen.
Each piece of art in my eclectic spectrum of work is inspired and co-authored by an individual who’s story is told visually through my bold linework and vivid color. In my paintings I intend to highlight a story and evoke nostalgic familiarity with a progressive twist. Through my design process and art style I want to preserve the artistic skilled trades, and eliminate industry stereotypes. My mission with är təˈ mō-tiv™ Art is to challenge one’s perceptions and perspectives of the fine art market and automotive paint industry, creating an association between the two in an artistically innovative way.
Not everybody can be an artist, but the core belief of Asphalt Canvas Custom Art is that everybody is creative in their own unique way. It is my passion to visually translate your creative ideas into handcrafted fine art, worthy of telling your story. I look forward to making art with you!