Graffiti Artist Paints Incredible Initial D Manga-Style Art Cars

Graffiti Artist Paints Incredible Initial D Manga-Style Art Cars

The first time you see one of kbmerone’s anime-inspired, rolling art pieces splashed across your screen, you’re going to lean in to take a closer look. The strategic placement of lines and clever use of shadowing and color combinations force your brain to assume they’re drawings or, at the very least, some sort of vinyl wrap, but everything he does is real, all painted by hand, and it’s absolutely mesmerizing.

If you haven’t already spotted some of the 34-year-olds custom paint work on social media, then you might’ve caught Acura’s anime-driven Type S campaign titled “Chiaki’s Journey,” which extended from animated on-screen action sequences to a real NSX Type S that kbmerone hand painted in front of a group of photographers, onlookers, and a drone that followed the process. That campaign led to his first large-scale collaboration with a huge automaker and helped gain a bit more recognition for his highly detailed work.

This all stemmed from his early days when his self-taught graffiti artwork was recognized, and small projects began presenting themselves in the form of custom logos, t-shirt designs, and wall art. Then, the Jacksonville Jaguars commissioned him to customize players’ cleats and that’s led to other athletes reaching out. The transition to cars wasn’t a complicated one, as he reveals, “I just wanted to do graffiti on a car so I found some friends that would let me, and now it’s crazy to think where it’s gone!”

Applying his graffiti background to the automotive space means prepping a car just as you would for any sort of proper paint job. Select portions are taped off, the body surface readied, and then, without a specific guide or sketch, kbmerone works his magic, adding, “when it comes to this style of painting, I just dive right in and freestyle every job.” Once he’s satisfied with his work, the surface is clear coated before it’s considered complete and handed off to its owner. His portfolio of previous projects includes some incredibly vibrant, shiny colors intertwined, while others are more muted, using matte finishes and softer tones.

The cartoonish style that mimics motion that you might find in Initial D or other manga series is something that happened as a result of a customer’s request. “A customer came to me with a design idea after he saw this guy @animauto painting on small model cars on Instagram and he wanted to do that style to his 350Z,” he says. “So, we brought the small scale to real life. Then it took off from there and I’ve done many different cars in the manga cartoon style.”

That 350Z project led to all types of vehicles, from Civics and RX-7s, to new Corvette’s and other domestic chassis. Due to the hand painted work and freestyle approach, no two are ever the same and demand is rapidly increasing. One of his previous customers commented on his Instagram page with a warning that if you get this sort of work done, prepare to be bombarded with questions about whether or not it’s actually paint. The work is just that good.

Those interested in having a car or other item given the one-of-a-kind kbmerone custom touch can contact him through Instagram or Facebook to inquire about potential projects.

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