Ben Hermance Design
Ben Hermance's career started with a box of Crayola crayons at the age of 4. His mother remembers him drawing pictures of his Hot Wheels cars and toy dump trucks. He spent most of his time through grade school doodling, but he went to a traditional college for a degree in business despite that. Once he was there, he realized it wasn't for him. He forfeited an academic and sports scholarship and started over his career path, this time doing what he loved. His influences are some of the guys you will be reading about in this story.

Ben has a lot of flexibility in the scale of his designing and illustrating projects. If you're just looking to modify an existing photo to give you an idea of how wheels and paint will look, he can digitally modify an existing photo and give you five versions to choose from for $175 per view. It isn't something he would add to his portfolio, but it serves the purpose of visualizing your plans. At the other side of the spectrum, he can do full-blown renderings, laying out exteriors, interiors, engine bays, and small details for $550 per view. His renderings start out as sketches on paper, then are scanned into the computer and redrawn in Photoshop.

Ben's style is very realistic; he doesn't believe it's helpful to have a rendering of a car chopped, slammed, and sectioned if you don't have the budget to follow through.

Some of his notable work includes the CTS body kit design for the D3 Cadillac. The body kit was so impressive, GM designers reevaluated the CTS-V body to look as good. He also helped Detroit Speed & Engineering with the paint scheme and interior design of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s '69 Camaro featured in many publications, and blown up to cover the sides of a big-rig truck.

HERE'S THE DEAL:
Price: $175-$550 per view
Style: Photoshop and/or scanned digital sketch
Contact: www.hermancedesign.com, 508-612-0120

Brian Stupski
Problem Child Kustoms
Brian Stupski's background is in fine art and painting, with an emphasis in animation, so it's only natural for him to have the eye of a designer. He started out doodling like many of the others, and went to college to get a degree in his field. He aimed to work for a company like Pixar doing movies, but he had to stay close to home with his family, so he revised his plan. His professional experience is mostly in auto parts and service, so he has extensive knowledge of cars and how they work. Brian has always loved cars, and thought maybe he could make a living helping people envision their own builds.

Brian has quite a bit of experience building cars, so that helps him determine what is realistic and what isn't. When starting a project, the first thing he asks a client about is their skill set. Since Brian's client base consists mostly of home garage builders, he knows not everything is possible to achieve. The next thing is to assess the budget. The range starts at $650 for a two-view design, usually front and rear three-quarter angles. This cost can go up with the amount of body modifications performed. The drafts usually go back and forth between Brian and his client two or three times to get the desired product. When special parts are used and are visible from the exterior, Brian will send part numbers with the rendering. He even trolls the local pick-n-pulls to stockpile parts until that special project comes up.

His designs start out as a sketches, and are then scanned into the computer and brought up on Adobe Illustrator. This program is unique because it uses a vector-type file that never loses resolution or looks pixilated no matter how much you zoom in because it isn't a pixel-based image. This gives him the flexibility to print at an unlimited size, and zoom in to particular areas for great detail.

As a nice touch for the higher-budget projects, Brian will print a 13x19-inch image and add some special touches with an airbrush to really make the image pop. Apart from his builder clients, he has been asked to do airbrush drawings of existing cars for birthday or anniversary gifts.

HERE'S THE DEAL:
Price: $650-$850 for two views
Style: scanned sketch into Adobe Illustrator
Contact: www.problemchildkustoms.com, 480-353-1795