Driven 2021: It’s Been a Minute

Wow time flies around here. It’s been 3 years since I’ve last been to a Driven show and lots has changed while many things have also stayed the same. With COVID restrictions recently lifted, the show caught a lucky break and was able to go on this year. Thanks to Tristan (the blue Varis STI hatch in the Esoteric booth) – for providing me with a ticket to enter! It was actually nice to come out to something car related after all this quarantine business. I haven’t had my car out to anything all year yet either – I’ve just been busy with a whole bunch of other things and I haven’t been paying much attention to the car. But I digress…

There’s been quite the “level up” in the scene in terms of quality – it’s refreshing to see after not really seeing anything after several years. So many cars with great quality parts and while not always executed thoroughly, at least the intention was there and that’s always a good start! There was quite the handful of impressive cars and hidden gems lost in the sea of rattle can jobs, rather stock cars, and generally kind of distracting builds. I’m not even sure how to explain what I mean – but maybe you’ll see what I mean as you scroll through. Lots of car crews – some old and some new – and lots with their own merch and ways of repping. It’s different than it was even 5 years ago where only shops would have a tent and even just some small goodies here and there. Now, almost every tent/club has their own clothing, stickers, and miscellaneous products. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s cool – almost inspiring – to see innovation and ideas coming out of some of these clubs.

Driven and Sunday School are really the two main shows that happen in Calgary and I think they’re a good indicator or gauge to tell us what kind of trends are happening locally. Thankfully, the days of gaudy chassis-mounted wings and universal wide fender arches are almost in the past. There is a place and a time for those kinds of things, but probably not on our beloved-Corollas and Civics. God forbid, your mom probably doesn’t need that type of downforce to go to the grocery store when she has to use the car. If I take a look back at my coverage over the last decade (fuck, I’m old), I think it’s fair to say we may be on a path to a brighter future…

In 2008-2010, we were dabbling in the world of real wheels and pretty modest fitment. Yes, we were lowered but there was barely any mention of hard boi stance or mad camber and stretched tires. The days of import models and having one around the show was a big thing. GT wings were rare and frowned upon and nobody would dare put canards on their car unless it was proven to be track worthy. Forums were a big thing back then and if you dared show your car with a GT wing, you better have bought a flame suit to go along with it…

In 2011-2013 – wider and more aggressive wheel fitments starting coming. More companies were developing cheaper, knock off wheels to try and compete with the more expensive and hard-to-get wheels. Sticker bombing parts was a thing and it wasn’t odd to see it on a whole bumper or car. Knock off parts continued to be abundant and the idea of “spending that much money on wheels doesn’t make sense” was a real thing.

In 2014-2016 – vinyl wrap started to become the new replacement for being able to change the colour of your car without the commitment. GT wings and aggressive aero started to become more acceptable and more and more people were wetting their feet with “track” aero. The bigger the better seemed to be come the norm and people forgot about the “it’s not how big it is, it’s how you use it” mentality and thus, the idea of chassis-mounted wings was born.

In 2017-2019 – We were at the peak of what I’d call “overstimulation”. There’s just so many things and ideas saturating the market that people tend to get overwhelmed and lose focus of what they want their build to be. Over the last decade, ideas like sticker bombing, big wings, aggressive aero, a million and one colors of wrap availability and genuine vs knock off just gives way to new ideas of thinking. This is not a bad thing but can lead to a really confused car scene – not just here locally – but everywhere. I think it’s fair for me to say that it takes some time for meme trends to die out and go away again but during the time that they’re here, it can be a really confusing era. People want to put all trends together on their ride and sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn’t…

And that brings us to the present. Meme trends are on the decline and people are finally starting to focus on the basics again. Real parts – check (thank god). The decision between wanting to go with a stance look or a track look. And most important of all – people are now paying attention to how their car looks as a whole. Man, the thing that irked me the most about the past was that nobody ever cared to polish their paint. This year’s show – I was elated at the amount of cars that showed up with some good ass looking paint/wrap.  If there’s ONE time that your car should be clean – it should be at a show – no excuse. If it’s at a meet and your wheels are dirty, I’ll still make fun of you but I won’t hold you to it. If there’s one thing that needs to stay in future years, it needs to be that everyone needs to learn how to clean their cars lol. I beg of you from the bottom of my heart. People pay to come into a car show – whether it’s $5 or $50 – let them see what they paid for – not parking lot quality, not garage-clean quality – show quality. 

There’s been a running joke among us for having clean wheels all the time since the last Driven I was at and it’s just kind of caught on as something people pay more attention to now and I think it’s awesome LOL! I just want to make this a friendly reminder (as I do in every car show post I make) that my posts are simply my opinion and my thoughts on the show. I’m not out to attack people or make fun – I don’t even personally know 90% of the cars owners in my posts. If you happen to be offended by the post or what I write, just move on. I’m not apologetic for my posts and I’m not here to make people happy. At the very least, you got a picture of your car. If you don’t see your car here, it’s simply because I missed it, you/people were standing in front of it repping too hard and I couldn’t take a picture, or I just simply didn’t capture it for one reason or another. Please don’t email me asking if I got shots of your car – I didn’t. Every car I shot is in this post. Yes, there are certain cars that I would’ve liked to take photos of but just didn’t have the opportunity because it got way too crowded at some points.

As a result of the last show, Bill (Official ThreeTwenty) has given me the Officer of BI inspections title (Barrel Inspections) LOL! So, that’s what I was there for (joking). I primarily went to go check out the Tuner Decals booth – they have been instrumental in part of the success of Jtooned.Co and they were happy to display and sell some of my past designs in their booth alongside their own. If you’re reading this, it’s obviously too late now but that was your chance to pick up some of the sold out F1 designs and the newly designed ASIMO holographic peeker as well! More on that down below…

Let’s just get on with the pics – there’s a lot to go through and I’m doing it all in one post just to get it over with.

I started at one corner of the show at the bottom and made my way around and up. No particular order – just zig zagged my way around. Speaking of zig-zagging around – I really enjoyed the layout of the show this year compared to 2018. I hope it was intentional and that something was learned from past years. It was easy to navigate, made sense and you really couldn’t get lost provided that each booth displayed themselves properly as well. Some tried some fancy things which made it kind of awkward but overall it was great.

The above BRZ on black/gold Meisters was super clean. Slammed with great fitment.

Tristan’s Varis STI hatch on Work Kiwami’s starting off the Esoteric booth. This was my first time seeing this in person – finely executed and clean. When that Varis bumper first debuted, I was not a fan but it’s since grown on me and Tristan pulled it off great. PS – thanks again for the ticket!

Type R LE all stock. This was pretty fresh – I believe the owner (sorry I don’t know your name/username!) just picked it up like 2 weeks ago.

Jek’s Varis STI sedan on TE37’s and a Voltex wing out back also in WRB like Tristan’s . So clean and I really like the look of the TE37 Sagas in bronze with some sweet sweet concave.

Angelo’s Varis Evo X. Lots of Varis in the Esoteric booth and I’m not complaining. I think the last time I saw this was last year and it didn’t have the Voltex wing yet but it’s always a nice finishing touch.

Got some shots of the wheels. I like the addition of the Dogfight sticker on the opposing spoke…

Limited Voltex steering wheel on display with Ti bolts…

And a really clean cage set up in the back. Lots of attention to detail here. I love it.

Cholo’s Varis Type R. He’s been putting a lot of work into his Type R and it’s coming together nicely. He’s the mastermind behind Esoteric and a lot of really cool and innovative designs – I just picked up his Sushi TE37 hoodie and I love it. They’re worth checking out!

In the booth – they had a ton of really cool shit for sale. Awesome designs and super clean. Cool to see some art I did for Cholo also printed as a sticker!

Had to get that shot. Thanks man!

Also really dope to see he displayed my coloring book on their table as well! I had met up with him the day after to give this last copy to him too!

Rafael’s bagged STI sedan on ZE40’s. Always good to see.

Evo wagon on ZE40’s. So good! I still need a wagon one day…

Civic Si on Gram Lights. Don’t see these too often. Pretty clean.

On the opposite side of Esoteric was the “Flawed” group, I believe. This wild widebody IS in purple was front and center. I feel like I saw this at Sunday School one of the years and it was red? Maybe I’m mistaken…

VIP LS430 – these will always have a special place in my heart and I always hope they’re built well. This one was pretty good!

A sick VIP Sienna – I’m not sure of the kit – bagged on Weds Kranze. This is more on the sport-VIP styling side which really hasn’t made it’s way over to North America yet but it’s big in Japan. But what isn’t big in Japan…

Officer of BI checking in… lol 🙂

Absolutely slammed RX7 in a marine/turquoise green.

Because rotary.

Slammed 3-series coupe on Advan TC’s.

Yolanda’s Ford Focus ST in the Redline Sorority group.

Wasn’t sure on the owner for this – but also in the Redline Sorority group. Orange Chaser – lots of these popping up lately too!

On the other side, a super clean Evo on SSR’s. Too good.

Maggie’s Golf R on RE30’s in the RS booth.

Blair’s Ford Fiesta ST wrapped in purple in the RS booth.

Also came by to check out some of the designs that I had made for the RS girls as well. These two peekers were really cool and I was excited to see them.

Jynelle’s Mazda Miata on MST wheels. Good job on getting those barrel’s clean 🙂

Justine’s FRS wrapped in a fluorescent green. This is the first time seeing in person myself and it turned out great. Also checked out the barrels on these and they check out. No BI ticket for you.

Alyssa’s bagged RS5 fluorescent orange PUR wheels. I tooned this a while back as well – a very beautiful build.

Brooke’s Infiniti Q60. I really love what Infiniti is doing with their designs lately. Lots of really clean lines.

Ruzz’s Focus RS. Sorry, I couldn’t get a better picture than this with the massive sign in front lol. Sometimes signs can be a good thing for judging but that’s about it.

Sue’s Ford Focus looking real clean. This was supposed to be her daily driver but now she says she needs a new daily driver. Story of our lives.

Bill’s S15. It sure has come a long way from the day he first got it. I recall saying to myself “it looks like he’s got a lot of work cut out for him” and would you look at that – he got a lot of work cut out. LOL

Really enjoy seeing this – lots of period-correct mods including the Super Advans. I’ve always loved these wheels but never had a car that would suit them.

Naturally, since Bill gave me the BI title, I had to honor him with a BI. They’re clean – just some unavoidable age marks on the inside. You did well, sir.

Really cool to see this widebody Evo X on some super deep dish Work Meister L1’s. Kinda sad it was tucked away in the corner, but also cool cause he got a nice corner all to himself. Super clean build – such perfection.

Daniel’s M3. If you’ve ever seen this in person, you’ll know how wild this build is. A long way back, it was much tamer than this but was still considered wild back then. Great execution on every front and the Advan livery is the icing on the cake.

Some really cool JDM vans came out to play yesterday as well. I really love these and I think there were at least 3 at the show that I counted. I need one.

Another M3 bagged with RGB underglow. Who woulda guessed RGB would go from PC’s to cars? I guess it makes sense LOL

Berry’s Varis widebody FRS all the way down from Edmonton. One of the first Varis widebodies I recall seeing years ago. Still in great condition and timeless!

An interesting build for sure. I didn’t have much time to take a look at it after taking this photo though…

I’m usually not a fan of funky lights and everything going on but this Civic was executed pretty flawlessly, in my opinion. The fitment, the wheels, the condition of the paint, the retrofit and LED’s – all done so well. I’m not sure if the wheels were brand new but well done on keeping those bad boys clean.

I’m a really big fan of these retrofits.

Perfectly clean wheels and perfect rim to fender fitment. I’m not a stancy boy but I can respect when it’s done well. It’s not an easy thing to do without wrecking shit along the way lol. Been there, done that…

There were also a lot of pretty cool trucks there. I still don’t know shit about trucks but can respect one with lots of effort put into it. I just found it was tough to get pictures of them cause the owners were literally always around them or standing by them the whole time! I get that you love your car/truck/whatever but stay back during the show! lol

Pretty clean G35 on some deep ass Work T5R 2P’s.

Simple yet effective STI on candy red Advan RG6’s. Some nice contrast with the new fluorescent yellow Brembo’s

Another Evo X on TE37 Saga’s in bronze.  Can’t go wrong…

A 370Z on some deep dish Work CR 2P. Still boggles my mind how wide of a set up the G’s and Z’s can fit under those stock bodies. I still want one…

A wild setup in this Supra… I was surprised by the amount of impeccable engine work being done on a lot of the rides this year. It’s not just about slapping in a 2JZ and impressing everyone anymore. It’s dope to see people spending money on the details that matter – shaving the bay, respraying, changing out the bolts to Ti or matching hardware. It’s just so reminiscent of my time in Chicago a few years back for Wek Fest. We’re catching up!

A shot of the Supra – tough with the mini Escalade in front but I get the purpose.

The lineup into Driven last the whole time I was there – granted, I was only there for about 2 hours… Waiting in that heat would be draining.

Don’t know what it is – I just took a picture of this because I’m a Red Bull fanboy lol.

Nate’s infamous Suzuki Carry. It’s been in a few shows the past few years and it never stops to amaze me. I also tooned this a while back for Nate, along with the rest of his fleet. Thanks for the support my dude!

Another VIP Sienna. Still one of the best van designs we’ve had to grace us in NA… Now all we need is the Vellfire… That’s a truck I’d spend a pretty penny on.

An absolutely dumped Audi A7 in the SPWC booth. So clean.

Continuing the SPWC booth… VW R32 MK4 on BBS’s. Love that blue.

Paul’s Accord Wagon also accompanying SPWC. Always a pleasure to see this thing around.

Jay’s bagged VW Jetta 1.8T on some really unique Revolve 3 spoke wheels.

Don’t know what this is but it was bad ass. All these classic cars coming out is awesome to see. Adds some diversity to the mainly-import/euro driven scene.

This was my favourite part of the car. I love seeing a mix of modern enhancements on some oldschools.

Too good. The one thing the classic guys never get wrong is perfect paint and perfectly clean wheels. Every time.

Widebody bimmers – it’s either a love it or hate it kinda thing. Depends on if you’re a purist or not lol. I still dig it. I wish the molding was white as well to blend the seams in more but still nice.

Danny’s RS3 bagged on BBS’s. That red is perfect – still one of my favourite colors to photograph.

Xavier’s Mercedes W220 on custom monoblock OZ’s. SO good. I previously thought it couldn’t get much better than the Junction Produce Scara’s that it was previously on but this look is also a pretty tough competitor. Bravo!

Insert comment about clean truck that I don’t know anything about.

Continuing the trend of wide ass wheels on the G-body. This time on a G37. LOOK at that fitment. Phewwww

Tracy’s VW R32 still sporting the tiffany green colorway but I think now without the classic Adidas livery she had on in previous years.

Perfect paint – check.

Clean ass wheels – check. If you look closely, I’m sure you can probably even see what kind of shoes I’m wearing. LOL

Sick interior – check.

It’s one thing to see a Porsche in pictures but the presence of one in person is actually heavy. I mean, it’s just something you have to stand and look at for a while because it’s just so perfect.

Rob’s M3 also looking super clean. Rob and I occasionally reach out to each other about detailing tips and ideas to keep our rides looking as good as they can. It may be white, but it’s in immaculate condition as expected.

BI check – pass.

That moment when you taking photos and people come walk in front of you with their phone to take a better photo. Jealous.

Here’s my shitty version of this super clean Cayman.

Bags = awesome.

Another wagon making me want a wagon. Ugh. Clean RS6’s are hella hard to find…

More bags on euros. Can’t get enough.

And another. Not too many modded TT’s around… I remember a loooong time ago when these first came out, I thought these were the tits. This one definitely still is.

An interesting build for this FRS. Lots of canard support rods…

I lowkey dig that metallic/reflective chrome tint. Don’t think I’d do it on my own car but man, if you style it right, it can look pretty dope. Sitting low on Meister 3P’s too… Bugeyes have long been my least favourite of all the Subaru front ends, but these last few years, some of you have been going hard with them and it’s finally growing on me. Nice black paint too 🙂

@DuggyB’s Nissan Kenmeri Skyline. Seriously one of the best of the show – these classic Nissan’s are of a rare breed and when you’re able to restore it back to a condition like this – man oh man…

Just so timeless…

Great wheel choice as well on the Equips…

Absolutely sick headlights. FUuuuuu

Is this a Chevrolet Caprice? Fuck, I don’t know. I just know it’s a Chevrolet Fucking Awesome.

OK I think this guy might win the BI award for the cleanest wheels at the show… Not to mention probably the hardest wheels to clean at the show too… BRAVO

Shawn’s bagged WRX in a Pistachio-colored wrap in the Custom Decals booth. Probably the first and only car I’ve seen in this color and nicely executed as well. Also sporting a similar color reflective tint.

This one was wild. I’m assuming it’s just an SI because I don’t believe it’s a Type R but I could be wrong. Definitely not something for everyone but I appreciate the work that was put into it. Interior also had a bunch of work done.

And on the opposite end – a black on black M3. So good.

Birdy’s StreetHunter Toyota Supra.

And his gold-wrapped Aimgain FRS. This thing has gone through a bunch of phases…

ARK Solus widebody IS – I think this was formerly (or still) dubbed the Killmonger? Still looks like it’s got  that theme going on.

Another G37 but even wider than the previous ones. That dish though.

This was a really cool RX7 coming from the Filthy booth. I overheard the guys saying it just needs to be lower but it would be undrivable. We all feel that.

And another widebody MK5 Supra from the Filthy group. These new Supras are really catching up to the MK4’s in terms of looks and styling. I have a feeling these are going to go down as another really iconic gen in another decade or two.

One of my favourites of the show was this almost half carbon widebody NSX. Those lines are just perfect. I’m not sure on the kit because I don’t have the money to venture onto google looking to know more about it. LOL

This Merc was absolutely CRAZY. I don’t think it was completed yet – given that the engine was sitting right beside it. But the matte black styling and red interior/accents is just perfect. It’s really hard lately to impress with matte black since it’s been done for so long but occasionally something like this comes along and you’re just like “shit”.

SO clean.

Sans engine

Would love to see this car completed…

No explanation needed for McLaren.

LB Works Maserati Gran Turismo in a matte blue.

Super clean Civic in the Garage 111 booth.

Dumped purple RSX . I think this one was bagged?

And a Civic SI on Work VS-KF’s right next to it in teal.

Not 100% sure on the color but I want to say this is Midori Green? I love this color – I think I’ve only ever seen it one other time on an EK. Super clean build.

Roel’s full Varis Civic Type R on TE37’s. I think that makes 2 Varis Type R’s locally?

Don’t see this Sorcery bumper too often. Nice to see it in red with Regas. Sometimes it’s a nice change from the more typical Voltex/J’s bumper.

Love this EK and everything about it – from the color to the TE37’s and fitment.

Spoon Civic Type R – cool to see in person. It never really grew on me because I felt like it was much too similar to the stock bumper and all they changed was the center piece with the paint scheme but up close, it’s pretty cool.

Another Varis STI Sedan.

This thing was crazy. I understand the reason for the roping but man, I wish that wasn’t there for a proper pic. When I had my FRS, I sometimes toyed with the idea of an engine swap but the headache and not to mention the deep pockets you need for something like this made me “nope” right out of there. I respect those that went all the way like this – too cool.

And that super clean engine bay too. Even moldings/caps to hide the strut bar tops.

Yellow Evo X on TE37’s. Simple and clean.

Line up of AWD with this WRX

And another Evo X to end the lineup…

Lots going on with this one – as you can see, the show really had it’s fair share of extremes and I get some rally-inspired looks here, but they really wanted some stancy pants and aero to boot…

Lincoln? That’s all I know. LOL

BI – Pass.

Over in the VIAIR booth – some dope ass bagged cars. I mean, there were plenty around in the show but these were top notch…

This LS was too dope. Love that cream color too – a little different from the usual VIP black or white.

The other thing about taking pics of trucks is that they’re so damn big that I have to stand further back so someone is bound to get in the way LOL

Seeing less and less 240’s in the shows lately but it’s nice when a mint one comes along. That paint was WET.

Seeing Miata’s like this makes me kind of want one. I don’t know if it’s just me but the Miata clique or group is kind of a quirky bunch – not in a bad way at all – but the way they mod their cars is just kind of off the beaten path and they’ve kind of developed this unique way of just slamming the shit out of them with cool wheels and crazy camber and then just adding these interesting little touches that make them stand out a bit more. That, and the fact that Miata’s kind of always look like goofy little characters with the pop up headlights and mouth-like bumper… They’re so fucking cool lol.

They can even pull of literally any color. LOL

Guess I’m looking for a Miata now…

Clean Taco.

A really cool vert with some really good fitment.

Tight. Literally.

Xenia’s RX7 in the 33ten booth. Another chassis that’s tough to find and done up nicely…

A pretty unmolested (on the outside) MR2 on BBS’s… On the inside, it has an Audi 4.2 V8 swapped in. Sleeper status…

Another JDM Odyssey!!! Man, these are so freaking dope!!

Rocket Bunny RX7 in the 33Ten booth on Work Meisters. A fan favourite at the shows…

Pandem widebody FRS on deep dish TE37’s. I’m getting used to the bolt on widebodies and I think it’s because people are really putting them together a lot better than they were in years past…

S15 sitting low and tight…

I think this was one of two cars at the show with some anime-inspired livery…

From Riddle Joker? I think…

Varis STI in the VEX booth… Man, there’s a lot of Varis STI/Evo’s out here. It’s crazy!

One of the track FRS’s from VEX. This one hauls some ass, I hear…

Yellow Lotus. Not much needs to be done to this to make it cool…

Guess what?! Anotha wun lol

Ryan’s RX7 from VEX. Freshly painted by the man himself – Nick Prah…

I’ll never not take a picture of Nick’s RX7. If there’s a car people don’t see enough of, it’s Nick’s. His paintwork is absolute perfection and he’s the only one I trust to paint any of my parts. After he finished work on my Arise kit for the FRS a few years back, he had won my loyalty.

Granted, I don’t think he drives this much but it just gives off this aura that you know this car is something else…

I never forget to take pics of that fade on the mirror either… Congrats on one of the wins, sir!

And to end the trio of the RX7 line up…

One of the main reasons I came to the show was just to check out the guys at Tuner Decals and their booth. They had asked if they could sell some of my designs alongside theirs and I was honored at the opportunity.

As I mentioned above, these guys have been instrumental in my success with Jtooned.co. If anything, they were one of the reasons I started dabbling in the decal side of things outside of the toons and digital art that I do. Not only do they make stickers, they’re extremely talented artists that create at an exceptionally high level. I really admire other artists that work from the ground up and create original pieces of art rather than just snipping art from google and gluing it together to create their own meme pieces or try to create another design from one that already exists. That’s kind of where I try to come from when I create my designs – sure, everyone and their mom these days can create peekers, but how do you create a design that’s different from the rest? That’s the hard part.

This – as hilarious as it is – is an example of being innovative and really trying to curve the landscape. This is one of the stickers I had to buy because every time I look at it, I lol inside.

They even printed me a sign cry face

Just wanted to give them a quick shout out again for allowing my designs to be a part of their space. I hope some of you were able to go and check them out – they remade some of the designs that sold out quickly when I launched them such as F1 and ASIMO. I saw some of you tag me that you were able to get them, so I’m glad!

BN Sports Chaser…

A pretty cool S14 with that retrofit I love so much lol. I think those come from Acura’s headlights?

They must be the jewel ones… But correct me if I’m wrong…

Zeeshan’s R34 GTR. Still looking clean everytime I see it.

R32 on Nismo’s….

David’s S15 on Work VS-XX’s. A while ago, he had an accident in his yellow/orange Rocket Bunny S15 and so he’s starting anew. I’m excited to see how this one turns out – he’s already made some pretty good progress here.

Another fucking Miata that makes me want one. SO COOL.

RB 240SX…

Matte grey Chaser…

Another favourite of the show – I’m sure for many. This R34 GTR on black TE37’s. Quite the timeless and legendary look for this era GTR…

I’m not going to say it.

Yes, I am. Another Varis Evo X but this time on Advan GT’s ( > TE37).

Fight me.

Aaron’s R32 Skyline – still looking great as ever. Not much has changed in the last few years aesthetically for his car but at the same time, I don’t think much needs to. Why fix what ain’t broke?

Another sick bug eye.

I don’t know. Just fucking cool.

LS400 on Bazreia’s!!! One of my favourite VIP-style wheels…

Silvia!!

Over in the back corner sat some really mint oldschool Honda’s like this Accord…

Bagged SC300… Not a platform you see modded too often either. Sometimes it’s refreshing to see someone play around with a chassis that people don’t always flock towards.

Tiegan’s Type R with her Nero Claudius livery… She always went on to win an award that day – congrats on that win!

BI check. She mentioned she cleaned her wheels as best as she could. Looks like a pass but if I zoom in, I can see some dust. I’ll let it go. Lucky break LOL.

Also had to go around and take a shot of the Nezuko peeker. Thanks for the support!!

Yes. Just yes.

Clean Civic on Work CR Kai’s. I miss the days when work didn’t mess with their wheel names to confuse everyone LOL.

I was both super surprised and happy to see Andrew’s IS-F here at the show. Aimgain kit, on one of the (I always say it) most underrated wheel brands in the VIP scene and now fucking bagged on T-Demand suspension parts. The LITERAL dream for me for a VIP build and this man has gone and done it, you son of a bitch… GOOD JOB. It looks fucking fantastic.

That tuck though. ughhhhhhh

Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

And if you’re anyone who knows anything about VIP, you’ll know that T-Demand is like the Rolls Royce of it all. Just some baller ass shit that I dreamed of having back in my VIP days. I don’t think I’ll get there again but I’ll live vicariously through Andrew. Well fucking done.

I mean, this was worth taking a shot of. You can see there was obviously effort here and I think that deserves some recognition. Some of it even looking like home-made parts. I vibe with it because it’s not something that’s easy to do…

And of all the things I ended with, I leave you with this bad ass dumped truck.

Overall – a pretty decent show. Yes, there were a lot of cars that I didn’t photograph. Gone are the days of photographing every car just for the sake of having a photo of every car. Again, if you don’t see your car here – I just don’t have it for one reason or another. I think when you sort through the sea of noise that were entered to fill a spot, this ended up being a decent show. People are really stepping up their game in terms of making sure that they get real parts – I think I said this in the past as well but I’d rather see every car on TE37’s than Rotas, no matter how played out they would be. Remember, don’t fake it till you make it.

That’s all folks!

Quickie Group-R Shoot

Almost forgot to post this set. A few weeks back, a bunch of Type R owners were asked to get together to do a group shoot and I guess I was one of the lucky winners of that lottery.

I decided to take my own camera and get some shots whenever I could just for the memz. Not a whole lot as I wasn’t feeling too inspired that day but at least it’s better than nothing. Also bonus – we were shooting outside of some huge loading bays when one of the guys that built the place came up and asked us if we wanted to go in and shoot.

These are just some shots from inside there. Too cool.

That backlighting though…
There ended up being 4 of us in total. Myself, Tiegan (red Type R), @boostbluefk8 (ahh I can’t remember your name!) and Mirwaiss (yellow LE Type R). A nice skittle-themed shoot for sure.
It was so fresh in there… Leaving that AD08R mark behind…
And just a few randoms. Still wasn’t really feelin’ it but I liked the spot. I think if I had positioned a little differently, it would’ve worked better.
Last one as a test image. I’ve been trying to add noise to some of my pics to add some grit to it and a different vibe. I dig it.

Civic Generations Photoshoot

Guess we’re on a little roll with photoshoots now lol!

Derrick asked me a few days ago to go for a photoshoot together to get a “civic generations” photoshoot as he dubbed it. With the nice weather we’ve finally been getting, why not! I picked up Ricky and we were on our way. We didn’t really have a plan or anything so we just kind of winged it and shot wherever looked nice. It’s nice to finally do some shooting – after a long hiatus, I was rusty and uninspired for a little bit because I just couldn’t find good angles or get into it but I slowly got the hang of it again near the end when shooting Derrick’s car lol.

Anyway, onto the pics!

Outside of the YMCA. I’ve never actually been here before – always drove by but this place is dope up close.
Derrick’s Mugen converted CSX. Equipped with a Kraftwerks supercharger… Super sick. I really dig that Mugen RR type bumper too. The 8th gen CSX/Civic has always been one of my favourite gens. Maybe cause I had one but probably one of the cleaner stylings in recent times…
Derrick finding some good aerial coverage…
Caught the sun at the perfect time.
The 8th and 10th gen share very similar body lines, especially when the 8th gen is fitted with Mugen pieces. So good.
Derrick’s got a little bit of lowering to do…. But at least his wheels were clean. That’s gotta count for something right? And we’re not even at a show. All he needs now is a candy display. (inside joke, IYKYK)
Derrick taking some video clips…
Dat azz
On the way out, we decided to catch some quick sun
We headed to some secluded baller cul-de-sac and this was right before the sun was peeking through…
And then we were graced with the golden hour light…
I love this shot. I’d say that the house in the back was one of ours but sadly we have not won the lotto yet…
The CSX headlights are also so sick.
Perfect
Booty check. Sunset check.
This.
We headed over to our last spot which just provided some greenery that I’ve been wanting to shoot with. Those trees made a sweet backdrop.
I know, I know. It’s an iPhone. I’m not too entirely stoked on it either. TBH I had a little faith in the iPhone 12 Pro Max but the only good thing about it is the wide angle. Portrait mode is still fail. The phone is totally premium but I’m lowkey hoping the Pixel 6 is something worth jumping to.
It was at this moment that I finally felt a little more inspired to shoot and was getting in the groove.
So clean.
Derrick getting more video
One more ass shot. I don’t appreciate this view enough.
And last shot of the night because why not.

Back to Basics – Shooting with Sai.Jung and a Little Update

Oh man oh man… I’ve really dropped the ball on this lately. What’s been going on?

It’s not that I haven’t had any content, I just haven’t had time (and maybe motivation) to post much on here. A lot of my time in the last several months has been spent really just working on JTooned stuff. I’ve been slammed with toons and I just can’t seem to keep up. It’s not a bad problem to have at all and I’m not complaining, but it’s just one of those things that eat away hours that prevent me from doing much of anything else.

I’ve shut down the store for a little bit – think of it as a hiatus – because of the same problem I mentioned above… I haven’t really had time to work on new merchandise or art for the store so I’d rather not have it sit stagnant. It could be a few months or even forever that it’s on hiatus LOL! One day when I think of something new, it’ll come back again!

Other than that, we’ve been busy getting ready for the new crib – perhaps I’ll make a separate post on that one day. Since we sold last year in August, we’ve been staying with my parents in the basement for the last 9ish months and we’ve got just a little over a month left until the house is completed and we are STOKED. Living at home is great and all – home cooked meals, the nice company and the kids love being spoiled, but at some point – you gotta get back into your own groove and live on your own again.

Now onto a little mini photoshoot! Sam had posted on his story on Friday asking if anyone wanted to shoot and I thought why not! I’ve been inspired by Sam and his shoots lately so I thought that maybe this was an opportunity for me to come out and give the ol’ college try again. I haven’t really shot anything seriously for a looooong time. The most I had done in the last year or so was go out and shoot my own car when the Mugen kit was on but it was just meh and mainly to show off the kit. I never put much thought into the location and it was always just close to home because that was as far as I was willing to travel to do a mini shoot LOL.

We met up and he found this really cool corner that gave off this Japanese/industrial vibe with the way the trees, wood and old tires were piled up. Looked pretty dope. The only challenge was that it was literally mid day with the harsh sun beaming down on us – the car is white, the wheels are dark bronze, it’s like everything that made it difficult to shoot that day was present.

One of the things that I’m all for lately is colour grading – you’ve seen it in my recent posts too and I’m still really digging it. Colour manipulation is a really cool thing but it’s also a really fine line – it’s easy to overdo it but really cool if you can get it right. I might be a little bit of both because I’m still the noob trying to find my way.

Just starting off here. No colour grading here – just gives you a sense of what the colours looked like that day.
Here is kind of where I started. I find when you’re in conditions that don’t really work out, colour grading helps to bring everything together again. In this case, the harsh light can make it tough to get your colours right. Colour grading and enhancing (or removing) certain elements can help. Lately, I’m really digging hue changing the greens and desaturating them giving them a little softer look versus the bright greens/yellows that are normally on display.
I like sharpness but sometimes softness is a good ally as well. Bright harsh sun can be combatted with the softness colours and bokeh can bring.
Here’s one where I left a little more saturation in the green and you can tell it’s a little more in your face but also a little more harsh. Just a tint more and it can change the picture pretty dramatically.
One of the things that I really love is some strong prime lens bokeh. This was one of the main reasons I chose to shoot with a 35mm f1.4. This is my only lens – it works perfect for shooting kids, family, cars, detail shots, etc. When you can get it right, the creamy 1.4 bokeh can really create a softness that you can’t achieve otherwise without artificially adding it. The back is soft and mellow, the desaturated green is calm and light and it really helps the car just be bold and stand out.
I particularly liked the shadows on the green being cast by the tree above.
Might have overdid this one LOL!
Lots of cool reflections here. Another thing that I’ve been playing around with is adding grain/noise to my photos. Not a whole bunch but just enough to kind of give it a retro look. Easy to see here if you look closely enough. Noise is one of those things that I tried to avoid in my early days – it felt like you were a bad photographer if you had noise either because your ISO was way up and you didn’t post process it out or cause it was just a shitty shot. It’s taken me a long time to just barely understand how to use noise to my advantage.
Here’s some with a little bit of a warmer edit.
Still love those FK8 lines…
Now if only we had cherry blossoms, this would’ve been perfect…
Here are two edits with different colour grades that I couldn’t decide on. This one was heavy on the blues and teals…
This one I removed a lot of the heavy blues/teals and brought in the oranges and yellows to make it warmer. The warmer shot really makes it feel like a champ white car basking in the sun while the cooler one is just kind of artificial looking.
Oh I also brought Aria with me because she wanted to tag along lol. She hasn’t been on a “photoshoot” before so she was really curious as to what was going on or what we were going to be doing. Asking if we were going to Sam’s house or where are we going to play. She ended up just playing with the stick and dirt most of the time LOL
God, I can’t get enough of that bokeh.
Harsh lighting…
She also chooses to wear socks with shoes that don’t need socks…
Last one to finish it off. The slope of the wall compliments the cars angle perfectly. I didn’t even notice it until I was editing hahaha