Canadian Karting News is proud to launch yet another unique and exclusive feature. Over the next few months, CKN will feature five different Canadian helmet painters, and ask them a handful of question about their unique job, and the challenges that come with it.
The next featured helmet painter on CKN is Buzzbomb Race Paint’s Taylor Lawson. Starting out in 1995, Lawson has painted many Canadian motorsports drivers, but he also paints Goalie masks, fuel tanks and motorcycle fenders. Previously known as Taylord Designs, Lawson is a very busy guy, as he split’s his duties designing, fabricating and installing custom signage. Taking time out of his busy schedule, CKN was able to sit down and chat with him.
Name: Taylor Lawson
Business: Buzzbomb Race Paint, Formerly Taylord Designs.
Painting Since: 1995
Location: Niagara on the Lake.
Number of Helmets painted (Approx): Well over 100.
Professional Athletes/Drivers: Dean Fantin, Josh Fanti, Justin Amicone, John Lockhart, Matt Williamson, Taylor Holdaway, David Balych, Steffan Haas, Glenn Arnold.
What brought you into the world of helmet painting?
I raced since the age of nine and always admired Lee Bentham’s helmet and matching kart. As a kid I would paint my own body work with spray bombs and masking tape. We never had a budget to get my helmet painted so I had to wait. Fast forward to College, and this is where I had a chance to buy my first airbrush. I sanded my brand new Simpson Super Bandit down and started. The following spring I wore it to the track and went home with three helmets to paint that afternoon. From there it supplemented my kart racing.
Can you describe your favourite paint job?
I would have to say all of them because they are all unique to the people that wear them. It’s a great passion to finish one and then return it and see how happy my customer is with the work I have done. I usually find myself staring at them for a long time afterwards. It kind of makes my wife a little jealous.
What do you find that helps make your work stand out from the rest?
I use a lot of metal flake. I like the way it pops the design out.
Are there any athletes/drivers that have up the motorsports ladder that you continue to paint for/stay in touch with?
I have a lot of repeat customers who won’t go anywhere else to get a helmet painted. They are very loyal to me and I appreciate their support. Taylor Holdaway, Steffan Haas, David Balych, to name a few.
Do any of your drivers offer you special perks for painting their helmets? (Ex: Trips to races, etc)
Not really. I have been invited to a few kart and oval races before. I certainly wish I could attend more races and promote myself. Hopefully in the new year with my son getting into karting in the spring.
Is there a driver that really challenges you as a painter?
Brett Stratford. He always wanted me to paint half naked pin up girls on his helmets. I though it was fun as well. But we pushed the censorship envelope on those helmets.
Preference: Gloss, Matte, or Chrome finish, and why?
I like using flake, gloss, and matte. I haven’t gotten into the chrome yet…Hopefully soon.
Do you paint anything other than helmets?
I paint Racing Helmets, Goalie masks, Pilot helmets, tanks and fenders, custom signs. You name it I have probably painted it.
Someone you would like to paint a helmet for (any era), and why?
I would like to paint a helmet for James Hinchcliffe. I think he’s pretty cool with his sense of humor and character. I could see using swarovski crystals and a lot of bling on that helmet paired with some kind of exciting theme.
Where do you find inspiration to continually be creative with each helmet creation?
I like to watch the trends, stay on top of the guys over in Australia. There are some incredible painters there and I look to them for inspiration from time to time. I am currently working on my own helmet and should be posting it on my new web site that is launching very soon.
For more information about Buzzbomb Race Paint, be sure to visit their website, http://buzzbombracepaint.com/