Today we’d like to introduce you to Gary Schechner.
Gary, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Back in 2016, a friend challenged me to start a ‘100-day Doodle Challenge’ which was just what it sounds like: do a doodle a day for 100 days. What started as a simple, fun exercise, became a cathartic and mildly obsessive daily creative abstract art journey where I spun up as many as five doodles a day and generated over 1,500 pieces. All this time, I had begun sharing that daily work in my social media feed and was receiving quite a few compliments and inquiries if I was interested in selling any of it.
So in 2019, I reached out to an ‘Art Consultant’ to learn how best to approach a way to commercialize those doodles. While he had kind words to say about my work he didn’t see anything remarkable or a way to set my stuff apart until he saw one of the pieces within the mix of my work – it was an abstract composition of a 1966 Ford Mustang I did. That’s when he said ‘THIS!’ There’s something about how you create an abstract of cars that is different. Explore that further.
And it set me up for marrying my two passions: cars/motorcycles and artwork which I called ‘abstractRPM’ (RPM stands for Revolutions Per Minute – the measurement of your car’s engine speed that you typically see on a tachometer display).
At the time, I was living in Chicago and answered a Gallery’s open call for local artists to submit my work for a Juried Competition. Low and behold, my abstractRPM was accepted by the gallery and it helped me launch into becoming a recognized artist (the commercial part would come later).
Fast forward to a trip back to Southern California to the Porsche Experience Center (PECLA) in Carson and a Porsche-inspired abstractRPM that I created while enjoying a coffee sitting in their cafe. I posted the finished piece to social media and it was immediately reposted by Porsche Motorsports. Which brought my work to the attention of the Porsche fan community and in front of a social media influencer, Lara (@thatPorscheGirl).
I then reached out to her and did a spec – piece of artwork based on her Porsches and gave it to her as a thank you for re-posting my work (which had started to generate some global commissions!) She subsequently took that artwork and had it printed onto a t-shirt and showed it to me. That’s when we knew we might have a business idea of creating clothing and accessories around Porsche-inspired abstract designs. Leveraging her Instagram identity (@thatPorscheGirl) we created ‘That Porsche Gear’ (www.thatPorscheGear.com) together and our site went live in early May.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Smooth? No, but what fun would there be in that?
Lots of great learnings in terms of building eCommerce solutions, evaluating the trade-off of Print-on-Demand vs owning inventory and fulfillment via local silk screening, not to mention, learning how COVID impacts supply chains (hint: it hurts).
That Porsche Gear (and abstractRPM) – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
thatPorscheGear (www.thatPorscheGear.com) is a lifestyle brand of clothing, accessories, and artwork that is built around my abstractRPM interpretation of the cars including the dashboard (gauges) and badging.
Unlike other Porsche-themed art that features photo-realistic painting and renderings of the cars and their iconic curves or the light as it bends and reflects on the body of the cars, I have decided to focus on the view from behind the wheel where the driver gets all of their inputs including their speed and engine performance. For car owners who enjoy driving their cars, this is a view that they never tire of (see what I did there?)
abstractRPM (abstractRPM.com) is the bigger story of my love in building abstract art around my Clients’ love of cars, motorsports, a sports team/franchise or even wine!
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
As far as becoming a commercial artist, all of it has been somewhat surreal and immensely gratifying.
I am grateful to have had this experience in building this kind of momentum behind the work that I create in such a short time span. From doodles to a gallery show to kicking-off an online business in about a year. There have been so many wins that have unfolded in a matter of a year.
As a brief anecdote, my favorite, humble-brag moment was when a famous musician (and someone I grew up listening to) happened upon one of my designs and gave it a ‘like’ on Instagram. I subsequently arranged to have a sample of that sent to him and he posted a picture of himself with it with a thumbs up of approval. That sorta made my year.
- Our super-soft t-shirts start at $29
- Commissioned, original artworks start at $200
- Abstract design services start at $500
- Website: www.thatPorscheGear.com
- Phone: 310.500.9036
- Email: gary@thatPorscheGear.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thatporschegear/
- Other: www.abstractRPM.com