Body Art for Cars

Terry Cullinane and the My Beautiful Ride car with colorful design Oakland Voices/Debora Gordon December 2012

Terry Cullinane and the My Beautiful Ride car with colorful design
Oakland Voices/Debora Gordon December 2012

By Debora Gordon

Say you have a black Honda. Or a white Chevy van. Drive around all day and see dozens of cars indistinguishable from yours. But it does not have to be that way.

About two and a half years ago, Terry Cullinane and Frank Placas founded My Beautiful Ride as a vehicle (pun intended) for customizing cars with designs that are easy, affordable, and removable.

“They’re not ‘art cars,’” Terry told me. “It’s car art, body art for your car.” The art is in the form of vinyl graphics designed to work with the form and function of the vehicle.

If you are cruising around and see cars, trucks and vans with brightly-colored daisies reminiscent of the flower power days of the ‘60’s, silver hummingbirds, golden flames, and other colorful swirling lines and shapes, you probably are looking at some of the cheerful handiwork of the My Beautiful Ride artists.

Terry Cullinane shows off some of her My Beautiful Ride floral designs Oakland Voices/Debora Gordon December 2012

Terry Cullinane shows off some of her My Beautiful Ride floral designs
Oakland Voices/Debora Gordon December 2012

Graphic designers get some pay, credit on their website, and a percentage of sales. The art comes in the form of vinyl stickers that are designed to adhere to the car and withstand rain, wind, sun and are guaranteed for general wear and tear up to 11 years.

Easily applied, it can be a way to cover a scratch or simply create a unique look for your vehicle that can be removed, updated or modified at any time.

Frank Placas with a dragon design from My Beautiful Ride Oakland Voices/Debora Gordon December 2012

Frank Placas with a dragon design from My Beautiful Ride
Oakland Voices/Debora Gordon December 2012

Most of the customers for the birds and flowers are women; men often go for flames, swooping lines and skulls.

“We really enjoy the process,” Terry said, adding that it’s fun to see their designs floating through the streets of Oakland and environs, and it can be easy to recognize a friend’s car on the highway or parked on a local street.

You can see more of their designs at www.MyBeautifulRide.com.

About Debora Gordon

Debora Gordon is a writer, artist, educator and non-violence activist. She has been living in Oakland since 1991, moving here to become a teacher in the Oakland Unified School District. In all of these roles, Debora is interested in developing a life of the mind. “As a mere human living in these simultaneously thrilling and troubled times,” Debora says, “I try to tread lightly, live thoughtfully, teach peace, and not take myself too seriously.” View all posts by Debora Gordon →

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