Cedar Rapids airbrush artist has more ideas than he can ever use


CEDAR RAPIDS – Years ago – in his teenage years – Scott Takes remembers being alone one night painting his artistic vision on a wall.

A nervous shudder washed over him when he noticed a couple walking behind him – watching. He turned to face them.

“It’s amazing,” they said of his work and stood by to watch him perform his art. “I realized then that you can entertain yourself with your art. “

Takes, now 48, honed his craft – no longer relegated to splashing graffiti in the dark of the night – and became a sought-after airbrush artist, doing paint jobs for high-end motorcycles, trailers and automobiles, as well as stand-alone parts. .

Raised in Cedar Rapids, he works in a modest downtown studio. His company, Underground Art Studios, is slated to move to 727 Second Ave. SE by Tuesday.

Although he has received local publicity – for his role in a fundraiser for the Stead Family Children’s Hospital at the University of Iowa – he has also been featured in many national magazines, including Cycle Source and Easyriders. . His work has also been shown on the Discovery Channel.

He created the sign for Quarter Barrel Arcade and Brewery, 616 Second Ave. SE, and paintings by Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, Bob Marley and John Lennon which hang at Quinton’s Bar & Deli, 215 E. Washington St., Iowa City.

It also commemorated legends in motorcycle culture, such as Lawrence DeSmedt, better known as the Indian Larry, who died in 2004.

He still has projects going on, like a 3D sculpture for Willis Dady Homeless Services and a ranch show for country singer Loretta Lynn.

He describes his signature style as “an illusion of depth”. Some designs, which he sketches over and over again until he comes up with something he likes, overlap the lines in an almost marbled effect.

Ideas drive him.

“What comes naturally are the ideas,” he said. “I have more ideas than I can ever use. “

Takes, who is married with three children, feeds on his customers, many of whom generously pay custom builders and artists to obsess over every detail of a bike or automobile.

He learns about the wishes of customers and then works with them.

He recalled a client from Texas who wanted a design of marijuana leaves on his custom chopper. Takes reasoned with him. Without judging, he wondered why invest thousands in a bicycle and choose a paint job that would limit where it could be shown.

Instead, they turned to the customer’s favorite whiskey, Crown Royal, and designed the tank art with the bottle.

The bike ended up being shown across the country at NASCAR races and exhibitions.

The ability to create images that communicate something to the user brings joy. In some works, he inserts tributes to discover.

“They want that same geek-out person to do the painting, and that’s me,” he said.

Comments: (319) 398-8310; [email protected]

Scott Takes of Cedar Rapids airbrushed an image of the late rock singer Janis Joplin onto a motorcycle gas tank at his store, Underground Art Studios in downtown Cedar Rapids. The art of Takes is widely sought after by people who want to customize motorcycles, trailers, cars and places of business. (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

Scott Takes deposits duct tape along a motorcycle gas tank as he prepares to airbrush a drawing for a customer. (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

This wolf design is the one Scott Takes created on a motorcycle gas tank for a customer. (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

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