How To: Turn Your Beloved Bike Into Epic Artwork
As proud bike nerds ourselves, we crave anything bike-related
Make Your Bike Pop With A Standout Illustration
It’s no secret that mountain bikers love bikes more than most other things in their lives. As proud bike nerds ourselves, we crave anything bike-related. So, once we found out about the Instagram page @standoutbikes, we couldn’t help but get excited. What’s Stand Out Bikes? Well, it’s a one-stop shop for riders who absolutely love their bikes. Stand Out Bikes can memorialize your pride and joy by having it drawn in great detail and transferring the image onto a variety of products. Here’s what we learned speaking with Renars from Stand Out Bikes.
How and when did you get into drawing bikes?
Graphic designs and digital illustrations have always been something I enjoyed doing, but it was always just a hobby or something I did occasionally when somebody needed a logo or some visuals for their brand. And because I have always been passionate about mountain biking and biking in general, I decided to combine these two passions and see what would come out of it. One of the first bikes I drew and shared with the public was a tribute to Jordie Lunn, who recently passed away. I drew his YT Rampage and made it into a sticker design and posted it on Reddit.
Immediately people started to respond and wanted to purchase it. With the help of a drop-shipping platform, I was able to launch my first real item. Most importantly, all proceeds went to the Road 2 Recovery Foundation, so there was no thought about turning it into a job or an income.
After getting some recognition and feedback, I decided to draw a couple more popular bike models so more people could enjoy them. I drew a Trek Slash, a Specialized Stumpjumper, a Santa Cruz Nomad, a YT Capra and some Yeti bikes. Not long after I posted these drawings, people started asking me if it was possible to change colors on these drawings so they matched their bikes. They also wanted custom stickers and T-shirts featuring their designs.
It was early 2020, just before COVID, and I was between jobs and looking to apply for a new job. Then—boom—the next week comes and the world shuts down. So, I needed to find something else to do.
As soon as my drawings drew some interest from other passionate mountain bikers, I decided to continue adding bikes to my collection and posting them on my Instagram in hopes of getting more attention for my art. After having around 20 completed drawings, I decided to turn them into printable coloring pages, since a lot of people were stuck at home with nothing to do. My coloring book would be something they could enjoy with family and kids. If I remember correctly, there were around 600 downloads. People really enjoyed it, and it also helped me gain even more recognition.
As more sales came in, I created a website with an automated ordering process where people could just go upload a photo and place an order. Currently, with every other artist you have to message them, do back-and-forth emails, and send the payment through the bank or PayPal. It’s just way too complicated to get a drawing. It took me almost two months and many hours to set up my website the way I wanted it, where everything is straightforward and anybody can get a fully personalized drawing of his or her bike by following a few simple steps. So, my website was launched at the end of June 2020, and Stand Out Bikes was officially born.
Where’s your favorite place to ride?
Coming from a small and very flat country in northern Europe, Latvia, anywhere with more than 30 seconds of descending is great. I don’t ride too often when I am home, as every year we just go on a two- to three-week trip to big mountains to enjoy it to the maximum so we can wait another year. I’ve been fortunate enough to ride in countries such as France, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland, but my absolute favorite place to ride has to be New Zealand. It’s such a surreal place. Every trail and location is completely different. I have never been to the U.S. or Canada, but I think they will be the next destinations where I want to go and ride when the world goes back to normal.
What do you love most about mountain biking?
Mountain biking is a perfect activity. It keeps you fit, and you are having a great time with your buddies. You meet new people, explore new locations, get fresh air and, once you hit the trail, you get that adrenaline rush and excitement. All your problems and worries just disappear. What is not to like about mountain biking?
How can others get their bikes drawn?
Absolutely anybody can get his or her bike turned into fully custom artwork. Just visit my website (www.standoutbikes.com) and submit a photo of the bike.
How many bikes have you drawn?
At this moment, there are over 300 completed designs.
What products do you currently offer?
Customers can choose between various-size posters or canvases, sticker packs, and even apparel with their bike on it. Of course, they can also get a digital version to update their desktop background image and share their drawing on social media with friends and followers.
What is the turnaround time?
Usually, it takes two to three days until the artwork is done. During the holiday season when a lot of people want to surprise their riding buddies with unique gifts, it can take up to five days, but I try to be as efficient as I can. On top of that, it may take one to three weeks to get the items delivered, as everything is custom-made to order.
Do you make items yourself?
No. I have partnered with multiple print companies all over the world, so all items are made by professionals and can be delivered in the shortest amount of time. Items to U.S. customers will be made and shipped from the U.S. Australians will have their items made and shipped by their local print provider and so on. This is not only to save shipping times but also to reduce carbon emissions, which is very important for the environment; and being into mountain biking, it is just something you have to think about.
What makes Stand Out Bikes different from other niche artists?
I make it very affordable and easy for everybody who wants to see their bike drawn. Besides, Stand Out Bikes is a brand, not just an individual who will draw your bike. Things like customer service, product quality, the ordering process and overall experience are very important to me, and I always try to improve those things.
What are your goals for 2021?
I want Stand Out Bikes to become the most recognized brand in the bike art niche. And, of course, I want to draw more cool bikes.