THE LAIKA PROJECT
THE LAIKA PROJECT
As an art student, coming up with an idea for your senior show is difficult purely given the wide variety of opportunities and ideas. More specifically, as a graphic designer, the decision is even more difficult having to narrow down what exactly to design. I’ve seen other students design packaging and promotional materials for fictitious bands, restaurants, and miscellaneous companies that inspire them. Amidst confusion and uncertainty, I always find that a challenge motivates me the most, so I thought of something that would be entirely out of my comfort zone and generally unfamiliar in every way: building a car.
I started by welding together a steel chassis recycled from an old children’s ride-on vehicle. I then began to connect the chassis to the axles using a spring-loaded suspension and then I started assembling the frame. I created the body of the car by welding 22ga steel sheet metal using flux-core MIG welding equipment and a standard 3M cut-off wheel for the metal fabrication process. After the body was completed, I continued to detail the imperfections by grinding down the welds and hammering the warped metal pieces. After the metal process was finished, I moved on to the windows, cutting and installing plexiglass pieces. I then used polyester resin body filler (Bondo) to even out the planes of the car. After the Bondo process was completed, I used glazing and filler finishing putty (Icing).
Afterward, I primed the car with 2K High Build primer and then painted it with acrylic enamel automotive paint. I then began detailing the car by painting the hubcaps and applying pinstripes. The car itself is fitted with a complete 12v battery, is remote-controlled, and has functional headlights and taillights. Just the idea of building a car is initially tantalizing in terms of visual aesthetics and the thought of the possibilities of paint schemes and body styles, however, in the beginning, there was one huge problem: I didn’t know anything about building cars. Now I do, thanks to my dad for helping me along every step of the way. I love you dad.