Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Casey "Headcase" Johnson Interview Part 2

8. Latest art shows you participated in? ~ Any shows in the near future? ~ The last art show I did was the Oil & Water Art Show that was put on by “Us Versus Them”, and I will be displaying some work at the Oil & Water exhibit at this years David Mann Show. I also will be painting live at this years International Motorcycle Show in San Mateo, CA and will have tanks on display through the whole show circuit.

9. Biggest challenge you faced in your line of work? ~ The biggest challenge I face in my line of work is to keep the doors open. What I do is an extreme luxury and not necessarily needed to make a bike or car go down the street. Seems like nowadays the overall look is not important. People feel that if they paint their project it becomes a trailer queen or too flashy. I feel that if you put a lot of hard work, time and money into your project then why not get the most out of your investment. I've never seen a bike or car that was painted to the 9's get less money than a ratty old whatever. Pride and showmanship has gone out of style for some. Maybe it's not what's cool, but then if everyone takes that approach it's as trendy as anything else. I believe in standing apart and bringing your "A" game to the best of your abilities. They don't call us starving artist for nothing, so support the artists!

10. What are your goals for the near future? ~ Same thing I did last week Pinky...try to take over the world! Seriously though, if I can continue my art on my terms and keep the bills paid then I'm satisfied. Everything else will come when it's my time.

11. Did you have any formal education for art? ~Well that's tricky because all through school when they said "What elective would you like?" art was always the go to...maybe I should have took Spanish, but I thought, “How useful can that be?! Hahaha I spent some time in a Visual Arts Academy in high school, but fucked that up worrying about when my boys and I were going bombing and fuckin off....another life lesson.”

12.  Current motorcycle you own? ~ I currently have a '67 Triumph chopper that I'm trying to sell, and my '95 Sporty 883 cafe.

13. What's the scoop on the Sportster you built for yourself? ~ Well this was a random quick buy I picked up from a buddy and decided that I wanted to do a few small mods and flip it. Since it has been finished I think it's a keeper for now. I rode it on this years El Diablo Run and it made it like a champ. My buddy James Banuelos of Us Versus Them wanted to get involved on EDR and decided to sponsor the sporty. Great collab and I enjoy working with them boys!

14. Any plans to build another motorcycle soon? ~ Oh yes!! I really enjoy the thrill of the build. Figuring it out, making my style show through and learning from talented friends that help me out. I have a long bike in the works for myself and a 1970's Honda 400 I'm doing for a friend in Maui. All at a pace of money and time, so stay tuned!

15. You got any hot rods? ~ My wife and I were recently handed down my dad's 1955 Chevy 1st Series pickup that he has had since I was 5 or 6. Now, 30 years later it’s undergoing a face lift and some Head case stylin and it'll be hitting the streets soon.

16. Were cars and motorcycles around you when you were growing up?  Was that a big influence on you today? ~ Growing up my old man and his buddies were always into hot rods. Out in the garage hanging with them was my intro to California's custom car and bike scene. At an early age I was customizing anything I could get my hands on. I guess that's the influences I took into my life. Everything is better customized and personalized!

17. How has running your own business been for you? ~That’s a tough one... It's a blessing and a curse. It's good when it’s good, but sucks when it's bad. It's a lot of pressure from so many directions...a lot of hats to wear ya know. If you would have asked me even 5 years ago I would have told you I have no desire to be my own boss. The stress and pressure can take the fun right out of it sometimes, but then I remember that I love what I do and as they say "Do what you love and you never work a day in your life." I’m not going back now.

18. Do you do any advertising to promote your business or is it a lot of social media and word of mouth? ~ Social media has been my friend for sure! Word of mouth has changed so much over the years and with the net. So as long as it's free and works I'll take it!!!!

19. How hard is it to balance family life and your career? ~ That's not tough as of now. It's just me and the wife and she is as supportive as anyone could ask for. She is what drives me to be the best I can. As our family grows they will always be first.

20. If you were to win the lottery would you keep doing what you are doing now? ~ Man, I fuckin wish!!!! Yes, I would still do what I do because I eat, sleep and breath motorcycles. It would just ramp up what I do and help me concentrate on what I love doing. Money can make or break your dreams sometimes, but when you love something so much you find ways to make it work. It's the American way! 

Thanks Casey for letting me come down to your shop and shoot some photos and hang out.  Look forward to seeing your next creation and paint job.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Nice interview Mark! cool guy and great bike!