Babes Ride Out

artist

Artist Series | Alicja Polacheck @alicjaplz

Artist SeriesAnya Violet

The Babes Ride Out Artist series showcases the art of talented people in our community. Each piece is donated to the Moto F.A.M. X Babes Ride Out raffle. Moto F.A.M.  is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping riders facing life changing injuries after a serious motorcycle accident. Meet Alicja Polacheck @alicjaplz ! She has hand painted an Atwyld Jacket for BRO East Coast 3 raffle. Read on to get to know more about Alicja!

Where are you from originally? 

I was born in Warsaw, Poland but have lived all over the world, from San Francisco to New York City, Berlin… the list goes on…

Where do you live now?

I live in Chicago, IL.

What first got you into art?

I’ve been into art for as long as I can remember. I was the weird kid that wanted the $10 can of sardines from the store instead of a doll because I thought the label was cool.

How would you describe your style?

Most of my work is centered around hand lettering but over the past few years I’ve been including more pictorials in my designs. I lean toward darker themes and images but am willing to give anything a shot! 

What inspires you? Have any artists in particular been an influence on you?

I find inspiration in most everything, whether it be a song I’m listening to or a joke that comes back to me while I’m waiting somewhere in line, I strive to make the things that make me happy and hopefully someone else out there will appreciate them too. 

I’ve had many influences over the years but I’ve found the people that influence me the most are my friends. I am lucky to know so many truly inspiring people. My mentors, most importantly Doc Guthrie, are all journeyman sign painters who are still slanging paint. I hope to still be painting when I’m their age. And then there’s my tattooer Shaun Topper who is continuously raising the bar or contemporary artists like Emilio Villalba and Blake Neubert that constantly blow my mind with their work and motivate me to look outside the box.

What is your favorite medium?

Gold and glass are by far my favorite materials to work with, gilding is such a beautiful and timeless process, once I saw how it was done I was hooked. I also enjoy the challenge of implementing non-traditional materials into my pieces to try and make them feel more modern.

When did you first hear about Babes Ride Out?

I first heard about Babes Ride Out three years ago. It’s such a positive and empowering event for women and one of the best weekends of the year! 

What is your connection to the motorcycle community?

I’m a fairly new rider with only two years under my belt but I try to make it out to as many events as possible. I’d like to someday make it to Babes Ride Out over seas!

Do you ride? If so, what do you ride?

I ride a black 2013 Triumph Bonneville T100.

What will you be contributing to this years raffle? 

I will be painting a custom Atwyld jacket for this years raffle. I can’t wait to see who wins!

BRO5 Artist Series | Alicja Polachek

Artist SeriesAnya Violet

Babes Ride Out Artist Series highlights the talented people in our community. Every artist donates their time and creativity to create a custom piece for the BRO5 Raffle. We are so happy to be able to support Moto F.A.M. through the proceeds of the raffle each year. Moto FAM raises funds for riders that have been hurt in a motorcycle related accident, or the family of a fallen rider. Thank you so much to Vans for contributing the skate decks for the Artist Series this year!

Meet Alicja Polachek!

Alicja's skate deck was hand dyed, hand painted & then surface gilded with 23 carat gold!!!

unnamed-5.jpg

Where are you from originally?

I was born in Warsaw, Poland but have lived all over the world, from San Francisco to New York City, Berlin… the list goes on…

Where do you live now?

I currently live in Long Beach, CA but will be relocating to Chicago, IL in the fall.

What first got you into art?

I’ve been into art for as long as I can remember. I was the weird kid that wanted the $10 can of sardines from the store instead of a doll because I thought the label was cool.

How would you describe your style?

Most of my work is centered around hand lettering but over the past few years I’ve been including more pictorials in my designs. I lean toward darker themes and images but am willing to give anything a shot!

What inspires you? Have any artists in particular been an influence on you?

I find inspiration in most everything, whether it be a song I’m listening to or a joke that comes back to me while I’m waiting somewhere in line, I strive to make the things that make me happy and hopefully someone else out there will appreciate them too.  

I’ve had many influences over the years but I’ve found the people that influence me the most are my friends. I am lucky to know so many truly inspiring people. My mentors, most importantly Doc Guthrie, are all journeyman sign painters who are still slanging paint. I hope to still be painting when I’m their age. And then there’s my tattooer Shaun Topper who is continuously raising the bar or contemporary artists like Emilio Villalba and Blake Neubert that constantly blow my mind with their work and motivate me to look outside the box.

What is your favorite medium?

Gold and glass are by far my favorite medium. It’s such a beautiful and timeless process, once I saw how gilding was done I was hooked. I also enjoy the challenge of implementing non-traditional materials into my pieces to try and make them feel more modern.

When did you first hear about Babes Ride Out?

I first heard about Babes Ride Out about two years ago. It’s such a positive and empowering event for women and one of the best weekends of the year!

What is your connection to the motorcycle community?

I’m a fairly new rider with only one year under my belt but I try to make it out to as many events as possible. I’d like to someday make it to Babes Ride Out over seas and on the East Coast too!

Do you ride? If so, what do you ride?

I ride a black 2013 Triumph Bonneville T100.

Have you ever been to Joshua Tree? What was your experience there?

When I first came to the states we lived just outside of Joshua Tree. I never appreciated it until I’d moved away and came back to visit. The desert is such a special place for me, I find myself feeling refreshed and energized every time I visit.

What will you be contributing to this years raffle?

I will be painting and surface gilding a custom skate deck for this years raffle. That’s real 23ct. gold ladies! I can’t wait to see who wins!

Instagram: @alicjaplz

BRO5 Artist Series | Jenn Hallett

Artist SeriesAnya Violet

Babes Ride Out Artist Series highlights the talented people in our community. Every artist donates their time and creativity to create a custom piece for the BRO5 Raffle. We are so happy to be able to support Moto F.A.M. through the proceeds of the raffle each year. Moto FAM raises funds for riders that have been hurt in a motorcycle related accident, or the family of a fallen rider. Thank you so much to Biltwell for contributing the helmets for the Artist Series this year!

Meet Jenn Hallett!

FullSizeRender (1).jpg

I am currently based out of Orange, CA. 

I grew up here in California.  I’ve lived from San Diego to San Francisco with the majority of my time spent in the Bellflower/Lakewood area. 

I’ve been painting professionally since I was about 20 years old, so a little over 13 years, though I’ve been painting and drawing for as far back as I can remember. 

While I’ll paint pretty much anything, most of my paint work is on motorcycles and helmets.  My specialty would definitely be lettering and pinstriping, though I have been asked to do a lot of different styles over the years.  One of the things I truly love about my job is that every paint job I’m commissioned for is always different and it allows me to push myself artistically. 

My inspiration comes from a lot of different places, but I’m especially inspired by multimedia pop art.  It’s something that has inspired a lot of my original art pieces, but with a lowbrow twist since that’s a style I’ve enjoyed painted for many years.  I call it moto-art because it often features people and vehicles in the motorcycle and/or car cultures.

I’m also extremely inspired by all the traditional sign painters out there and the infinite amount of typography styles that exist.  I love lettering and the more of it I do and the more I study, the more I’m fascinated by it.  It’s something that I know I’ll still be learning 10 years from now. 

I remember hearing about Babes after the first Babes in Borrego and I was hooked after I got to attend my first Babes Ride Out in Joshua Tree a few years ago.  It’s been a great honor for me to get to know the ladies that put this all together and have the opportunity to work with them – first doing raffle pieces, then designing some lettering for apparel, and ultimately even painting their bikes and helmets! 

This year I’m stoked to be able to paint a helmet for the Moto F.A.M. Raffle.  I’ll be leaking pictures of it on my Instagram @jen_hallett_art if you want to keep an eye on progress!  It’s always fun to be involved with these events and I look forward to meeting a lot of you ladies out there!!

BRO 5 Artist Series | Jessica Fife

Artist SeriesAnya Violet

Babes Ride Out Artist Series highlights the talented people in our community. Every artist donates their time and creativity to create a custom piece for the BRO5 Raffle. We are so happy to be able to support Moto F.A.M. through the proceeds of the raffle each year. Moto FAM raises funds for riders that have been hurt in a motorcycle related accident, or the family of a fallen rider. Thank you so much to Biltwell for contributing the helmets for the Artist Series this year!

Meet Jessica Fife!

IMG_3527.jpg

Where are you from originally? Whittier, CA. Lived in Long Beach for 12 years before moving to the South.

Where do you live now? Nashville, TN.

What first got you into art?  I have always made art. Growing up, it was my favorite subject in school and that’s when I decided to get my Masters in Fine Art. Teaching and making art is my passion.

How would you describe your style? Figurative surrealism. I use a lot of symbolism and it can get pretty weird at times.

What inspires you? Have any artists in particular been an influence on you? Nature, personal relationships, God, and any of moment, object or thought that has sentimentality or meaning, inspire me. The artists that I have drawn inspiration and developed my style from have always been characterized by their work that is painstakingly developed, their transparency and boldness. Artists like Frida Kahlo, in her fervor to expose every ounce of pain and joy symbolically and with such rich color and surrealism.

What is your favorite medium? Oil paint

When did you first hear about Babes Ride Out? Anya! We’re friends from Long Beach. I was also the Coordinator for BRO 2. I did a tank for the raffle that year, too.

What is your connection to the motorcycle community? I have always had friends that rode. I got my license 3 years ago. I started doing helmets and tanks a few years back which has connected me with riders all over the country. 

Do you ride? If so, what do you ride? I do. I have an all original 1974 Honda CB550 from Mississippi. She’s orange and named Lucille.

If you were a motorcycle what kind would you be? I would be a Triumph Bonneville with a colorful flake paint job, and a sweet sidecar for my french bulldog Hank. 

Have you ever been to Joshua Tree? What was your experience there? Many times! It’s one of my favorite places. My grandparents owned a house out there, so I’ve been going since I was a kid. The deep blue skies and vast landscape inspire me constantly in my work. 

What will you be contributing to this years raffle? A custom painted black Gringo Biltwell helmet

Tell us about what inspired you to create it? I am making my logo come to life. My logo is a unicorn skeleton. Painting Joshua Tree desert at night filled with stars, maybe stormy with lightning bolts with a fierce unicorn skeleton tearing through the landscape.


Jessicafife.com

IG= @Fife_moto_art

Roll Call | Meet Randi Obenauer of Aro Upholstery

Roll CallAnya Violet
Photo by Wendy Dyk @wendall

Photo by Wendy Dyk @wendall

Photo by Wendy Dyk @wendall

Photo by Wendy Dyk @wendall

Photo by Wendy Dyk @wendall

Photo by Wendy Dyk @wendall

Photo by Wendy Dyk @wendall

Photo by Wendy Dyk @wendall

Where are you from originally?

I was born in Nanaimo BC, on Vancouver Island, but I grew up in rural BC in a town no one has heard of: Logan Lake, population 2500.

How long have you lived in where you live now?

Last year my partner Sean and I made some big life goals happen by buying our dream home - a charming country house on an acre with a massive workshop, a creek in the yard, tons of fruit trees, about 5 hours North of Vancouver, in tiny Powell River. I’ll always be a small town girl at heart!

Tell us how you got into upholstery?

Between art school and fashion school I did a college trade certificate program in 2004/05 called Automotive Industrial Upholstery & Trim. I was sick of being a broke student and was excited to put my sewing skills to use and become a female in the trades. I worked in a few auto and furniture shops between going back to school and launching my first business Ora Leather goods http://oraleathergoods.com/ in 2006. I kept up with freelance upholstery work over the years, and started honing my skills on custom motorcycle seats about 5 years ago. Aro has snowballed from there.

Is there a favorite piece that you have worked on?

I did a two piece seat for my friend Owen for his chopper, light tan leather with diamond pleats. Owen has put a lot of miles on it, and he rubs used engine oil into the leather when he does oil changes…the result a couple years down the line is a totally unique seat that perfectly embodies what I love about leather - it just keeps getting better with time and wear and tear!

What is the hardest part about what you do?

Saying no thank you to jobs, but I have to do it more and more often. I am one woman, and my love for this trade lies in creative custom work, I just can’t book in basic black vinyl repairs or uninspiring giant stock seats anymore! 

What inspires you?

The passion my clients bring to the table inspires me. Wether its their very first bike and they’re trying to make it look as good as possible, or an exciting build from an experienced bike builder. I love taking the whole project into scope and working with the lines of the frame, the paint schemes, and getting creative without going too over the top. Leather as a medium also inspires me, I love anticipating how a hide will patina and change over time.

When were you introduced to Motorcycles?

My rad Uncle Kirk has been riding since the ‘60s, he has been an inspiration my whole life. I have fond childhood memories of him taking me for rides on his bikes, and of him showing up at our home unannounced with packs of biker buds. John Angus (the infamous @jangbang on instagram) gave me the real talk I needed about 4 years ago to finally get my own!

How do motorcycles and the community play a role in your life?

The Vancouver motorcycle scene is so diverse and wonderful, I continue to meet so many inspiring folks who are in love with riding and helping each other out. Norman of Motorcycle Magazine is the first person who comes to mind anytime anyone mentions the local motorcycle community, he is so enthusiastic and all-inclusive and has been living the dream and connecting riders for decades. 

What kind of bike do you ride and why?

My first bike which I still own, is a1977 Honda CJ360T. I put 2000 miles on it my first season doing trips all over the PNW with my boyfriend Sean - such a fun beginner bike that was cheap to insure. I also have a 2012 Yamaha XT250 that starts every damn time and is cheap on gas and perfect for exploring the backroads around Powell River. I have a 1983 Honda XR185 that was the best $300 I ever spent - its basically the yard bike that all my friends get to ride, as long as they chop some firewood. Such a fun bike to put a first time rider on in the safety of my yard haha. I also just acquired a chopper!!!!!! Its a 1957 Triumph T100 built by Owen Williamson with paint by Maiko ‘Mo’ Gomyo. Its the perfect size - tiny. Its almost ready to run and I am too stoked to ride it!

Dream bike?

Shrimpy! My tiny chopper!

Best moto trip you have ever been on?

Two years ago Sean and I took my XT250 and his ’77 XT500 in our van down to Joshua Tree for Christmas. We pulled the bikes out in Northern California to check out some hot springs, and then froze our butts off riding around in the desert and canyons around Joshua Tree. I would go back in a heartbeat - hopefully to Babes Ride Out!!!

What are your goals as an artist?

I am so honoured to have so many creative custom seat projects come my way, I hope this keeps building so I continue to feel challenged and inspired.

How did you first hear about Babes Ride Out?

I first heard about Babes Ride Out through Jill and Born A Bad Seed.

What is it like owning your own business?

Owning two business (Ora and Aro) is amazing, I am so grateful to work in my own workshop in my yard where my mutt can be a wild freedom dog and the beach is 2 minutes away. The roller coaster of busy/slow times of the year has its challenges of course, but every year I learn to keep working hard and rolling forward and having faith that it’ll all keep growing. I love working with my hands and I see every motorcycle seat as a sculpture. It feels good to thrive on my creative passion, thank you all for your support!!

Any advice for women thinking of starting their own business?

Don’t sell yourself short! There is no shame in having a hobby or a creative passion, but in business you need to pay the bills AND pay yourself - start off on the right foot with mentorship and some money advice. But first and foremost, do what you love and stay true to why and how you love to do it, or your business will start feeling like a job, and thats no fun! Also, don’t let anyone treat you like you’re pretty good “for a woman”, or bully you or undercut you, ever.