If you haven’t heard of Smith Concepts, you’ve at least seen his work. You’ll be scarce to find a suburb that doesn’t have a machine with his mark on it, as bikes, cars, helmets and anything in between receive the Midas touch.
For Kyle Smith, it all started in the early days at school, drawing the typical flames in school books most teenage boys would do, along with a dappling in graffiti. “I was about 15 when I enrolled myself into a Fine Arts course at TAFE. I wasn’t sure at the time if that was something that I wanted to pursue and make a career out of, but my Mum was keen for me to do something if I wasn’t going to be at school – gotta keep your Mum happy! I loved art, design and drawings, so it was something I really got into. After 3 years at TAFE, I went straight into window tinting, which is something I still do today.”
From here, Kyle would begin dappling in various mediums and techniques, flexing his creative muscle and passion for creating something visual. “I started doing signage and vinyl cut letters on things like race cars and trucks, which in turn opened up other avenues for me as I would then be exposed to traditional sign-writing.” There would always be something new Kyle could learn, and this would form part of the driving passion and constant progression in his work. Nothing would be stagnant as the moment to learn new styles and techniques would take him to places that 15 year old him would never have imagined.
A chance encounter would have Kyle introduced into the world of Pinstriping while at a Ratbags car show with some mates. “We saw this bloke named Tony laying down some amazing lines, and I new instantly this was something I wanted to try. I got chatting to him, asking about the trade, how to get started, what brushes to use etc and then went off to find the gear I’d need to get started. I tried my hand at pinstriping for hours every night for about 6 months but didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. Fortunately I received a ton of support from my friends, who kept pushing me to keep at it and who believed it was something I could do well and have a future in so I stuck to it. I’ve been pinstriping for years now.”
Now that Kyle had ticked off another box on his list of skills, his mates got badgering him asking how his skills on the airbrush were. “This was something I always wanted to do… so we did it. We started stripping down bikes and car panels, and got started airbrushing and painting them.” After 6 years of business, Kyle can proudly boast specialising in Harley-Davidsons, Hot Rods, helmet art, skateboard art, custom metal flake roof layouts – any surface is a blank canvas ready for the brush.
“We have a team of four of us at Smith Concepts, and we all play a massive part in make this a reputable business. I’m passionate about my work and how I run my business. I live, eat, breathe and sleep custom. Day in and day out.
Every day goes by and something new is put in front of me, whether it’s a new bike, a new helmet or a different can of paint. There’s always something new to do, and a constant learning curve – but I love it.”
You may recognise Smith Concepts work from previous Throttle Roll posts, including –