Vision 2020

Hello!

It’s been a wild last couple of months. Aside from not posting as often as I should around the end of 2019, there’s been a lot of things happening and frankly, I’ve just been too busy or lazy to post something. But I’m still here, and Corkscrewd is still fully operational! But, this new year is going to be notable for some interesting decisions I’ve made. I’m calling this my “Vision 2020” for Corkscrewd. But first, I’m going to share some important news:

I’ve decided to go back to college!

In one of my last posts, I talked about my desire to go back to college. To summarize, I felt that I was kind of at a dead-end in my life and I wasn’t satisfied with how things were going. To add some background, I was tired of barely making any money as a freelance photographer and having to deal with cheapskates and flakes. I’m not afraid to admit I was in a dark place mentally, so that’s why it sounded like I was venting. Essentially, I was.

Then I realized, if I wanted to make a change, I needed to do something drastic. I have contacts at the Academy of Art University thanks to my friends and some freelancing gigs for the School of Industrial Design. I live not too far from San Francisco, and the college offers online classes as well. Why not enroll? So I did! I’m starting class in a few weeks as a student in the Transportation Design Program! I’m realizing my dream of designing cars for a living!

What is Vision 2020?

This doesn’t mean that I’ve completely given up on my blog. I see an interesting opportunity moving forward into the rest of 2020. This blog was created for sharing my love for automobiles and showcasing my photography skills. I can still do that, but now there will be a new facet to this website as a car design blog! Think about it: I’ve got tons of reference material thanks to 3+ years of photographing cars! Additionally, the contacts I’ve made because of this blog would certainly help me in my future career as an industrial designer. On top of that, there’s now an opportunity for readers to get an in-depth look at the processes of car design, from concept ideation to modeling and everything in between. And, I’ll stand out a little more against other designers!

That being said, I’m going to be making a few changes to the blog:

The Store

Since I decided to update my blog last year to a business plan and start trying to sell my photos, I’ve made exactly $0 on the store. I’ve tried microblogging and boosting my posts on Instagram and Facebook, but to this day I have not made a sale. So, I’ve decided to put the store itself on the back burner while I focus on other things. Maybe I can revisit it from time to time and upload some new content. Would anyone be interested in buying my drawings?

Actual, regular updates

At the beginning of last year, I tried to post more frequently. At my peak, I was managing at least one article a day with multiple pictures and at least 500 words. The issue was not only was it a lot of work but sometimes I felt like I was grasping at straws trying to find something to write about. Instead, I’ll post when I feel like I have something that I would absolutely love to share. Now that I’m a design student, I’ll be sharing a lot of my discoveries along the way.

Quality > Quantity of Photos

One of my biggest concerns is the number of photos I publish. I want to keep taking pictures of my adventures, but I always felt like I uploaded way too many photos. Sometimes they’ll be multiple shots of the same car going around Laguna Seca! Instead, I’m going to strive for striking, quality photos like this one:

I think this is my favorite shot of 2019!

I think that if I focused more on delivering shots like the one above, my blog would feel a little less chaotic and more focused on delivering quality content.

The website design itself

Someone said my website kind of looked like a creamsicle, and now I can’t unsee it. I still want to keep the Gulf-inspired colors, but I might just change the layout into something more contemporary. Maybe I could ape the design of The Old Motorist?

Now that Vision 2020 is laid out, all I have to do is execute. But, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to my supporters for being such wonderful people. Corkscrewd wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for you, and I hope that this new journey would bring you more awesome car-culture content!

Until next time!

-W

I really, really want to go back to college…

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Do you ever get the feeling that you made the wrong decision?

Way back in 2009 I got my Associate of Arts degree from my local Community College. I studied design and computer graphics, thinking I wanted to be an industrial designer or something along those lines. But, tuition for some of the better-known design colleges was out of my budget. I mean, we’re talking about $100k+ Bachelor’s Programs. For a family that had two sons planning on going to college, it was hard to justify. I decided to rethink what I wanted to do and take a look at some of the more affordable options in the DC Metro area.

That’s when I found the game design program at the University of Baltimore. I went in, made some really cool stuff, and then I graduated with honors and a really cool thesis project specializing in Augmented Reality Technology! A year after I graduated, I joined a startup in my field when most of my colleagues were still working at Starbucks! And I did it all debt-free! I was on top of the world!

Me and a team of some other really bright people came up with a concept for an Augmented Reality First Person Shooter years before this technology became mainstream! I was really proud of the work we did.

5 years later, I’m broke, I’m constantly working for scraps, and I’m pretty much homeless. I banked on that “revolutionary start-up” being the catalyst for my success in Silicon Valley, but that ended up not happening. Instead, the start-up failed right around the time I got my first apartment, and interviewing with companies doing similar things was next to impossible because my degree didn’t say “Stanford” on it. I was unemployed for two years messing around with a camera and teaching myself photography because it was the skill I had to fall back on, next to graphic design and website building.

Of course, taking photos is one thing, but getting anyone to buy anything is a completely different ball game. Likes and shares don’t pay my bills! And now here I am, writing in my own personal echo chamber pining for the time where I was sitting in my algebra class doodling cars in my notebook, saying “I’m going to be the next Syd Mead!”

The thing is, I never stopped drawing.

I don’t know if it’s a compulsion or maybe just the subconscious desire to return to a time where things were simple, but I still make designs in my notebooks. Maybe something inside of me is telling me that I still want to be the next Syd Mead, Ken Okuyama, Tom Matano, or Luigi Colani. I would love to be the next Chris Bangle or Daniel Simon! Hell, even at that start-up, for a brief moment, I was working on concept designs for a new product! My ideas even made it into an actual product that we shipped! How many people can say that?

These designs were projects I took on at the start-up, hoping to give our product engineer some ideas. Some of my designs even made it into shipped products! I miss doing this.

I could feel it in my bones. That desire to draw and design and create always drove me. I never felt I was alive unless I was creating something from nothing but a pencil and paper. I feel like I was meant to be a designer, and got distracted along the way.

So, now I have a decision to make. Do I try and make things work with what I have now, hoping for something to happen? Or, do I take out a hundred thousand dollar loan and see if I can make my dreams come true, without a safety net? I’m afraid of reaching another dead end, but I feel like I’m at a dead end now.

I never stopped designing!

No one ever gets ahead without taking a risk. And, I’ll need to take a really, really big risk if I’m going to change the way things are going.

I can’t get enough of the DeTomaso P72

The DeTomaso P72 is just gorgeous!
The DeTomaso P72 might be my new favorite car! Photo © 2019 G.F Williams / DeTomaso

I really do think this is the best-looking car ever.

This past weekend, the Goodwood Festival of Speed started and ended while I was away from the desk. I did manage to cover some of the more notable events in my new series “Weekend Rear-view”, but there was one piece of news that I simply couldn’t get enough of; The reveal of the DeTomaso P72!

Oh God; that EXHAUST NOISE!

In my Weekend Rear-view, I mentioned that the car is based on the Apollo Intenza Emozione. Personally, I think the P72 is much, much better looking! But, it does use the same naturally-aspirated 6.3-liter V12, so it looks as good as it sounds! Speaking of its looks; the car is inspired by the styling of some famous prototype race cars from the 60s. Cars like the Ferrari 330 P4 / 412P and Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale are definitely reflected in the lines of the car. In fact, this has actually caused some issues with Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, who has called out DeTomaso for copying their design for the Pininfarina P4/5.

I think this is a bit of a moot point since it’s clear that both cars were inspired by the design of the Ferrari 330 P4 and other similar race cars. That being said, I think the P72 pulls it off a little better than the Pininfarina P4/5. I mean, just look at it!

It’s just gorgeous!

The car looks exactly like the kind of thing I would sketch in the margins of my notebooks during elementary school. Hell, I still sketch cars like this when I get a chance! It has all the classic lines and proportions, and the interior is simply beautiful. Polished and machined copper adorn the inside and outside of the car, and most notably, the top-mounted exhaust. Both the wing mirrors and wheels are finished with polished copper as well, giving the car a weird combination of retro 60’s styling and steampunk aesthetics. I might even go far as to say that the interior looks just as good, if not, better than the Pagani Huayra’s!

A quick pencil sketch I did in 2016.
A quick pencil sketch I did back in 2016 during a meeting at work. I prefer flowing lines over sharp edges!

Now, I know what I said about hypercars. But, this car just happens to be one of the very few that I’m actually excited about! Part of that is because this car looks nothing like your typical hypercar. Cars like the Aston Martin Valkyrie have their designs dictated purely by aerodynamics, and in a way, that takes away from the overall design. The cars aren’t beautiful; they’re purposeful. The P72 is the opposite of what a typical hypercar looks like, and that’s why I like it so much. The P72 is retro design absolutely done right.

DeTomaso couldn’t have picked a better way to return.