Here at SKC CUSTOMZ, we feel (and so do our clients) that we put out a superior product, both in design and quality. We never cut corners. We use only the best materials and are constantly testing new products to assure that we stay on top. We use only the best in toners to achieve depth and brightness (Dupont, Hot Hues, PPG, House of Kolor, and Xotic Colours). We specialize in candies, pearls, flakes, metallics graphics, airbrushing and one-of-a-kind special effects. No matter what the project we seal every job with epoxy primers. This way we can guarantee our paint will never peel, crack or shrink back. We go that extra length on every step of the job to ensure a superior paint job. Every job is finished with four coats of clear, color sanded then striped, and cleared again with four more coats of clear. Then the job is color sanded and buffed to a glass finish. Unlike other painters, we will not compare ourselves to some top name. We've seen their work and feel ours is better and so will you. We offer a limited warranty backed by PPG Industries. We are a Certified PPG facility. We produce what is considered the high end of custom paint at a reasonable rate.
FUTURE SKC ARTIST
"As your Tour Guide, I'd like to welcome you to SKC Customz. Follow me through all of the Photo Galleries, I'll show you some wonderful artwork and custom finishes (plus a few suprises from me.). SKC has many more suprises instore themselves, so check back here often. ......Cali
A few of the albums that Steve work on or was associated with during his Platinum Management/Direction days.
Steven Craig, the owner and head painter of SKC CUSTOMZ has been doing automotive graphics for 13 years. Prior to doing custom paint, Steve had achieved an extensive background in design and layout. From 1986 to 1995 he was the head of a graphic design department in one of California's largest printing firms. There he was responsible for creating album and cd covers, posters, video boxes and ads for several of the leading Music and Film production companies. This is also were he learned Color Theory. In 1994, Steve began schooling in computer graphic design. This would later play a major role in his custom paint designs. "With the computer assistance I can create and paint graphics within graphics. A task that used to be extremely difficult and some of which were impossible.",says Steve.
It's funny how the chain of events in your life can lead you to where you are today. I've had multiple career changes throughout my life so far and if I would have skipped one of them I wouldn't be typing this now. I've always been extremely into music and instruments. When I was a teenager, like so many others I wanted to live the life of a Rock Star. But, do to a overwhelming case of stage fright back then, that dream wouldn't happen. Not long after I graduated High School I started a promotional/artist representation company that booked bands in night clubs. To make ends meet I worked in the Graphic Arts Industry doing layout and pre-press. In early 1981 I was booking a show at the Woodstock Concert Theater in Anaheim, California and needed a fourth band to finish the roster. A friend introduced me to the all cover (mainly Judas Priest and Iron Maiden) band named Slayer. At this time they only had a few original songs. I saw something in them I liked and after that evening I decided to work with them exclusively. For the next year guitarist Kerry King and I worked on developing an image, sound and direction for the band. During this time Ozzy Osbourne was being sued for his song "Suicide Solution". With all the exposure Ozzy was receiving we decide to take what Ozzy was being accused of being a Satanist. Remember, during this time people were checking records to see if there was any back masking. We decided to put the Satanic imagery right in peoples faces, no-holds-barred. Up to this point in time, this had not been done to the extreme. Total Shock Value. Before we began we all studied Satanism and the occult. We did not want to come off like some cheap B-Movie. Even though it is not an image I am proud of having done anymore, we were the first and sent the underground music scene in a whole new direction. I could write a novel on what I did and accomplished during those years but thats for another time. Even though I was not on stage, I got to live the life of a Rock Star for years. I developed a reputation for taking a garage bands and making them Superstars within a short period of time. Bands throughout the world sought me out to help launch their careers. From 1980 to 1986, Steve owned and operated a very lucrative Music Management and Promotion company (Platinum Management/Direction). He was very instrumental in the creation and marketing of several top Metal/Rock bands. Some of which not only included Slayer (Steven was a co-creator of Slayer), Dark Angel, Jag Panzer, Hawaii and Phantom Blue (Wreckage). One of his many responsibilities included album cover design and advertisement layout/design, along with stage design, public relations, business management, stage management, lighting and pirotechnics . For those of you familiar with Slayer, you will remember some of the over- the- top and sometimes controversial ads. After a few more years running my own company "Platinum Management & Direction", I decided to branch out and start a Music Publication. I worked on "Platinum Bound" magazine for a year and had employees around the world. I financed the magazine myself but needed a publisher to help in the distribution and business aspects. Just before press time the publisher tried to do a take control and squeeze me out or make me an employee as Editor. Basically they put me in a Do-or-Die situation. They figured I was so financially deep into it that I would have no choice but to let them assume control. I wouldn't let them take it from me so I buried the Magazine and walked away from the music industry entirely. I went form making an enormous amount of money to a day job at Print Shop for $6.50 an hour. I worked my ass off for a few years until I worked myself up to a Lead Journeyman position and eventually a Supervisor. The company I worked for did all the Pre-Press for companies like Disney and Paramount Pictures.
Here is where the Chain Of Events takes a turn that would eventually lead me to where I am now. I made a friend at the shop I was at who was into Jet Skiing. He talked me into buying my first Jet Ski. After a couple of years and a lot of practice, I felt that I was good enough to enter the world of Jet Ski racing. Before I went into racing all these ideas started flooding my head. These ideas stemmed from my Management and Marketing skills from the music industry. I thought, "What if I could put together a independent local race team that covered all the classes. I would hand pick the riders and put together a image that would rival a Pro Team. By doing this I could obtain sponsorship for my race team (SKC RACING) that was unavailable to Novice and Expert racers. In my overall design everything about the team needed to be uniform with a color scheme. This meant having to have all the race craft custom painted to match. I checked into what it would cost to have all;l the jet ski's painted. We had 14 race craft in the first year team. The cheapest I could find was a$1000.00 per ski. No way was I paying that. So, I went to a local paint supplier and had them set me up with the equipment and give me a crash course in painting. One day one of my team members handed me a helmet and wanted me to put some paint on it. I went out and bought a Badger 150 airbrush. Steve has always had a fascination with art. Throughout grade school he took art and drawing classes. In High School he concentrated and studied Mechanical and Architectural drawing. Steve didn't pick up his first airbrush until 1994. With no formal training he immediately took it and started producing indepth work. "The airbrush came very natural to me.", says Steve. " I love doing illustrations. It's even more challenging using auto paints. They don't react or layout like normal airbrush paints. When you can get a canvas (Multi-Media) look it's very gratifying.". Steve started doing Jet Ski's and helmets for local and professional racers. Working out of his garage, and only through word-of-mouth, he started receiving an enormous amount of work. So much, that he quit his job at graphic arts firm and opened his companies first incarnation, SKC DESIGNS. To get the company known, Steve started sponsoring several pro racers. The team ran for 4 years and to this day still holds the record for the most championships held by an independent team. Steve himself won several titles during this time. This is a trait that we would like to point out to our future customers. Steve is an over achiever, he puts 110 percent into everything thing he does. That includes every job he does, no matter how big or small.
From day one, Steve didn't want a job to leave his shop until he felt the project was as close to perfection as possible. He sought the help and advice of the areas top professionals. He credits Auto Color Warehouse (PPG) in Van Nuys, California for the greatest input. They saw Steve's talent and took him under their wing. "I will always give high praise to the crew at Auto Color Warehouse." says Steve. "Even though I was a small business, they gave me the red carpet and treated me the same as their larger accounts. No matter where I go they will always have my gratitude and loyalty.
While learning the art of finishing, Steve knew that the only way to get the perfect job is to learn proper body work and prep skills. For the next two years he worked with and learned from the areas best in that field. Steve and his company are now fully capable and also do collision and restoration work.
He started doing murals and show vehicles in the first year and sent them to some of the areas largest shows. The first show his work appeared in won all the top honors, including "Best of Show" and "Best Paint". The awards haven't stopped since (see Awards). The most recent show had over 1600 entries and Steve's work received 11 of the top honors, including "Best Paint" and "Best Graphics".
In 1998 Steve packed up and moved the company to Lake Havasu City, Arizona. A hot spot for custom paint. He reopened under SKC's Cutting Edge Designs. Once there, he hired a crew to cover all basis. Including, fiberglass and gel coat. Since his arrival, SKC's Cutting Edge Designs (now called "SKC CUSTOMZ") has become one of the leaders in custom paint in the tri state area and continues to grow. In November 2002 SKC Customz was chosen by House Of Kolor as one of the 12 best painters in the world and will be representing HOK/Valspar Finishes in 2003.Next thing I knew, I had racers that weren't even on my team willing to pay me money to paint a helmet for them. Next came people wanting custom painted Jet Ski's and Harley's. A good friend at the time Alex from AP Designs was getting notoriety from doing a mural on the bottom of a jet ski. That following year I painted up one with a mural on the bottom (Lady Death Jet Ski). Alex and I went to the biggest Jet Ski Show in the country (Splash) and we competed against each other in the custom paint contest. I took first place with Alex in second. I backed it up the following year with the Spawn Jet Ski and took an addition 8 first place awards, including Best of Show. Alex hasn't talked to me since. Back to the racing part of this story. I still had a major case of stage fright going into my first race. Throughout the first few laps I felt that every eye on the shoreline was watching me. Midway into the race I began to loosen up and I finished that race in first place. The stage fright was gone for good and I've never looked back. For Four years, SKC Racing and Designs produced more regional and world champions than any other independent team to date. My first year of racing I ran a undefeated season and became a champion. In 1993 I had my second home built in Lake Havasu City, Arizona (famous for the London Bridge and the on-the-water parties/mayhem.) In 1998 I decided to move to Lake Havasu full time when a friend of mine who owned a collision repair shop asked if I would want to come and be partners in the business. He would do the collision work and I would do the custom painting. I learned a lot about doing bodywork correctly from him. But, his idea of business and mine were totally different. After a few years I decided to go out on my own and open up my own company SKC Customz. Since it's opening, SKC Customz has become one of the most highly recognized custom paint shops in the world. When I started airbrushing in my garage over 10 years ago I would have never thought I'd be where I am today. Over the past 10 years I have won the industry's top honors (House Of Kolor Prestigious Painter Award, Duponts Hot Hues Award and 2 time Matrix FX award.) When I first started painting, everything was top secret. People in the trade would keep their techniques all to themselves. I had to learn from trial and error. I wanted to be different than the artists before me. At first I began writing articles for Airbrush Action Magazine. The politics there turned me off real fast. Falling back on my knowledge of publications I (with my good friend and fellow artist Denise Thurston) started the first on-line digital publication for airbrush artists and custom painters "www.airbrushtechlive.com" It's funny how something that began as a hobby has turned into a career. Now I teach airbrushing and custom paint classes and work with manufacturers on developing new paint products.
Designed by Steve Craig in 1983. Slayer's pentagram and lettering is a rare case of aspects of a logo being at once so intertwined and interdependent on one another that seeing either without the other becomes a rather incomplete proposition. The swords of the pentagram depend on the lettering to complete the horizontal axis; if you took the lettering out of the circle and replaced it with another sword , something would feel lacking from the entire presentation. Conversely, if you look at the lettering of SLAYER by itself , it comes off as though scrawled by a murder victim in his final throes - scratched painfully in the dirt as a clue to whomever comes along later.
Art Imitates Life
Be sure to check out my upcoming novel.