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Glenwood Springs Cartist

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    May 21, 2003 The Glenwood Springs Post Independent Artist enjoying wild ride on the wild side ‘Art car’ promoter takes road less traveled By Donna Daniels
    Message 1 of 1 , May 27, 2003
      May 21, 2003
      The Glenwood Springs Post Independent
      Artist enjoying wild ride on the wild side

      ‘Art car’ promoter takes road less traveled

      By Donna Daniels
      Post Independent Staff
      Photo by Post Independent Photo/Jim Noelker
      Graphic artist Linda Drake and her art car Petula. Drake is promoting an
      art car fest next month in conjunction with the Glenwood Center for the
      Arts "Wheels Art Show."

      Somewhere along the line in her development as the person she is today,
      Linda Drake did a Superman turnabout.
      From a mild-mannered Clark Kent-type bank clerk she transmogrified into a
      wacky artist.
      She’s much happier this way.
      Now, in direct rebellion against what she calls the “panty hose brigade,”
      she tools around town in a wildly painted Mazda 323 with Sponge Bob
      Squarepants seat covers and a horn that makes animal noises.
      She has abandoned the bean counter life and now creates silk screen
      T-shirts and tote bags with slogans such as “I’m out of estrogen and I’ve
      got a gun,” “I kiss better than I cook,” and “I’m still a hot babe but it
      comes in flashes.”
      She’s also heavily involved in the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts,
      where she serves on the exhibits committee. She’s now trying to drum up
      entries for the “Wheels” exhibit, which will show art having to do with,
      that’s right, wheels, including “art cars.”
      Her art car is painted sky blue and festooned with jungly flowers, flying
      angel dogs and kitties and a big sun face on the top.
      What really happened to Drake was turning 40.
      “At 40 I busted loose,” she said. “I was worn out being a panty hose
      teller. I loved to do art when I was little but I was never encouraged.”
      But that didn’t stop her.
      “I took some watercolor classes,” she added.
      She quit her job in a bank and went to work at a silk screen shop where she
      learned the craft from a grumpy guy named Dan Kelly.
      “He took me under his wing,” she said.
      Although she grew up in Grand Junction, Drake led a peripatetic life
      married to a military man and ended up in Hilton Head, S.C. After about a
      year working with Kelly she moved back to Colorado.
      She opened a shop, Lunar Designs, in Snowmass Village. She created her
      T-shirt designs in her garage and sold them in the shop, along with teddy
      bears.
      The estrogen shirt, her first design, did well until the Columbine High
      School shootings. Then her biggest customer, a national catalogue called
      Casual Living, canceled the order.
      Her launch into business forced her to take hold of her creativity. She
      learned to listen to her inner voice, not only about designs, but also
      about funny quips that might adorn her shirts.
      And she learned that her forte was funny stuff for women.
      “Women want something that makes them feel good,” she said. She also liked
      the idea of aiming at women in their 40s or older who were experiencing
      menopause.
      “The estrogen shirt was my militant feminist phase,” she said with a laugh.
      Now her designs run more to cats and Christmas themes.
      One shirt shows a woman asleep in a hammock with her kitty and it reads, “I
      used to run with the wolves, now I nap with the cats.”
      Besides her silk screening business, Drake channels her creativity into
      projects with other artists. One of her early experiences at the Glenwood
      art center was joining the Wild Women, a group of valley artists who show
      their work each year at the center. It was a great connection for her.
      She and the Wild Women are now involved in a doll project in which each
      artist makes her own doll and passes it around for other artists to add
      their own flourishes.
      At home, she covers furniture with buttons. She admits it’s an obsession.
      “I’m in my button phase. I want to button a Volkswagen,” she said.
      Her art car was more of an accidental art project.
      “The paint began peeling on the car, and I thought, this is not a good
      statement for Lunar Designs.”
      With a little research plus some help from husband Dan Gilbert, she
      stripped her car, sanded it down, painted on a primer, then went to work
      with artists’ acrylic paint.
      All told it took about three months to complete.
      The car is still a work in progress. Inside, she’d like to cover the
      headliner with feathers.
      “It’s a giggle to drive,” she said.
      Drake also urges folks with a beater car to consider it for an art project.
      The art cars will drive in the Strawberry Days Parade at 10 a.m. Saturday,
      June 21.
      She’d also like to make it an annual tradition and invite art cars from all
      over the country.
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