With dozens of designs to his name, half of which returned as resto-mods, engineer and blipshift veteran Anthony McClinton is no stranger. A Subie guy through-and-through, Anthony enjoys anything that can indulge his outdoor pursuits like mountain biking and hiking. His more popular designs include "T Power", "Be Afraid", and "Grandcarther".
Anthony took a moment to answer a few questions:
How did your interest in cars start?
It started when I was little kid. When I was young, my dad purchased a 1995 Mustang GT with the 5.0 V8. Ever since, I have been hooked on cars. It also didn’t help that I grew up in Germany where there are fast roads and fast cars around every corner.
How does your interest show itself?
I’m definitely a fan of Top Gear. I didn’t really know the show existed until I found some YouTube videos of Clarkson’s face being rearranged by the Atom. I started watching Top Gear in 2007 and have been following it ever since. I credit that show with turning my passion for cars into a love of cars. It’s that show that really got me sucked into the car world.
I would also credit my WRX with manifesting my interest in cars. It was the first manual car I owned. The WRX put a smile on my face from day one. It showed how much fun a car can be. To this day, I still have a smile on my face every time I get out of it.
I've also started a new project of 'toy-ifying' various cars with CarTooned Designs. It started as a design series at blipshift, but I enjoyed making them so much that I wanted to try making a lot more and selling them on Etsy.
What is at the top of your automotive bucket list?
I definitely want to make it to France one day to watch the 24 hours of LeMans. If I go see one big motorsport event, it would have to be that one. I also want to go to Dirtfish Rally School one day. Ever since I got my WRX I have wanted to go flat out in the dirt.
What's in your driveway, and what makes it special?
I currently have a 2014 WRX in World Rally Blue. This car is mostly stock, but it won’t be like that for much longer. So far I have done the general “I own a WRX” modifications. I have installed a louder cat back exhaust, a set of mud flaps, and a set of 4 piston front and 2 piston rear brake calipers with some better rotors (I kept cooking the stock ones during canyon/mountain runs). I’m currently in the middle of turning my WRX into an off road adventure car. I have a set of King lifting springs installed already and my new rims and tires are on their way.
What was your first car? Do you have any sort of brand loyalty?
My first car was a 1993 Ford Explorer which I bought for $800 when I was in high school. After that I made the jump to Subaru. I had a red 2010 Impreza Hatchback which I had for 2 years. I absolutely loved that car, but I always wished it had a manual and a 100 extra horsepower. Lucky for me Subaru makes just that car. When I graduated college, I bought myself a World Rally Blue WRX Hatchback and I have had it ever since.
If you couldn’t tell already, I’m a big Subaru fanboy. I swear half my closet is Subaru shirts at this point. I’ve always loved Subarus, and the WRX is by far on the best cars out there if you are looking for something that can do it all. Snow, sunshine, asphalt, off road, etc. My WRX has done it all.
What is your dream car?
I would love to own a 911 GT3. That has always been one of my favorite cars especially the 997.2 GT3 RS. Realistically, I’m looking to pick up a Z4 M roadster in the near future. I’ve always wanted to own a BMW M car with a straight six. Plus, I’ve always wanted a convertible, so it seems like a pretty logical choice.
What do you do besides designing awesome shirts?
During the day, I’m a process engineer and on the weekends I like to shred the local mountain bike trials and just enjoy the outdoors.
What are some of your non-car hobbies?
I’m a big LEGO Technic fan. I just love messing about and building all sorts of things. I just recently finished up a Ferrari F40 model.
I also like to go hiking and backpacking, and recently I have made the jump into photography.
What have the funds from blipshift helped you accomplish?
I’ve gone to races numerous times (blipshift even gave me the chance to meet the Turner Motorsports Team). I’ve gone to COTA to see V8 Supercars and WEC. I’ve also used my blipshift earnings to buy car parts. I’m currently in the middle of turning my WRX in to a little adventure mobile.
What are you influenced by as a designer?
As with most designers, I’m influenced by everything around me. Sometimes when I’m out with friends I’m inspired by the dumb car puns that we come up with. I’ve also just been watching TV and my brain just goes, "that would make a great shirt". For me the smallest things can get the creative juices flowing.
What's your favorite blipshift shirt?
That’s a tough one. I think my favorite would be my first ever blipshift shirt, "Jezza 19:3". It was just a really cool experience to design the shirt and then see my name attached to it online. It was also the first shirt that I saw out in the wild, and it was really cool to see someone else wear something that I designed.
Any advice for fellow artists? How did you find the process overall?
Keep at it. Most of my designs go through a bunch of iterations before I even submit them, and then go through even more iterations before they go on sale. Rarely is the first version of a design going to be your last. It will change and get better. My "Fun Da M3ntal" design looked much different when I started. Originally it was an E92 M3 and then it turned into the E30. Before the shirt went on sale, the blipshift designers were creating the website images for the sale and realized the design worked much better when it was cropped, so it was changed. I think because of that change, that has been one of my best selling designs. No matter what, just keep at it and eventually, you will make an awesome design.
Thanks for your time and support Anthony. You can probably find more of his designs for sale next week at blipshift.