Arūnas Rimkus acquired his taste for open tarmac and scenic road trips thanks to Test Drive Unlimited and his car-enabling brother. Currently piloting a Volvo V40, he dreams of conquering European roads like the Transfăgărășan in something a little more… focused. When he’s not studying and working in the energy field as a software developer, Arūnas creates some of your favourite soft things to wear like "Budget Bond", "Lucky Number 7", and "Unusual Suspects".
Arūnas exercised his keyboard to answer a few questions:
How did your interest in cars start?
My interest began to grow when playing with cars. Whether it was small models when I was little or video games when I grew up, I just loved how they looked and "drove". Most of my interest was probably formed playing car themed video games. One of the best ones was Test Drive Unlimited, which charmed me by combining a plethora of vehicle options and a huge map to drive around. I enjoyed cruising Oahu Island, wishing that one day I could do the same in real life.
Some time after, I had a road trip to Italy in which I had a chance to participate in a Ferrari car meetup. I didn't think it was very special at the time, but now I know what kind of an opportunity to stare at all the cars I missed...
Once I got my driver's licence my brother nudged me into the right direction when buying a car. I started browsing blipshift soon after that, but didn't think about buying a shirt or even start drawing myself. After about half a year, I posted my first idea which went for a sale, and since then I tried to submit my own art!
How does your interest show itself?
I subscribe to the must-watch car themed videos on youtube such as Petrolicious, The Smoking Tire, Harry's Garage and others. I like to find out things about a car that I do not know, and seeing it fly by is always a pleasure. Of course, seeing cars on the road also include goofy things done to cars, which I immediately take a photo of...
Other than that, I sometimes take a longer, curvier route if I am driving somewhere just for fun. Going for a drive after a rough day is always a good feeling, it's true therapy. I don't know any friends of mine that would do the same.
What is at the top of your automotive bucket list?
That would probably be a road trip through Europe, visiting fascinating places with my car and driving through roads like the Transfagarasan in Romania, let alone other curvy roads in Italy, Austria and other mountainous countries. I still remember the time I went to Italy and those twisty roads stuck into my mind.
What's in your driveway, and what makes it special?
I drive a Volvo V40 T4. It's a car for getting around. Not so cheap to drive around the city, but I manage. It isn't special and isn't in it best condition, but I bought it dirt cheap. Given that it was cheap and that it has a turbo I couldn't be driving anything better right now in my opinion, taking into consideration it's my first ride.
What is your dream car?
My dream car would probably be the new Ford Focus RS... that's speaking realistically if everything goes well. Enough space for transporting stuff, enough power for fun. The fuel consumption for that kind of power is too good, which is always a plus!
What do you do besides designing awesome shirts?
Other than working on artsy stuff, I study energetics in Kaunas University of Technology. Furthermore, I also work as a software developer in a small company that specializes in energy audits and consultations, and electrical system software. It is a more interesting job than I initially expected as it poses you with a new challenge every day, and once you overcome it, you feel fantastic!
What are some of your non-car hobbies?
When I am not working or drawing, I love playing a set of darts or going for a bicycle ride. Though I have to say that I spend most of my time at the computer playing computer games or working, hence I decided to join the keyboard community on reddit and buy a high end keyboard with custom keycaps, which has changed the way I type. Because of this purchase, I like to type just for fun. It's a great skill to type fast as well!
What have the funds from blipshift helped you accomplish?
The extra funds help quite a lot; I can say that a big part of them went straight into the fuel tank. Also, blipshift has given me a chance to do essential repairs, and get new parts and washing tools.
Who influences you as a designer?
I could say that I get my influence from other blipshift artists. I used to browse the garage section quite thoroughly looking for ideas to make a clear view of the design that I am making. A good example is the P1800 design. The moment I saw "Still The One" by Emile Bouret design I knew I wanted to do something similar where the color of the shirts is the main part of the vehicle and simple details such as outlines of the car make the design whole. I must say that I really like to think a lot before I start working on a design, it is important for me to be satisfied with the final result.
What's your favorite blipshift shirt?
I noticed "Depth of Field" by David Barnett not so long ago, but didn't quite take a deep look at it. Now that I opened it to lay eyes on it again, I can see that the amount of work put into this design must be tremendous. You can see all the details on the headlights, which in my tempo would take about 10 hours to complete.
Any advice for fellow artists? How did you find the process overall?
For the fellow blipshifters, I would advise to not rush when doing a piece. Just work at it few hours at a time. Letting it "sit" and wait for you will let you to refresh your mind and take another look at the work that you have already done. Once you think your piece is finished, open it in a few days and take another look at the details. Do they need any more tuning? No? Then send it. The worst-case scenario will be to modify the design according to team blipshift's remarks, but working with them is always a pleasure. I couldn't be more thankful to the team for showing my mistakes and ways to improve.
Thanks for your time Arūnas. Apex Everything!