Micheal Castiglione, better known as “Casti”, is as much at home with a design studio canvas as he is with cotton. Though a classic V8 kid at heart, Casti can muscle up to any automotive design challenge, and has spent his career drafting everything from the KIA Cadenza to the Dodge Challenger. His works of shirt art include "All Charged Up", "E To My Heart", and "Surf Sun Stance".
Casti put the pencil down to answer a few questions:
How did your interest in cars start?
At around age 6, I remember riding in my Dad’s buddy’s old Mustang and just loving it! The engine roar, the exhaust fumes, getting thrown back in the seat. It all just seemed so cool.
How does your interest show itself?
I’m either drawing cars, wrenching on cars, going to car shows, or thinking about cars. Basically, like many car guys I'm a prime candidate for Autohaulics Anonymous!
What is at the top of your automotive bucket list?
I've had the opportunity to visit almost every auto show around the world because of my car design career, but the one event I really want to get to is the Bonneville Salt Flats during speed week!
What's in your driveway, and what makes it special?
I grew up near the Pomona Drags and you could hear them from my High School, so on drag days, I tended to miss class… Perhaps from growing up near the Winternationals, I have a special love for muscle cars. In 2005 I acquired a bone stock 1967 RS Camaro and went through every part to create a solid pro-touring runner. It has the original 327, 700R4 trans, coilovers, Baer brakes, etc. I did all of the work in my garage with the help of some great friends.
What was your first car? Any sort of brand loyalty?
My first car was a 1970 Camaro RS, but I always wanted a first generation.
No loyalty with modern cars except I do have a bit of an Audi love affair. Vintage cars - It's anything Chevrolet from about '63 - '72. Oh yeah, and definitely the Tri-Fives.
What is your dream car?
What do you do besides designing awesome shirts?
I've worked on a bunch of concept cars during my 20 year career at Chrysler, most notably the Dodge Challenger. I'm currently a designer at the KIA Design Center America and just finished as design manager for the 2017 KIA Cadenza.
What are some of your non-car hobbies?
For fun, I LOVE hanging out with my family, and of course the passion for cars has been handed down to my son Tayden. He is currently building a Nissan 240SX drift car. Look for his design work on blipshift as well! You can usually spot my son and I at local car events around So Cal.
What have the funds from blipshift helped you accomplish?
Like a proper car dude, I apply most of the blipshift funds toward car mods.
What influences you as a designer?
My design role at KIA allows me to explore the future of transportation while the blipshift work lets me create cool images from the automotive past. Both passions run deep.
What's your favorite blipshift shirt?
"Enzo Who III": It's a LeMans Ford GT - love it! Also, the "RSTY" 911 - well done! "Meister" - by Tayden Castiglione - killer bestseller! And we can’t forget my buddy Emile's "Still the One" McLaren F1!
Any advice for fellow artists? How did you find the process overall?
My advice to anyone interested in automotive design or art is to follow your passion, and to work, work, work at mastering your craft and developing your own style!
Thanks Casti for your time and totally rad design skills. Apex Everything!