Shawn first caught our eye after the team here in the workshop saw some footage of his wild Ford Econoline project, dubbed 'Love, Inertia, and the Pursuit of the Perfect Stance'. A one off a kind van build that instantly had our full attention... We had to know more.
After a bit of digging it was soon apparent that the van that had caught our eye was far more than your regular body chopped project. The aim of the project was to create a custom moving “street legal” sculpture. The word sculpture isn't normally one to be used when describing a vehicle build, but as it turns out, it's creator, Shawn Hibmacronan, is one hell of a talented metal artist by trade.
We tracked Shawn down and arranged a sit down with what turns out to be one of the most driven creators we have ever had the pleasure of talking to.
Work for me is ART making. I’m a sculptor by professional and passion. On any given day, am or pm you’d find me locked away in my studio, built out inside an industrial metal shop located in a gritty and worn retired US Navy building in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I come from a creative family of artists and designers. I was only natural as I grew up going to art museums and talking about design. I studied Sculpture and Furniture at the California College of the Art’s and started making work and showing even before I graduated. It’s been a crazy busy 6 years since.
Good question. Many things. I think I’m somewhat addicted to a certain feeling of productivity. I start to feel a bit crazy/anxious/stressed if I go too long without sketching, building, shaping, fabrication… At any point in the day (or night) I get an idea worth pursuing I can’t stop thinking about it until I create it (or a better idea comes along). I think it’s really helpful that I thoroughly enjoy the process of making not just the completed object. Often the process is more enjoyable than the feeling of being finished… My work is very focused on the concept as well as the craft and it’s always a goal to make the process evident in the final sculpture.
I have a long list of heroes, creative people (both contemporary and deceased) that I keep an eye on and look to for inspiration. When I’m tired and worn out or stumped and frustrated, they inspire to think differently and motivate me to get up and back at it. To name a few:
My sculpture is hugely influenced by custom cars and car culture from all time periods. As long as we’ve had personal vehicles, we’ve found ways to make them better, faster, cooler, or more unique. I also find inspiration in analog mechanical components and systems from early inventors, DaVinci for example.
I’ve been doing large scale commissioned work for the past few years and like the direction it’s heading. I'm always looking for bigger and bigger opportunities. Part of me wants to get back into the rhythm of showing work in galleries and museums again. In whatever capacity, I want to make art for the rest of my life.
My TIG welder, Ellis Horizontal Bandsaw, and my Hossfeld Universal Bender. …And my ludicrously loud, pieced-together studio sound system, my studio wouldn’t be the magical place it is without it.
A huge thanks to Shawn for taking the time to sit down and let us get to know him.
Building and fabricating is only half the fun...