After receiving avid interest from professionals in the sector with a total of 20 registrations, the team have shortlisted eight finalists, including: Jack Smith from Forged from Flake; Rob Hendrick from Brit Built Customs Ltd; Julian Woodstock from Colchester College; Becca Denton from Bex Airbrushing; Rhisiart Griffith from RWG Built; Ian Boultwood from Bespoke Autostyling, Ashleigh Shaw from Autobodyworx and Hannah Pusey from Sprayaway Group Limited working with Airartz.
With the Championships being completely free to enter, those shortlisted are now tasked with designing the most impressive car bonnet to showcase their classic paint technique, in a bid to be crowned National Paint Champion.
The designs, which have a theme of ‘Mobility Royale,’ will be on display during the course of the show from 6th – 8th June, and a professional jury will decide on their favourite design live on stage at the show.
Rob Hendrick is looking forward to starting work on his design, commenting: "It is an honour to be considered for the finals. It will be quite the challenge to compete against some incredible talent, and I'm excited to see the calibre of work on show."
Equally as excited, Jack Smith said: "I'm looking forward to being in the finalists of the National Paint Championships, as people will get to see my artwork outside of the normal lowrider community and it will hopefully inspire other UK painters to try the lowrider style custom paintwork."
Julian Woodstock added his thoughts on the opportunities that the competition brings: “I am excited about competing, as it gives me an excuse to experiment with the use of different paint materials and combinations of techniques. I think to have the chance to show off my skills to other people who can appreciate the amount of work required to come up with the finished product is a really interesting prospect.
“On one hand I hope they appreciate what I've done; on the other I know there will be people who will be able to spot the tiny mistakes I will inevitably make. However, I am firmly in the belief that these mistakes should be embraced by custom painters, as perfection can be achieved by computers, but real creativeness can only be done by people with passion for their craft.”
Rhisiart Griffith also commented: “I’m excited and honoured to be shortlisted for this competition as I feel it’s an opportunity to ‘go mad’ and show the public what I’m capable of.
“It’s hard to find an opportunity like this where I can come up with something special to showcase my own style of custom paintwork and I will be documenting as much of the process as possible on my own Instagram page @kultureofkos.
“Hopefully this competition will inspire future custom painters to hone their skills and give them ideas on how to improve and make their own work stand out from the crowd.”
On the panel will be a total of six established judges from within the bodyshop and collision repair industry, including: Rachel Murray, finisher and owner of Paint by Rach; Michael Massey, global paint finishing platform application engineer for the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division; Simon Wait, head of editorial at Bodyshop Magazine; Jordan Salt, managing director of R+R Coatings; Sunny Yip, car body repair technician of Auto Spray and; Craig Bourke, technical sales support engineer at Walcom Walmec UK.
And there’s more, as the general public is invited to vote for their favourite motif, as participants go head-to-head to battle it out for the People's Choice Award.
Alex Jones, marketing director of Messe Frankfurt UK, organisers of Automechanika Birmingham, said: “The Championships have been extremely popular and the talent showcased was phenomenal – it was really difficult to narrow down the finalists to just eight. We’re now wishing those shortlisted the best of luck and can’t wait to see the creative designs they come up with.”
The design must be executed to the highest standards but not exceed 50 hours in total to produce.
All finalists will automatically be included in both categories: The National Paint Champion and the People's Choice.