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Hand Painted Food Truck or Vinyl Wrap?

Posted on 07/23/2020 by Tammie Nolte, Big Fat Writer

Is a food truck a work of art? To find a following, a food truck needs to catch eyes and stand out on a crowded street or at festival. A mural maker and a graffiti painter from Austin explain several reasons why original art is more fitting for a food truck.

  • MEET TWO AUSTIN FOOD TRUCK MURALIST

    Austin, Texas is considered the capital of food trucks and is also a very artsy part of the state. Helena Sue Martin is a mural painter and Jay Rivera is a graffiti painter both based in Austin and with work all over the state and world. The muralists shared some of their work and discuss what hand painting brings to food trucks.

    Photo: Recently completed food truck mural by Helena Martin and Jen Briner.

    MEET TWO AUSTIN FOOD TRUCK MURALIST
  • QUESTIONS FOR ARTIST HELENA SUE MARTIN

    Helena's mural projects usually involve community inclusiveness. She brings in local groups like Girl Scouts and teaches painting techniques and skills which is a win for everyone.

    Food trucks are changing hands all the time in the city. New trucks, new owners, or upgrades. By bringing in an artist and involvement from the community, a new truck or trailer can gain more attention as a rolling art work.

    1. Why do you want to paint food trucks?
    Food Trucks are quintessential entrepreneurship. As a small business owner myself, I love to support other people trying to do their own thing and live their dreams!

    2. What are the things you love to paint?
    Nature! Animals, plants and portraiture are my favorites.

    3. What would be cool about paintinga food truck?
    Food Trucks are fun because the clients are usually tenacious and hardworking, two qualities I really like in humans!

    4. What is your background?
    I have a background in science, actually. A BS in Biology and MS in Medical Illustration. I worked a medical animation studio before I decided to quit my job and pursue art as a full time occupation!

    5. How did you end up getting Austin mural gigs?
    It started with me hustling at the local graffiti park. I would show up and paint, and sell t-shirts and prints of my work. Eventually, people started hitting me up with small budget work like “paint the side of my house and I’ll make you lunch” type stuff. Gigs grew from there! Back then I didn’t have a car. I remember the bus driver questioning me bringing my ladder and paint on the bus!

    6. How much does hand painting a truck or trailer cost?
    Food trucks are a lot more work than a wall mural, because they are usually metal, which required a lot more prepping in terms of sanding and primer that most walls.In order to keep myself afloat, I charge $25-35/sq ft, and for a food truck.

    See Helena's work on her website or Instagram or Facebook.

    QUESTIONS FOR ARTIST HELENA SUE MARTIN
  • PROS OF HAND PAINTING A FOOD TRUCK

    The food truck market is crowded and competitive. Customers come back to a food vendor for good food and not the paint job. Having a truck that has local appeal and sets a backdrop for events and weddings is a way to increase profit and build new income streams. Here are a few reasons to go with hand painting:

    • Homegrown - Hand painting gives a truck a DIY, homegrown feel that matches the ethos of food truck entepeneuership.
    • Originality - A food truck with an original paint job becomes rolling art, reconizable and Instgramable.
    • Special effects - Hand paintinig can makea truck vintage, or retro, from the 50s or 70s. That's hard to acheive with a wrap.
    • Community support - Local artists are supporteed, not once, but everytime a food truck makes an appearance. Artists get attention and so does the truck.
    • Progress - Food truck fans love to see the progress. Artist and art can bring attention to a truck before business starts.
    • Costs - Pricing is usually comparable to a wrap. An artist can divide the work and payments while the front, back and sides are being done over the weeks.

    MEET A FOOD TRUCK GRAFFITI ARTIST - JAY RIVERA

    PROS OF HAND PAINTING A FOOD TRUCK
  • QUESTIONS FOR JAY OF LACED AND FOUND

    You may have seen Jay Rivera's work in the news when his Kobe Bryant memorial mural was defaced in Austin. For food truck owners who would like a personal portrait, this is where Jay stands out.

    Some say wraps are faster, but graffiti artists can be speedy. Laced and Found painted the entire 26 foot Juiceton Food Truck with the Ninja Turtle in 14 hours split into two days. And Jay's work is very social media shareworthy and 'instagramable'.

    1. What does hand painting bring to a food truck that a wrap cannot?
    Graffiti gives the truck a personal touch, something no one else has and also allows the owner to put their personal vibe on it. Just as the food is unique and handmade so is the art.

    2. What are the things you love to paint?
    I personally love painting portraits and collaging elements that are not supposed to go together. Vibrant big bold images that are full of color.

    3. What is your artistic background, how did you get started?
    I started graffiti at 14 and it really stuck. I joined the military in 1998 and retired in 2015. I started Laced and Found in January of 2018.

    4. Always important, what does it cost to have a food truck painted by Lace & Found?
    We charge $10 per sq ft. This covers all paint and labor. The only extra thing we charge for would be a scissor lift if one is needed.

    5. You're painting all over the place, but where are you based? Would you travel to paint a truck?
    Yes we reside in Round Rock which is basically 5 minutes from Austin. And yes, we definitely would travel anywhere in the world to paint.

    Follow Jay Rivera and his art on LacedAndFound Instagram.

    QUESTIONS FOR JAY OF LACED AND FOUND
  • OTHER FOOD TRUCK ARTISTS FROM AROUND THE US

    A few quick picks of more hand painted trucks by local artists in various US cities. Click the artists and trucks to follow or see more art.

    MIAMI - NATE DEE
    ODELL'S BBQ FOOD TRUCK




    ARIZONA - JESSE PERRY
    DOUGHLICIOUS DESSERTS TRUCK




    KANSAS CITY - LUCID ARTS & SIKE STYLE
    WILMA'S FOOD TRUCK

  • FiND A BEAUTIFUL & YUMMY FOOD TRUCK

    Let us know about more beautiful trucks and local artists. We'd love to feature them on our social pages with credit. To support local trucks, follow us and all the artist and trucks on Facebook & Instagram.

    REQUEST A FOOD TRUCK

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