Each Christmas, the Bikerumor staff produce wish lists featuring our most lusted-after bikes, components, and other cycling-related miscellany. Last year I expressed my desire to have a bike or accessory custom-painted by someone with far better artistic abilities than I. At the time I featured Painthouse Customs, as I’d seen a few examples of Stacey Gabriel’s incredible work. Shortly after writing that piece, I remembered there was some artistic talent closer to home, and ended up sending off an old BMX helmet to see what my cousin Devin Chedour could do with it.
To make one thing clear, I had no intention of using Bikerumor to promote my cousin’s work – I assumed this was just a one-off, family deal. However, after our Editor-in-Chief Tyler saw the finished helmet on my Facebook page, he said we should write up a piece about it. This is the first bike helmet Chedour has ever painted, but he enjoyed the experience and is keen to create more for other riders looking to show off their style or personality. All that said, we kinda felt we needed to share. It really did turn out to be pretty cool. Read on for the details of how my helmet was created, and what Chedour could offer to other cyclists…
Chedour has been practicing many mediums of art since a young age, and studied digital animation at St. Clair College in his hometown of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Under the freelance brand DC Artwork he’s produced commissioned works as broad as digital and hand-drawn designs, paintings, corporate logos, album artwork, and custom-painted objects including guitars, golf clubs, paddles, plus hockey and motorcycle helmets. More recently Chedour has even spread out more apprenticing as a tattoo artist in Windsor.
The paintjob on my ‘skulls over mountain terrain’ themed helmet was laid out by hand after Chedour sanded down the BMX shell and taped it off. Several layers of flat white paint allowed the design to be sketched out. I had described by email what I wanted, and got a few photos of the initial sketch before painting began. Once I gave the go-ahead, Chedour got to work and created the awesome design you see here. Once done painting, the helmet was clear coated to keep the design intact.
For prospective customers, the process would be essentially the same. In short, just get in touch with Chedour and describe (and possibly provide reference images for) the desired design. After the helmet is sketched out, photos will be sent for final approval before paint hits the shell. In some cases, Chedour can even send a photoshop ‘mock-up’ of the proposed design. Once the green light is given, customers should expect a wait time of approximately 1-2 months. While my helmet was hand-painted, Chedour also works with airbrushes and can employ them as needed, depending on the design concept.
One thing to consider is whether or not your custom helmet will be just for display, or if you intend to ride it. While mine was meant to hang on the wall, Chedour can work with multiple layers of clear coat to protect the paintjob as much as possible. From his experience he expects this will prevent damage from minor knocks and small branch scrapes, but a crash or major impact would very likely take its toll on the paint work. Obviously we didn’t take this out to the trail to test the durability, so we’ll can say much on how it will survive in the real world. If anyone does wreck their design, Chedour is open to the idea of repairing it for some reasonable additional cost.
As is typical with commissioned art, Chedour would require a deposit (minimum $60 CDN) to cover his time spent creating the design. Assuming the design is approved, this deposit would come off the final price of the helmet. As for cost estimates, Chedour says he’ll consider each case individually and charge either an hourly rate of $50 or a daily rate of $250 per day. To give you an idea, my ‘mountain skulls’ helmet took about 12 hours to complete, so it isn’t something for the faint of heart. ($600 Canadian is still about $460 in US greenbacks.)
Chedour is willing to ship to and from anywhere within Canada and the USA, and any shipping fees would just be billed directly separately from the cost of the work itself. Payments can be made through Paypal or email money transfer. For a look at Chedour’s various works or to contact the artist, check out DC Artwork’s website.