Ready to get back in the saddle again!



Hi, I'm Matt. I'm from a very small city in Western New York called Elmira. Before airbrushing I've had many artistic endevors, some commercial, some for fun. I have done fine art (oil on canvas), tattoo, and graphic design (product packaging, magazine ads). I spend about 4 years doing automotive airbrush work part time under the name Corby Customs. I had a lot of fun doing it, but the demand in my smallish area was not enough for me to think I could ever do this full time. In 2008, I went back to school to be a mechanical engineer, and graduated and started working full-time a little over a year ago. I attempted to still get a little extra income doing airbrushing motorcycles, helmets, and such, but in 2010 schooling got really tough, I had internships, and I really had to put the brush down.

So now it's 3 years later, things have calmed down a lot, and I'm ready to start painting again part-time. My goal is to get maybe a few jobs a year that can be done over a weekend or two. The money will help, but really I want to get back into it because I love to paint. The plan is to refer customers to a body shop to do all the heavy spraying, and come in and do the graphics and nothing else.

I would like to know how things have changed in the past 3 years in the automotive airbrush field. I know trends can come in and out very fast, and demand can swing wildly in a short amount of time. When I was last into airbrushing, the "west coast" style was still kicking, I hardly ever see these cars driving around anymore. Actually, in my area, I hardly ever see full-on custom painted cars anymore, only bikes, and maybe a truck tailgate here and there. What are the new trends? Is automotive airbrushing in a funk right now, or am I just not looking in the right places? I don't want to seem like an opportunistic capitalist here, but I really like it when I can get paid to have fun :)

Also, has there been any advancement in the laws and technology regarding water-based paint? Is it still legal to spray urethane basecoats and clearcoats? If not, what is any good? Last I was airbrushing, the only thing I could get to spray through my .2mm Micron-C nozzle was E'tac. I only did a couple test projects on it, but it seemed really limited with no specialty colors, and seemed to get damaged easily. Is there a better alternative for waterbased, or should I just stick to urethane if I can? Also, I know someone going to school for auto-body, and he claims there is waterbased clearcoat that is usable now? Is this really true, or will the first rock that hits it eat right through it? If there is any good water-based clear, can anyone recommend a brand?

I have done maybe a million different styles, but here are a couple examples of my work:

IMG_0663.jpgmoney shot.jpg


Love Spreading Overseer
Awesome work Matt and good to have you on board!
Just to answer some of your questions -
Createx wicked and auto air paints have advanced somewhat in the past few years and are creeping up on the urethane counterparts, however i wouldn't say that spray as smoothly as urethane's do out of the airbrush at this stage. In saying that, createx have just realised a new line of illustration paints which do not claim to be for automotive use but spray equally as nice as urethanes in my opinion. I believe this will be developed into an automotive technology sooner or later, but to be honest, the majority of internet based airbrushers that i see around are using water based paints, because of the reduced health risks.
I've heard nothing of water based automotive clears.. that would be interesting to find out about though.
Funny how airbrushing is, you're another example of someone who moves away from it at some stage and comes back to it after a number of years, once an airbrush artist, always an airbrush artist. you can't beat it! look forward to seeing your work:)


Gravity Guru
Nice work Matt and welcome from a fellow New Yorker. I'm from Long Island. In the northeast, most of the airbrush work is on bikes these days. Airbrushing a car or truck happens on rare occasions. Wish we had a low rider scene like the west coast, but there are extremely few of those floating around. Car-wise, muscle cars (old and new) are the most popular, but very few people airbrush those rides. You may want to learn to pinstripe as there are a lot of old hot rods and rat rods around here and many of them get striped rather than airbrushed. There are some great car show upstate that you may want to check out. See if you can find a copy of "Special Interest" newspaper as that has all the car show schedules and locations. As far as paint, there hasn't been any major changes in the laws. Most shops still use urethane base coats and clear coats. There is talk about water based clear coat, but I don't know anyone who uses it and I would stay away from it for now. I use mainly Wicked and Auto Air for airbrushing and I like the fact that I can use them at home in my garage and not stink up the house. I started with Etac, but also found it too delicate, but Bill Ewards came out with this new 2050 modifier that makes Etac very tough. If you use Wicked, buy only the detail colors as the pigment is ground much finer than regular Wicked. I spray it through my .21 Badger Krome with no problem.


Welcome to the forum from NH.

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welcome from honduras,hope you can call this place home as i do,collegue!!!by the way i have the same plan!!!!


Queen Clown Slayer
Hey matt welcome from the uk, more and more people are going waterbased here, as rules and regs are getting tighter. I've AB'd on waterbased base coats, they are softer, and easier to damage, but look good. I haven't tried a waterbased clear yet so am interested in what people think.