I’ve Seen Stranger Things

Written by Team USA. Posted in Driver Blogs, Feature, Neil Alberico

Published on March 10, 2014 with No Comments

Redlands, Calif. – Wow, does it feel good to be in one place for at least a week! Between my most recent trip to New Zealand for the Team USA Scholarship and the 2014 Pro Mazda Cooper Tire Winterfest I have hardly had a second to relax. It been a good thing though… I’ve been keeping super busy with the new Rising Star Racing program as well as preparing for the first race of the season and everything that comes along with it. Not to mention I have found time to start messing around with a small clothing line. The clothing deal has been something I’ve talked about for years with a friend of mine, and it’s been one of those things where we finally said, “We need to stop talking about this and just do something with it.” Who knows, maybe it will take off? I’ve seen stranger things.

On my way back from Winterfest, I had a brand spankin’ new GP6RC waiting for me at home courtesy of the boys at Arai. In the meantime, I was thinking about changing up my helmet design and I just couldn’t decide on a painter. Lucky Design in Italy has done my past three lids but I just can’t be bothered to send that thing overseas again just to wait three months for it to get finished. Don’t get me wrong, they do great work but I wanted to get something done quick and I wanted something different than your average lines and airbrushed helmet art. After a ton of research, I found Jimbo Phillips. He’s a local guy close to my parents’ house who does a lot of eye-popping graphics with tons of juicy colors and things like that. His dad designed all the graphics for Santa Cruz Skateboards in the ’70s and ’80s. Now, I think he does most of their stuff. Anyway, I’m just looking forward to a super rad helmet this year that’s going to be way different than the usual. Keep your bananas peeled for that one, folks.

I was also able to sit down with the guys at OMP and set up a design for this year’s suit and I think it’s going to turn out great. We decided to go pretty radical and include everything from neon colors to zebra stripes… Picture that one.

The clothing company shenanigans came together fairly quick. I think that’s partially because I’ve been designing and doing research for years before I decided to anything with it. So really it was all ready to go, I just had to find time to get the wheels turning. I have had a lot of encouragement and inspiration from my old art and photography teacher from high school, Alex. I met up with him while I was at my parents’ house in between New Zealand and Winterfest. We just sat down, had lunch, and he showed me his little studio where he gets funky with all his artwork. Basically, that was that “eureka” moment for me. I left his place so psyched to have some fun with this whole t-shirt thing. I guess I was just looking for ways to be creative and possibly make a little dough. I’ve always been super into art, drawing, photography, designing, and things like that. Call it fun. Call it passion. Whatever you want to call it, I find it enjoyable.

I have this little office space I filled with a desk my dad and I built for 10 bucks. I’m actually sitting at it right now. The top came from an old shipping crate I found behind the garage. Each leg was made from redwood and cedar posts my dad used to build a fence years ago. The leg supports came from our wood burn pile in the backyard, and the extra wood slivers made for exceptional coasters. So there you have it… One can of ancient wood lacquer and a $10 box of screws later, we had ourselves a workstation.

Okay, well I’m going to check in for my flight tomorrow so I’ll let you guys marinate on that. I’m trying to keep these things shorter because I don’t want to keep you glued to the computer all day. Get outside and make things happen.

Whatever you do, wake up happy!

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