Frankie Zombie’s portfolio includes bespoke shoes, handbags, furniture and even pianos, all reflecting his unique style.
The Spartanburg-based artist has created art for music moguls like Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus, and Celine Dion.
This weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series “Art Cars” feature Frankie Zombie’s creations. His No. 78 Ford driven by BJ MacLeod of Live Fast Motorsports His Mustang will showcase his lap custom of Zombie’s design at Sunday’s race at Miami Homestead Speedway (NBC , 2:30 p.m.).
For Zombie, gaining exposure in the world of NASCAR is a career highlight. A 2007 graduate of Dorman University, he is the first black artist to design an “art car” for a NASCAR driver.
“Every project is different, but this one is very important to me,” Zombie said in a video interview with the Herald Journal on the way to Miami. I remember racing in (Rainbow Warrior) cars, I remember all the colors of all the cars, it was color overload, I was like a kid in a candy store.”
He’s particularly proud of his breakthrough in NASCAR, a sport that struggles with diversity and inclusivity.
“I’ve looked up to someone like Bubba Wallace who’s gone through a lot of culture clashes to feel welcome in the world of NASCAR,” Zombie said. There are many different ways to put it together.”
For Zombie, it’s more than a paint scheme
The Jetsons caught Zombie’s attention as a child. He lived in the Bronx with his aunt and uncle at the time. He is drawn to his bright pastel colors used in classic Hannah Barbera animations, as evidenced by “Art His Car” and throughout his Zombie work.
Besides, futuristic cartoons captured his imagination.
“In the Bronx, about 99% of the people I saw were Black, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, or Asian. I was just daydreaming about this cartoon, recreate your neighbors and act out that scene,” he said. “[In my work]you see a lot of the Jetsons pastel palettes and angles, and I wanted to make it my own.”
Zombie said his use of bright colors is also symbolic of his emotions. His mother has been battling breast cancer for four years. Working with pastels inspires his family, friends, fans and himself during difficult times. The hood and roof of McLeod’s car are bright pink in homage to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“For me, dark colors often represent pain and scars. When my mother started battling cancer, I said, ‘From now on, I’m going to use only light colors.'” We want to help people change their perspectives, minds and hearts through color. “
“No Fear” is written on the car in honor of his mother’s struggles, but Zombie said its paint scheme resonated with McLeod and members of his Live Fast Motorsports team as well.
“Once we start talking about paint schemes, we’re both going through the same thing. I’m helping my mother on her journey. BJ (MacLeod) is going through different things. We’re fighting the visual arts.We can help you on your journey.”
How did Frankie Zombie connect with NASCAR?
Zombie has partnered with Motorsport Games, which specializes in racing game development and publishing, as well as esports.
The partnership live fast motorsporthelping Zombie and his art reach people through charity events.
In addition to designing custom wraps for McLeod’s Mustang, Zombie will be appearing at a live painting event at Homestead-Miami Speedway’s Dixie Vodka 400 this weekend. He also appeared at the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor He Speedway earlier this month.
Like Charlotte, Zombie paints additional car hoods with custom-designed wraps and is raffled for charity. Proceeds will go to Speedway Children’s Charity and NASCAR Foundation.
“As part of this, it was important to give back,” Zombie said. “It’s not just art. It’s about helping people and connecting through acts of equality and selflessness.”
While NASCAR remains a traditional sport with traditional paint schemes and sponsorships, Zombie hopes his work at Live Fast and Motorsports Games will help break the mold. The partnership marks the second time the “art car” has been featured in NASCAR. In 2000, the late Dale Earnhardt drove a car in a colorful scheme by artist Peter Max.
According to Zombie, it took about three weeks to create, perfect, and fine-tune the digital design for Live Fast’s custom wrap. Previously, he designed a Mercedes-Benz SUV for the Formula 1 event in Miami, bringing motorsports to the attention of his game.
“I hope more drivers reach out to more visual artists. This is the moment these two worlds get to know each other,” he said. “Honestly, when I first went to the track at the Motorsport Games, I doubted if I would be accepted because I am black. , it’s all love and great energy.”
Zombie also featured a new favorite spectator sport.
“I’d rather experience the pit road than the courtside NBA championship. Nothing can match that adrenaline,” he said.
Custom wrapping can be downloaded from Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and streaming packages. NASCAR 21: Ignition Victory Edition players can now race in a zombie scheme.
Frankie Zombie’s Love for Spartanburg
Zombies say they stay out for “80 to 85 percent of the year.”
In 2009, he changed the artist’s last name from “Page” to “Zombie” while attending Queen’s University in Charlotte.
“I was in college, had a 9-to-5 job, and was a music producer. I might have slept two or three hours a day,” he said. “I had a friend in Spartanburg and she called me and left me a message saying, ‘I know you’re up, Mr. Zombie.’ After that, it evolves into Mr. Franky Zombie. I decided to name the word. “
His tireless work ethic and challenges continue. He spends a lot of time in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Charlotte. But Spartanburg is home to artists in action.
Zombies’ moving presence and colorful art can be found throughout Hub City. He organized the Black His Lives His Matter Mural on West Broad Street in downtown Spartanburg. He painted a mural in the hallway of the Cleveland Academy of Leadership with the quotes “I promise to dream” and “I promise to Lead.”
Examples of his work can also be found at the Bethlehem Center, the Mary H. Wright Basketball Court, and Cleveland Park in Spartanburg. RJ Rockers Brewing His Company features colorful zombie murals. Eat Street Grill’s food truck also has a zombie design.
“Family is a big part of me in Spartanburg, but you also have a stubborn part. People say, ‘You can’t live in a small town.’ Until I realized it helped me find a rebirth in my art when I returned to my hometown.The city and community supported it.
“My first art exhibition and my first mural was Spartanburg. It helped me blossom on my journey.”