If like me, you love hanging your favourite racing car on the wall, then look no further than Alex from lastcornerprints.com. He’s carved out a fantastic niche in illustratiing some of the world’s finest racing cars including Formula 1, Le Mans Prototypes and GT’s. I got to speak with Alex about how his business Last Corner Prints started and what it’s all about…
Alex! First of all, great to meet you and a great website / business you have! Tell me how long you’ve been running Last Corner Prints, and how did it start?
First, please excuse my English as I’m French 😅
Well, I created Last Corner 2 years and a half ago (mid 2017). It’s quite brand new and all started the day I stopped photography. I was fed up with digital cameras and the way photos were so easy to make and modify/retouch using Photoshop or Lightroom. I grew up with the argentic process and the post-treatment of the digital photos simply disappointed me, well, disgusted me! Then, I decided to draw classic racing cars in a side view to immortalised their pure shapes, to stay in an artistic zone and to satisfy myself with a new challenge. The first one I drew was the McLaren MP4/4 1988 A. Senna, just to see what I could do instead of photography and what the result would be. It was really tricky especially with the reflections and the shadows and the car is not as good as my work that followed, but once it finished my eldest son Théo told me the result was awesome! “Why not create prints for Petrolheads, Dad? You should create an Instagram account and share your MP4/4 just to see what motorsport lovers think”. I then opened an Instagram account and as the welcome was really warm and friendly, I just pushed the adventure further…
The quality and detail in all of your work is exceptional – describe the process from commissioning an idea to its final version.
First of all, I do a lot of researches (Google images, Pinterest, …). Once I have a good amount of clean photos using Illustrator I start to draw the lines of force of the car:
Then the wheels which are the most difficult part to draw because of their geometric and often symmetric shapes (easy on the screenshot below):
I start to put the wheels and the tyres in colours:
After this I colourise all the different ‘accessories’:
Then the decals and sponsors (pretty simple on this Lotus 25 😉):
The additional colour if needed (here the yellow):
And it’s finished with Illustrator… I add now the shadows with Photoshop:
and the reflections:
The Lotus 25 is nearly finished, I make appear the decals, the accessories, the wheels and the shadow underneath the car:
Just have to add the driver’s helmet on the wheel, in this case Jim Clark (same process as drawing the car) and this little Lotus 25-Climax is ready to be integrated in a print. I have to choose a nice background and to drive the track where the car and the driver where particularly brilliant:
You’ve drawn many types of cars and from many different eras. Where does your passion in motorsport lie and do you have a favourite category/period of racing?
Is far as I can remember, I have always been interested in motorsports. When I was a child, I often rummaged through the piles of my father’s F1 magazines, looking at all the photos. I also remember Sundays with the Formula 1 Grand Prix races in the background which my father watched religiously on TV. I did not understand much as a six years old boy but the seed of the passion for racing cars was sown in me, we were in 1977
My favourite cars are the end 60’s cars in all the categories (from 66 to 71). Their lines where so pure and timeless. For instance, the Porsche 917, Ferrari 512s and Lola MKII for endurance category or the McLaren M2B (beautiful little white F1 car) and same in north America…the Eagle Weslake or the Shelby Cobra or Daytona! Magnificent and wonderful cars!
I see you offer personalised commissions – how does that work and have you worked with any famous teams or drivers?
It’s quite simple, the interested client contacts me via my website or private message on Instagram or Facebook and I define a price for the car he wants to be drawn. It’s usually between €200 and €800 depending on the detail the car has. This price includes the print and a private page through my site allowing my client to view the building and to follow step-by-step his project coming to life https://lastcornerprints.com/bespoke
I have the chance to work for Sacha Prost (youngest son of Alain) through his brand 8Js, the GT3 endurance Team GPX RACING who won the last edition of the 24h of Spa with their Gulf Porsche GT3R and who I’m a partner with them with my logo on their car, BQ Motorsports Magny-cours which is a motorsport engineering company, Nicky Pastorelli (Dutch professional classic and modern racing cars driver), Rubens Barrichello and Kevin Estre.
Of all the work you’ve created to date, what is your favourite piece and why?
There is 2 in fact:
The McLaren M2B-Serenissima 1966 because of its magnificent line https://lastcornerprints.com/prints/mclaren-m2b-serenissima-b-mclaren-1966
and the Tyrrell 003-Ford 1971 because it was driven by one of my favorite driver Sir Jackie Stewart https://lastcornerprints.com/giclee-prints/p/tyrrell-003-1971-stewart
Alex, you are of course a Frenchman. And with me being British, it’s impossible to ignore that your logo is of course the Home of British Motorsport, Silverstone! How did that come about?
Well as a Frenchman I shouldn’t say that but for me the motorsport spirit and the Gentlemen driver way of thinking and being is totally British. I always had an infinite admiration for the British motorsport teams like Tyrrell, McLaren, Surtees, etc… and for the British and Scottish drivers hence the home of British motorsport in my logo: Silverstone 1952 to 1975 track.
Lastly what can we expect to see from Last Corner Prints in the future?
I really don’t know, I’ve no plan… I just draw what my clients ask me to draw and I’ll see where it will drive me but I have a wish… to do a book but time is missing a lot! Let’s wait and see!
A huge thank you to Alex for giving me some of his time! We’ll be launching a competition VERY SOON to win two pieces from Last Corner. Keep an eye out on our new competitions page for details later this week.