How artist Vexx painted the Porsche Vision Gran Turismo
Bringing the ultimate canvas to colourful life at Gamescom 2022
Artist Vexx sitting next to Porsche painted with colourful cartoons
The exciting artist Vexx hand-painted the Porsche Vision GT live at the Gamescom gaming convention in his signature style. Now, this very special art car is available to digitally race in Gran Turismo 7
With his vibrant, cartoonish style, 24-year-old Belgian artist Vexx is making a big name for himself in the world of art. So when he was invited by Porsche to paint the exterior of the striking Porsche Vision GT concept car at Gamescom in Cologne – one of the largest events on the gaming calendar – it was always going to be a huge event.During a brief break at the event, Vexx took time out to talk about what it was like to design and paint the exterior of the real-life Porsche Vision GT showcar – built to mirror the game’s vehicle and the only one in existence. Not only did Vexx hand-paint this unique vehicle, it has also been created in digital form to be unlocked and driven in the game itself. Here’s the lowdown on this ground-breaking concept car and collaboration – one which included Vexx creating an exclusive collector’s model, car hood and limited-edition PUMA fashion collection – as well as the Brussels artist’s exciting creative journey.
Front view of white Porsche Vision GT, transparent roof raised
Blank canvas: the Porsche Vision GT that awaited Vexx’s artistic touch
How did this Porsche art car project come about?"I was approached about the idea way back in 2020. Porsche loved my art, which was super nice to hear. But when we were all set to take this project forward, the pandemic hit. That put a stopper on it for almost two years. But while we were waiting, other creative ideas came to the fore, like a PUMA clothing collection and then the limited-edition model car and hood designs. Everything today is the product of two years of working together." Your design for the life-sized Porsche Vision GT was used for the in-game car too – how much experience had you before with digital drawings? "This was actually one of my first ever digital drawings. I only properly started drawing digitally during the pandemic. I created a colouring book called Creatopia, which was essentially my maiden voyage into that world. The colouring book was of course black and white, so the Porsche Vision GT was my first digital art project using colour. It’s strange to think that right now, as I’m painting the real car, that it’s a two-year-old drawing. We originally planned to do this long ago. It’s fortunate that I still like the design and colours!"
Artist painting light blue and red shapes onto Porsche concept car
Vexx spent many hours each day at Gamescom – sometimes well past midnight – painting the bodywork of the Porsche Vision GT by hand
How did you originally discover your passion for Porsche?"I’ve been into cars – and specifically drawing them – since I was a little a kid. At that point I only drew their side view because it was easier! It made me want to design my own car. Since my dad’s favourite brand was Porsche, that’s exactly what I drew. As I was only around five years old, my drawings didn’t look anything like Porsche cars, but I produced them in droves. I had this huge stack of them.""Eventually, when I was about 12, I went to the Auto Salon convention [in Brussels] with my drawings, marched up to the Porsche stand and proudly showed my artwork to the people there. They were so nice and encouraging, telling me how amazing my art was, and that I could email them. As you can imagine, I was over the moon and went home, immediately scanned them and sent a big email over. Of course, I now understand as an adult why my childhood drawings didn’t end up going into production. I would genuinely love to see a real Porsche car designed by a 12-year-old, though. One with wild lines, spiky wheels and everything. It would be horrifying and cool all at once."
Rear view of Porsche Vision GT covered in bold cartoons
Checkmate: Vexx started with these red and white squares and built up his design for the Vision GT from there
You have a very recognisable style – how did it come about?"I found it pretty early on and have remained very passionate about improving it since. I started off doodling in black and white in mostly circular shapes, and these evolved into colourful doodles with lots of different forms. I believe that your style represents who you are, and once you have grasped that, you build on it. The first time you try it out, like anything, it’s not going to be a masterpiece, but you have to be patient and passionate about getting better. Being distinctive will make you stand out." How did you decide what to paint on the Porsche Vision GT?"The first lines that I drew were the red and white chequers on the bottom of the car, because these shapes follow how the car is built. I felt like there were natural lines, so I started off there and expanded them. I like that this also represents the pattern of the chequered flag at the finish line on a racetrack."
Porsche Vision GT art car covered in colourful cartoon doodles
Vexx’s real-life version of the Porsche Vision GT can now be virtually raced in the Gran Turismo 7 game
"I also focused on symmetry when deciding on how and where to paint. Since cars are symmetrical, I wanted to be able to have a straight line down the middle. I didn’t want my work to be identical on either side. If you look closely, you’ll see the same structure on both sides, but the art is not a complete copy and paste. My doodles then make up the rest of the car’s artwork. I didn’t want them to be completely obvious. For example, you’ll find a horse, in a nod to the Porsche crest, but it’s super cartoony. There are also some flowers with PlayStation buttons at their centre – a more subtle reference to the Gran Turismo 7 game in which you can virtually drive this car.""It was a unique process. Initially it was the wheels that were the first things that caught my eye since they’re pretty much the highest points of the car. The rest was more of a freestyle approach, almost ignoring the form of the car and just painting the design. But the starting point was for sure all about the form."How long has the process at Gamescom taken? "We arrived two days before Gamescom officially began. This allowed time to sketch the outlines on the car, which was actually very difficult. The sketching is integral because it’s the basis for everything. If you go too fast, you’re going to make the rest of the work so much tougher. On the second day, we worked late into the evening. Certain shapes of the car made it tricky, and I even had to draw upside down at points to access a part of the car at the angle I needed to."
Close-up of bright cartoon designs on car including a horse and ghost
Vexx’s signature cartoonish, doodle style gave a unique twist to a Porsche-inspired horse on the art car
"Since we’ve been painting live at the event itself with all the Gamescom attendees here, we’ve been working eight to ten hours per day with breaks. Although one of the most intense days lasted 16 hours – me and my assistant Gab Lo were painting until 2am. Finishing that late wasn’t smart, because sleep is so important for your productivity. It will have been a week-long effort by the time we finish tomorrow – two days of sketching, three colouring and two inking. Right now, the idea of sleep at the end of tomorrow sounds pretty good!"What other challenges arose when painting this Porsche art car?"It's physically demanding, believe it or not. I woke up today with sore legs due to spending so much time lying, crouching and sitting in strange positions because the car is so low, and some spots are difficult to get to. If I ever do another project like this, I would put the car on a small lift so that it is higher off the ground.""When it comes to digital design, it’s of course possible to tweak anything, but when you’re painting on a real car it’s very difficult to change things. You essentially have one shot. One of the additional challenges was that the paint needs multiple layers, which significantly adds onto the time required. The red paint needed five individual layers. That’s why we planned in three days for colouring and two days for inking – which is adding the distinct blank lines around the shapes. When colouring, there’s room for error, but when it comes to inking, it’s final."
Man driving Porsche Vision GT in simulator; model car version
Vexx’s Vision GT artwork is a versatile performer. As well as the car and the game version, it’s also seen on a Porsche scale model car
"I haven’t found it too mentally demanding to concentrate, despite the hustle and bustle, as I can find my focus zone quite easily and somehow forget that there are people around me. It’s only when I realise that I’ve been painting slower than I thought that I get mentally irritated. Music is a big help with this. I wear noise cancelling headphones and I’m listening to a lot of Drake. Right now, I have the new Lil Silva album on: Yesterday is Heavy. For me, this is the kind of music that just helps me find my flow."How do you stay focused while working at a live event like Gamescom?"I haven’t found it too mentally demanding to concentrate, despite the hustle and bustle, as I can find my focus zone quite easily and somehow forget that there are people around me. It’s only when I realise that I’ve been painting slower than I thought that I get mentally irritated. Music is a big help with this. I wear noise cancelling headphones and I’m listening to a lot of Drake. Right now, I have the new Lil Silva album on: Yesterday is Heavy. For me, this is the kind of music that just helps me find my flow."Gamers can also drive your Porsche Vision GT design in Gran Turismo. What was it like first seeing it in digital form?"It was crazy. I love it when other creative people can use my art in a different way or in an alternative field to my own. There’s so much out there to experiment with – even new mediums. I’ve done some 3D design, for example, but I’ve not explored the world of NFTs. Maybe I could learn, but it’s more fun – as well as more efficient – for me to outsource something like that to masters of their craft. I’m the person who generates ideas and designs. This was similar with Gran Turismo and the Porsche Vision GT. I designed the car, and then it was brought to digital life by those with the know-how. Games are artworks in my eyes, so seeing this car live within a different environment and be driven by people all over the world was just incredible."
Vexx smiling, sitting against front wheel of Porsche Vision GT
Vexx was all-smiles after completing his impressive week of painting at Gamescom
Have you had a go at driving it for yourself in Gran Turismo yet?"I have, but I suck at driving it! Every lap, I get a little bit better. I need to go spend an hour in the simulator here at Gamescom – maybe there’s more time for that once the art car is done. It’s a lot of fun to drive in the game, and takes a lot of concentration. Right now though, I better back get to painting the real thing. It’s been a great ride so far."Want to race the Porsche Vision GT for yourself? Find out exactly how you can apply the Vexx livery in Gran Turismo 7 here.
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