The Tartanmobile art car a 86 Toyota Camry was just sent in by Megan Kilian who painted her car based on a family tartan. Here is what Megan had to say.
I had been thinking of painting a car plaid for several years, and had the opportunity when I moved back to San Francisco after several car-less years in Hong Kong and NYC. After studying all kinds of cool patterns, I chose this particular design because it is a Thompson family tartan, and I liked the idea of the pattern referring to my heritage instead of just being chosen randomly.
It began as a solid grey 1986 Toyota Camry that I purchased last October. At the time I bought it, the car had been owned for its entire life by one elderly Ukrainian man in San Francisco ’s Richmond district, who had put only 155,000 miles on it in 22 years, and had taken very good care of it. I’ve had a few minor issues: replaced the radiator and the water pump, but for the most part it has taken good care of me this year. I love that it was built while I was in junior high, and that the tape player still works, so I can play all my cassettes from high school while getting where I need to go.
I teach theatre classes in elementary schools around the Bay Area, and it has been fun to watch my students react to its progress as each layer of plaid was added. Kids love it—I’d like to think I’m triggering something in their brains that tells them they can express themselves creatively and uniquely. I finished the paint job over this summer and can’t wait to see their reactions once I begin teaching again this month!
Cheers, Megan Kilian