Renowned automobile artist Art M. Fitzpatrick ("Fitz") has lived the artist's dream, rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in business and entertainment at the most exclusive car shows in the country.
Best known for his long career in automobile advertising, Fitz has been credited with more than 1,400 magazine illustrations and won more than 40 art and design awards. He received a screen credit for his work as a consultant for the Disney Pixar movie "Cars" and co-authored and illustrated a book, Pontiac Pizazz!, (available at geetotiger.com) with Jim Wangers in 2007.
Fitz has also created the art for the "America on the Move: 50s Sporty Cars" series, released in August 2005 at the Woodward Dream Cruise. In six months, the series became one of the top 25 commemorative stamps of all-time - 38,000,000 were sold to collectors and the postcards became the best selling postcards of the year, beating out Disney cards by more than two to one. The collection won a Silver Creativity Award in Art and Illustration, and a painting of the 1953 Corvette from the series now hangs in the Smithsonian. A second series of stamps, “America on the Move: 50s Fins and Chrome,” will be released October 3, 2008.
"People still approach me to sign advertisements they've collected," said Fitz. "My efforts are credited to playing a key role in making the '60s the Decade of Pontiac. The success of those ads played a major role in my selection as the car stamp artist for the United States Postal
Service …We expect the second series to be even more exciting than the first."
Fitz grew up in a family of artists - his father painted backgrounds for Walt Disney and his grandfather was a famous architect.
Continuing that tradition, at age 11, he began taking weekend art classes at the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts (now the College for Creative Studies), and by age 20 he was working in Hollywood with Howard “Dutch” Darrin designing and custom-building cars for such clients as Clark Gable, Errol Flynn and Al Jolson.
While pursuing his advertising career, Fitz received offers for major advertising and design positions from numerous companies, eventually signing a deal to provide exclusive automobile advertising services to General Motors in 1953. He worked on the Buick account and the top four lines of Opel for GM/Europe, but devoted most of his career to the award-winning Pontiac advertising campaign that still resonates today.
Fitz credits CCS with helping him to develop his effective, art-centric advertising style.
"Pontiac wanted ads that looked different," explained Fitz. "By 1968, most of the print advertising used photography. Our paintings and illustrations stood out among all of the photos."
More of Fitz’s work can be viewed at www.fitz-art.com.
- Employer: Freelance
- Title: Advertiser/Illustrator
Designed and created by DDM Marketing & Communications.