Barron Storey Went to Bat for His “Car and Driver” Artwork
Barron Storey is an accomplished illustrator and fine artist, with one of his most famous pieces of art being the cover of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Other book covers he has illustrated are War and Peace and The Good Earth and has created illustrations for magazines such as Boys’ Life, Reader’s Digest, National Geographic, and Car and Driver. He has a painting of a South American rainforest hanging in New York City’s American Museum of Natural History, and a painting of the 1979 space shuttle hanging in D.C.’s Air and Space Museum as well as some portraits for Time magazine in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
Storey began his career working in advertising and studying art on the side at the School of Visual Arts. He currently teaches at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, San Jose State University, and Pixar Studios and creates comics.
Though not typical subjects of his art, Barron Storey has also created some car and motorcycle artwork. In an Escape from Illustration Island: Episode 56 interview he did with Thomas James, Storey said the following of some illustration samples he created for Car and Driver:
“The motorcycle thing was something I never even thought of as a potential illustration market. It seemed sort of ‘beneath me’ to play up my teenage motorcycle fetish. All the illustrators I admired were doing much more ambitious things.”
“I lived across the hall from a wonderful young friend who was assistant art director at Car and Driver magazine. He knew about my motorcycle thing. He said, “We’re thinking about doing an article on motorcycles…Why don’t you do some samples?…Maybe you could get that job.”
And I just scoffed at the idea…I am just not that kind of an illustrator. I’m not going to do ‘buff’ illustrations, I’m going to do serious things. And he said, “You don’t know anything about serious things, you know about motorcycles. So do the damn samples!”
“…I was reluctant…but I did ’em. The irony is that the terrific art director they had at Car and Driver just didn’t like my work at all. But for once in my life I knew something I did was great… and it didn’t matter to me that it had been rejected… for once in my life I felt so good about something I had created that I was ready to go to bat for it—to do the work to get it printed.”