Race Fans Love Airbrushed Tees

Doing race events are always fun. So I was excited to go the Bojangles’ Southern 500 NASCAR race to paint some airbrushed tees.

I took one of my best buds and fellow airbrusher, Regis with me.

Our job was to personalize pre-printed t-shirts for Ally Financial, the major sponsor of the #48 car.  A car that is driven by seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.

Regis and Pete sitting at a bar drinking a beer.

I meet Regis at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. We went out for food and beer. We headed to the racetrack first thing in the morning!

Prepping the airbrushed tees

Weeks before the race, I had airbrushed a cartoony version of Jimmie’s race car. It was then photographed and digitally printed on hundreds of t-shirts. The t-shirts were given away as swag at the Ally booth where both Regis and I personalize each one, for waiting fans.

Printing the artwork on the t-shirt prior to the event was absolutely necessary as painting the car on each shirt would have taken far too long to keep up with the demand. People were happy they were getting a t-shirt with designs on both sides, Jimmie’s old school car painted on the front and personalization on the back.

Jimmie Johnsons race car airbrushed onto a white tee

I had painted this weeks before the race. It was then photographed and digitally printed on hundreds of shirts.

Kicking it old school

Jimmie’s car and truck were on display at the Ally tent. They both featured the old school paint scheme. This made choosing the event theme easy – Throwback Weekend. These days, Jimmie’s car is mostly black.

The truck is one that Jimmie used to race in the Baja 1000, a Mexican off-road motorsport race, before he ever raced for NASCAR back in 95’. His brother, Jarit Johnson, actually built the truck for him.

Regis stands next to Jimmie Johnson #48 car

The Ally activation theme was called “Throwback Weekend” because Jimmie Johnson’s car and truck featured in the Ally “booth” are throwbacks to another era.


Working the event

Each shirt took about 3 minutes to personalize and we did about 560 shirts in 2 days. We hustled!

Free shirts are always a huge draw for a booth but the marketing company that hired us, Nigel and Tina at MKTG, underestimated the popularity the t-shirts would bring. They said next time they’ll hire 4 artists and not only 2.

We painted at the Ally booth on both Saturday and Sunday. Each day we were forced to cut the line early so we could finish by the time the show ended, which was right before the race and the time trials began.

Folks waited in line for up to 2 hours but with the brand ambassadors and emcee helping out, the crowd were properly entertained. From a marketing perspective, having a long line of people waiting for your swag isn’t a bad thing. The line piques the interest of people passing by. Plus the people waiting in line starts getting familiar with your brand after staring at it for 2 hours. 

Loving my job

The whole atmosphere all weekend was exciting. Even more so when the man himself, Jimmie, showed up at the booth to sign autographs. I was even excited about that!

Jimmie Johnson standing in front of crowd of fans signing autographs

Jimmie came to the booth for 20 minutes for a discussion with the emcee and autograph signing.


Besides airbrushing, which I love, the other thing I really enjoyed about this event was meeting other people in the event industry. I got to meet another artist that was doing a painting for Jimmie Johnson and his race team, Hendricks Motorsports.

David Arrigo flew down from Toronto to paint a portrait of Jimmie, his car and truck on a large canvas. He autographed the painting which was later raffled off. 

Large canvas being painted of Jimmie Johnson and his race car.

David Arrigo is a Toronto artist who flew down to paint Jimmie Johnson’s portrait. It was autographed and raffled off.


David’s portrait of Jimmie blew me away. His technique of using both brush and airbrush gave a lot of detail and richness to the piece. Make sure to check out his website and see the work this guy does.

Overall it was a fantastic weekend working with awesome people. After I painted a shirt of Rutledge Wood, an NBC sports announcer, my shirt made it on live TV. Hey, I’m famous!

Do you want your next event to have long lines filled with people patiently awaiting your swag? Trust me when I say, your event needs airbrush artists. Book us today!

We get it, you’re trying to find something truly amazing for your corporate event. Some form of entertainment, maybe a cool vendor, or perhaps just something that will boost morale. 

Airbrush Events helps bring the best of all those ideas to any event. Combining the entertainment of an artist creating right in front of you, with the fun of beautiful, personalized merch.

Here are 6 reasons why your corporate event needs an airbrush artist.

1. Entertainment Is Key At Corporate Events

As you may know, one of the best ideas to have a successful event is to hire the right form of entertainment. 

Sometimes it can be hard to decide between the vast amount of options there are. Making sure that an entertainer is appropriate for the type of event, is enjoyable to watch, will boost morale, and doesn’t make the entire audience cringe. 

Airbrush artists do something that many other forms of entertainers can’t, they create art right in front of you that can be hung on a wall or worn on a hat. It’s just good, honest fun to see a design come to life right before your eyes.

4 paint on easels with their back towards. Florescent trucker caps lined up on black table waiting to be painted.

2. Airbrushed Swag – Ready in Minutes 

One of the main benefits of hiring an airbrush artist is that the cool designs they create in front of you can be worn at the very same event at which they were made. 

Airbrush Events’ custom-made merch dries in minutes so you’ll guests can just throw it on after. 

3. Corporate Event Ice Breakers 

Networking with your coworkers is a great opportunity when it comes to a corporate event. Seeing people all around wearing cool, custom-made airbrushed hats or other goodies is bound to help break the ice and could be a great conversation lead. 

Everyone is going to want to know where your cool merch came from, and how they can get their hands on it. That might just be the lead in someone needs.

4. Awesome Corporate Event Souvenirs 

Another great reason to have an airbrush artist at your event to custom design cool, custom items, is that they make for the best souvenirs! 

Your employees would love being able to take home a cool hat, shirt, bag, or even pillow. There’s no greater gift than helping your team be the coolest parents or partners around. 

A lot of other merch you can bring home from an event may go out of style or just end up taking up space on a shelf. Airbrushed hats or tees are part of an art style that doesn’t just fade away. The style has been relevant in pop-culture since 1970!

5. Nostalgia From Yesteryear.  

We already know that the best way to have someone remember something fondly, like your corporate event, is to touch those heartstrings. 

The bittersweet feeling you get in your chest when thinking of that great vacation you had as a kid. Having a few bucks in your pocket and hitting the boardwalk heading to the airbrush stand. 

Remember how happy you were wearing the t-shirt made just for you?

What’s more nostalgic than thinking of the summer vibes that custom airbrushed swag bring? It takes you back to a simpler time, and who doesn’t love that thought? 

6. It’s Just Good Fun 

Let’s be honest here, most corporate events are known for being forgettable, or even worse, being just outright bad. 

To fight this impression, you’ll need to replace it with a better one. What’s better than being able to choose a hat and customize it to your liking? Being able to wear it right after it’s made, is even cooler. 

If you’re truly invested in making your event memorable, hiring an airbrush artist like Airbrush Events can genuinely bring your occasion to the next level. 

It’s very fun to watch our talented artists do their work right in front of you; using corporate logos or custom requests, and being able to walk away from the booth with your brand new hat on your head or custom tee in your arms. Turn any event into a happening with Airbrush Events.