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The Making of the Lazerian Mobile Studio

Lazerian mobile studio

In 2017, Liam Hopkins, embarked head first on a mission to turn his dream into reality—a mobile creative studio that echoed the essence of the workshop and creative studio he had meticulously built over two decades. The vision was clear: to acquire a vintage vehicle, infuse it with creative energy, and transform it into a studio on wheels that could reach any location, bringing the studio experience of artists directly to people.

Given Liam’s many interests and affinity for old vehicles with character and stories to tell, the selection of the perfect automotive was crucial. After an extensive search, a Citroen HY captured his imagination and was deemed the ideal candidate for the project

The chosen vintage vehicle had a unique history—it once belonged to a caretaker at the iconic Le Mans race course in France. Following thoughtful negotiations and contact, the vehicle was acquired, and an intricate shipping process transported it from the historic grounds of Le Mans to the vibrant city of Manchester.

Upon its arrival at the Lazerian studio, the excitement was palpable. Even in its state of disrepair, the measure and potential of the Citroen HY was undeniable, especially in the context of a more creative studio and workshop setup. Liam Hopkins and friends, fuelled by enthusiasm, began envisioning the myriad of briefs and possibilities for the vehicle, eager to breathe new life into it as well as unleash and discuss its creative potential.

The chosen vintage vehicle had a unique history—it once belonged to a caretaker at the iconic Le Mans race course in France. Following thoughtful negotiations and contact, the vehicle was acquired, and an intricate shipping process transported it from the historic grounds of Le Mans to the vibrant city of Manchester.

Upon its arrival at the Lazerian studio, the excitement was palpable. Even in its state of disrepair, the measure and potential of the Citroen HY was undeniable, especially in the context of a more creative studio and workshop setup. Liam Hopkins and friends, fuelled by enthusiasm, began envisioning the myriad of briefs and possibilities for the vehicle, eager to breathe new life into it as well as unleash and discuss its creative potential.

Creative Approach from a Creative studio

Moving forward in the project, the team’ next phase involved a meticulous deconstruction of the vehicle, reducing it to a bare shell. Subsequently, the decision was made to enhance the functionality by replacing components with superior, more practical parts. To achieve this, a donor vehicle was acquired, serving as a source for parts that would contribute to the functionality of the mobile studio.

In a stroke of innovative thinking, the concept arose to repurpose the donor vehicle not only for parts but also as an additional element—transforming it into more options a trailer to move data which additional information to be attached to the mobile studio. This ingenious addition not only increased mobility but also provided additional space and resources for creative endeavors.

The transformation of the Citroen HY van took a dramatic turn as its body underwent a thorough sandblasting, revealing the skeletal structure. This allowed for a comprehensive repair process, aligning the van more closely with the distinctive branding and vibrant colors that define and create the identity of Lazerian. The result was not just a renovation but a visual representation of the studio’s unique character and style.

The transformation of the mobile studio began with a comprehensive stripping back and sandblasting process, aimed at removing layers of wear and tear accumulated over the years. As the vehicle was meticulously disassembled, attention was directed towards panel beating and restoring the bodywork to ensure a presentable appearance.

Rusty sections and imperfections were diligently addressed, with skilled hands meticulously straightening out bumps and dents. Each step of the restoration process was executed with precision, with a keen eye for detail to restore the vehicle to its former glory.

 

Following the restoration of the bodywork, a significant focus was placed on the application of automobile paint. The chosen color, a rich dark or forest green, was carefully selected to symbolise elements of nature, new beginnings, and a general sense of wellbeing—reflecting the ethos and essence of the mobile studio.

Through the careful application of this symbolic hue, the mobile studio not only underwent a physical transformation but also emerged as a representation of harmony with nature and a beacon of creativity and renewal.

As ideas for the exterior of the mobile studio began to develop and take shape, attention turned towards the interior, where the selection of equipment and storage solutions played a pivotal role. Balancing functionality with the high-end design aspect was paramount, especially considering the diverse array of machinery and tools that needed accommodation.

Maintaining the focus on high-end design while ensuring practicality required a thoughtful and creative approach. Multiple processes and ideas were employed to strike the perfect balance between traditional and modern elements, harmonising with the overall aesthetics of the van and its intended purpose.

Each aspect of the interior design was meticulously considered to optimise space utilisation and workflow efficiency without compromising on style. The result was a seamless integration of traditional craftsmanship with modern conveniences, creating a space that not only showcased the sophistication of the studio’s equipment and services but also exuded an air of elegance and refinement.

To enhance the mobility and performance of the mobile studio, an additional donor vehicle was acquired to enable and facilitate an engine upgrade from the original Citroen HY. Recognising the need for increased power and efficiency, an Audi diesel engine was selected for its superior performance and reliability.

By replacing the original engine with the upgraded Audi diesel, the mobile studio gains the capability to travel longer distances with greater speed and efficiency. This enhancement not only extends the studio’s reach but also amplifies its potential to deliver more relevant services with more impact by enabling it to access more areas, clients and communities than ever before.

With the Audi diesel engine powering its journey, the mobile studio is poised to make a more significant impact, reaching further and serving as a catalyst for creativity and innovation wherever it travels.

Simultaneously, as the mechanical and interior work progressed, a pivotal facet of the entire mobile studio brand came to fruition. Typographist and designer Daren Newman played a key role in crafting distinctive signage tailored for advertising the Mobile Studio brand, meticulously creating bespoke lettering specifically for this purpose. The decision was then made to showcase the intricate and ornate lettering on the van, employing traditional methods that involved the artistry of gold leaf signwriting.

Mobile studio Logo Creation

Conveying images of the traditional ambiance of the mobile studio was crucial, yet it was equally essential to infuse images of the house and logo with the distinctive ethos of Lazerian.

In crafting the lettering for the mobile studio, it was imperative to strike a delicate balance between traditional and modern elements. This fusion of styles was not merely about aesthetics but served as a symbolic representation of the studio’s overarching ethos and identity.

 

  1. By seamlessly blending traditional typography with contemporary design elements, the lettering encapsulates the essence of the mobile studio as a whole. It speaks to a reverence for heritage and craftsmanship while embracing innovation and forward-thinking approaches. This harmonious marriage of styles mirrors the studio’s commitment to bridging the gap between the past and the future, resulting in a visual identity that is both timeless and cutting-edge.

The decision was made to incorporate the phrase “purveyors of modern craft” to effectively communicate the essence and significance of the studio.

Incorporating traditional crafts

The decision to employ gold leaf for the intricate print and bespoke lettering was a straightforward one, aligning seamlessly with both the aesthetics of the typography and the style of the van itself. Gold leaf, renowned for its exquisite beauty and timeless allure, was deemed the perfect choice to complement the print and support the sophistication and elegance of the lettering.

In the context of the mobile studio, the use of gold leaf for the bespoke lettering elevates the visual impact of the signage, infusing it with an air of elegance and refinement. It serves as a testament to the studio and creative team’s commitment to excellence and attention to detail, setting it apart as a beacon of creativity and craftsmanship.

 

Attention to detail

In the pursuit of excellence for this project, meticulous attention to detail was paramount from the outset. The team and dedication to achieving the highest standard was evident in every aspect, with time, money and expertise invested to ensure that even the smallest elements were executed to perfection.

Central to this endeavor was the utilisation of cutting-edge technology available in the Lazerian workshop, including CNC routers, laser engravers, and cutters. These advanced tools and services were integral to bringing the clients’ intricate designs and precise specifications to life, enabling the realization of the project team’s vision with unparalleled precision and efficiency.

Lazerians Philosophy

At its core, Lazerian has always been about celebrating the finer details that contribute to the overall wow factor of a creation. It’s a philosophy that values craftsmanship, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. By leveraging both traditional craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology, the project embodies the essence of Lazerian, ensuring that every detail, no matter how small, contributes to create the projects ultimate impact and impression.

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