“I don’t know of anyone who has sold a custom helmet. I think most, myself included, keep them for the memories and sentimental value. Even if the design were to change, the helmet paint job would still have been designed for that particular driver, making it “his” calling card. I’m not a fan of using someone else’s design.”
TJ, While is some cases I agree with you, I also don’t totally agree.
If someone has a design or design features on their helmet that are extremely personal (tribute to a dead family member, or showing respect to a family or friend, childhood memories, etc….) those things would be off limits and I would imagine that those helmets would NEVER be up for sale.
At the same time, I know that a lot of people come in and give a few brief ideas regarding colors and design and let the artistic creativity of the painter take over and kind of do their own thing. I think this especially happens as a client and painter gain a longer relationship and trust. In this case, I wouldn’t say that the helmet would be “off limits” to sell. I am an avid surfer and have had several boards custom made and painted. The boards start out as extremely personal. After a while, it still is just a board and while it is easier to just sell a clear (no color/paint on the blank) I am not opposed to selling a colored board.
I also look at many of the helmets (mostly motorcycle) now that have graphics on them (remember they all used to be black, white or gray?) and think that an artist went through a lot of work that might be personal to them, but also has to be fairly neutral so it appeals to as many people as possible. This trend of having the graphics mass produced on helmets kind of took out the “taboo” of using someone elses ideas or designs (btw, how many pro F1 racers have “tribute helmets” to guys like Senna, Shumacher, etc…?).
I grew up riding dirt bikes and always wanted to have Troy Lee paint one of my helmets but never had the money. (Ironically, my bro was buddies with Jeff Ward and Jeff gave him one of his custom Troy Lee Design painted helmets, with Ward’s name on it and everything (kind of a cool item to have, but never use)).
So I figure in certain situations, buying someone elses custom painted helmet may not be such a “taboo” thing to do.