Interview with Holly Hughes – 2016 International Airbrush Competition

Our next interview is with talented artist, Holly Hughes from Australia, winner of third place in the Automotive Art category. She offers some insight into the making of her winning entry: Star Wars Car, and also delves into her experiences with airbrushing. Be sure to check out her website:, and Facebook page:


Sparmax (S): Please provide a brief background about yourself; including, when you started airbrushing and what the learning process was like?

Holly (H): I began airbrushing in 2010 and fell in love from the first day. Even though I have spent most of my youth experimenting with art mediums and techniques, I found airbrushing both challenging and fascinating, which has fueled my desire to go further ever since.


S: Can you tell us a bit more about your work? How / why did you choose it? How long did it take, and what inspired you?

H: After I had a couple of years experience and a qualified course under my belt I became eager to try my skills on automotive projects so I turned to my own vehicle. I had always nicknamed my car the Yoda Mobile as it was a small, reliable, green machine so I decided to give it more character. I began with just the bonnet and a couple of years later continued the design around to the drivers side. Unfortunatly I couldn’t finish the whole car as I had run out of time but eventually the whole body will be complete. So far I have clocked up 75 hours on the artwork (not including the prep or clear coat) with many more to come.


S: What inspires you to continue airbrushing?

H: I am constantly trying new projects that challenge me, whether it be fine art, body art or automotive. This keeps the world of airbrushing interesting –not that it could be boring- and it still has a certain ‘wow’ factor to the audience who don’t have an artistic knowledge. Almost like a ‘magic trick’.


S: What are your goals / targets for airbrushing? What do you want to achieve?

H: Everyday I see new goals on the horizon but I don’t have one that stands out in particular. Mostly they are focused on improving techniques, whether it be portraiture, body art, or combining contemporary art with the medium.


S: What does airbrushing mean to you?

H: Airbrushing allows me to create super realistic paintings that I struggled to create using traditional paints such as oils and acrylics.


S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

H: Doing classes and courses really helped my skills improve rapidly. It’s always fun to experiment and make your own mistakes but having a teacher pull you up on bad habits and provide small tips that you may not have thought of even considering definitely helps in the long run.


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