DANIEL Farmer is an award winning airbrush artist in Brisbane. He tells us a bit about himself and one of the custom bikes he’s been working on with a few mates.
I quit my third year signwriting apprenticeship at the age of 20, custom painted a show winning 1993 Fat Boy at 21, then bought my first Harley at 22. It was a rigid Pan/Shovel and let me tell you— it taught me a lot about Harley-Davidsons and custom painting.
I met little Mick for the first time that year which was an inspiration as I had been an avid fan of his work since I was 17. He was way cool and inspired me in a way that I wanted to be the best custom painter in Australia. After an ’85 Wide Glide and two Buells, he helped me build my first Softail, a custom chopper which I love riding the Hell outta!
Working under the name of Brushfire, 2000 or so custom paint jobs later, at the Gold Coast Bike Week, I was presented with the Custom Painter Of The Year award. This was the highlight of my working career.
My life is awesome as I live art and motorcycles and regularly attend shows, rallies and open days across Australia. I build, help build and custom paint, big twins which I love.
My mother never wanted my brothers and I to have motorbikes when we were growing up; she thought they were too dangerous. My whole life, since I bought my first motorcycle at 16, has been wholly based around motorcycles, mainly Harleys, without which I could never have achieved such highs. I have met some of the coolest, wildest people of all time. I wouldn’t have missed this ride for anything!
GAZZA AND I had been contemplating building a motorcycle since I first airbrushed his Fat Boy some years previously. After 12 months we were well on our way. I finally finished the artwork using no masks or stencils—it is completely freehand.
Rusty and myself assembled the bike starting with a polished S&S 96 ci engine, six-speed gearbox, and a few nice parts, wheels and a front-end from Rusty. Rusty specialises in servicing, modifications and customising big twins. He does a super job! He also took care of the tedious wiring job.
We’ve come up with a completely legal, registered, cool chopper with some awesome art that attracts attention wherever it goes.
With thanks to Gazza and Rusty this bike is truly a rolling canvas.
pics by Jules at Top Gun; words by Daniel Farmer