Meet 5E11EVEN: Maker of the Moto Self Portraits

Eddie B. himself (edited of course)

Eddie B. himself (edited of course)

Photographer Eddie B., a.k.a. 5e11even, is the modern marvel of the moto-self-portrait. His portraits create a masterful, digitally refined union of rider and machine. Every portrait is the perfect blend of bike life and imagination, with sci-fi inspired graphics and color that keeps the eyes wondering through the photo. His portraits are so attention grabbing, they’re accumulating more likes on Instagram than twenty-something college girls. So who is the guy behind 5e11even media? Read on to find out.

MI: Tell us about yourself.

nikkizx6r-1511: My name is Eddie B. I’m from Honolulu, Hawaii. As a digital media specialist, I have experience with web design/development, graphic/print design, photography and videography. I have been in the industry for about 10 years now, sampling each part of the digital media spectrum. I started as a web design intern at a local design studio and since then, I’ve branched into many different creative avenues, including marketing.

MI: Cool. How long have you been riding motorcycles?

rc8-guy-vanquished511: I started riding 2 years ago on a 2012 Ninja 250. Then I moved up to a 2013 Ninja 650 and am now riding a 2014 Ninja ZX-6R. Even though I haven’t been riding a while, the bike life has been a pretty awesome experience. I’ve met a lot of people because of riding and my edits.

MI: When did you start doing digital art?

511: My digital art and photography has an interesting story. After doing web development for a good seven years, my workplace needed help with content creation for marketing. I’d been shooting casually for a good three years, but not really taking it seriously (it was just a hobby) and I did a lot of car shoots for the local car scene. Since I knew how to use a DSLR, they appointed me to create content, which was mostly studio photography for products and the artwork we create.

ej-zx6rMI: Your photos are pretty amazing. What kind of camera do you use?

511: I currently shoot with a Nikon D750.

MI: What it’s like being a photographer?

511: At first I hated it because I wanted to be a web developer and not a photographer. But after doing it for a while, I kinda started to like it, as photography can be technical. I’ve found inspiration in photographers like Von Wong and Zach Arias. I learned more techniques through SLR Lounge, F-Stoppers and a bunch of YouTube channels. Now I’m shooting bikes since I’m part of the bike scene.

couplezx6rMI: Right on. How did you develop the the moto-self-portrait?

511: I am currently a college student taking college classes part-time online. I just started to dabble in Photoshop and having been playing around with photos I’ve taken. I already had the graphic design experience so I started playing with edits. I learned double exposure photography trying to combine my bike and myself. I totally failed at that and thought, “Screw it, I am gonna fake it in Photoshop!” So I did and it totally evolved from being monochrome to full color with effects. I do other edit styles as well, but it’s the portraits that have made me known.

floyed-IGMI: Sweet. Where do you get your inspiration?

511: There are a few inspirations for my graphic design/art background such as Abduzeedo, Hydro74, NoPattern and Red Spade come to the top of my head right now. Because of Instagram, I am constantly finding inspiration everywhere!

To have your own portrait made, click here for instructions.

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Inspiration is Everywhere, says Sara Ray

Sara Ray (left) with a friend.

As soon as I met Sara Ray I knew she was a “no nonsense” type of woman. The kind you can’t get much bull shit past. And if you try, she’s likely to call you on it. I’ve always admired strong women like her and I knew I liked her immediately.

From the moment she said she believed women should ride, just not in their underwear, Sara made it obvious she has something to say. It seems the old school values of the rip roaring ride ‘or’ die ladies of past might be clashing with the selfie-obsessed, instantly gratifying Instagrammers of late. The ironic thing is, when it comes to tattoos and promoting art, you really can’t have one without the other.

Is she juggling? Or reaching?

Is she juggling? Or reaching?

Sara Ray has managed to find a balance between the two through her art. Her work reminds me of what would happen if zombies, vampires and Elvira clashed with the 70’s tide of easy rider culture. Throw in some guitars and paint brushes and that about sums up Sara’s style. Mind you, she will probably disagree with me, but that’s the beauty of art. The onlooker can draw the conclusion after the artist has drawn the picture. In fact, Sara’s work has made such a statement, it was featured in 2014 at the exclusive Art of the Motorcycle exhibition at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, where the history of motorcycle and the cultures it inspired was on display.

Sara showcased many of her paintings at the Ink and Iron show in Long Beach this year. One in particular got my attention. The painting depicted a woman in an old-school bomber-type helmet with arms fluttering around her, as if she were reaching for or possibly tossing aside motorcycle parts while balancing on a fender in black, spiked boots. Ironically, this painting almost seems a perfect portrayal how a woman who rides struggles between beauty and badassery, a battle that is challenging but fun.

Motorcycle gas tank painted by Sara Ray, also featured in the Art of the Motorcycle display in Glendale.

Motorcycle gas tank painted by Sara Ray, also featured in the Art of the Motorcycle display in Glendale.

After meeting Sara and catching a glimpse of her art, I began perusing the inter webs for her work. I found she does much more than just paint. She’s been tattooing for at least 18 years and doing art for even longer. She also paints motorcycles, the likes of which, have seen the glossy pages of magazines.

She told me she finds “inspiration everywhere,” as she has been coast to coast promoting tattooed motorcycling culture. Originally from Hermosa Beach, CA, she’s now set up roots in Chicago, IL where she tattoos at Maximum Tattoo studio.

What I love most about Sara, however, is she is not just an artist, but a rider. She owns a Honda CB350 that she doesn’t get to ride much anymore but by the tone of her voice, this is regrettable.

If you’re ever in Chicago, stop by and see Sara Ray. She might beat you to the punch (possibly literally if you’re not polite) by participating in a tattoo convention near you, but if you’re in the windy city, her wit and talent are well worth the visit.

You can also find Sara on Instagram and Facebook. Buy her art on Etsy or visit her website here.

An artist both on and off the bike

261631_576974112334414_1965718827_nA Short Interview with Robert Ramos a.k.a. Rocky “Tattoosbyroc”

Rocky, featured on the back page of Inked Magazine, representing Freegun underwear.

Rocky, featured on the back page of Inked Magazine, representing Freegun underwear.

Originally from New York, Rocky is a stunt rider and a tattoo artist. Rocky does his work at All Aces Tattoo and Piercing in Orange Park, Florida. Most known for his stunt riding, you’d never guess there was an artist underneath the helmet visor. I had the chance to pin Rocky down for a second and find out more about him and his stunt riding.

MI: How long have you been riding motorcycles?
Rocky: I don’t remember not riding. My brother Groovy put me on my first dirt bike when I was just 12 years old.

MI: How long have you been stunt riding?
Rocky: The very first time I wheelied on a bike was about five years ago. I was riding a Suzuki RM-80 and I power shifted into second gear. The bike jumped up into a quick wheelie. It was the scariest thing in the world, but after that, I tried every chance I had to do wheelies on everything I touched.  

Rocky doing his work when he's not riding.

Rocky doing his work when he’s not riding.

MI: What kind of bike are you riding now?
Rocky: I have a 2008 Kawasaki ZX-6R. It’s not the best bike to ride, but it works for me. I say ride what you got.

MI: What modifications does your ZX-6R have?
Rocky: It has tons of cool stuff such as a 60-tooth sprocket in the rear, Sick Innovations crash cage, Sick Innovations sub-cage, Sick Innovations fully adjustable clip-ons, NDC handbrake bracket with dual Yamaha R6 front brake calipers, 19×20 Brembo master cylinder for the hand brake, a Yamaha R6 Brembo front master cylinder, steel braided brake lines all around, a dented tank with an HT Moto grip and a hole in the rear seat. 

MI: Do you compete in stunt riding?
Rocky: Competing is my favorite thing to do. I try and make it to Stunt Wars and XDL competitions. Its great to see styles and wild riding from all over the United States.

Rocky doing what he does best. Wheelies!!

Rocky doing what he does best. Wheelies!!

MI: How many hours a day do you practice?

Rocky: I try to practice at least three times a week for three hours or more at a time. Basically, whatever the bike can handle.

MI: What are your favorite bike events?
Rocky: I like the International Motorcycle Show in Jacob Javits, located in the heart of New York City. I went every year as a kid. I also always go to Stunt Wars in Orlando, FL as well.

MI: Who are your sponsors?
Rocky: 904 Performance in Jacksonville, FL helps me a lot. But for the readers and anyone watching, I’m definitely open to sponsorship!

Tattoos by Roc

Rocky in Action on his ZX-6R

Check out Rocky, his riding and his tattoo work on his Instagram

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Arizona Bike Week Instagram Diary

I worked at West World in Scottsdale, AZ, for Kawasaki doing demo rides during Arizona bike week. While I was there, I took some photos of the motorbiking mayhem. I certainly saw some interesting things as hordes of bikes took over the streets from Glendale clear over to Scottsdale (about a 30-mile radius). Check out the photos here or on our Instagram @motoinked. ===>>>