I am Nik Schulz, a German-born, Washington State-based, designer and illustrator with a life-long love of transportation design.
As a teenager I spent many happy hours devouring car magazines, pouring over manufacturers' brochures, and putting pencil to paper, drawing.
In 1994, I received a B.S. in industrial design from the highly regarded program at CSU, Long Beach. After a stint at IDEO, I explored other design disciplines before ultimately embarking on a career in illustration in 2001. Since then I've been a regular contributor to magazines including Wired, Fortune, and ESPN, among many others. My work has been recognized multiple times by the prestigious American Illustration annual.
In 2015, I began producing a body of automotive work focused on cars from the 1960s to the 1990s. Prints of this work are available in my online shop (shop.l-dopa.com). This work strikes a balance between realism and abstraction, simplicity and detail. In its crispness and spare use of color, my German heritage shows through.
I work in Adobe Illustrator and never draw in perspective (as we see things in life). Instead I prefer the idealized perfection of the elevation view.
I am influenced by the work of Charles and Ray Eames, Dieter Rams, Frank Lloyd Wright, Joe Columbo, by the car styling greats Bertone, Giugiaro, and Pininfarina, by the modernist graphic designers Joseph-Mueller Brockman, and Otl Aicher, by the illustration masters David Klein and Stan Galli (both 1960s poster artists for TWA and United Air Lines, respectively), and by talented contemporary illustrators like Always With Honor and Loulou & Tummie.
My goal is to celebrate products which, through their ability to be understood, used, and maintained, forge a symbiosis between user and object, products that, by requiring something of us, make us better, in short, a celebration of great achievements in industrial design.
My automotive work has been covered on the industrial design blog, Core77 and in the auotmotive and style blogs Silodrome, Airows, and This Isn’t Happiness. Jay Leno has one of my prints in his collection.