I have been telling people for decades that car refinishers are truly artists, and every time I see a beautiful car at SEMA or on YouTube or social media, it reinforces my beliefs.
Great painters continually refine their skills and techniques, and many of them display their creativity and passion through other mediums that often shine brighter than painting vehicles.
In this story, a talented car painter created a side business that carves and paints tiki statues, as well as masks, furniture and skateboard decks, just to name a few.
Painter and Technical Director Todd Stogdell, 52, entered the collision repair industry three decades ago, when he was hired at an auto body shop in California as a helper. Within 10 years, he had moved up the ladder to become a production manager, and then decided to relocate to Hawaii.
Today, Stogdell works for Island Concepts, a paint jobber in Oahu that is the exclusive paint distributor for AkzoNobel in Hawaii. The company serves many of the 200-plus shops on the island, with product support and ongoing training.
He joined the company as its technical director back in 2012, where he helps collision repairers with things such as product inventory control, technical support, KPIs, work in progress (WIP) and training focused on OEM procedures.
Island Concepts recently established a training room as well as a storage area to house the products they provide to collision repair facilities. In addition, there is a separate area where the company has plans to set up a spray booth and/or prep station for hands-on training.
In the past, much of the instruction on the island was conducted by Honolulu Community College as part of its auto body repair and painting program. However, the program closed in the summer of 2021 due to a lack of enrollment because of the pandemic and travel restrictions in Hawaii.
With the addition of the new training center, Stogdell said Hawaiian technicians won’t have to necessarily go to the mainland to learn new skills anymore.
“Our new facility will enable us to hold classes and offer hands-on skills training,” Stogdell said. “Two years ago, I traveled to New York to be certified as an I-CAR instructor in Fusor’s product line, teaching metal panel bonding, structural adhesives, seam sealing, plastic repair, fiberglass and composite repairs, so we can feature I-CAR classes now, which is great.”
To get started in the world of tiki figures, Stogdell…