Born in Huntington Beach, California in September 1988, Derek has aspired to be an automobile designer since childhood. Derek grew up hanging around cars - his father worked as an auto mechanic and was a major gearhead, exposing Derek to all sorts of vehicles, even teaching him to drive for the first time in a classic '66 Mustang. Growing up surrounded by car paraphernalia, cars were a natural passion for Derek. But cars weren't Derek's only interest- Art played an equal part in his upbringing. With a flair for the artistic and creative, Derek's love of art went hand in hand with his affection for cars, sketching race cars as a hobby from a young age. Derek credits his talent to his maternal grandfather, who regularly took him to parks with folding chairs and tablets, and instructing him to sketch whatever he saw in front of him, offering encouragement and guidance to hone Derek's artistic perspective. Derek first showed his talent for automotive artwork at the age of 14, contributing to the family’s game room with a wall mural of a race track and many iconic NASCAR racecars. First drawing personalized cars for family members as gifts in high school, Derek discovered a niche for his art and has since drawn many personalized cars for appreciative car enthusiasts. Today, Derek is pleased to offer his talents to the customers and cars at ModAuto, making a career out of his passion for automotive art.
A current attendee of the world-renowned Pasadena Art Center College of Design (often called simply "Art Center"), Derek continues to develop his skills and self-expression. Derek prides himself on his ability to present information through visual communications like artwork, creating a "visual narrative", which takes inspiration form the objects that surround us in daily life and capturing the simplicity of an object or its most exaggerated form - and from that, a real project vehicle for production is ready to spring to life. Since attending Art Center, Derek says he has learned quite a bit and looks forward to continuing to develop his talents and hopes to one day design a production vehicle himself.