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Best SB Artwork of 2021

This is our second annual round-up of my favourite Sideburn artwork of the year. The first time we did this was for, you guessed it, 2020, and I only included artwork that had featured in the magazine. Compiling this list highlighted to me that we featured less illustration this year, without me knowing that or it being a conscious decision. I realised it's down to the first issue of 2021, Sideburn 44, being a Photography Special.


Here we go, in no particular order.


Gary Inman

Sideburn founder/editor

1. Jason & his Norton by Adam Nickel

If you've been following Sideburn at all over the years you'll be aware of Jason. He's had More Bikes In Sideburn Than Any Other Person. He's written a variety of stories over the years, in his self-deprecating style and is a force for good in our world.

We featured his modern Norton street scrambler in Sideburn 45, and he had commissioned Australian artist Adam Nickel to create this mid-century style image of him and his bike, that we used in the mag.

We featured a portfolio of Adam Nickel's work in SB33. He also created the cover for that issue.


2. Dalton Gauthier by Madison Ketcham

We had Pennsylvania artist Madi illustrate Pennsylvania rider Dalton Gauthier to accompany an interview in Sideburn 45. Madi has also contributed to the New York Times, Men's Health, New York magazine, Hollywood Reporter, the Wall Street Journal and others in 2021.


3. Ed Subias by Andy Garside

As noted above, Sideburn 44 was a photography issue and therefore light on illustration, but we still shoehorned some in. Sideburn's new art editor, Andy Garside illustrated Ed Subias's guide to take better bike photos. Ed has become a really important contributor to the magazine, and it makes me smile to see him illustrated.


4. Cycles South by Space Giant

We have featured reappraisals of lots of bike movies over the years, and we're running out (unless you know better). A reader (whose email I can't find, sorry), suggested Cycles South. We had a look, and had recreational pharmaceutical enthusiast and chopper tourist Dave Bevan write the review for Sideburn 46 then lined up Space Giant (real name Russ) to create the artwork for the opening spread. Space Giant had just got in touch, having found the magazine in Revival, Austin. 'Yeah I know Cycles South,' he replied, 'It's one of my favourites.'


5. 747 by Samuel Lee Turner

It's hard to choose just one piece from a portfolio of the varied work of bicycle messenger and artist Samuel Lee Turner in Sideburn 45, but this wins because it's a mash-up of some many influences and was created for the bike shop of our contributor, poet and pal, Travis Newbold.


6. Prey Fuel by Death Spray Custom

I did write best artwork, not illustration, and the current issue, Sideburn 47, has a nine-page portfolio on the artwork of one of our favourite people, Death Spray Custom. We showcase dozens of pieces of his work from the last 12 or so years, including this E-Type Jaguar he painted for a client. Death Spray never disappoints.

If you can't afford an original DSC work, you can treat yourself to the Sideburn x DSC Velocitas Sinistro patch, pin and sticker pack.


7. James Monaco by Prankur Rana

We interviewed inspirational character James Monaco for Sideburn 47. James was paralysed in an American Flat Track race in 2019, but his positivity is still shining out. Prankur has contributed to Sideburn for a couple of years now and 2021 saw him make another jump forward with a bunch of high-profile motorcycle clients all over the world.

8. Cory Texter by Ryan Quickfall

Both the subject and the creator are regulars on the pages of Sideburn. Cory wrote a regular for us for a year, and Ryan has contributed to Sideburn for nearly ten years. This artwork was for an interview with Cory, conducted before he clinched his second AFT Production Twins title. It also ended up on the cover of Sideburn 46.


9. Royal Enfield Twin FT by Mick Ofield

Mick has been creating his wonderfully precise 'blueprint' images for Sideburn since issue 13. The latest is Gary Birtwistle's factory Royal Enfield Twin FT, that competed in the 2021 DTRA championship, and featured in Sideburn 47 as part of an exclusive track test we secured on one of the twins.


10. Rotax by Travis Price

This one wasn't featured in the mag, but I love it, so it's on the list. When Australian artist Travis Price contacted Sideburn to say he wanted to make an artwork to highlight his new Dragster font package, I pulled rank and chose my own Wood Rotax to be the subject. The finished artwork is a joy to behold in digital format, but even better as a limited edition Rotax Giclee Print, in a cheap, supermarket frame.


If you're missing any of this year's Sideburn magazines and want to catch up on the unique content, visit sideburn.bigcartel.com to order. Thanks!


See the Best Sideburn Artwork of 2020.