Monthly Archives: March 2019

Cars For Hope update

A few hours after I published this Berty reached out and for the past 3.5hrs we’ve been in discussion face to face. I acknowledge that my first CFH feature upset him and his team as the JPG I used to promote that feature was nothing more than ‘click bait’, designed to get attention in order for people to read the feature. For this I’m truly sorry as I didn’t think it would cloud him and his team from reading the real meat of my story. At the same time I forced Berty to read my first article and acknowledge that my final line was that I hoped for a meeting with his team to still happen in order to discuss if CFH could build a better bridge for people suffering from depression.

Berty showed me the figures, but more importantly he gave me his word that he has never personally taken more than $5 from CFH for his own personal benefit since inception. I might have my own personal doubts, but at the end of the day I have to believe him as it’s his word against thoughts which cross my mind. So for singling him out and questioning him in public (which he and many others would take as accusing him), I apologise wholeheartedly.

Also, I was wrong about his fancy helmet as it cost him $150, and his S2000 was a seal at $11k.

In regards to what CFH spends their money on. Berty managed to explain that anyone who donates to CFH gets a personalised letter from CFH to say what the money goes into. I questioned why he would only give that information to those who donated, and why not share that information in order to inspire more people to donate. The point was taken. I also again questioned the vagueness of the CFH web site in general, and again, point taken and Berty assures me they are working on it.

Ultimately Berty had to ask whether this was the end of our friendship, and whether I would continue to question CFH in future. My answer was NO! Of-course we’re still friends, and if anything, if CFH did edit their web page they should let me know so I could share it with my community.

To all those CFH supporters who are upset with my thoughts. I apologise for making anyone upset, it wasn’t my intention. I was merely trying to explain why I wanted to remove the CFH banner from the ZEN Garage blog. I rest my case, and will not continue to express my opinions on CFH as I feel I’ve said more than enough. I acknowledge that the primary goal of CFH is to create awareness around the subject of depression, and in doing so they have saved lives, which is an amazing thing full stop.

Here’s an official response from CFH:

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Why I’m no longer supporting Cars For Hope


A little while back I wrote a piece on Cars For Hope with the intention to question whether or not they could do more than just create awareness on depression.

I made it clear that when I was suffering depression, going to their web site did nothing but lead me to help lines, thing is, when you’re that down there’s no way you’d ever pick up the phone to call 000.

There are a bunch of stories on the site written by anonymous young people, none of them have any comments. The last story had a call to action at the very end of it, to reach out and speak out, which I did, but my comment was never approved and I never got a response.

I’ve recently gone through my entire chat history with Berty Nghiem, who runs Cars For Hope. I have proof of constantly reaching out to him over the years to organise a meeting to discuss how I could help better Cars For Hope, but each and every time I’ve reached out to him he’s been slow and very short with his replies as he’s been “too busy” and we’ve never once had that meeting.

I have been the single largest supporter of Cars For Hope since day 1. If you click on the hashtag #carsforhope on Facebook you’ll see it’s all links from ZEN Garage and End Of Month Meet (EOMM). We’ve had a Cars For Hope banner above the fold on ZEN Blog since forever. The Cars For Hope web site does not link back to ZEN.

What’s questionable to me is: Where does the money go?

From the CFH website: “All of the funds from every purchase go straight into the charity organisation, helping us to continue doing what we do, including giving hope, running campaigns, connecting people to the help they deserve and investing directly into mental health research and treatment.”

For years ZEN Garage was the only shop, both physical and online that sold Cars For Hope stickers. I did the pack and send for years and I know we sold more Cars For Hope stickers per week than we did ZEN Garage stickers.

We were re-ordering 100 Cars For Hope stickers at a time and even then we’d run out of stock every month. The stickers literally sold like hotcakes, and since taking over ZEN Garage I have access to the bookwork which reveals just how much Cars For Hope has made since 2011. It’s a big sum. I can’t help but question; where did all that money go?

I still find the Cars For Hope web site as vague as I did in 2011. They clearly state that all donations go to Cars For Hope, but they also suggest profits go towards treatment of mental illness, but they don’t state exactly who and how and that worries me.

I know when Berty came in to work for Motor Culture, who shared a work space with ZEN Garage, he drove a beaten up EK Civic. Later on he bought an S2000, then a really nice helmet, and then a GT wing and a whole lot of track mods and even more track time. I can’t help but think the money generated from Cars For Hope went into his hobby, and that putting big stickers on his car was “creating more awareness”.

I’m writing this because I personally can’t live with supporting a company that in my gut I don’t feel right about. All my offers to meet and discuss Cars For Hope over the years have been swept under the rug. I still don’t know where that massive profit from selling Cars For Hope stickers through ZEN Garage over all these years has gone, and now I just don’t care.

I’ll be making moves to remove the Cars For Hope banner on the ZEN Garage web site, and I’ll personally unfollow their social media as I literally feel sick in the stomach when I read “limited edition”, “package deal” and other use of corporate sales talk to sell goods.

There’s a guy in the hospitality industry who’s recently reached out to me. His company holds fundraisers, but unlike Cars For Hope, they are not awareness fundraisers, they are raising funds for action.

They’ve partnered with a company to provide instant trained and specialised psychological support for their industry, 24hrs a day. IE: Psychologists on call 24/7 through an app on your phone, Skype, or face to face when you need them. This is amazing as some of the most critical cases get left waiting for appointments, but within that waiting period it can all be to late.

I’ll be keeping tabs on his future fundraisers, but for now I personally choose not to support Cars For Hope. In no way at all am I suggesting you do the same, but I hope I’ve managed to justify my why.

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Design Work Work Work






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Dianne’s Shiro Tattoo by Dal at Tora Sumi














Dianne got her samoyed Shiro done today by Dal at Tora Sumi Balmain. 4hrs, she sat better than most, and Dal put a whole lotta love in. Love how the tattoo turned out, more importantly Dianne loves how it turned out! Shiro Forever X.

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Almost Sober

Tool’s ‘Sober’ is a song about a friend of the band whose artistic expression only comes out when he is under the influence. “A lot of people give him shit for that, if you become addicted and a junkie, well, that’s your fault.”

I put hammer (significantly I used my Dad’s hammer which I’ve managed to keep with me ever since I was 18) to bong on January the 9th. I’ve not smoked a cone since. 

Does this make me sober? 

The dictionary says: To be sober is to not be affected by alcohol; not drunk. Does that mean ‘in the moment’? Or does that mean forever? I’m so confused. 

I still smoke rollies, but only at home. IE: If I venture out of the house I do not bring tobacco and rolling papers with me, but sometimes when I’m out for the day I do get cravings. Last week I visited a friend’s tattoo store and immediately felt like smoking a cigarette. I ended up going down the road to buy some, but for whatever reason I didn’t even open the pack to smoke one, and that packet is still on my kitchen bench unopened. 

In the past, if I quit smoking bongs I’d drink like a fish, but that hasn’t happened this time around. By myself I’ll have a glass, 2 at most, but add a friend into the mix and I end up smashing bottles and smoking cigarettes like a chimney. 

Then there’s the medication. I’m still on Quetiapine (200mg/night), on top of that I have a bunch of herbal stuff from my Naturopath to help me sleep and to work on my insides. I also take a CBD oil capsule a day to manage body aches. Taking this stuff consistently, every single day blows my mind as for years there I could never dream of doing anything consistently at all, period. 

In the past I’d often research ways to get off drugs and often I’d read “ditch the friends you do drugs with”. I always thought that was impossible, and a ridiculous ask, but when I was trying to neck myself I managed to push all my friends away, and right now, if I look at my current circle of friends I can’t help but notice all of them are straight AF. 

So what’s it like to be sober? 

I think I’m just as expressive creatively as ever, if not more so as I’m not gaming 10hrs a day. I’m sleeping better than I ever have. I weigh more than I ever have and life’s far from short. IE: The days feel so fucking long I have to watch TV at night to wind down and pass the time. Balance is at play in that I take breaks from designing. I play only 1–2hrs gaming/session (often I go for days without gaming too). All of this normality and consistency felt impossible when I was abusing (smoking bongs from 4.20AM - midnight), but now it’s a harsh reality. 

What confuses me the most is that I’ve given up weed. I always planned to smoke weed forever, but I’ve well and truly broken up with Mary Jane. A close friend suggested that I’m no longer in denial about smoking weed… that blows my mind as I still don’t exactly understand how I managed to stop smoking bongs. But I have and I have to say life feels pretty good on the rails. 

My next step is to get off the medication and start exercising. Dropping the dosage from 2 pills a night to 1 to none is a priority, so too getting back on the bike. I’m also going to start driving again, and have started the hunt for a daily driver (which in itself has been super fun as I’m planning to build a stripped out rally car for the streets). 

Life’s pretty straight without a bong, but being straight is pretty hardcore in itself, and where I used to look at straight people as being un-trustable, I now admire straight people for being able to deal with life head on. 

More updates as they come!

This is also on Medium for an easier read:

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Keiichi Tsuchiya T-Shirt progress

Front “pocket” print.

Just sharing some process/progress on the Keiichi Tsuchiya T-Shirt I’m designing for WTAC this year.

The shield logo on the right appears for a split second in the 2003 Drift Bible DVD (and also on the DVD jacket design). I’ve decided to use it on the front pocket of the T-Shirt (saving the big cross design for a large back print). I’ve taken inspiration from MASH for the shield shape and the OG Keiichi cross logo (left). Not 100% sure on the shield shape just yet, might tweak it to look a little bit more like the original shield (right).

More updates as they come!

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Monday Meeting @ The Pool Cafe










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3 Sisters

















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