Beginning with this art issue we decided that it was finally time to include special artist profiles. We've done a couple here and there over the past few years but have never been able to fully dedicate the space or resources to keep them coming.

Well, for 2010 not only do we have a whole new look and feel, but to go along with that we will be featuring artists from around the world much more frequently.

Kicking off our artist profiles with a bang, we teamed up with Fudemae from Japan who is responsible for the flawless paintjob and design of this month's cover truck. Fudemae is one of Japan's premier artists and hails from Toyota City, Japan. As such, he speaks very little English so needless to say this profile and interview was fun to translate!

As a young child, Fudemae grew up around art and was heavily enriched in culture. At the age of three, Daisuke Maeda (now known as Fudemae) took notice of his father's work as he turned language into art. The Japanese written language is just as beautiful as their culture, and Daisuke took in all that was around him. In early junior high and high school, Daisuke became interested in American "kustom kulture" and began to work on and paint motorcycles. As he perfected his talent, Daisuke began to totally immerse himself into art and all of its elements. He came up with the name "Fudemae" as his call tag which translates from Japanese with many different meanings. "Fude" means brush, and "mae" translates to many things depending on how it's followed. "Ude" means arm, and "ude mae" means good skill, technique, or done well. So "Fudemae" is a good mixed word, which loosely translates to "good technique with brush"

After a few years developing his talent as a painter, customizer, and pinstriper, Fudemae went full time with his artwork in 2001. We first caught wind of his work in 2004 after seeing some of the cool club paintings from the Japan truck club Outer Limits. We fell in love with his work in 2008 when we laid eyes on the stunning flame work that graces the cover of this month's cover truck and we knew we had to know more. Enjoy the Q & A to learn more about one of Japan's finest custom artists, and for more information check out the Lowdown or visit Fudemae.com.

Lowdown
Name: Daisuke Maeda AKA Fudemae
First Started: At the age of three
Fulltime Artist Since: 2001
Mediums: Painting, sculpting, pinstriping, computer art
Style: Kustom car culture, American art, many different genres
Website: Fudemae.com