The Artcar

“The EcheVariABle” Art Car

The EcheVariABle (pronounced Ehk-ah-vary-eh-bull) is a one-of-a kind hand painted and altered art car. It began its’ life as an unassuming Red 2011 Toyota Corolla. I acquired the car in 2013.  In early 2015, I took the first steps in transforming the car into something… else. Since then I have added substantially to the car, both in objects and paint. I have also had the opportunity to participate in various art car shows and other awesome events since creating it. The EcheVariABle is my “daily driver” meaning it is 100 percent street legal and can often be seen roaming the I-80 corridor in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you see me, feel free to honk and wave! …But have your passenger take any photos 🙂 If you spot the car out and about and DO take a photo, also feel free to tag and share on Instagram. @artcarlady #echevariable #artcarlady


Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: What’s with the name?

A: The name is a combination of words, which I felt captured the intended spirit of the car. An Echeveria is a type of succulent plant which I really like- It’s the plant painted on the hood of the car. I also have used this succulent as a symbol for my art and business cards for years, and have a tattoo of the plant (from a drawing I made) on my right shoulder.

“Variable” refers to the fact that I had *no* plan when I started modifying the car- I just started doing it one day and have kept going since!  Thus.. Eche + Variable = Echevariable.

Q: Why would you do this to your car?

A: Why not? It’s a conversation starter and another way to express myself and my artistic inclinations.  It generally makes people smile, and I never lose it in parking lots anymore! Try it with your own car. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Q: What did you use to glue all that stuff on? Hotglue?

A: I highly *do not* recommend trying to use a hot glue gun for any serious applications of *anything* ever. There I said it. I’m sure the hot glue gun consortium is going to be writing me a sternly worded letter about defamation for saying that. So be it. Hot glue is not that strong, and would just melt off with any significant heat exposure. I use 100 percent clear silicon caulking. It’s the same stuff you’d use to seal exterior windows. I get it at Home Depot, and apply with a caulking gun. It’s strong and waterproof. The only bits I’ve ever lost off the car are twigs (sometimes people pull them off) and likewise with the bark.

Q: Has all the stuff you glued to it impacted your gas mileage? How much does it weigh?

A: Never ask a lady how much she weighs. (My car is a lady thank you very much)

But no.. really I haven’t had it weighed since I added everything, so I honestly don’t know. For gas mileage I haven’t noticed a significant difference, but the Corolla starts with pretty stellar MPG.

Q: Oh man!!  This car is RAD! You must go to burning man!!

A: Well thank you!! But… believe it or not, I have *never* been to burning man.  I thought about it before, but it was something that just never quite happened. One year I got as far as sitting in the virtual ticket queue for most of a day only to get the message they were sold out by the time it was my turn to buy. Another year I almost went as part of the artcar coalition camp but there was someone else who wanted it more passionately than I did, and my SO at the time wasn’t that into the idea of accompanying me either. I am generally interested in the whole thing, but haven’t’ been so interested as to go out of my way to make it happen. That said, I’m generally up for adventure if someone out there gets tickets and wants to invite me one of these years!

Q: Woah! Can you do this to my car??

A: Short answer is.. no. I’m happy to provide tips and advice on how to transform your car, but I think like any art, making an art car is a deeply personal decision and journey. Half of the fun is modifying it yourself! Also, I’d rather spend the time making more abstract paintings, to be honest. 🙂