100 Hoopties was a design challenge, where for one-hundred consecutive days I re-imagined iconic works of art solely out of scrapped bicycle parts. This exercise in creativity and discipline became a global viral internet sensation that successfully bridged my passion with my profession.
“It’s easy to be energized when you’re in the grip of a big idea. But what do you do when you don’t have anything to work with? I’ve always had a fascination with the ways that creative people balance inspiration and discipline in their working lives. The only way to experience this kind of discipline is to subject yourself to it.”
What’s a Hooptie?
A hooptie is a severely neglected bicycle constructed from a mishmash of half-broken, rusted, or duct-taped together parts that mysteriously remain whole. The volume of squeal coming from the petrified brake pads or lack thereof easily identifies any hooptie. 100 Hoopties was constructed from the parts of long-dead hooptie bicycles.
Why do this?
I’ve always been curious about why my passion for cycling elicits such profound responses from everyone I meet in the working world. This led me to consistently play the role of transportation advocate wherever I worked. On the flip side, when I wasn’t talking about cycling at work—I was out on the bike talking about design. This gap between profession and passion was the perfect challenge to address when I was tasked with developing a 100 days concept that branded myself during the Masters in Branding program at SVA.
Making the Hoopties
Choosing which art to spoof came down to selecting pieces that had not only had personal meaning but were also feasible. Using a projector to display the original art on a canvas, I would begin with a central piece and work my way out. Each piece was constructed, photographed, and recycled into the next piece.
The process of making the hoopties forced me to reckon with my own desire for perfection. I wound up embracing the surprises, frustrations, and perceived failures once I realized that imperfection was part of what made this project relevant and meaningful. From cleaning off caked-on grime and gunk to losing a near-finished piece when my cat sprinted across the canvas—it was all part of the experience. If I had one piece of advice, it would be to lighten up on yourself and make room for surprises.
Over the course of the project, the website received 50,000 unique visitors and was published by over 200 media outlets worldwide. The feedback from 100 Hoopties was so overwhelmingly positive that to this day, people I look up to make requests for a comeback. Notable highlights include the writeups by Fast Company and AIGA linked below.
How did you come up with the idea?
The idea came about very serendipitously. I was living above a bike shop that was going out of business and would walk past a sidewalk filled with leftover “junk” every night. As this shop cleaned out, I kept collecting items and storing them for future use. When the time came to submit our concepts for the 100 days project—I already knew I wanted to do something that would bridge my passion for cycling and graphic design but didn’t quite know how until I came across a redesign of the poster for Stanley Kubrik’s “A Clockwork Orange” and thought “how cool would it be to remake that poster out of a U-Lock and a rear cassette.” That one quip is how 100 Hoopties was born.
How do you choose the subject matter?
Each Hooptie represents a small facet of influence from my career as a designer. I used each piece to tell a story and pay tribute to the designers who have inspired my work, to the places that I have spent time in my life, and even to the history, culture, and brands that are personally made an impact.
Where did you get all the parts?
Why used bike parts?
I have been making art from random junk for years. I question the many lives of the objects that everyone else throws away and am fascinated by how much engineering goes into making the things we take for granted, like bicycle chain. There are the engineers, designers, machinists, the riders who pedal and stretch the chain, the mechanics who maintain it, the miles and road it rides on, and then the artists who repurpose exhausted chain. There is so much history and beauty packed into these commodities that are often overlooked.
Dude, you stole my work?!
All of the Hoopties are done with love and admiration towards the original artists. If you find your work on this site is not properly sited please email with the necessary change.
It is not my intention to exploit intellectual property, but if you are really fired up that I’m using your work as inspiration, then please let me know so we can come to an amicable agreement. Being an artist is hard enough, and this project is a copyright grey area that is not worth the money in court. If I use your work as inspiration, it means that I love your work, plain and simple. It has shaped who I am as a person, and I can’t thank you enough for doing such great work to begin with. While I do receive some residuals from Society6, there has not been enough financial gain on this project to break even, so please don’t sue me.