Nick Crouch is an up-and-coming automotive artist who already works like a pro. We asked him to draw two new concepts for us with a deadline of yesterday and not to skimp on the designs he still had to do for our sister mag Mini Truckin'. That's a great deal of work, but Nick came through. Luckily for us, Nick pulled sleepless nights to get these designs to us in time. It was worth the wait. Eager to please and a wiz with pen, paint, and Photoshop, his renderings look like the work of a veteran designer.

When was the last time you saw a Grand Cherokee slammed and tucking 24s? Nick tossed Jeep's trail rating badge out the window, along with a night's worth of empty potato chip bags and crushed Red Bull cans. He shook the granola loose from Jeep's classiest model and sent it to school. But we're not talking about the extend-your-pinky-while-drinking-tea variety of charm school, but the frame-draggin', airbaggin' kind of schooling that sends your teenage daughter home with tattoos on her back and a baby on her hip.

The response in the office to Nick's artwork has been, "That's cool!" This frontier looks a far cry from the original photo from which Nick derived it. It's got the slick, 'shopped look that you see from more designers nowadays, but with an added touch of realism from the reflections of asphalt and roadside forest that are visible on the body panels. Minitrucks and manga-style artwork infuse much of Nick's designs, but his passion for the automotive lifestyle isn't limited to stills. He rounded up some friends to launch Surface DVD, which fuses music and video to chronicle the style and energy of the minitruck lifestyle.

If you want to know more about Nick Crouch, contact him at crochface@hotmail.com or go to www.surface-dvd.com or www.cardomain.com/id/crochface.