Daniel Simon: Conceptual Designer and Automotive Futurist (Part 2)

Daniel Simon is such an animated character that I simply couldn’t capture all his energy in just one film. I had to create a ‘part 2’. And so we delve a little deeper into liveries, racing, watches, his inspirations and his lack of fashion sense…

If you don’t know who Daniel Simon is you’ve probably been living under a rock for the last decade. Or maybe you’re one of those cave dwellers I’ve been hearing so much about. Chances are you’re not, as you’re reading this and therefore require Internet access. But that still doesn’t mean you don’t go home to a cave.

Alright enough about you. Daniel Simon, to be brief, started his career off in Volkswagen design studio before becoming disillusioned with the auto industry, or, more specifically, the machine that makes the auto industry the big lumbering behemoth that takes forever to change direction and make decisions. Sometimes resulting in very bad decisions. So Simon decided to hop on a plane and head to Brazil where he spent some time sipping Caprioskas on sunny beaches.

But he took his computer. And on that he one day answered an email he believed was a hoax. It came from Scott Robertson. But it wasn’t a hoax. Robertson told Simon that he’d seen his work and asked him if he’d be interested in being published. And so Simon began creating what would become his first book, Cosmic Motors. The culmination of a multitude of design concepts, ideas and futuristic visions, it was an unreal fantasy life, a creative unleashing of raw talent onto a page.

Fast forward a few years and Simon began working on movie sets with big time actors like Tom Cruise and Jeff Bridges and directors Joe Johnston and Ridley Scott. He was creating the vehicles that lived in futuristic scenes and galaxies. He’d become a modern day Syd Mead.

“2014 has been by far my most exciting and creative year, with a more satisfying client list than ever,” Simon divulges. “I also signed a lot of NDAs… so the results of my recent activities are at least two years away. I use every moment in between to advance Episode 2 of The Timeless Racer, which focuses on aviation.” He’s hoping for a 2016 release.

It’s no surprise then to learn that the acclaimed designer has caught the eye of the people at Space X and creative genius Rob Dickinson, father of Singer Vehicle Design.

“I am collaborating with Singer Vehicle Design and, as an admirer of their globally praised artistry, I am particularly proud of it,” Daniel says of the Singer tie-up.

“Whereas Singer tickles my love for vintage cool, I have been also consulted for the trailblazing Space X on a rather futuristic project. As a fan of space exploration, I am happy to contribute ideas to the real deal in contrast to all the fantasy space work I am doing for entertainment clients.”

The collaboration with Space X is particularly timely — it’s been one of Simon’s long time interests: “Now this gives me the opportunity to research aviation deeper than ever.”

He’s also set to embark on a few notable ventures, which he unfortunately can’t discuss at the moment. But we did get a chance to catch up with him in his California home to find out a little bit more about him and his passions…

Daniel Simon’s enthusiasm for all things creative can be seen in our first video interview with him here.

All photos Copyright © Daniel Simon, LLC


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