Profile: Full Blown Kustoms airbrush artist

Airbrush artist Ed Hubbs works on a project in his Full Blown Kustoms shop located in Eugene, Oregon.

By Jeanne Pastore

A couple hours before she passed away, Hubbs’ mother tightly gripped her son’s hand. “This is the year it will come true,” she said. Hubbs chuckled. “What are you talking about?” he asked. She sensed her son would make it big.

“Your going to be on the show “Pimp My Ride,” his mother said. Hubbs chuckled even louder. “Do you even know what that show is ya old bat?” His mother deliberately nodded her head up and down and went along to say that he will also be published in “House of Kolor,” the calendar he always talks about.

Hubbs, a muscular man with a goatee, is in his mid-40’s and has owned Full Blown Kustoms in Eugene, Oregon for 10 years. Not only does he solely airbrush cars and other forms of transportation, but he teaches students specialized techniques to advance them in their quest to be artists, and makes instructional airbrush videos for the general public.

A couple months passed after that day Hubbs spent with his mother. He was working in his shop when a ring blared from his phone. Hubbs was soon to find out that this call was going to immensely change his life.

His hand clutched the phone and motioned it closer to his ear, but the screen read “unknown number.” Hubbs answered without hesitation. A man’s voice sounded on the other line. It was Rich Evans from the MTV show “Pimp My Ride.”

Hubbs was in California two days after the call, where he did what he does best: airbrushed a car on MTV’s “Pimp My Ride.”

His return home couldn’t have been any better. Hubbs removed a stack of envelopes from his mailbox before heading to his front door. His hands instantly went limp the moment he saw what he never imagined he would ever see. He ripped the envelope open. A tear trickled down his face once he noticed that he was published in the “House of Kolor” calendar. He saw the date of the certificate that was signed on July 20th, his mother’s birthday. She was right. He made it big.

Achievements like these are what Hubbs says he loves about being a custom painter. Growing up 7 miles up Indian Creek in Mapleton, Oregon, Hubbs split wood all day as a child while also having the opportunity to do paint work in his father’s old wood shed. Hubbs said with a grin, “I painted anything and everything I could.” He would always ask his neighbors if he could paint their trucks for free.

A resplendent day in Portland brought Hubbs to his first Roadster car show in 1978. One glimpse of a sleek, airbrushed, glass-etched low rider got him hooked. That site put him on the path to a realization that he was going to be a custom painter one way or another. That is what Hubbs set his sites on and practiced for hours every day.

After graduation, Hubbs wanted to find work. “I had no idea where to go so I took the first exit I saw and ended up at a shop called Classic Body And Paint in Eugene.” Not long after he demanded for that job, Hubbs found himself back at home In Mapleton, jobless. Hubbs refused to give up. He stepped on the gas and drove back to Eugene the following day. He was granted a second chance at that same shop.

Working there motivated Hubbs to open up Full Blown Kustoms. “I love what I do and the reward that I receive when I hit the heart of the person that I have just completed a painting for,” Hubbs said.

Hubbs’ wife, Pam Hubbs, offers much assistance for the business. “Ed works so hard and has mastered techniques that allow him to make that hunk of metal you pulled from the bottom of the lake into a shiny, show worthy, machine,” she said. His wife couldn’t compliment him enough on how dedicated he is to his job. His passion for airbrushing really shows in his work, and his artistic creations have landed him on TV shows and working for some big companies.

Hubbs was inspired to paint and air brush a Harley trike for a woman that is battling her third cancer. She wanted to name her trike the “Rose” after her grandmother and ride it at least once before leaving this earth. Hubbs straightened his hunched-over back and said, “Out of all the artists in this world, she picked me. Since I have airbrushed the Rose we have became good friends and she is making a full recovery. To me, that is why I love doing what I do,” he said.

With his many accomplishments, Hubbs is a firm believer that God put him on this earth to serve a good duty, and that duty is to create such beautiful work for such deserving people. “Without God, none of this would ever have been possible,” said Hubbs.

Hubbs’ mother had always knew that there were a couple of goals in his life that he has tried so hard to accomplish. Hubbs accomplished those goals and is continuing on a straight path to success. He is proud of what he does. Every day he is surrounded by his favorite things: his wife, children, the Full Blown Kustoms shop, and his airbrushing tools that allow him to do what he does best.

For more information about Full Blown Kustoms, visit:

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