On the fast track to becoming a major race car graphic designer

On the fast track to becoming a major race car graphic designer

Aspiring racecar driver Pluto Mok reveals how Initial D inspired his graphic design for the racing industry


Pluto Mok shows off his handiwork, which is out of this world!
Pluto Mok shows off his handiwork, which is out of this world!
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP

Many people think that motorsports is a pastime for the privileged, especially in Hong Kong where there is no racing track - not even a recreational one.

But despite financial constraints and lack of facilities, Pluto Mok Tsz-nok, 20, wouldn't give up on his dream of racing.

"I grew up in a public housing estate, and drawing was my hobby," he says. "I was often sick and couldn't play outside like the other kids did. All I did was watch Initial D and draw racing cars."

By secondary school, Mok had won a number of awards for his comics, but he knew it would be hard to make a career of it. So, he turned his attention to doing graphic design for racing cars.

In just a few years, Mok's passion for the sport has taken him from drawing on racing cars to driving them.

"I was active in online racing forums and blogs, showcasing my designs. Then two years ago, a local amateur racing team - Royal Star SAR Motorsport - contacted me about doing the car body design for the MSC Challenge, a local motor sport show. I was given a couple of marker pens and three days to do the graphic design for the body of a Nissan Silvia S13," he says.

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In such a short time, there was no time to plan the design on a computer and print it out on stickers, so Mok was assigned the difficult task of drawing directly onto the car. The design amazed many visitors at the show and helped Mok gain a reputation as a graphic designer who specialises in race cars.

"The show was a turning point for me; the past couple of years have been an amazing journey. Many people think that there is no market for motor sports in a city with no track and no professional racing team, but it is not true," says the City University creative media student.

"I was able to get a lot of opportunities to do design work for cars, racers, and driving schools in and outside Hong Kong. With social media, geographical location is no longer a limit. If you have a passion for design, showcase your work on the internet and you will gain recognition."

Mok's design work opened a lot of doors that he previously had only dreamed of.

He was invited to visit a Tokyo repair shop that is famous for maintaining vintage cars. His work also caught the attention of a racing blogger from Australia who offered him an editor post at 7tune.com a famous racing website in Japan.

"I never thought I'd have the chance to meet or work with these people. If you hang onto your dream, it will come true," he says.

But living the racing car dream as a graphic designer no longer satisfies Mok, so he is now training on a simulator to prepare to be a driver.

"I just got my licence a year ago," he says. "But with Royal Star SAR's support, I aim to be licensed to race on Zhuhai tracks by the end of the year."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Designs on racing


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