NETWORK: Creative Options
Creative Options, formed in 2000 by Rob Thomson, has its genesis in the young Victorian drawing car designs as a schoolboy.
Thomson long dreamed of designing the graphics for his hero, Peter Brock, and in 2002, he achieved this seemingly lofty goal.
Not only did he design Brock’s Bathurst 2002 VX Commodore Bathurst entry, but Thomson also worked alongside him in a range of Team Brock projects.
“Creative Options in reality was born a long time before the year 2000,” said Thomson.
“Growing up, I always had a passion for design and cars, and I remember as a young kid, my dad would draw up various car images on paper (no computers back then) and I would sit on the lounge room floor with my pencils, colouring them in.
“So I knew from a very young age that design would feature heavily.”
This goal was not easily achievable for Thomson, but finding his first motorsport job while studying Graphic Design at Chisholm TAFE – designing the livery the Jayco-sponsored HSV GTS-R in the 1997 GT Production category – gave Thomson the confidence that his dream could become a career.
The effort saw the late Garry Dumbrell, of Gibson Motorsport at the time, award Thomson his next job.
“He gave me an opportunity to do some minor design work for the team in 2000,” Thomson said.
“Through this opportunity, my services were picked up by Kmart for the 2001 V8 Supercars season and I went on to create my very first V8 Supercar livery.
“While this was a significant achievement, the real pivotal moment for my career came towards the end of 2000 when I was introduced to motorsport signage specialists, Signzone.”
Signzone, owned by Doug Brumby, took Thomson under his wing and into the factory for hands-on design experience.
Brumby’s extensive motorsport network saw the door open for Thomson to work on an array of projects with high-profile teams, drivers and sponsors.
This included working with the great Holden designer, Peter Hughes.
The highlight of Thomson’s career has been being part of the Walkinshaw Andretti United family as its creative designer, celebrating historic moments including the 2021 Bathurst 1000 win and the Adelaide 500 one-two in 2022.
“Over the ensuing 20 years or so, together we [Brumby and Thomson] have created a kind of one-stop shop of design, print and application that is mutually beneficial to each of our businesses,” said Thomson.
“We have learnt and adapted as the technologies have changed – from mainly painting in the early days to full-on printed wraps of today.”
“There’s nothing that beats that feeling of seeing your clients achieve that level of success and I hope to experience that more in the future.”
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