About Draco Designs and Myself

I am Joseph Bates, and I am the man behind Draco Designs. My work is an extension of myself so it reflects my interests and hobbies. I am an automotive enthusiast by every definition of the phrase. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on the fender of my dad’s ‘57 Chevy and of steering the worn out car in our driveway.


The inspiration for my work comes from the environment around me. Though I grew up locally Knoxville, TN I have incorporated ideas from European and Asian sources. My work is infused with a deep sense of Americana with some modern influence and international style.

The art on this site can be divided into three parts. Two of which are purely photographic while the third part involves my graphic design work. The first section of photographs is a series of classic pin ups. These photos celebrate and continue the long established history of pin up artwork in America. A style of art that shows the strength and beauty of American women. Since the first World War, pin up drawings and photographs have circulated among servicemen fighting overseas. Once the wars end, the servicemen brought the tradition back into their daily lives. Like many artistic styles, this one has seen waves of popularity, rising in the golden age of modern America and then falling back into history. Currently it is experiencing a revival amongst Americans and internationally. While some of these images maintain the traditional style, the others take a more modern approach to the art. In these photos, the models are dressed in modern outfits but retain the posture and feel of a vintage pin up model.

The second part of my work is a series automotive photographs. When the subject of Americana arises a few things always come up, small town America, apple pie and cars. For many, vintage automobiles are a tangible link to the past. As far back as the end of World War I, Americans have been taking old cars and creating their perceived improved version of the automobile. My photography encapsulates the hard work and emotions these fine craftsmen put into their creations.

The other side of my automotive photography involves the modern generation. Due to the rise in prices created from nostalgia, many young men and women cannot afford to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors. Instead, we take a modern vehicle and use our own unique style to modify our cars. My photographs of modern enthusiasts take inspiration from sources such as the Touge racing culture of Japan and the cities of Europe. These are often the same place that inspire the subjects of my photos.

My graphic design work makes up the final part of this site. The inspiration for these designs come primarily from European and Japanese influences. My designs incorporate the use of clean, bold images and fonts alongside clever wording.

For more information feel free to contact me through this site or with the links below.

Instagram / Facebook / dracoautodesigns@gmail.com