Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.


He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Monday, 08 June 2020 08:08

Day Job/Night Job: Collision Writer Launches Fun Art Project in Quarantine, Now Hundreds of People Want His Pet Drawings

Written by Autobody News Staff
ABN Writer Ed Attanasio started a thing called the Pandemic Pet Project to use his art to create goodwill during these uncertain times. ABN Writer Ed Attanasio started a thing called the Pandemic Pet Project to use his art to create goodwill during these uncertain times. Ed Attanasio


Ed Attanasio started our "Day Job/Night Job" column here at Autobody News in 2017, writing stories about people in the collision repair industry who have amazing sidelines and second careers as musicians, artists, authors, performers---even a technician with a world-class Frisbee dog.

Attanasio has interviewed a wide range of creative people in different capacities within the collision repair industry, and now Autobody News is covering him and his dynamic art career.


Attanasio started sketching as a form of rehab after he had a mini stroke in 2009. Little did he know that eventually, his illustrations would lead to a career as an artist, surprising art critics, gallery owners, his friends and even himself.


Attanasio's stroke didn't hamper his motor skills, but it did affect his brain to the point where he was forced to take a break from his job at Autobody News. To occupy his time, he began drawing a series of illustrations on Post-It notes for hours and hours during his 14-month recovery.


Attanasio said he drew these characters only as part of his therapy and nothing more at first.


"I never thought anyone would see them, and I surely never imagined I could sell them. My friends always seemed to enjoy the characters, but eventually [the Post-It notes] would migrate down to our refrigerator door and after a while, they'd disappear,” Attanasio said. “I figured they were getting tossed, but I wasn't concerned, because I could see that I was steadily improving and knew the art was playing a role."


Then, in October 2011, Attanasio was presented with a binder filled with all the drawings he created during his rehab: an eclectic collection of baseball and football players, gangsters, dinosaurs, dogs, birds, monsters and aliens.


"All of the peculiar-looking illustrations that emerged from my stroke-scrambled brain were all together and ready for something…but what?" he said. "Could this be more than just a hobby or a distraction?"


The answer turned out to be yes.


Attanasio sold his first piece, “Bushers,” consisting of 48 fictional baseball players, for $3,000 at a gallery in San Francisco. It also led to a graphic novel based on the image and gallery shows throughout the Bay Area.


In April, Ed began looking around for something he could do to bring joy to people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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