Pat Tillman was a professional National Football League player who left his sports career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. His service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and subsequent death, were the subject of much media attention.
Founded in 2004, the Pat Tillman Foundation invests in military veterans and their spouses through academic scholarships---building a diverse community of leaders committed to servicing others.
Harris is proud of the vehicle, which was a huge job with a tight deadline.
"We covered the entire vehicle with images---from top to bottom," Harris said. "There weren't a lot of quality photos to reference, especially from Pat's years with Arizona State. So, we really did our homework to feature a different range of images showing the various stages of Pat's life. I’m very happy with this one, that’s for sure.”
This particular vehicle is significant because it was the actual car that Pat Tillman and his Arizona Cardinal buddies bought and used as their party car during training camp.
Zack Walz, Tillman’s former teammate in the NFL, was on-hand to view the vehicle and astonished by the final product.
“It is amazing how Mickey captured Pat’s spirit and personality with this vehicle,” he said. “Pat and I would drive around in it all the time while we were with the Cardinals. I would like to thank Mickey for this incredible job—he is a legendary painter and we’re all so honored.”
Harris has been a painter for more than 35 years and produced countless murals on cars, trucks, motorcycles and a wide range of other mediums that have appeared at shows worldwide. He started his career as an airbrush artist as a teenager in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, painting on t-shirts and learning as much as he possibly could about airbrush art and how to push the envelope. Today, he is considered to be one of the finest airbrush artists in the entire world. As a publisher, he founded Airbrush Magazine in 1994 and as an esteemed industry leader, he was elected President of the International Airbrush Association twice in the 1990s. Harris' work has appeared in more than 100 publications.
Traveling to shows, seminars and public appearances year-round, Harris doesn’t have a retail store or a studio where people can see his work. He works out of body shops in different parts of the country to complete his ongoing list of projects.
“I have a home in Tennessee and another one in South Dakota, so I work out of body shops in each area. I do two to three large projects every year, which are basically complete vehicles, but I also do 10--12 smaller projects every month—primarily motorcycles, tanks and hoods, for example.”
In addition to his artwork, Harris has been teaching seminars on the art of airbrushing for more than 20 years for the United States Sign Council, Airbrush Magazine, SATA, the International Airbrush Association, Airbrush Action Magazine, BASF and Sign Business Magazine. Mickey has also painted numerous murals for he United States Air Force and painted nose art on nine B-1 Bombers.