Patterns for PTSD

Posted: February 26th, 2016 | Features, From the cover, Top Stories | No Comments

By Alex Owens

Former Marine’s Honda gets lots of ink

Jeremy Saylor is one Sharpie dude, and his Honda CRV is the beneficiary.

For the past two years, Saylor has been slowly decorating the car with various patterns using only a Sharpie pen.

“I’ve always been artistic and I love creating things with my hands, and I have a passion for cars,” is how the 36-year-old La Mesa resident explains his desire to slowly ink up his car.

Jeremy Saylor’s hand-stenciled Honda CRV (Photo by Angela Vasquez)

Jeremy Saylor’s hand-stenciled Honda CRV (Photo by Angela Vasquez)

It isn’t just about aesthetics for Saylor, who works as a civilian at Camp Pendleton. He says the artwork is good for the PTSD he suffered while deployed in Iraq during a five-year stint in the Marines.

“It helps me get my emotions out,” said Saylor, who worked his way up to a Marine Supply Sergeant. “I’m showing emotions in form. Some days, I get the inspiration to draw triangles, others I draw circles.”

The former Marine-tuned-car-artist is proud that much of the work is done freehand without stencils, though he does use some rollers.

Saylor spends up to 40 hours a week putting Sharpie to his Honda, and he figures he’s only 50 percent done with the exterior.

“Every time I sit down I have no plans. I just look at what I’ve done,” he said. “It’s like a puzzle. I think of what would look best. You can sit there and look at it and see dinosaurs, fish, hearts and stars.”

Former Marine Jeremy Saylor stencils patterns on his car (Courtesy of Jeremy Saylor)

Former Marine Jeremy Saylor stencils patterns on his car (Courtesy of Jeremy Saylor)

When he’s done with the outside, Saylor plans to fiberglass the interior, paint it white and start again.

Saylor figures he’s gone through only 75 Sharpies since he started.

“Sharpies last forever,” he laughed.

Saylor chose to ink up the Honda CRV because he loves the car’s body style.

“I love the edges,” he said. “I like to make the ink blend with the car. The handles tend to stick out, but I inked it in a way that they blended better.”

The license plate on Saylor’s car reads “NOKSHRP.” The NOK is for Nokturnal Car Club, which Saylor has been a member of for seven years and the SHRP is for Sharpie.

“It’s a very strict club that focuses on the appearance of the cars,” he said. “I’m the only member who has used Sharpie, but everyone is required to have some sort of modification to the paint before they can be considered a full member.”

The artwork has received different reactions from people.

“Some people call me a genius and others want to know why I ruined the car,” he laughed.

As much as Saylor loves the car, he admits he would be open to selling the finished car to an automotive museum or Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

He also has his eyes on a new car.

“I love the new Tesla,” he said. “I would love to do a silver and black one.”

That would get lots of ink for sure.

You can check out Saylor’s work and track the progress on his car at

––Alex Owens is a freelance writer from La Mesa. Reach him at

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