Drea///M: Artist draws legendary BMWs using hyperrealism and tattoo techniques

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BMW’s affair with art goes up one level

We all have dreams but sometimes dreams don't just simply occur or come true without hard work and dedication. That's how Drea///M happened.

Andra Mihai's fondness of cars was ignited by a childhood spark: the moment she held a steering wheel for the first time. The car was a Dacia 1300, but they say love is blind, therefore, Andra fell in love with cars in general and BMWs in particular.

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But the path to Drea///M wasn't going to be a smooth one for Andra – but is it ever? Caught between her parents – who insisted she should become a doctor or a lawyer, their idea of "a proper job," and corporate life – among colleagues reporting her for choosing to draw during lunch breaks and her boss sending her home for staying after office hours to draw some more despite her peers doing the same thing (but to work), Andra had to escape.

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And that she did. Andra chose to connect to the automotive industry through one of its less spectacular cords: a car repair shop, where she used to fill forms and sort insurance claims. But since it granted her a unique vantage point from where she could explore a car's quirks and secrets prior to laying them down on a white sheet of paper without any kind of professional training.

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Today, a 26-year-old Andra wishes she would have made this jump earlier, but she's been drawing cars for seven years and keeps getting better at it. Her style mixes hyperrealism with pastel and acrylic painting, but also Trash Polka, a new tattooing technique that marries white, black, gray and red.

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So, what is Drea///M? In short, 12 paintings carefully rendering iconic BMW models, starting with the mighty M1 and ending with the likes of M3 E92 DTM or M6 GT3. Most of them look like photographs, but that's a trick, because they're not. It's Andra's minute work that catches textures and light reflections.

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And since you've taken your time to reach this point, you must check out these 101 stunning coffee paintings that evoque 100 years of BMW history.