By Jacob Bembry
Greene Publishing, Inc.
To say that the airbrushing and bodywork that Tony and Milelise Dawkins do on cars and motorcycles is good would be an understatement. The words “awesome” and “amazing” would be more fitting.
A walk through the shop shows current projects the two are working on. One is a Pontiac Fiero they are painting for Ronnie Green, a Valdosta State University professor who lives in Monticello. Another is a 1966 Corvette, which belongs to Mike Reader. The brother and sister duo had to scrape the old paint off with a tiny razor because sanders cannot be used on fiberglass car bodies.
In another location, behind lock and key, Tony and Milelise have an uncle’s motorcycle that they are working on. They will feature Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker from the Batman movie, The Dark Knight, on the bike’s frame.
Outside the shop sits a Mac Tools truck that they have done the logo for.
The siblings attend Wiregrass Technical College in Valdosta, Ga., where Tony said that he had started to go for auto mechanics, but he saw what his sister was doing and quickly changed his mind.
“We saw how we could enhance our father’s business,” Tony said.
At the end of the semester, both Tony and Milelise will graduate and they will be able to devote even more time to airbrushing and body work. Their shop is located at their father’s business, DP Automotive, which is on US Highway 90, west of Lee.
A look through the Dawkins’ airbrushing portfolio reveals photos of a design on a motorcycle, that won three awards; airbrushes of Marilyn Monroe; an airbrushed baseball helmet; and murals that Milelise painted at North Florida Community College.
In a building on the DP Automotive property that used to house Sincerely Jamaican Restaurant, there is a mural of a beach scene which Milelise painted that looks so realistic you could walk into the scene.
“My cousin walked right into it one time,” laughs Milelise.
Tony said that right now, he does a lot of fender work, but that he is hoping to get more into custom work.
The tandem has attended workshops taught by people who are on such television shows as Trick My Truck and Pimp My Ride. Milelise said that is where they have learned most of their tricks.
If anyone would like to see if Tony and Milelise could do custom work on their vehicles, please call DP Automotive at (850) 971-0091 and ask for either of them.
They have plenty of work right now, as well as completing their studies, but they will try to see if they can find a place to work you in.