We went to Evan Steger’s shop in Chilton, WI two years ago, and while there he was telling us about this young man named Josh Rowan. Evan had drawings Josh had done hanging all over his walls that proved just how amazing the work this guy did. Talking to Evan now, he told us that he has three walls full of Josh’s work, and only one wall is left for his own accomplishments.
Last year, at the Mid America Trucking Show, Evan took us to his booth and introduced us to Josh, who was sitting there, drawing a truck on a skateboard. The picture was beautiful, and he sold out of the five boards he brought with him to the show. There is a funny story about how Josh came to draw trucks on skateboards. For the Mayberry Truck Show, he drew a picture of Evan’s cabover truck on a board, and then had everyone at the show sign it, including Evan. It was a big hit!
Evan met Josh online after he saw some of his drawings and then ordered one for the Wildwood Show. After the show, Evan looked to see where Josh lived, and when he saw it would be on their way back home, Evan made a point to stop and meet Josh in person. This meeting was the beginning of a great friendship and working relationship that still thrives today.
After the MATS show in 2023, we exchanged information and said we were interested in telling Josh’s story. Some people don’t understand that it doesn’t always happen overnight, but Josh is not one of those people. I am reminded of the old saying about things happening for a reason, and that is so true – things happen when they are supposed to, and this story is a perfect example of that.
Growing up, Josh loved art class in middle and high school, as he loved to draw. He really wanted to draw his whole life, but he never got any formal art training and, well, like most of us, he had to make a living. His dad built hot rods back in the 90s and Josh would help him build them. When they were finished, Josh would draw them, saying, “I’m a hot rodder at heart.” But trucking became his profession early on, as his ex-father-in-law was a truck driver at Roadway, and he helped get Josh a job on the dock at Roadway in Miami, FL. Josh worked on the dock for a year before his father-in-law took him on the truck and taught him to drive.
After moving to Georgia, Josh started running long haul for a while, but then he got laid off. It was here that he met his wife Trisha, oddly enough at a family Christmas party in 2003, as she was there with a friend. Not long after they met, they started dating, and five years later she asked him, “What do you want for your birthday?” His answer was, “I want to get married.” So, they did, and it was a great decision!
Driving for 20 years, a torn rotator cuff and bicep tendon ended his driving career. But that did not mean that Josh’s connection to the trucking industry would be broken. It was a scary time – he had a family to support – but as we said earlier, things happen for a reason. Josh had been drawing some over the years, but it was Evan who saw his talent and really started encouraging and supporting him to build his business. Today, these two consider themselves brothers. Trisha is a huge supporter of her husband’s work, encouraging him and believing in his art, as does his mom, Fran.
His son Josh Jr. (15) and his daughter Marlee (10) not only support their dad, but he is teaching both of them to draw, as well. Josh Jr. and his dad are also building a hot rod truck of their own. Working together, it is coming along nicely, and recently they sat for an hour soaking in the fact they were able to light up the truck’s Bluetooth dashboard.
When he could no longer drive a truck, Josh started drawing trucks and making posters. With Evan’s help, he has branched out to doing logos and shirt designs, with Evan printing and selling the shirts. Evan told us, “I have given him pictures that are so inadequate, and Josh just says, no problem I can do that, then knocks a picture out of the park.” He loves to draw pictures of trucks for wives and girlfriends to give as special gifts to their husband or boyfriend.
Josh recently gave a special gift to us. Gene Feld at D&G Transportation passed away on October 30, 2023. We were unable to make it to his funeral, but his Celebration of Life was scheduled for January 27th, 2024, and we wanted to do something special. I had been leased to D&G for a total of nine years and John worked for them as an outside carrier when we first started dating. Gene took a lot of pride in the company he built, and his slogan in the beginning was “Home of the Big Iron” – and there was a lot of Big Iron sitting in the parking lot of that warehouse in Germantown, WI.
I began looking for a collage photo frame so we could put pictures together and friends could sign their name and add a message on it, but I couldn’t find one. Talking to Josh, I told him what I’d been looking for, and then asked if he would draw Gene’s truck and trailer and include the D&G Transportation logo, he was so proud of, and then we could have people sign that. With a little help from Gene’s daughter Sandi Cheeseboro and our friend Eileen Klink, we got Josh pictures, and he worked his magic! The special picture Josh drew for us made me cry, and the bumper looks like Gene just got done polishing it.
Josh describes his drawing style as “cartoony and hot rod, low and mean,” but that is not all he can do. He has done work for many owners with trucks that I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with. There was a time when drawing digitally scared him, but not anymore. There is so much more you can do with one of his digital drawings. The list includes but is not limited to t-shirts, jackets, posters, banners, stickers, air fresheners, and key chains, and his digital images can also be used as a design for a tattoo. He drew a one-of-a-kind tribal Batman symbol for Trisha’s tattoo. Evan sports two of Josh’s drawings as tattoos – one of his cabover on his leg and the other a grinder with a Peterbilt oval wheel looking like it’s throwing sparks.
Wanting to stay “in his lane” Josh told us he doesn’t look at other people’s work. Every artist has their own style, and he just wants to be the best he can be, doing quality work that makes all his customers happy. If you want to get a Rowan Conceptz drawing, you can reach out to Josh directly by email at email@example.com, check out Rowan Conceptz LLC on Facebook, or head to www.goshineon.com and check out all the available apparel and schwag on Evan’s Polishing website!