The year was 1961, I started building 1/25th scale model cars. So many interesting and creative things could be done to these smaller versions, of our everyday automobiles. Customizing was running amuck back then too, almost everything was cool and fun to dream about. So many automobile builders would first build a model and then the real thing!
There was no limit to what one could do either. After building so many model race cars, the selection of decals were very limited, so I gave a try to lettering and pinstriping myself! I started to win model car contests with my specialized passion. Mimicing local paint jobs I spotted around town, generating new ideas to create my own designs and ideas. After some 6 years passed, folks found out I knew how to letter some and started to ask me to do their full size race cars! After 50 years or so now, I’m still enjoying this trade and have never looked back! Working on some model cars from time to time at my age now keeps me anchored to my roots without a doubt!
So many mentors I have had the opportunity to be inspired by thought out my career. Walter Zimmer, Ken Mlllar, Dave Shaughnessy, Art Dexter, Ken Sowinski, Larry Hansen, Pat Finley, Dan Colyer, Papa Bear Becka, Ray Drea, and various national folks like Von Dutch and Big Daddy Ed Roth!
I have always used One Shot Lettering and Striping paint from day one! Mack, Hamilton, Langnickle, luco & French Master brushes are my favorites!
Being in the sign trade all my life, designing signage and instructing at our Local 830 Sign Union apprentice program for keep me entrenched in the principles of proper sign production.” Less is more” has been my motto for many a deacde now, keeping designs clear and readable transfered over to my pinstriping too. I learned both hand lettering and pinstriping together because in the 1960’s it was nesessary to know how to do both to compete with all the other craftsman in the Chicago area!
I have enjoyed utilizing a good portion of my time now that I am retired from the sign industry, organizing a Kustom Kulture Charity auction, here in the Chicago area. Giving back to society is something a very special mission for me now. Gathering many like minded folks together every year has helped raise over $370,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & NW Indiana. Our group, the Chicago Brushmasters had two rooms in two separate Houses dedicated in their honor since we started back in 2008! These rooms house parents of seriously ill children a place to stay during their child’s hospitalization! What better way to give back and use my passion for something positive.