Sunday, March 16, 2008

"A Sign of Things to Come"

A few months ago, my father finally came to accept the fact that he needed a sign for his shop, which was at the time in a bit of a slow period. People who pull out of the BJ's Wholesale store across the street were passing by the place, not even remotely aware of what was behind the two large wooden gates hiding our property.

He thought "I know... I'll have my somewhat-artsy son of mine do it for me!", so he told me that I should get into the sign business. I was gonna make signs whether I liked it or not. Thus my new career as a sign guy begun.

So I sketched out this drawing & painstakingly colored in in Photoshop (back when I was still in the process of getting to know the program). Since I'm partially colorblind, it was a task trying to choose the right colors. Working late into the night, I finally got it done.

He approved it the next morning when I sent it to him. Thinking that he'd transfer it onto vinyl, I thought my work was done. Then a few days later, he decided that I should PAINT the whole sign instead. Without my knowledge, he went out & bought brushes, cleaning fluids, bottles, tubs, cases & pints upon pints of different colored enamel paints. I was a bit mad that all my late-night work was for nothing, but I thought "Hell, I'll give it a shot. What harm could it do? It's one more thing to add to my repertoire."

I projected the image onto the back of an old junk sign, traced the lines in pencil & later in Sharpie Marker. Then I finally began to paint. I spent days painting, standing in the cold mixing paint colors & trying to keep my hands steady. When I thought I was done, he said that he studied up on signs & that the Sharpie probably wouldn't show well & that I should paint over the lines in thick black paint.

A bit peeved, I retraced the black lines as steadily as I could. When I was done with that, he said I should do the lettering too. & after that, he kept adding more crap for me to add to the sign: "Put the phone number on there... & when we're open." & finally the graceful phrase "FREE SOLUTIONS". "Why not 'ADVICE'?" I asked. But whatever I might say, his way still goes.

In the end, this is how it finally came out:

I was glad that I was finally done with it, but it was still a bittersweet end. I was tired of looking at the goddamn thing.

There's plenty of mistakes & miscolorings, but hell, it's my first sign.

By the end of the project, I felt a lot like this guy...


I plan on doing a few more signs, maybe even learn a bit about pinstriping. Hey, I'd love to earn $60 bucks painting a straight line across the door of someone's car. I'll post those when & if I start them. Ciao!


thedoreenster said...

wow!! i'm so impressed! that looks like it took A LOT to do. i probably would've lost patience! :)

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Doreen, trust me, it WAS a lot to do! I have the patience, what I really need is a sure-fire cure for procrastination. I think that's my worst attribute.

Thanks for the props!