1978 2010 As you can see... some things don't change much over time!
I've always had some artistic ability, which I developed over the years... but at age 10, I became hopelessly "hooked" on hot rod magazines, and model cars!
At age 13, I went to the U.S. Nationals with a friend, and THAT WAS IT! I was a "totally-obsessed, hot rod-custom-drag race addict"!
By age 15, I borrowed money from my dad to buy a car. It was cheap, but I had to rebuild the engine (myself) before it was reliable. By the time I finished high school, I had also painted it myself... with help from my dad and grandpa. It was NOT a great job... but I was proud anyway!
By my early twenties I had decided to be a drag racer... but a friend had seen my drawings, and talked me into painting the motorcycles he was chopping. By the time I finished a couple... I knew I was having too much fun to go drag racing!
Pretty soon, another friend asked me to paint his '56 Corvette. After the way my first car had turned out, I was intimidated, but he offered to buy some equipment I needed, and to help. Besides that, he told me "He had faith in me, and knew I could do it". That was enough for me to say "Yes". I've never regretted it!
After that, I was painting cars and bikes regularly. I spent another decade raising my family, and working at several good "skilled" trades... but I knew what my destiny was! And..... just as the song used to say.....
"Just what you want to be, you'll be in the end"!
When the situation was right, I went full-time! Since then, I have custom painted, or designed paint, for builders from coast to coast. I've had pictures of my work in... or on the covers... of dozens of car and motocycle publications such as... "Hot Rod", "Truckin", "Iron Works", "Street Rodder", "Super Chevy", "Low Rider", "VW Trends", " "Hot Rod Show World"... and many more. The number of jobs is now in the hundreds.
I have also had a couple offers from publishers to write "how-to" books... but did not like their "vision". In a few years I will publish the kind of book I always hoped to find!
One last thing that I love about this business is that... the people I work with... and for... become my friends! It's because we "ALL" love working on these crazy toys! :-)