Today we’d like to introduce you to Aidan Sanchez.
Hi Aidan, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
In the fall of 2019, I discovered the lost trade that is Sign Painting. At the time, I was working a full-time job as a landscaper but growing up as an artist, I knew that wasn’t where I wanted to be. One day after work, while grabbing some food in Hollywood, I noticed some workers painting some huge letters on the side of a building that read “FACTORY SALE”. They were white and yellow letters on a black brick wall. It immediately grabbed my attention so I pulled over to try and figure out what exactly I was looking at. Something then told me to get out of the car and ask how I can be a part of their team. I did just that. I was met by a guy who was dressed like a skateboarder, wearing shades and what looked like dreadlocks. We sparked up a conversation and I asked if they were hiring. With just a few words he told me that he and his crew all work for themselves, and that if I wanted to learn how to Paint Signs, I should take the Sign Graphics course at LA Trade Tech College. I knew I wouldn’t be able to because of my commitment to my current job but I took down all the info he gave me and left with some excitement. I was happy to have found something I was interested in doing, but was also conflicted because leaving my job was a financial risk. By some strange luck, I was let go of my job some weeks later and crashed the first day of class praying I’d be accepted in. My Instructor at the time thankfully allowed me to enroll and I would then begin my education as a Traditional Sign Painter.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Absolutely not, but nothing good comes easy. Once I left my full-time job, I had to balance going to Trade School and working part-time jobs on the side to get by. Things were looking great and I was convinced I had found my calling. In the spring semester of 2020 the world would be hit by Covid-19 and our program was let out with no idea if we’d ever return. I kept a brave face and continued painting letter charts at home during quarantine. In the fall of 2020 a family member of mine passed away and I struggled in my personal life on a level I had never experienced. All the while freelancing Sign work on the side. In the fall of 2021, we got the call that Trade Tech would be resuming and students were allowed to re-enroll. I did. The class was small. Our main teacher, Doc, had retired and we all felt waves of uncertainty for the program. I finished my second semester and moved on to the third. Another bump in the road came when our school experienced a fire below our classroom while we were on winter break and that we would have to be moved to a new classroom at another location on campus. All these twists and turns in my way could’ve easily steered me off course but my passion for Sign Painting kept me on track and hopeful. There have been many other complications and struggles, but with anything, it is expected and has only made me a better person.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a Sign Painter and I specialize in hand-painted signs and advertising. Sign Painting was once a common trade but with the advancements of technology, has experienced a loss of interest and work. The sign world, ever since plotter machines that could cut vinyl letters came out in the 80s, has experienced an overall lack of quality in design and application. Thankfully there have been some sign painters who have stuck with the tradition long enough to teach the younger generations and keep the craft alive.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
I have read more books during quarantine than I had ever had in my life before then. In terms of Sign Painting some great books I have read are Sign Painting by Mike Meyer, Cartoon Animation with Preston Blair and Sign Painters sketchbook by Noel Webber. Some personal favorites are The Wim Hof Method by Wim Hof and Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins