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Creating a future in signs


Leo Gomez (Photo from Gomez website)

Leo Gomez creates hand painted signs for mainly small companies – from hotels to seafood restaurants to a yoga shop.

He runs a hand painted signs and murals company in St. Petersberg, FL, where he teaches classes on sign painting.

Read Gomez’ step by step tutorial on hand lettering a sign, or creating prints based on some hand lettered message.  He also offered good advice on bringing together your digitized hand lettered sign with photographs.

Sign painting may be considered a graphic design career.  U.S. graphic designers earn a median salary of $50,370 last year, and about one in five are self employed.  Since my grandfather was a sign maker who worked for Chrysler and later opened his own cheese shop, this career has always fascinated me.

Detroit has several sign painting artists / entrepreneurs.  Among them is Kelly Golden, who has painted signs professionally since 2010. Her website says she has created for Third Man Records, Habitat for Humanity, 1XRun and others. She also creates stickers such as her “Listen to women” one that we adore.

It seems that businesses and nonprofits are interested in this old fashioned, handmade way of promoting themselves.

One of our Mint alumni creates awesome signs for us. Based on our recommendation, Maddie Teece painted a sign on artist Michael Willenborg’s art bus last year during the Belle Isle Art Fair.   She also has created signs for Mint exhibits such as Summer in the City and thank you signs.

Thank yous are beautiful; this one was created by Mint alumni Maddie Teece.

Is sign painting a creative career for you? Or is it a way to earn extra income? Try it out by painting signs for friends or a local entrepreneur, or offer to create a new sign as a volunteer for Mint!

– © Vickie Elmer, 2019

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Thank you to all Mint supporters

It’s that time of year when charities bombard people with requests for support. We want you to give to Mint – money or art supplies, time and talents and dessert all welcome.  Yet we want to show appreciation for so many people who helped us through our first year. Among them are two volunteer groups from Kohl’s – the Roseville and the Troy stores – and a group from Quicken Loans.

My friends Bernie and Stephanie gave generously, and so did several members of the Loeb family and Yvette and Josh. My board of directors gave a lot of time and talents – thanks Erika, Mark, Hubert, Espacia, Linda, Cornell, Pam for helping us co-found and grow Mint Artists Guild.

We also appreciate the hand painted signs created by Moth, Maddie Teece, and the extra painting Nur Shah and Breonna ‘Yonnie’ Collins live painted for Mint this year.

Thanks too to those who gave us food or drink: Absopure, Kind, Detroit Stew, Mity Nice, Traffic Jam and Snug, SocraTea, Avalon Breads and Zingerman’s. (It takes a lot to keep hungry teen artists happy and well fed.)

Kohl’s Cares team helps Mint at the Belle Isle Art Fair.