|Sign painter and mural artist Jackson|
Smart talks about the tools of his trade.
Recently I attended a presentation by a Port Angeles, WA, sign painter, Jackson Smart of SignArt Studio, demonstrating some of the learned techniques and the tools used, along with the paint construction. (The link is to an article in the Peninsula Daily News about Smart.)
There is a three-second rule for signs: it must be able to be seen and read, computed/internalized and a decision made in three seconds. "You are driving along the highway, see a sign and it either motivates you or you ignore it", Smart said. He added that it is not just letters, but colors and shapes, that convey the message and he is well known for his creative work around the Peninsula.
|Smart demonstrates using a mahl stick to letter in script|
style; it is used to keep hands and oils off the surface.
One series I recall along the road from Peterborough, NH to Keene was this: Past / Schoolhouses / Take it slow / Let the little / Shavers grow / Burma-Shave. Although there wasn't actually a schoolhouse near where the signs were placed, we used to love to read them out loud as we rattled along to the lake, much to the irritation of the driver - usually our mother. Somehow even seeing them regularly didn't decrease our delight in this loud recognition of our reading ability.
|Artist Smart uses a squirrel hair brush to demonstrate how|
fine a line can be drawn with the right technique.
Jackson Smart - an artisan and an artist - has painted on wood, metals, foam board, plastic and other materials. He has painted signs for businesses, on motorcycles, cars, trucks, and busses for a native american tribal casino as well as doing the Port of Port Angeles mural welcoming visitors from Canada. As you enter Port Angeles from the East on Highway 101, you will see his sign greeting you to the city he has made home for the past 34 years. He is as much a part of the city as the signs and murals he has done here.