A few years ago, my pal Andy who owns the Back to The Past Pop Culture Warehouse moved from a rented spot in Livonia to his current building in Redford, Michigan (just north of Detroit). The building had an odd looking “garage” door which was filled with panels. Since this door would be permanently closed since it opens into the retail area, he hired (asked) me to decorate it. Since the building is in an industrial area and not one usually frequented by shoppers, he wanted something that could be seen from the road and hopefully raise the curiosity of passersby, as well as helping current customers locate the new place.
We decided on using each panel for a different pop culture character. Since I’m in California and couldn’t fly out to paint them on the door itself, we decided I’d paint them on a separate material and ship them. This would also give us the advantage of replacing them whenever necessary, whether because of weather (pardon the rhyme–my feet are Longfellows) or just to change things up later on.
I found something at a home improvement chain that worked pretty well–a Lexan™ type of plastic that’s mildew resistant, designed to go over drywall. I used acrylics with a brush as well as spray paint as these babies were a lot bigger than what I’m used to painting (roughly three feet by two). Because of time constraints I only did a rough drawing on tracing paper (looking at whatever reference I could find), transferred it to the plastic, painted with brush in the upstairs studio and then (when needed) downstairs in the garage with spray paint, sometimes going back and forth as one or the other part dried! Definitely got some exercise out of it.
Here are a few of the prelims:
It wasn’t easy as I was under a deadline because of his grand opening (and allowing shipping time), and most of the characters/personalities I’d never drawn before. (Not an excuse, I know, but it explains a bit.) Some turned out better than others and some I’d like to do over. But my client was happy so I was too. Here’s some individual examples:
And here is a photo of the door with all in place (attached with staples!):
Even though I sprayed each panel with two types of fixative, I was concerned what would happen once they were hit by rain and especially once the nasty Michigan winter started. I’m happy to report that two winters and summers, they’re still there and little worse for the wear.
Now, though, I think it’s about time to change a few…if he’ll pay me in merchandise!
Visit the store on Inkster Road or check out their wonderfully entertaining website here. There’s a ton of stuff to look at, including videos, as well as merchandise you can order online. (Their online and in-house auctions, held periodically, are a blast.) Tell ‘em Bru-Hed sent ya!
P.S.: One thing you can’t get at ANY store is an original art commission! I’ll get it done and to you before the holidays. Treat yourself or a loved one now! Just ask Craig here.