Mike Meyer: Man with a Brush

Mike Meyer: Man with a Brush


My obsession with lettering began when I went to a stock car race and I thought, “Wow, look at those cars!” and back then everything hand-lettered and I would come home and make them exactly as I could Sometimes in school
I would make these posters for “there’s a prom coming”
or a dance or this or that and I liked that I could make
something nice and people knew it.
I love that feeling so then I got a high school
part time job at a sign shop and I saw all that and it’s like, “Well, you can do this.
You can make a living This is pretty cool.
This is for me” After high school graduation
I knew I was going right to a sign school That was nine months Got a job back at the place
that I was working at in high school Said, “I’m set” And then all of a sudden
that sign shop got a different owner and everything was collapsing somebody would get fired
almost once a week and all of a sudden here it came “Well, we’ve got to let you go” so I just bummed
around Mazeppa here for a while did a few signs, never thought
about going on my own or anything because I was only 19
I was too scared I thought, “Well,
I always liked the service I liked the uniform my dad was in,
that’s what I’ll do” I was in for three years When I came back from the army
I really wasn’t with my buddies anymore because they had went off
and got jobs and married and went to college and had kids I’m starting all over again I’d built a little garage
onto our little house here in Mazeppa and that was my first sign shop and I was scared It was like “Oh my God,
what am I doing?” But it was really that scared point that I see a lot of people today
that ask me “Well, how did you do that? What do you think I should do?” “Just go for it!” Here’s one of the things I like
about painting an “O” or something or painting a curve is that I can hear that brush
going around the corner It’s like a car on two tires You know? And you know just where
to put the brake on and when not to Yeah We started seeing all these old books Beautiful old books with beautiful
illustrations and designs and things that were actually signs and some of the work that was being done I didn’t see the connection there We wanted to bring
some of that back into the trade and we wanted to bring
the art back into the trade One of the reasons
I got interested in sign painting at all was because I had always admired–
I had this ideal image of the sign painter that was really confident,
would show up somewhere lay out a couple of lines and do
something with speed and confidence and it looked really good, you know? And that’s you! – That was fun
– Got to do more of these Absolutely! – Love it
– Yeah My name’s Mike Meyer I’m a sign painter from Mazeppa, Minnesota It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do It’s all I’m ever going to do There’s only one school left
in the United States That’s the Los Angeles Trade Tech There used to be
about six, seven, eight of them and I think it’s really my job
and other people’s jobs to carry this on Nobody really said,
“Hey, don’t run over the hill like the rest of the rats.
Go the other way” So that’s what I did and I’ve never looked back
and just pushed it out there and the biggest compliment
is when somebody comes up and says, “Can you show me
how to do what you do?”

31 Comments

  • Soodam Elesti Lee says:

    This is what i was looking for

  • Yeha Marin says:

    Gosh, I love Nowness

  • GERONIMORE says:

    BUTERA I REMEMBER

  • Arm The Creative 2 says:

    BRAVO!!!!

  • Arm The Creative 2 says:

    2:16 the best advice for anyone.
    3:00 YES!!!
    3:40 That ARTISTIC POWER!! Respectz to this man.

  • Jeremiah Galvan says:

    Thanks, I am inspired

  • AndrewDeLeonDesign says:

    I love this story! It gives me hope. Thank you

  • 1-Shot slinger says:

    Not all inspirational videos are 'How to " . Some are just nice like this one. I was always fascinated by this trade.  Never knew I could do it until I got some sign painting books.

  • c Johnson says:

    mike gave me my first lettering brush at Skidmore signs….changed my life, havent put the brush down yet.thanks mike

  • bebopgoosebump says:

    I always appreciated Mike's work . Yes, I come from a long line of Trade tech students. I did the same thing. Run the other way while the masses ran toward technology. Three thumbs up !

  • Richard H says:

    Cool Mike, keep going!

  • quasimoto6 says:

    Stuttgarter Hofbräu

  • Frederick Melo says:

    I love his honesty

  • Bruce Knecht says:

    Mike Meyer & Noel Weber: Your stories mirror so closely that of my brother, Keith Knecht. You guys are a continuing inspiration to your fellow man. As Keith was fond of saying – Keep the faith!

  • Ryan Chastain says:

    Awesome

  • TheJhaley12 says:

    I had my own shop for nearly 20 years and that was the first time in my life that I actually looked forward to going to work, and work it was. I did billboards by myself then hired guys to help me hang them, I've painted off stages before which I loved. There was nothing like the smell of the paint, thinner, etc. as I opened my door each morning to come into work. I would sometimes work from 7 to 11 or later, it didn't matter if I had promised something it was finished on time. I still have great admiration for the "old school" guys. Vinyl just has no personality in it, no life. Each signer as we called ourselves always could tell who had done what sign. Nothing like it in the world, keep it up guys it's a time honored tradition and I'd hate to see it disappear.

  • Nick Garrett says:

    Good solid stuff, love it! I got a fella apprenticing with me right now who is shit scared when he heads out to a job… have all but run out of magic words to say to him. Comes a point where you just have to say to yourself – well if Mike can do it or Mickie or anyone on this planet can then I CAN. If I can then for sure you can… so get started.

  • backyardpainter says:

    great truck is it a diamond t ?

  • Duero Covena says:

    thats awesome..
    and inspiring

  • Tommy Holiday says:

    A truly legendary man with one of the greatest attitudes EVER!

  • 1-Shot slinger says:

    This is not a talent you are born with .It is a skill that you learn by practicing hundreds of brush strokes.

  • Steve Chartrand says:

    My favorite shop to hang out in! Always had a total blast there Mike!!!

  • Meg Atrolz says:

    I love vinyl. There’s nothing like it. Can’t wait to get into my workshop in a morning, put on an old Count Basie record, then get the brushes out and start lettering. Nice vid. Thank you.

  • Todd Elliott says:

    That was beautiful.

  • MitchelMestrini says:

    Respect for this man, I like the idea of coontinuing this creative way.

  • Brian Clark says:

    Boy do I wish I lived closer, because I’d love to learn! 50 years old now and just catching the bug- would love to learn how to letter and stripe! I’ve got YouTube, a can of one shot and a brush a friend gave me, I’ll have to figure it out as I go!

  • Scot Campbell says:

    That was really nice. I admire sign painters. I am a splash artist and have developed a few fonts that I use on splashes but I marvel at the work of signwriters that do precise work. My work is more spontaneous and often times takes unexpected twists and turns. My work is about speed most of the time but making sure it communicates to someone driving by at 35 plus miles an hour. Got to make it eye-catching in my case.

  • Whitney Reinecker says:

    You are awesome. I hope to one day be able to say the same

  • Jon Tavares says:

    I saw someone guild milk duds he told me you are what you eat

  • Lydia Rowe says:

    A creative skill that is not encouraged…is been given back by Mike who is connected to it thru his passion to keep it alive..⭐

  • Dao e cada pessoa com o seu sentimento. says:

    Linda história desse gênial artista que admiro muito, sinto por demais a tecnologia sem alma intimidar essa profissão tão sublime.

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