Airbrush Magic, out of Houston Texas, has been in the business of creating airbrush signage, graphics, logos etc.
Starting back in the 70's as an entrepreneur, and armed with an airbrush, artist Ray Gatica ventured out in to the world of business and starting doing airbrush art on
commercial trucks, signage and airbrush murals on cars, trucks vans, and motorcycles.
I first got exposed to airbrushing when I bought my first motorcycle a 54 K Model Sportster at a place called R&R Cycles in Phoenix, Arizona, back in the late seventies. There at R&R was this hippie guy named Zig Zag who used to paint beautiful, small scenes on motorcycle tanks. I saw some beautiful night line scenes, palm beach scenes and other beautiful things that came out of his imagination and his airbrush talent.
Back then, if you wanted to learn airbrushing, there were no airbrush classes or lessons one could attend to learn airbrush so I hung out at the motorcycle shop and watched this guy paint the motorcycle tanks.
In time, I learned how to work the airbrush from watching Zig Zag. I also learned of the materials needed to make friskets, and learned how to cut friskets and templates for the small palm trees, building, the various elements of paintings. I learned a lot from watching ZZ airbrushing and all it cost me was a few beers and some time helping him clean his equipment. The time I spent with him was invaluable. He never actually gave me lessons formally, but I learned a lot just by watching him work, by osmosis.
During this time, in the seventies, before computers took over and displaced a lot of artist jobs, there was a lot of work for artist, and graphic designers, especially if you could hand paint graphics and signage on trucks, cars etc.
I worked with a couple of sign companies where I learned how to set a job, by learning to size up letters and transferring designs to paint them on to the trucks or what ever surface one was working on.
I remember my first freelance, airbrush job, it was painting a silhouette of a cowboy juxtaposed a nice colorful, reddish orange and yellow sunset on a truck's doors, along with lettering reflecting the business. It came out pretty neat, for being my first commercial job. I was pretty proud of it, and the customer was pleased too. And the part I liked the best: was getting paid, making money at what I liked to do.
During this time I was learning to incorporate graphic design, hand lettering and airbrushing. I also took some art and design classes at the community college.
After that I got the bug of making money with my art and airbrushing skills, which I was still developing. That first commercial job was pretty simple compared to what I have gotten into in my later years. My work has gotten more
complex especially some of my airbrushed, art metal panels.
Since my first days of learning airbrushing paints also have gotten better and easier to work with, safer and more user friendly. The paints of the old days were pretty harsh and not as easy to work as with the paints of today. Today's urethane paints for cars are the best paints for airbrushing. They are real fine and spray and flow out of the airbrush like fine inks -they are the best.
During my time in the North East, in Connecticut, I did not do any airbrushing on cars etc, I kept busy doing airbrush photo retouching for commercial prints shop and photographers. Unfortunately photo retouching with the AB has gone by the way of the computer and not done with the airbrush anymore. In these modern times it is done with computer programs like PhotoShop or other similar photo editing software.
I still however still get calls for repairing art pieces where I can spray color back in to a painting or an actual, original photo from time to time.
And even though these days most airbrush signage work on cars trucks etc., is done mostly by the computers, even the big billboards you see high up on the side of the streets and highways, I still get calls from people who like to have airbrushed and hand painted things on their cars vans motor cycles, for custom airbrushing and paintings on metal and soft ball and baseball helmets.
Along with the above we get calls for a variety of custom painting and design work with the airbrush like painting T-shirt and clothing, dash boards, skate boards, mirrors glass, surfboards, window graphics, car window graphics, airplane graphics and repairing small nicks on auto or motorcycle paint jobs. It seems like we have painted on everything at one time or another even on a funeral casket, one time.
We work out of Humble, Northeast Houston, our number is 281-441-9714 our email is Ray@AirbrushMagic.net. Our work can be seen at www.airbrushmagic.net.