Flyin’ Iron Designs Shop

As a kid, I was always the “artist” in class everyone wanted me to draw stuff for them. I took all the art classes I could and got an Associates degree in fine art. I attended classes at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, but with the high cost, I soon realized it was either work or school.

So I got a job at Hot Rods and Custom Stuff in Escondido to help with the car design. My father and I were always building and painting hot rods, so it was a fit. I learned how to do bodywork and how to professionally paint. I always leaned towards the graphics and “cool” paint on cars. I have never stopped learning, trying to get better at pinstriping and custom paint.

I got the opportunity to work for Jesse James at West Coast Choppers, learning paint from the best, Pete “Hot Dog” Finlan. After that I opened  my own shop Crazy Kustoms for a few years, then came back to Hot Rods and Custom Stuff.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The struggle is hard with anything art related. It takes patience and dedication to get good enough to put out a high-end paint job that is flawless. And especially with automotive paint, anything and everything can go wrong at any given time. So learning tricks on how to avoid problems, and most importantly how top fix them in a timely matter.

Also, social media has played a big part. Seeing what other people are coming up with and meeting great, talented artists. But it is a double edge sword. The custom paint world can get saturated with copy cats and people doing the same style over and over. It is a challenge to come up with fresh ideas for design, and not have it copied the next day.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck comes and goes, but with paint, you CAN get lucky, but it is better to use the proper techniques and best products, so you don’t need luck. Hard work is better than relying on luck. I can say I am lucky to have met might beautiful wife and have four amazing children.

Keep shopping