Jennifer “Hot Rod Jen” Thomas, Kaja and Todd Hanson with one of Kaja’s first panels.
This customized next-generation Scania S650 belongs to Arnaud Joffroy Transports and is currently the only pinstriped truck in France.
White and custom mixed medium/sublime/emerald green 1 Shot enamel, done with a Hanson/Mack King 13 pinstriping brush
Fascia painted for a rum boutique in Paris. White and a custom mix of bright red and black 1 Shot enamel, done with a 189 series Mack brush
Fascia painted for a real estate agency in Paris. Metallic brass 1 Shot enamel, done with a 189 series Mack brush
Reverse water-gilded logo and opening hours for a handmade jewelry boutique in Paris. Dauvet hand-beaten 22k gold leaf
Brick wall painted for a burger restaurant in Paris. Custom mixed grey acrylic paints, done with Mack Purple Armadillo fitches

Learning to letter and stripe: The beautiful struggle

Even veteran sign painters and pinstripers deal with it

By Kaja Wynstanska

Posted on Thursday, June 20th, 2019

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There is nothing more discouraging than the struggles of a beginner. Nothing more frustrating than the fact that those struggles will always be present in one form or another. They never go away. Having spoken to seasoned veterans of lettering and pinstriping, I believe we just have to accept the fact that some form of mental anguish will always be present. It’s human nature.

In the beginning, we pick up a brush and marvel at how shaky our lines are, how imprecise the strokes and corners. If we actually start getting good in terms of technique, other fears settle in: Will I be creative enough? Will I just keep rehashing the same old designs?

And then 30 or 40 years later, or so I’ve heard (since that’s not my case), we can paint with our eyes closed, new and innovative designs flow from the brush—yet our confidence is as fragile as ever and our standards soar higher and higher. Perfectly fine work ends up wiped off or in the garbage—a victim of our own minds.

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