By: Jennifer Britt
The Parsons Advocate
Owner and operator of Wicked Creations Leonard Nestor has been making beautiful, airbrushed projects since 2006. Nestor went full time in his business in 2011. Since he has been creating airbrushed projects of all sorts. Nestor creates scenes for items like mail boxes, license plates and church signs.
One of his most recent creations were the two welcome signs for Hambleton. Nestor works out of his shop located in Parsons, but his art is displayed in 19 states. He has 14 mailboxes in Florida alone. Nestor has taken his art work on the road to events such as the Harley Davidson Biker’s Against Child Abuse event and locally at the Parsons Volunteer Fire Department fire hall. Nestor is currently working on a new sign for the Hambleton First United Methodist Church.
When creating the welcome signs for Hambleton, Nestor wanted to memorialize the rich history of the small town. Once Nestor completed the first Hambleton welcome sign, he was commissioned to do a second with a theme from the railroad days. The signs include the Hambleton Hotel and train station, a horse barn that Nestor helped build, a water fall scene. All objects of interest were incorporated into a nature scene representative of Hambleton.
Nestor said, “It has the original Hambleton Hotel that was there (in Hambleton). I researched through the Advocate (The Parsons Advocate) and the library and found some black and white photos of the Town of Hambleton and what it looked like back in the train days. This sign actually helped educate me on the history of Hambleton.”
Nestor has also created airbrushed scenes on vehicles, bowling pins from the bowling alley in Elkins, tumbler mugs and the newest sign for the Black Bear Resort. The resort sign had to be made solely of wood, so Nestor used plywood and painted a mountain scene with a bear on the river that gave the sign a layered scenic look when finished.
The process requires Nestor to hand paint the design and then seal it. If working on older projects he sands, bonds any areas needing it, and primes the object before painting and sealing it. On most of his projects Nestor free hand airbrushes the picture on the objects. Other times he has used stencils or cut outs for wording. Nestor hand cuts all stencils out on a light board. Nestor said, “You have to use stencils every now and again to get the letters crisp.”
The total time it takes to finish varies on the project. For instance, Nestor had over 25 hours in one large mail box and over 30 hours to complete a scene on a pickup truck with additional 15 for the tail gate. Price wise license plates start out at around $30 and go up, and mailboxes range from $120 and up depending on the size of the mailbox.
Nestor explained his process for the license plates and how they differ from the ones at carnivals or fairs. Nestor said, “I use two coats of automotive clear coat and then I wet sand it before giving it two more coats. My stuff turns out looking like your car. When the carnival does it, they use base coat and that is just a temporary clear to keep everything from getting finger prints and oils from the atmosphere off of it. You are supposed to use a urethane clear and that makes it shine like your car does.”
Nestor said, “I just love my art work. I like doing things like donating a sign to the animal shelter. A lot of people fuss about things in Tucker County, but we are truly the lucky ones.”
Anyone wishing to commission a work of art from Nestor can reach him at 304-614-2423 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nestor’s previous work can be seen on his Facebook page as well.
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