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Portland, Oregon 97227
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Traveling Signwriter

Stay Wild

Bohie Palecek makes traditional handcrafted signs, murals, graphic design projects, and all-around inspiring art.

Where is home?
Wherever I hang my dream catcher, which is currently Adelaide, Australia, in a shared house with chickens out back and an art studio out front.

How did you get into sign painting?
My mum was a sign painter, so I grew up with it. She had a sign painting shed out back and worked from home. I studied printmaking at art school and then graphic design, always hand drawing as many design elements as I could within a project. I worked in a design office in Canberra, Australia, straight out of school but found out pretty quickly that commercial graphic design wasn’t for me, sitting on a computer all day and laying out websites and annual reports… I quit and spent 7 months traveling around America and Canada hanging out in screen-printing studios and assisting illustrators on mural jobs and stuff, just picking their brains and getting my eyes opened to an amazing collection of people who had made their careers out of their passions and skills.
I approached a sign painter (Joe Swec) in Austin, Texas, who took me under his wing and let me shadow him on his jobs and literally just hang around like a bad smell for a few months, ha! He opened my eyes to the future of sign painting and showed me how much it had changed since my mum’s generation—who were “tradesmen” as apposed to “artists.” Life changed.

What are some of your favorite letters?
I’m not biased, man. All letters are beautiful.

What are some good words to live by?
Get knowledge. Get skills. Get gnarly.
…then we’ll meet around the campfire and share stories.
What would be your dream adventure?
Adventure is a big word. It could describe a long solo trek across the Yukon, or a road trip down to the south beach of Adelaide with a car full of mates. It could be an inward adventure looking deep within the confines of your soul, or an outward one exploring the colors of a leaf you found while walking through the park. It could be on any number of engines or it could be pedal powered or on skateboards or surf or snow or a rocket ship or on the back of an eagle! It could even be used to describe conceptualizing an art series or exploring a new medium, like music.
So I reckon my dream adventure would be to find an “adventure,” whether solo or shared, every day for the rest of my life.