CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago sign painter was set to put the finishing touches on a 20-foot-by-30-foot Blackhawks mural on the Northwest Side on Wednesday.
“To me this is not work. This is a hobby,” Ches Perry said. “I can do this seven days a week, day and night. I don’t care.”
WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, by the end of the day on Tuesday, the 63-year-old Perry had nearly completed the huge mural on a building at 4251 N. Milwaukee Av. in one day.
Perry said he doesn’t think about much else, except what he’s painting.
“And try to get it done as fast as I can. If your mind starts to wander, it’s going to slow you down,” he said.
He said the toughest part of the mural to fill in was the feathers on the Blackhawks logo.
Technically, Perry is a Canadian citizen, but he is a permanent resident in the U.S., and a Chicago resident since 1970.
When he’s not rooting for the Montreal Canadiens, he’s cheering for the Hawks.
Perry started painting signs about 45 years ago.
Several years ago, computers started generating signs, and Perry said sign painting by hand has become a lost art.
He said the old-time sign painters told him back in the 1970s that Chicago was the capital of the world for sign painting.
“This was the place. Chicago was the focal point of sign-painting. I spent a lot of 18-hour days painting signs,” he said.