Profile: Chris and Stu Dobell

If you are involved in, or follow the sign painting movement in any form and haven’t heard of the Dobell Brothers, you quite frankly haven’t been paying attention. These Australian natives have been inspiring sign painters across the globe to push their limits and to think more creatively about their design.

So, it’s with great enthusiasm that we introduce our readers to two people (that they should already know about) Chris and Stu Dobell. Sounds like too strong an intro? Hold your critiques until you check out their work below. These boys are the real deal and have taught us all a thing or two about pushing our limits.

CHRIS DOBELL

Artist. Chris Dobell, Victoria BC, Canada

TSM: How long have you been painting signs?

CD: Most days I think to myself not long enough and others way too long! 22 years now I guess.

TSM: Who were your inspirations/mentors in learning the craft?

CD: I was lucky when I was doing my apprenticeships (signwriting and screenprinting) as mum and dad ran a well known shop and we had lots of good tradesmen around to teach us. Our dad, Bill, now retired was a very skilled signwriter and trade school teacher who ran Dobell Signs along with our mum, Dian, for many years in our home town of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. Both of them were great mentors for me learning my trade. Dad would fire me 1 day and mum would get him to re-hire me again the next day. (hahaha true story). I was lucky enough to have some very talented tradesmen work at Dobell Signs including my extremely talented brothers Matty and Stu. Over the years I manged to pick up a few tricks here and there from working in different shops and taking photos of the talented Australian signwriters before me. Stu and I both attended the Sydney Trade School of Signwriting (TAFE) where our trade teachers were fantastic inspiration to us young sign guys. Our dad made sure we always had copies of Signcraft kicking around and looking at those was once again very inspirational. Like my brother Stu, my father’s haunting voice reminding me to do the job right from the word go is a daily occurance. I  feel like I am still learning new techniques, tips and tricks everyday and now working for Phillips Brewing Company I am privileged to work with such talents as Shawn O’Keefe of Trust 36 and Russ Papp.

TSM: Advice for those wishing to learn the craft?

CD: This a tough one and a question that is asked of me on a regular basis. I refer interested people to web sites like Creative Sign Makers of America where at the press of a button they have the world’s best traditional and computer/digital signmakers  there to answer there questions. I try my best to offer advice and even invite people to come to our studio to sling some paint and try there hand a lettering.

TSM: A link to your website?

http://dobelldesigns.blogspot.com/   http://www.pinheadlounge.com/chrisdobell

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

 

STU DOBELL

West Hobart, Tasmania. Australia

TSM: How long have you been painting signs?

SD: Well I can’t believe that this year will be my 20th year as a sign writer, but I remember helping my old man out after school in his sign shop, rolling backgrounds for signs & splashing some paint around, so I guess it’s been longer than that.

TSM: Who were your inspirations/mentors in learning the craft?

SD: My dad Bill & brother Chris are my biggest mentors in learning the craft, my old man was a perfectionist when it came to painting signs, if I tried to pull a swifty and do something quick or cut corners he would make me do it again. Same as Chris, I would spend all night doing my homework assignments for TAFE & when I was finished I would ask him what he thought & he would say “That’s crap”, rip it off the wall and make me start it again…hahaha I guess that’s why I’m really paticular about my work & still to this day I hear the old man in the back of my mind saying “If ya gunna do that job, do it properly from the word go son”…

TSM: Advice for those wishing to learn the craft?

SD: Hahaha, that’s always a funny one for myself & the bro, mates & artist’s I know alway say “Man, I would love to learn how to signwrite. Most of the time I say ‘no ya don’t, learn a computer program or become a graphic designer, there’s no money in signwriting'”. Sometimes I guess it’s harsh but deep down I would love to teach them, I love it, it’s an addiction and it has taken me around the world doing something I love.

TSM: A link to your website?

http://dobelldesigns.blogspot.com/    http://www.pinheadlounge.com/sdowg1  
Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia

Chris and Stu Dobell Sign Painters Australia



5 Comments

  1. Bob Sauls wrote:

    The Brothers Dobell are the essence of the modern traditional sign painter. They have the background that many of this generation will not have yet they do not seem to be locked into any Old School mentality save one, They avoid CAD. It is apparent that many art forms have influenced them on the wild hare they have chosen to chase (with relish, we may add).
    Among these are street art, tattooing and pin-striping. When we finally have a large coffee table book of who did what in the sign business. Their faces will be beside the term PROLIFIC in its glossary of terms (along with CERTIFIABLE).
    Cheers Mates.

  2. Bill Dobell wrote:

    Chris & Stu were born to be signwriters. They were both very talented when young with drawing and sketching.Your article does me proud as i am of the boys. The boys were exposed to very talented aussi signwriters that worked for me ( michel pepper and barry mossop) these men had an influence in the boys life in signwriting as i did. Thank you for showing my sons artistic ability . William ( Bill ) Dobell Austraila

  3. The Dobell guys are just plain awesome! I have had the pleasure of hanging out with Stu here in California and I have to say that the guy has style just pouring out of the brush non stop! I can’t wait to meet Chris in person as well and try to keep up!

  4. i had the pleasure of first meeting stu on my travels across canada in 2008 in halifax. Stu s talent as an artist and signwriter was obvious when stu completed the quidi vidi brewery pieces ( http://dobelldesigns.blogspot.com.au/2010/02/quidi-vidi-brewery.html ).

    if it has anything to do with paint….. these fellas have the talent to get the job done professionally. well done

  5. website wrote:

    I don’t even understand how I stopped up right here, but I believed this submit was once good. I don’t understand who you are however certainly you’re going to a famous blogger in the event you aren’t already.
    Cheers!

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