This month Advanced Airbrush celebrates 25 years in business!
We can’t believe it has been so long. We’ve met so many awesome people and made some lifelong friends. 25 years has brought so many memories, and we’d like to share some of them with you –
In 1992, we began running our business from home in Erskine Park. Wayne Harrison, Principal Artist and Director, was already well known from the Panel Van era from his previous company “FANTASY MURALS” located in Blacktown. Our first projects included producing billboard skins and general signage. Many of these projects were large scale, measuring up to 18 stories high and approx. 15 metres wide, and often required numerous replications for distribution throughout Australia. This was the time before the era of Digital Printing where each replication had to be airbrushed and painted by hand.
With a successful start, we were able to move the business to a factory in Mt Druitt. Some highlights during these years were Wayne’s first overseas competition AIRSTORM ’95 in Atlanta USA in which he won 1st Place, which in turn inspired us to create the very first Airbrush Expo in 1998. It was created with the desire to unite local airbrush artists from all around Australia and New Zealand in support of each other. We drew over 500 people, included workshops, seminars, and attendees from as far as NZ. Soon after, we created the National Australian Airbrush Association Inc. and the Expo itself developed into a Darling Harbour event with the support of top airbrush artists, sponsors and overwhelming attendance.
In 1999, after 7 years at Mt Druitt, we took the next step and bought a factory in Minchinbury to accomodate the growth of our business. It served us well for the next 7 years, with the development of new highlights in our career including airbrushing the 2000 Sydney Olympics sponsorship buses, and airbrushing Virgin Blue’s full fleet of aircraft (over 80 planes). To this day, Wayne Harrison is the only artist to have ever painted the Virgin Maidens on every Virgin Blue aircraft. We also began attracting international clients, helping the development of Malaysia’s first professional airbrush business with Wayne painting an Air Asia aircraft as their first major project.
Finally, in 2006, we relocated Advanced Airbrush to Penrith. By that time we had bought and sold 2 homes. We had completed work for Microsoft, airbrushing a range of Xbox consoles for promotion and fundraising, which grew to include celebrities, artists and actors. We had re-introduced airbrushing back into the automative industry and the public, beginning with our efforts in the late ‘90s and beyond with trade displays at cars shows such as Auto Salon and Motorex Summernats, for which Wayne won awards.
During our time thus far at Penrith, Wayne has won many personal awards for his business ethics as well as his work. We have had a continuous spotlight in the media, involved in many TV shows on the major networks, as well being a part of our own TV Reality show Flesh Air and producing our own Learn To Airbrush DVD series. We pride ourselves in educating and training people in the art of airbrushing through our Workshops, both domestically and internationally, and giving people an opportunity to learn from the best by hosting top Airbrush artists from around the world.
Over this 25 year period, we have had many fantastic staff members who have helped and shaped us into who we are today. We have been through amazing times as individuals and as a team, but also persevered when times have been tough. Not only did we have to find work, but we had to create the market ourselves where none really existed. Incredibly, in the beginning we’d even encounter people who would confuse us for a “Hairbrush” business – sometimes we were just too tired to correct them! So we had to promote the art of airbrushing. We had to educate people on what airbrushing is, on its benefits in the signage industry, and the kind of services we could offer to suit both personal and professional needs. We have learned so many tricks of the trade in running a business over 25 years, and especially the Airbrush business.
So now with all our knowledge and experience, our projected plan is staying at the forefront of the industry and helping to redevelop it with the introduction of new methods and technology. Our future lies with not only continuing our work in Sydney but also our expansion into Perth, and continuing to train people in the art of airbrushing. As pioneers and leaders of Airbrushing in Australia, we thank you all for supporting us over these great 25 years and eagerly look forward to the next era of Advanced Airbrush!