Wally Makuchal, Jr.
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As a child I was always interested in wildlife art so I tried to leap into a wildlife art career by trying to win a state duck stamp contest (this was commonly done in the 80's and early 90's) but my best results were landing on the top ten list and placing as high as second in many states.

In late 1994, my wife, Wanda and I discussed other career options I could choose including taking courses at a community college. Though I loved to produce wildlife art, we decided that would be wrong for me. I would have to travel throughout the country to attend art shows, hire an agent to represent me when I could not attend, and worst of all, I would be stuck within four walls every day painting only what my publisher or distributor told me I could paint depending on the trend of the art market. This was not for me.

I eventually did win the Florida duck stamp and Mayland trout stamp in 1996 and the Maryland duck stamp contest in 1999. This turned into some great local recognition as an artist but during those wins I was already an established sign painter.

I always dabbled in sign lettering and pinstriping since high school and, at an early age, even helped my father, Wally Makuchal, Sr. occasionally in his sign business. I always painted for friends for side money but was never serious enough about it to build a career. So it was in late 1994 we decided to open a sign shop and vehicle lettering service the next year in January.

Wanda was very supportive but that decision sparked some friction between myself and my dad considering we would both be sharing the same local market. I felt I would be wasting my abilities if I did not pursue it, so I bought some paint and lettering brushes and went forward.

Though some of my dad's customers gave me a chance to get started by way of a few small jobs, I mainly went after new customers and won them over with satisfaction of a job well done. Wally, Sr. still enjoyed a heavy demand for his hand painted work even with me around and later we even shared some light gossip about good and sometimes not so good customers.

I remember we occasionaly met in our travels and one time I helped him clean wax off a truck before he lettered it. I shared a 'new on the market' wax removing product I had just bought.

It is true that much of the success of Makuchal's Signs is due to the fact that my dad, Wally Makuchal, Sr. was possibly the most popular and talented lettering artist to ever live in the Delmarva area. Sharing the same name sure went a long way when I went to find work.

Of course, after my name was introduced the pressure was on to produce the work that would often be compared to my dad's. The pressure was on to be the best painter I could possibly be.

Sadly, my dad passed away in November of 1998 leaving behind a huge customer base, most or all of them accustomed to quality hand painted work and reluctant to switch to today's modern computer vinyl lettering.

Fortunately for me, I was able to keep about ninety percent of my father's customer base by working mostly with paints. I eventually introduced those customers to the world of computer cut vinyl.

Today, I still hand paint signs and logos for a select few customers that demand it, but computer cut vinyl has many more advantages. I think what sets me apart from other competitors is the fact that I strive for clarity and overall effectiveness in my work. I serve the Delmarva region and enjoy meeting and working for the various people who live here.





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