April 05, 2020

Student cleans up in art competition Hermon boy, 14, showcases talent in designing winning car wash sign

HERMON – Kyle Rogers’ friends frequently flock around his sketchbook during homeroom at Hermon High School, amazed by his artwork.

The high school freshman admits he is occasionally scolded for doodling in class, especially during science and social studies.

This fall, however, Kyle, 14, of Levant has reaped the rewards of his artistic abilities. He recently won a competition to design the sign for a new car wash in Hermon.

On Tuesday, Kyle showcased his black-and-white pencil drawing as his family snapped photos of the 8-foot-by-8-foot sign that stood nearly complete in a work area at the Hermon sign company, Da Vinci Signs.

The featured cartoon-like, yellow truck sported a shower cap as suds bubbled from the exhaust. Draped from the truck’s window, a pink towel completed the car wash theme.

“We had a number of good drawings, but we really liked Kyle’s; it matched what we were looking for,” Steve Thomas, co-owner of the Hermon Wash & Shine, said Tuesday.

Thomas said he could envision the business’ new sign, but after reviewing his and his wife’s “pathetic attempts” at drawing, he became a little discouraged.

That’s when the couple turned to the high school, hoping to tap some of the local talent.

“One of my friends spotted a flyer on the bulletin board advertising the contest during math class,” Kyle said. “She told me I should enter, but I said ‘It’s not like I’m going to win.'”

After researching different truck styles, Kyle sketched his finished product in about an hour. He then had to replicate his design to create a color copy.

Although the color scheme of the sign has changed since his original copy, Kyle is still very excited to see his work hanging on the side of new four-bay, manual car wash.

The Route 2 car wash is expected to open this weekend, Thomas said.

“It’s nice to know that at his age he knows what [career] area he wants to pursue,” Glenn Rogers, Kyle’s father, said.

Kyle aspires to have a career in the arts and particularly enjoys Japanese animation. Last week, the owners of Da Vinci Signs invited Kyle’s high school art class to the business to watch the transformation from sketch to sign.

The student returned this week to see how the sign was progressing.

“This is really cool,” Kyle said Tuesday, as he watched a new computer software program manipulate his drawing. “This is what I’m hoping to get into.”

Leo Blanchette, a graphic designer for the business, was assigned the task of transforming Kyle’s sketch into a 3-D computerized design that could be transferred onto the sign.

He said he was impressed with Kyle’s artistic perspective and shared a few words of advice with the aspiring artist.

“You can’t replace artistic skill with machines,” Blanchette said. “Artistic skill will always have an application.”

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