To Christ be all Honor and Glory Given
                          Design by Jamie’s Signs / with Xara

OR CALL 360-466-0240
Signpainting - Graphic Design - Computer Imaging. Est. 1969
 Hi, I'm Jamie Harju of Anacortes, Washington.
My wife Cindy and I own and operate Jamie's
Signs. We are glad we could join you here. You
will find this page a bit more personal than most
commercial web pages. Our purpose is two fold.
You will not only view a small sampling of the
finished products but are able to meet the artist
as well. As a result you will be able to contact us
for your sign needs with the confidence of
knowing that we are well established and capable
of meeting the highest design standards.
I was born in March of 1943 and raised in Michigan on the shores of lake Superior in the upper penninsula and graduated from Rockland High School.
From an early age I was able to draw or paint with reasonable success.  Early in my senior year we
lost our elementary art teacher due to illness, I was called upon to teach two art classes, three days a
    Soon after graduation, I joined the Navy where my ability to paint was again discovered. While  
 I painted murals of things such as Japanese seasides, and French
gardens, etc.etc.
After the service I went back to school to study
engineering, thinking that design would satisfy
my appetite for art and bring in a steady paycheck. 
I secured a job with Lockheed Shipyard in Seattle,
Washington, and I was satisfied for a while, kind of, but
they too discovered that I could draw and soon I was
doing illustrations for manuals etc. The same pattern
again. After a bit of time and a bad relationship I began
feeling like a country boy trapped in the city. The sale of a
few paintings and my desire to do more caused me to part
with the city and head back into the slow lane.
    In the fall of 1969, I left the security of my job in
    the engineering division of Lockheed. I moved north to the quiet little town of Anacortes.
    Anacortes is a beautiful fishing village on the north shore of Fidalgo Island in northwest
    Washington's San Juan Islands. Accompanied by E. C. Mathews, Ralph Gregory and Atkinson,
    in book form of course, I set out to fulfill my boyhood dream of becoming a commercial
    artist. I was always fascinated with the art of lettering, and I thought "becoming a
    sign writer should be a cinch." What an awakening!!! I was soon to learn that I had
    undertaken a career that could not be mastered in a lifetime.
I lettered the window in my first, small
as it were, but affordable studio to read;
'Signs, Commercial Art and Engineering.'
After a year of countless hours toiling over those basic practice
strokes, tears and frustration, I was able to see enough progress
resulting from my efforts that I boldly removed the line of type
'and engineering' from my sign. Its been 41 years since I made that
decision and I have had very few regrets. As a matter of fact, I
often give thanks for finding myself fortunate enough to make a
decent living at doing something I so greatly enjoy.
Having found my niche in a small market place, Fidalgo Island has only 30,000 or so population, I have
been required by necessity over the last 46 years to gain a reasonable skill level in most areas of our craft.
Our primary areas of expertise are boat lettering, design, carving, airbrush art, striping, gold leafing, as
well as brush lettering and creating computer generated graphics.
The addition of the computer to our craft seemed at first to be a
compromise, and early on it was. However, with the continuing
development of the software programs, it has
merely become a fast pencil.
Although the computer now greatly reduces the time spent in the
design and even the rendering of signs, it still requires the artist's
creative ability along with the experience of a good sign crafter to
optimize its full potential. With the combining of both the
computer and the craftsmanship, I am able to produce high
quality signage at competitive prices.
Over the years we had built our business to the point which
enabled us to reach our ultimate goal, a new 1,250 sq. ft. studio at
our home. With the aid of Cindy, my wife of 37 years, and several
computers, we are able to keep up with the workload fairly well.
The new facility is very comfortable, with a view of the islands to
the west and north, and beautiful snow crested Mt. Baker to the  
east. Again I find myself being quite thankful.
I have asked myself several times, as I sit here
writing today; "What is my purpose for preparing this profile?" Here are several
reasions i've decided to do so. With the advance of the Internet, we are now able to
communicate with others involved in our craft from the far corners of our World.
These profiles are a great way for us to meet each other up close and
personal. It is also a great place to watch the development of this many
faceted trade. Over the years, I have been inspired by so many people
that it would be impossible to list them all here. In addition to those
mentioned at the beginning of this story, I would have to add Mike
Stevens, Mike Jackson, Val Bloomberg, Bob Bohounek, John Hanukaine,
Chester Cunningham, and especially SignCraft. For years they have
been showcasing these guys along with countless others who have shared
their work and ideas with those of us that work out here on the fringes of
the signn market.
A special thanks to a very old signwriter of the old
    school by the name of Cornwall. I was several years into the trade, doing a large
    permanent window sign, inside, reverse, the whole bit. As I worked, I became aware of this
    old gent watching me. After a while, I noticed him leave his car and start walking over to
    the store I was working in. As he came closer I realized that it was Mr. Cornwall. I
    thought; "Oh boy! Here comes the master to critique the new kid, only to find myself
    pleasantly surprised. He came in, walked up to me and said " Son, I've been watching
    you and you are going to do all right. You've got it in yer mitt and if ya' don't have it
    in yer mitt, you'll never get it."
In the following years, in those times I was most
    discouraged and felt I was getting nowhere, I would remember his words, keep working and
    eventually reach another level.
My hope is that these many years of dedication to our craft will enable me
to one day lift up and give confidence to another young and aspiring
craftsman, as he or she also work their way from one plateau to another.
I've mentioned many things that have attributed to the
building of a successful sign business, but now I must add what has
been my most important attribute, my wife of 37 years Cindy.
I would be remiss to believe I could have succeeded without her constant
    help. She not only takes care of the children and household, but also finds time to spend
    many hours in the studio each week. She is the bookkeeper, the receptionist, chief weeder
    and girl Friday in general. Over and above the physical help, she has always been
    supportive of me and my efforts.
    And last, but not least, I would like to offer a huge thanks to Steve and Barb Shortreed, not only for
their contributions to the sign trade but greatly for their continued effort to build the Internet thru into a place for professional sign people to gather together, grow closer, and share
our knowledge and skills. Thanks too for the fostering and building of the Letterheads Chat Channel.
If you haven't yet tried the chat yet, do so, you'll really enjoy it.
My likes and dislikes?
In order God, wife Cindy has seen me through it all, my family,
my children Karie and Jamie Jr. (both from a previous marriage),
Jeremiah, Sarah and Jessica, our surprise, but no less wonderful gift.
Also my wife's family, who has always been there for support and
inspiration. Then POOL, fly fishing, golf, bowling, chess, and any kind of
art or music. Oh yeah, then there's GE0 ( poor mans Prius ).
Dislikes include golf scores that are too high, bowling scores that are too low,
signs containing 10 lines of helvetica medium, and too many rainy days in a
row. Also there is the paint that seems like it will never dry,those darn rivets
that seem to show up just where there is a letter, mirrors in the middle of truck
doors and last but not least...the layout lines that have to come off after the
paint that seems it'll never dry finally does.
    Or to enjoy a Visit to My Brothers Video Studio click the button
Now my dislikes.
First my likes
stationed at Pax River Naval Air Station in Maryland, I was given the role of base artist.
The Navy eventually shuffled me to the West Coast which in time, unknown to me, would become home.
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