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Makers of Tomorrow: Pablo Guerrero

Amigo Arts’ Pablo Guerrero brings big-league creativity to his small signshop.

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Pablo Guerrero

Age: 37

Company: Amigo Arts (Monroe, WA)

After work: He loves baseball, hot rods and watching Hallmark movies around Christmas time. “Everyone gives me crap about it,” he said, “but I love the feel-good movies.”

Quote to know: “You’re not going to learn unless you mess up.”

Thirty seconds into a conversation with Pablo Guerrero, and two things are apparent: his zeal and overall appreciation for life – and for quality, unique signage. “When you talk to me, there’s not a whole lot that you’re not going to get,” he said with a laugh. “I’m right there, upfront.” Guerrero operates Amigo Arts with his wife, Melina, using his assortment of previous signmaking and branding experience – plus a commitment to social media and video – to push Amigo past the boundaries of a traditional signshop. “We don’t just make interior and exterior signage; we make environments for people and create their branding,” Guerrero explained. “Sometimes they have a brand and we create their environment from that. I think that’s a ton of fun.”

Guerrero’s previous signmaking stops have prepared him for the do-it-all signmaker duties he must fulfill for Amigo to function. Before Amigo, Guerrero was a specialty fabricator (sculpting, casting, making molds). He’s also designed and wrapped themed vehicles for a start-up; branded tap handles for a brewing company; dabbled in 3D modeling; and worked as a contractor for Western Neon. Amigo – the name is derived from Amigo Janitorial, the former business operated by Guerrero’s grandfather – began in the Guerreros’ home shop, making the early days even more of a family affair. “My mom came by because it was her birthday, but I couldn’t get away because I was on a deadline,” Guerrero recalled. “So I handed her nuts and bolts and said, ‘Here you go.’ She started bolting this thing together for me as she was waiting to go to dinner.”

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Word of Amigo’s ability to handle creative and challenging projects has spread, working as a double-edged sword for Guerrero – his thirst for originality is consistently quenched, but the price for ingenuity is the difficulty in establishing hard-and-fast project timelines. “Some of the projects we do, no one has built it before or there’s no precedent for it,” Guerrero said. “I can’t go look at a sign and ask, ‘How did they do that?’ and dissect it in my head.”

Guerrero takes pride in Amigo’s ability to compete with larger sign companies, and hopes his company continues to grow. Now, Amigo has a video intern who is also absorbing shop knowledge. “I like to share things,” Guerrero said. “I’ve always been taught that you teach the person next to you so you can move up.”

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