Finding that most people won't train anyone to do good work as a job security principle, meant learning their jobs off the clock, so he went to work when the 1st guy got there everyday, 530, and learned his job before his own shift started at 8
He got his start in custom painting at collision repair shops in Austin. He learned the trade from the ground up. His job was taping off cars before they were painted, but he would come into the shop hours ahead of his shift to learn the other guys’ jobs. It was the only way to break out of the dead end job of taping.
His boss at the time told him he didn’t want to teach him how to airbrush because he was afraid Queen would take his job. So Queen bought an airbrush and practiced in his garage. Over one weekend, he painted his truck.
“I pulled my truck next to his truck on Monday morning. My truck whooped his truck’s ass. I said, thanks for not teaching me how to paint. You were my motivation,” says Queen.
Queen worked his way up to a Lexus dealership, doing the repainting after collision repairs, but his tattoos got him in trouble with the boss, so he quit.
“When I opened my own shop, I had one tattoo on the back of my neck. I said, 'If I put tattoos on my head I'm going to make it to where nobody will hire me; that will make me have to work harder at my own business,'” says Queen.
Murphy had a 20-year career as a custom engraver but said the work became physically painful, clutching tools day after day. He wanted to be an airbrush artist so after moving to Texas, he began working for American IronHorse. When it closed down, he came over to Other Side Customs.
Cissell had been a muralist and was doing airbrushing side jobs for friends, eventually building up a customer base. At one point he opened a mixed-use space so he could operate a gallery and give airbrush lessons in addition to his custom paint work, but had to shut it down because the city hassled him about the ceiling, not having separate bathrooms for each gender and not having enough ventilation.