SAN ANTONIO — Who wouldn’t like to see their name in lights?
But to get your name in neon you'll need the “King of Neon”.
“There are great artists who paint, there are great sculptors, but very few people make stuff that lights up and I’m very fascinated by it," Affordable Neon owner, Ray Lynch said.
25 years in the neon light business earned Ray Lynch that nickname.
"It is as much craft, as it is science, as it is art,” Lynch said.
Each design starts with a sketch.
“My favorite part is working with my clients to create something unique for them," Lynch said.
His designs have evolved over the years to keep up with the times.
“It’s a lot more interesting than making open signs," Lynch said. "Although I do make quite a few open signs for my business friends.”
Social media has helped save this once dying industry from going dark.
"This whole taking selfies in front of neon has really taken on a life of its own,” Lynch said.
Lynch considers his pieces kinetic art.
Each includes a little bit of his personality.
“My art tends to be more tongue in cheek, wordplay," Lynch said.
Once the sketch is done it’s time to begin the tube bending which involves an open flame.
“I’ve been blessed. Whether that’s my mad skills or my ability to sell," Lynch said.
With a team at his side, he works to grow the industry and bring shape to the shapeless.
“I’m passing it on to the next generation, and I’m helping it stay alive because there will eventually be no more of us,"
Once the gases are injected it’s a flip of a switch.
And while he may not be the great Michelangelo to the “King of Neon” these are his masterpieces.
“I will tell you this, the Sistine Chapel is cool but it don’t light up," Lynch said.