Have you seen those amazing quotes all over Vancouver in strikingly-crafted neon? Chances are they were created by local designer Andrew Hibbs, owner of Endeavour Neon. From the new “Time Is Precious” one strategically placed in Gastown or those neon hearts scattered around the city, the increase of neon fixtures courtesy of Endeavour are becoming more popular in Vancouver (& on social media). We caught up with Andrew to discuss inspiration, memorable projects – & more neon;
Crafting intricate neon signs seems like no easy feat. What initially inspired you to do this?
Neon is definitely a trade to be taught and is something you cant learn overnight, it takes years and years to even become ok at, i have been bending neon for over 10 years now and am still learning new tricks everyday. I would have to say my Dad, David Hibbs, is my biggest inspiration, i grew up with him bending neon out of his shop in our backyard, he is defiantly one of the best benders out there and I’m still learning from him.
What are your most memorable projects to date & why?
Neon really slowed down when LEDs came out and has just recently picked up, i would say the most memorable projects would be the Vancouver house, “GESAMT KUNST WERK” which mean work of art in German, because of the install, in a lift so high that you are looking over the Granville street bridge, another one would be the backdrop for the interview room at the JUNO Awards , it was really cool seeing my work all over the internet and T.V.
Name a few signs we might see around the city from you
I am doing more and more neon around Vancouver, a few that you might notice is the Vancouver house, the Telus gardens building, the Vogue theatre, the “Time Is Precious” sign in Gastown, and the famous heart, found all around Vancouver in store fronts.
Walk us through the process when a client approaches you for some neon
The process to order a neon sign, starts with finding out what exactly the client is looking for, if they are wanting some writing or abstract art. Once we figure out a design that the client is happy with, they get to pick the colour of neon, along with the backing they want it installed on. From there the design gets printed out and hand traced, from there i begin the process of bending neon in the fires and follow the pattern I have traced out. Once the word is all bent it gets pumped with neon, or Argon gas depending on the colour, once the neon is pumped it gets prepped for installation on the backing, i then bend the plastic and glue the sides on, then i install the neon and transformer and get the sign all packaged for shipping.
What inspires endeavour?
My Wife and family have really inspired me and pushed me to become who i am today, they have supported and helped me out in any way possible, i wouldn’t have gotten this far without them, it is not easy starting your own business, work doesn’t stop it is 24/7, growing up watching my dad work around the clock and grow his company to what it is today has inspired me to follow in his footsteps and do whatever it takes to build my business.
Your favorite neon quote to date – Go
My favorite neon quote to date would be “TIME IS PRECIOUS” you can always make more money or buy new clothes or cars but you will never get back the time you waste, i work hard but i alway make time for my family and friends, stuff gets old and thrown out but memories will be with you forever, don’t waste all your time working, make sure to enjoy life.
– Karli Fahlman