CHICAGO — Brian Schuster has combined his two loves — the Chicago Blackhawks and drawing — into a business that sells to everyone from team stars and executives to regular fans.
His business, called Draw The Jerseys, sells paintings, drawings and other artwork featuring the Hawks.
"It's enough to pay my bills, and it's something I love to do," said Schuster, of Hammond, Ind. "Everybody loves the Blackhawks and that helps me with my business."
Justin Breen discusses how one man has made a living doing what he loves:
Schuster, who said he's always liked to paint, ditched his full-time job as a tow truck driver in 2010 to start Draw The Jerseys. His first design was an 18-by-24 color pencil drawing of forward Patrick Kane that he personally gave to the Hawks star after a game that season.
Through word of mouth and social media, Schuster, 35, has developed a clientele that includes several current Blackhawks players — including Bryan Bickell, Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith. Schuster said Hawks executives John McDonough, Pete Hassen and Jay Blunk also have his artwork. He's become close enough to the Hawks that they let him help paint the center ice logo at the United Center in August.
But Schuster said he truly likes painting for the blue-collar Hawks fan.
"I'm not trying to make millions and millions of dollars," he said. "I want it to be cheap enough where any average man could afford Blackhawks art if they want it."
Schuster said prices vary depending on the size and design of the painting. He works alone and his record output for one week is 12 orders.
He's been going to Blackhawks games since he was a 1-year-old, when his family had season tickets at the old Chicago Stadium.
"I'm just a huge Blackhawks fan," Schuster said.
Schuster stressed he hasn't given up on the Hawks, who trail three games to one against the Los Angeles Kings heading into Wednesday night's Game 5 in Chicago.
"No, no, no, no, no, no, they're not out of it," Schuster said.