The ‘Brush Master’ of Indianapolis

New Half Letter Press book profiling work of Indianapolis sign painter Jasper Travis, aka Brush Master.

Slightly fading painted lettering flanked by leaves.
Hand-painted sign by Jasper Travis for the Hair Paradise Beauty Salon.

Jasper Travis, aka Mississippi, aka Brush Master is a prolific Indianapolis sign painter whose long career has seen him stamp his signature across huge swathes of the city. After gaining recognition through the documentary photography of Kyle Long, Mississippi’s work is now celebrated in a 48-page book/zine edited by Stuart Hyatt and published on Risograph by Chicago’s Half Letter Press.

Spread from a book.
Interview with Jasper Travis in the Brush Master book.

The book features a number of written pieces, alongside graphic interpretations of Mississippi’s work. I was invited to contribute a short article, the title of which references Nick Barber‘s memorable line in Sign Painters. It can be downloaded below.

Title page for a chapter in a book.
Title page of Sam Roberts' article in the Brush Master book, 'Drum machines have no soul: The enduring appeal of hand-painted signs'.

Other contributions include an interview with Mississippi, Kyle Long‘s personal story of discovery, an original work by poet and artist Douglas Kearney, and poetic responses to Mississippi’s work from Tatjana Rebelle.

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Spread from a book.
Poetic responses to the sign painting work of Jasper Travis in the Brush Master, book.

The book can be purchased for $10 directly from Half Letter Press.

Painted signs on a shopfront.
Sign painting by Jasper Travis for D.J. Regency Music and Pete's Shoe Shine.
Painted lettering on a wall, which includes pictures of a pool table and 8-ball.
Sign painting by Jasper Travis for a pool room, emphasising that it's a "drug free area".
Lettering and pictorial work on a side wall.
Sign painting by Jasper Travis for Joe's Fish Market.

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