Sonny Mouneu understands paint. "I started off painting motorcycles, doing custom paint on Harleys and choppers, custom cars," says Sonny. With the busy sounds of Main Street going by, the sign painter, better known as Sonny Boy Paint, stands in front of the Prufrock Pizzeria restaurant at the Regent Theater, giving the storefront a facelift.
Neighborhood shops, restaurants and bars in the area are attracting downtown types with a look that’s bringing back to life L.A.’s golden age from the 1920s.
"Prufrock wanted vintage phrases on their shop windows, like what pharmacies and markets used to do. Little sayings to catch people's attention." Sonny designed the three sayings together as one piece to make sure it looks cohesive. "Paul, Prufrock's interior designer, sent me a lot of reference to feed my research. This old 1920s style, I have an eye for. Look all around downtown LA, you'll see the ghost signs still exist on the site of buildings. The style wasn’t super crazy, just solid colors with drop shadows."
Sonny Boy got his start in Whittier and learned from Dennis Jones. "Dennis is from Los Angeles Trade Tech College. When I was 12, I watched him pin stripe bikes. My dad used him a lot, and I got to watch him.” Sonny then began lettering, which he learned from watching others. "I’m more interested in the letterforms and spacing."
A few of his downtown projects include The Regent Theater, Love Song Bar, Ledlow and the old Pete's Cafe, Verve Coffee, Juice Served Here, Secret Headquarters and Orsa and Winston.
"There’s a lot of improvising on this one. This is going to get a drop shadow. And I’m going to add orange in the flames so it isn’t so flat. I'm trying to give it some life, make it catchy.”