TAMPA, Fla. – On the desk of Kyle Konin’s workspace sits a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey helmet with a photograph of Yoda from Star Wars on it. The helmet is a fantastic illustration of Konin’s passions and his enterprise.
“I in no way imagined I would get to merge two points I appreciate the most,” he stated.
Konin is lifelong hockey goaltender. Previous calendar year, he achieved a aspiration by finding to go well with up as the emergency goaltender for Amalie Arena as the Lightning hosted the St. Louis Blues.
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Konin is also a lifelong artist.
“I’ve always preferred my mask painted, and all the NHL goaltenders have theirs painted, so I a person working day started portray my personal and then buddies wanted them and then mates of mates, and it just grew into an full business enterprise,” he discussed.
That enterprise is NUJAX Airbrush. He’s misplaced keep track of of how quite a few he’s made in total but estimates that the number is around 500-1,000. The helmet is very first taken apart, sanded, foundation-coated and then hand-painted, utilizing a mix of hand painting and air brushing. He finishes by applying an highly-priced clear coat to protect the helmets.
“My aim when I style them is we unquestionably want it to be readable from a distance, so if someone’s viewing you engage in, you want them to be equipped to tell what the style is,” Konin explained. “Then you also want to have some awesome stuff that’s up close, wherever you stroll up to the helmet, and you see some actually amazing hidden information.”
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Two of Konin’s present jobs are additional key examples of mixing hockey and artwork. He just concluded a helmet that features Lego figures examining out breweries in Michigan. He’s wrapping up a helmet that attributes the head of the robot dinosaur Grimlock, highlighted in the Transformers movie franchise.
He tends to make helmets for goaltenders on youth groups, club groups, NCAA teams and qualified groups. He was thrilled to see his helmets on countrywide Tv set, when the University of Massachusetts Amherst received the NCAA Championship very last year.
“Was just a seriously awesome experience to see that my get the job done is, you know, out there nationally,” Konin said.
As Konin enters the summer, his workspace fills with far more blank helmets. He explained summertime is the busiest element of the year, but he welcomes it.
“It can help my process when there’s numerous heading at a time,” he spelled out.