How It All Began
For several years, I was a partner with my father in the metal art business Stars Over Texas located in Crawford, Texas. When he moved to west Texas in 2004, I stayed and worked really hard to make it on my own. In 2007, my wife Lori came on with me full time as my partner and bookkeeper.
Over the years, we’ve been involved in some really neat metal projects. Our metal work ranges from family name “wall badges” to business signs and many ranch entrances. I’ve built thousands of pieces. I’ve worked on many projects for President Bush and Mrs. Laura. I’ve also done work for Hank Williams, Jr., United States Secret Service and Texas Department of Public Safety.
I had just finished a sign for some Waco business owners who are friends with Chip and Joanna. Not long after, they were eating dinner together when Joanna expressed the need to have a “go-to” metal art person for signs and cut outs, etc. The couple was instantly like “Oh! You gotta call Jimmy Don Holmes in Crawford!” And the rest is history.
Soon, Joanna and I were talking and designing together. Then it wasn’t long till the High Noon Entertainment trucks, vans and people were at our shop clipping microphones on me, and we were filming away. I was nervous as could be at first, then all of a sudden it came naturally and I did ok.
So now I’m an official big ole ham, and I love to be filmed and meet fans. I really enjoy getting to meet people and find out where they’re from, and what their story is.
Jimmy Don’s Creative Process
When it comes to starting a project – a sign or custom iron piece – I have to get a feel for what the customer is wanting or picturing in their mind. Then I have to wrap my thoughts around it before I can get rolling. Most times, it just flows, and I get so excited about how I can lay it out and make it all come together.
Occasionally, I get the block just like writers do. I’ll have to revamp my thoughts or maybe even do another project. Every time I’ve ever been at this point, it feels as if it just comes to me. Then, I wind up loving the project and being more excited than ones that flow and come to me instantly.
It’s been a really fun way to make a living, and I wouldn’t choose a different career if I could go back in time.