SAN ANTONIO – There is no need for jingle bells in Todd Robinson’s world.
He can tell it’s time to get into the holiday spirit just by the ringing of his phone.
Local businesses rely on him to dress up their storefront windows Christmas with his hand-created artwork.
For some of them, it doesn’t always happen during the usual season.
“You’ve got a lot of people that start in June,” Robinson said. “A lot of people, Cash America, the pawn shops, they start their Christmas layaway in June.”
Whenever the mood strikes his customers, Robinson is ready to paint one on for them.
The lifelong, mostly self-taught artist sketches the designs they desire, then adds color and character with paint.
Sometimes, he even freestyles, which is no problem given his background.
“I used to do hip-hop,” he said. “I performed at the Hollywood Palladium in front of the stars when I was a kid.”
The California native says he also designed clothing at one time, which people would “buy off his back.”
It was while he was working in Texas’ oil fields, though, that the idea hit him to put his artistic talents to work.
“I got off (work) one day,” he said. “Within four hours I had made $600 painting, and I never turned back.”
Fourteen years later, all he does is paint.
While most of his work comes during the Christmas season, Robinson said he also paints designs for other holidays, including Easter, as well as murals and signs.
Sometimes, he is asked to complete more than a dozen window paintings in a day.
“My hands will get where they cramp, I do so much art,” he said.
Ultimately, he would like to take his painting indoors one day.
Robinson says his dream is to open an art gallery where he can continue practicing his craft.