Hello, I’m Marcus Poston and I make neon signs, random curiosities, and wildly artistic keepsakes here in New York City.
After moving to NYC in 2004, I spent most of my time waiting tables and slinging drinks. I was working all the time, but only making enough money to afford the bare minimum before needing to work more. Somewhere in that miserable loop, I was finally inspired to make something with my hands: a gift that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford for a beautiful girl. I’ve always been lucky enough to find myself in the company of artists and makers, and they were kind enough to encourage my early efforts. Once I made that gift, I was hooked.
Fate, luck, or karma stepped in shortly after when I got an internship with a sign-maker doing business out of a basement in Alphabet City. I’m pretty sure everyone knows this, but internships don’t pay well enough to live here in NYC. Even so, it was better than slinging drinks, so I went with it. The best part about the internship was that it gave me time to pursue other things: I spent some time in the fine art world and picked up work doing construction and building window displays for bespoke clothiers. I wasn’t making enough money, but I was learning – and stumbling upon materials and techniques that made new ideas possible.
Somewhere along the way, I was fortunate enough to hear about Etsy; I opened a shop and started selling the occasional curiosity, sculpture, or piece of art. About three years in, I started trying to sell my neon work, and now I’m finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Etsy gives my efforts a feeling of legitimacy I don’t think I would have been able to find on my own, creates a solid foundation for my fluctuating existence, and has opened doors I didn’t even know existed.
It’s taken me a while to figure out that all the stress and uncertainty of doing what I want for a living is worth it. Every day is an attempt to keep up, adapt, and learn what I need to keep going. There’s no way I could’ve gotten this far without the advice, inspiration, and support of my amazing friends – at every twist and turn, I’ve always been saved, salved, or slapped into reality by the amazing people in my life.
All photographs by Marcus Poston.