FRS Founder - Laurie KleinLaurie Klein was born creative. In nursery school the teachers were amazed that she finger-painted recognizable animals, large scale, and told her parents that she was already a standout among the children artistically. She began oil painting at the age of 8, and was soon painting landscapes in adult classes that were far beyond her years. When the airbrush came into Laurie’s hands during high school, the two became an inseparable creative team.

In college Laurie pursued  a fine art major with a minor in art history. There the airbrush was frowned upon being seen as a novelty.  She therefore approached it as merely a hobby until she began selling airbrushed art on canvas, sometimes for thousands of dollars. She then took the airbrush far more seriously.

Laurie’s fine art degree was interrupted by a near fatal car accident during her second year of college. When she returned to college, she did so as a graphic arts major. While in college for the second time she worked a large art supply store in San Diego. There she was responsible for the airbrush department, selling and repairing airbrushes and compressors, and at the same time she began to work as a freelance illustrator. She produced several album covers including one for Musicians Institute of Los Angeles. During that time she did work for a number of well-known names in the music industry such as Deep Purple and Jon Anderson of Yes.

Thunderbirds Flight Helmet
Thunderbirds Flight Helmet painted by Laurie Klein.

In January of 1998 she was hired as the primary artist for the leading manufacturer of flight helmets in the world. She did the artwork on helmets for the Blue Angels, the Thunderbirds, NASA, the Italian Air Force Freece Tricolori, and the movie industry to just name a few. She felt that having some really cool pictures hanging on the wall was great, but she wasn’t going to retire on the money she was making. She left the aviation industry in August of 2007 and founded Front Range Studio with her brother Eric Sweitz, and is now following her own path of creativity. The world is made up of graduated tones and Laurie has mastered the depth that is achieved with working with the airbrush.