As Austinites, we’re blessed to live in a city that is progressive, experiential, experimental, game-changing, conscious and, lets face it, awesomely cool. In such a city, you’d expect the population to match, and in the ATX, we don’t disappoint. This Capital City is chock-full of amazing citizens who strive to better the city on a daily basis. From writers to activists, entrepreneurs to artists, we’ve rounded up a diverse group of Austinites that help make this city great.
Todd Sanders and his Roadhouse Relics studio are glowing testaments to Old Austin character. Most passersby are struck by the South First gallery’s dazzling neon designs, from luchador masks to fireflies in a mason jar. (Even more pose in front of the south-facing wall’s iconic “Greetings from Austin” mural.) Inspired by America’s first neon sign masters, Sanders built an illustrious, decades-long career in Austin with his unique neon designs created entirely by hand with time-honored techniques. The Houston native calls his style “modern vintage,” but considers himself a pop artist, touting a coterie of high-profile collectors like Shepard Fairey, Johnny Depp and ZZ Top. Constantly creating new work, Sanders shows no sign of stopping. “I like to make art that, when you die, your kids will fight over.”