APPLE VALLEY >> Chris Hernandez inks illustrations for children's books, as well as logos for everything from orthodontic businesses to fishing charters.
The design request he received in September turned into something much deeper than an everyday job.
Wicks Brewing Co. in Riverside asked him to design labels for two new beers made in tribute to Riverside police Officer Michael Crain and San Bernardino County sheriff's Deputy Jeremiah MacKay, both killed in the 2013 Christopher Dorner rampage.
“I had to put a lot more heart into this,” the 36-year-old Apple Valley man said. “Mentally and emotionally, it took a toll on me.”
The designs and beer will be featured during a car show to raise money for fallen and injured law enforcement at the brewery Feb. 1.
The brewery learned about Hernandez's artwork from a design job he took for nearby Polymath Brewery in Riverside.
The owners had specific ideas for both logos. Crain, who breached doors as a SWAT officer, was known as “Freight Crain,” Hernandez said. Wicks envisioned a metallic bull.
MacKay's logo — a sheepdog playing the bagpipes — illustrates MacKay's love of playing bagpipes and his belief that law enforcement, like sheepdogs, protect a flock from evil.
Hernandez said the shootings hit home for him because one of Dorner's first victims, Monica Quan, was assistant women's basketball coach at his alma mater, Cal State Fullerton. Quan's fiance, Keith Lawrence, was also killed.
And during the standoff in the San Bernardino Mountains, Hernandez and his wife waited nervously because they knew one of their friends, a deputy with the Sheriff's Department, was in the mountains.
But he says that despite the amount of work he put into the designs, he doesn't want the focus to be on him.
“It's not about me,” he said. “It's about remembering their names.”
Proceeds from sales of Freight Crain and Sheep Dog beer at the Fallen and Injured Riverside Police Officers Fundraiser will go toward the Crain and MacKay families.
The fundraiser is being organized by the Riverside-based Old Farts Racing Team and the Riverside Police Officers Association.
The team held another car show last year to raise money for the families of Crain and Andrew Tachias, who was wounded but survived the shootout that killed Crain. That event generated about $24,000, said Steve Johnson, event organizer.
“There was such great support for law enforcement,” he said.
Riverside police Sgt. Brian Smith, president of the police association, said officers hope to raise enough money during this event to purchase a van for the family of a Riverside officer recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.
The event will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Wicks, 11620 Sterling Ave., Suite C.
For more information, contact Johnson via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org