Rest In Peace Dean “Dino” Estrada

Rest In Peace Dean “Dino” Estrada


By Nolan P. Smith-Pastrami Nation

This Saturday, I got the horrible news that a good friend of mine, Dean “Dino” Estrada Sr, had passed away. Dino, as I have known him by since 2003, was an amazing guy and an amazing artist as you can see by the picture above.

I don’t like saying he passed away: my friend George posted it on his Facebook that Dino “went home with the lord” and that’s the way I want to say it. Dino went home after fighting cancer for years.

I was lucky enough to call Dino a friend. I met him during my graphic artist days. I would create logos for him, certificates of authenticity, and these cool “little books” (as Dino would call them: “we need more little books! Those things are awesome!”) that were like pocket portfolios. Dino was an amazingly talented guy, and his art was better than an actual photograph, way better. He had an eye for design: when we would work on stuff, I would always hear “maybe move it up JUST a hair” or “just a LITTLE bigger”, and that was cool, that was Dino. He knew what would look best, and he was right.

I got to know Dino and his two sons quite well. If you ever wanted to see a dedicated father, it was him. Everything he did was for his family.

Though I am still floored with sorrow, I know that he is pain free now. He went home with the lord.

Rest in Peace, Dino. This world will never forget you.

-Nolan Smith

3 thoughts on “Rest In Peace Dean “Dino” Estrada

    • Author gravatar

      I have a lithograph that Dino Estrada painted of Jeff Gordan. It is #1 of 8. Stamp of authenticity,etc. Do you know what this is worth?

    • Author gravatar

      I was just thinking of Dino, so I googled his name and this popped up. He was a good friend of mine for years and even more he was my mentor, he taught me so much about art and he’s the reason why I’m a tattoo artist today. I remember the day I asked him how much to teach me how to draw like him and he said, “nothing, just come over to my house and hang out.” I miss that guy, he was amazing, caring and a hell of a father. I love you man.

    • Author gravatar

      I just learned this tragic news and the world’s loss of a truly thoughtful artist. I learned of this as I’m getting older and made the decision to down size my life long Nascar collection. Before selling, I decided to Google a piece of artwork that I got from Dean, and am I so glad that I did, I almost made a horrible mistake. This piece has always been my favorite and had so much meaning as when Deno was doing these I had the pleasure of sitting with him for hours at a picnic table at Perris Auto Speedway in California while he described the meaning behind every thoughtful detail, nothing was by accident, which led to me having to have one. When we meet so he could give me my framed drawing, it was beautiful, it had his signature and it was also hand signed in pencil under that.
      As I’m admiring the piece, Deno says wait it needs one more thing, he then takes it and starts disassembling the frame and when he gets to the drawing he breaks out a pencil and starts signing it again telling me that it’s now distinguishing special for me. Lots of memories, this artwork (God Bless America) and all its meaning will stay right where it is.

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