Signwriting may be having a bit of a moment amongst the flat whites, pop-ups and haircuts crowd; but Amy Goodwin is the real deal. Born and raised in a travelling steam fair, if you’re looking for the perfect blend of straight lines and showmanship, she’s the one.
Over coffee and croissants we chatted craft, authenticity and why she’ll never use tape. Here’re just three of the creative morsels we’ll be taking away from the latest in our Creative Breakfast series…
Practice makes precision
You can never have too many reminders that talent takes time. Don’t believe us? Try painting a perfectly straight line freehand.
For Amy, initiation into the art’s old ways meant a gruelling summer at the fair, painting and erasing the same lines – over and over and over… and over. Thinking of picking up a paintbrush? You’d better do some stretches, this stuff takes stamina.
Plan for the journey
From initial sketches, via life-size mock-ups, towards a many-layered work of art. For some artists, there is no Ctrl-Z – only white spirits and an hour before the paint dries. The risk of typos has never been more high stakes.
Hearing Amy talk about the planning that goes into each piece had us vowing to work more intentionally, with an eye on the big picture (and thanking our lucky stars for the backspace button).
Read up and dive in
Just as likely to be spotted in the library as lining an old engine, Amy’s signs carry an in-depth knowledge of fairground heritage and culture. And it shows in the work. From encountering colourful characters in fairground archives to weaving tales of her own, we learnt that brushstrokes can smuggle secrets and there’s more than one way to tell a story…
Thanks so much to Amy for coming in, and Espressini for keeping us alert with delicious coffee. Join us for a cup next time? Sign up to our newsletter to get a heads-up on when it’ll be.