Profile: Josh Luke of Best Dressed Signs, Boston
Traditional Sign Maker is proud to announce a new feature, the Sign Maker’s Profile. We will be adding sign painters from all around the world, sharing some of their work and where you can find out more about them. Our very first Profile is on Josh Luke of Best Dressed Signs in Boston, Mass. Josh worked with the folks at New Bohemia Signs in San Francisco and in 2010 started his own company called Best Dressed Signs located in Boston.
TSM- How long have you been painting signs?
JL- I painted my first amateur sign for a friend’s clothing shop in Alameda, CA in 1996 but sign painting did not become my focus until after I graduated college and started apprenticing at New Bohemia Signs in San Francisco in 2005. So I’ve been doing it full time for close to 7 years now.
TSM- Who were your inspirations/mentors in learning the craft?
JL- After bumming around San Francisco for a few years working various unfulfilling jobs, I was at my wit’s end when one day, my friend Tauba Auerbach told me she was leaving her job at New Bohemia and asked if I wanted to apprentice with her and take over for her when she left. So I began learning sign painting through Tauba but really, my greatest mentor in the field is Damon Styer (aka “The Maestro”), owner of New Bohemia. I always looked up to Damon’s natural talent for lettering and design. Though he relied on tough love as his teaching method, he always inspired me to strive to be better. Whenever I paint a sign now, I always try to imagine how Damon would critique it.
TSM- Any advice for those wishing to learn the craft?
JL- Since moving to Boston in September 2010 and starting my own business, Best Dressed Signs, I’ve met so many young and creative sign enthusiasts that are really interested in keeping this craft alive. What I would like to impress upon those just getting into sign painting is that it is a continual learning process. You won’t learn it right away (as Damon would say “Practice Practice Practice!”). I never feel like I’m at some pinacle of the learning process in sign painting, I am continually learning from other sign writers myself. Hopefully this collaborative learning will inspire those who may be intimidated and help to cultivate some great new talent in the field.
TSM- Where can we take a look at more of your work?
I’m currently working out of my home in Boston, MA.
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