Blackboard artist and mural artist for pubs, restaurants, hotels and wine shops
I had my own business as a blackboard artist when I lived in London, working for pubs, restaurants, hotels and wine chains, painting blackboards and murals. It was a great way for me to make my living, and I enjoyed the experience immensely.
The lobster blackboard was for Hamilton’s Brasserie which is situated behind The National Gallery on Trafalgar Square. All the boards were copies of paintings of food, featured in the gallery, which I copied from postcards bought from the gallery shop next door.
I used my love of graphic design to copy logos from labels and marketing materials. On occasion a larger more specialised project would allow me to be more creative. Copying Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (below) for the covers of a bar that was used for overspill when their restaurant was busy, but the bar itself was closed.
I used a variety of media, depending on the style of the business, acrylics, chalks and paint pens. Acrylics were particularly good due to their durability. They board could be wiped down without any damage to the artwork.
The outside boards were for the main sell. Food, beer, ‘football on the big screen’. The English Premiership being marketed by paintings of Aberdeen football players.
I met a number of fascinating people while working as a blackboard artist, and learnt much about selling, and running a business. Much of the work was in central London where the competition for business and the importance of gaining attention was very important. The two boards below were 6 feet tall, to fight for attention on Oxford Street.
It’s only recently I came to see that so many aspects of my work now, feature here. Food illustration, typography, logos, bottles, a love of the history of art, humour and a little bit of football.
In December 2017 I was invited to decorate the blackboards for the brand new Storehouse restaurant in Copenhagen. Here are my blackboard designs.