Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

This sign-writing master is determined to keep the trade alive, so he’s teaching his craft to a teenager

Some trades are very familiar, some are lesser known.

Sign-writing is one of the latter, particularly for younger generations. 

Even though we see sign-writing every day, we don’t often hear about how it’s done.

The detailed processes involved from conception to completion require patience, perseverance and precision — you must set yourself up carefully from the start, before any of the brushwork even begins.

BJ wants young people like Halle to learn his trade, as he fears it will disappear.(ABC: Teresa Tan)

BJ Graham is a 70-year-old retiree whose passion for this artistic trade is as strong as when he first started out as a sign-writer at the age of 19.

Being largely a self-taught artist and craftsman, learning many of his skills on the job, BJ is dedicated to sharing the benefits of hands-on learning to keep his vast knowledge of the craft alive for generations to come.

Halle, 21, is studying visual communications and has only recently discovered what sign-writing is. She is now fascinated by it, and wonders if it could be a future career path.

We brought BJ and Halle together to share, step-by-step, how to create sign-writing letters.


I’m a senior citizen and I’m still putting brush to wall — sign-writing is my life.

I was sign-writing from the age of 19 and my biggest aim since retiring is passing on my knowledge of the trade.

A black and white image of a young man with frizzy hair smiling in front of a bus being painted, holding a paintbrush.

BJ has been sign-writing since he was 19.(Supplied: Antonin Cermak/Sydney Morning Herald)

When I stood at the wall and pulled at those brushstrokes, [I] felt in my veins that this was going to be worth the aggravation of pushing through, because I really had struggled with being a self-taught sign-writer.

To younger artists like Halle who are unsure if this is the path for them — when you hear from customers who want to buy your work and love what you’ve created, you get the enthusiasm to know that you’re on the right path.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-18/old-peoples-home-for-teenagers-sign-writing-art-bj-graham-halle/103119912 This sign-writing master is determined to keep the trade alive, so he’s teaching his craft to a teenager

Related Articles

Back to top button