My great grandfather started learning gold gilding in the 1920s, opening his sign shop in 1932. While the trade was passed down generations, I unfortunately never met my grandfather and only had my great-grandfather in my life until I was two.
Growing up in the 90s, the world was quickly changing. Computers were starting to enter homes, schools were only teaching to state exams, and the expectation was to go to college then take your spot in a cubical. Creative fields weren’t exactly encouraged, though in high school I needed an elective and decided to take a course called graphic design (I had no clue what it was at the time).
Fate intervened, the substitute teacher the 1st day of class was the advanced graphic design teacher. She saw my work and immediately moved me to the advanced class. I was like a fish out of water, in middle school I had only used the computer to play Wheel of Fortune and Oregon Trail, with a little Mavis Beacon mixed in (that program gave me so much anxiety).
I was expected to catch up to the kids that had been in her class for years within a couple weeks. This meant a crash course in basic design principles along with Illustrator, Photoshop, and Quark. Little did I know, this one random elective I decided to take would set the course of my life for the next 20 years.
After receiving a master’s degree and a 20-year career in advertising as an Art Director/Creative Director, I decided it was time to go back to my family roots. I sought out training from the best gilders around the world. I spent years attending workshops and reading every gilding book I could get my hands on. I had created art on everyone else’s terms for so long, I was ready create it on mine.